…we would see more of some types of books and less of others. No, my blog isn’t going to turn into a bunch of top ten posts. Sorry for having two in a row, but I was browsing through past Top Ten Tuesday topics on The Broke and the Bookish and just couldn’t resist this one.
So. Here are some bookish trends I’m getting tired of, and some I long for. I couldn’t think of enough to do a top ten for both, so I’ve split the list up into five parts for each.
5. YA stories set at schools. Look, I get that the vast majority of those under eighteen spend their days here. But it’s not the only place we’re at. One easy way for authors to avoid this is to set their stories in places that don’t really allow for school. If their characters live in fantasy worlds, are on the run, or are teen superspies who are too busy learning self-defense to study algebra, then that works.
4. Vampires. You guessed it. These are overdone, especially after the popularity of Twilight. There are so many vibrant, wonderful, living fantastical creatures and authors decide to use dead people with fangs as their characters?! I don’t understand it.
3. Romances, particular in YA, that feature bland characters. Argh! I hate when blurbs on the back of book covers say something like, “Stereotypical-Teenage-Girl’s-Name had never seen anyone so handsome, so alluring, so… different. He was the perfect boy ever. He was the perfect boy for her.” Too often, the boy in question turns out to be incredibly normal. This works the other way as well. Authors: don’t promise the YA romance of the decade if you can’t create unique characters. Characters are the building blocks of stories, so give me some good ones!
2. Sparse description. This is my biggest issue with The Hunger Games and its sequels: half the time, I was left in the dark because Collins didn’t tell us what stuff looked like! This is. Not. Good. Authors, your main job is to convince me that this world you’ve created is cool enough that I stick with your book until the end. If you don’t even show me what this world looks like, then I lose interest.
1. Dystopian series. I enjoy dystopian books; I love thinking and reading about the future. But there are too many dystopian stories that start off well and then go on and on and on because they’re series. Think of The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent, The Giver, Among the Hidden, The City of Ember, and more. Just once, I want to read a great dystopian book without any sequels (or prequels!). I don’t mind if it’s long, but I want the story to be contained within one novel. I want that nice feeling of accomplishment one gets after reading a story where everything wraps up and there are no loose ends for endless sequels.
5. Paranormal romance with werewolves or ghosts. No, I’m serious. If paranormal romance must be a thing that exists, I want it to be about these things. I have a soft spot for werewolves because REMUS LUPIN (and I also think it would be more difficult – hence fascinating for description purposes – to be a werewolf because you’re a wolf part of the time. Duh. You can’t blend in as well as even the sparkly vampires can.). And ghosts are neat because then we could have paranormal historical fiction; the ghosts could tell us about their pasts.
4. YA nonfiction. I’m pretty sure that this is a genre that exists but it’s probably quite small. I hate nonfiction that appears to come straight from a textbook but if it’s well-written – straightforward, not too dense, and with intriguing little details about their subject. All my favorite nonfiction books were written for adults and that needs to change.
3. YA mysteries. Oh, these definitely exist, but there should be more. They don’t have to be in a series; they don’t have to feature all the same characters (if written by the same author); there just need to be a lot. Basically, what I’m asking for is the modern-day version of Agatha Christie. I want someone prolific and very, very good at what they write.
2. Retellings of myths, fairy tales, or classic stories. I love these. I’ve read many books of this kind – The Lightning Thief, Briar Rose, All Men of Genius, Ella Enchanted, Ash, and more – but I will never get tired of this mini-genre. (At least I hope!) I would especially like to see the following: retellings of Norse or Chinese myths or basically anything that isn’t Greco-Roman, retellings of fairy tales from a boy’s point of view (all the ones that I know are told by girls), and updated versions of Shakespeare’s plays or something similar.
1. LGBTQ+ series. We’re being inundated with dystopian series but sadly, I can’t find many books with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning characters. I’ve only found stand-alone novels and while those are great, the cool thing about stand-alone novels is that you should be able to choose whether or not you feel like reading a series. I don’t have that choice. Every time I find a good LGBTQ+ book I’m reluctant to finish it because I know that once I reach the end, that’s it. It stinks.
What bookish trends are you tired of? Which ones would you love to become more popular, or simply exist in the first place?