Friday, August 22, 2014

Trends I love In YA

So I have noticed a few trends that are starting to surface in young adult fiction that I absolutely love, and I wanted to write this blog to highlight those and why I like them.

Multiple Point Of View:



If you follow my blog you HAVE to know by now that I love novels that are in multiple perspectives. When it is done well. (I'm looking at you Allegiant). I think it's apart of the reason that I ended up picking up Game of Thrones, but I have read a few recent novels that have been really good at utilizing the dual or multiple perspective narration. Two that I have reviewed on this blog are Lauren Oliver's Panic and Neal Shusterman's Unwind Dystology.

I liked Oliver's take because she used the dual male and female narratives, and I liked Shusteman's use of it because he wrote a small chapter in the perspective of a freaking plane and it still was effective. I'm starting to see this trend in YA more often as of late, and I am a huge fan of it. Give me more of it!

Companion Novels, Not Series:


Another trend I have noticed emerging lately is authors writing in the same 'verse but books that are not necessarily a series. So instead of a traditional series where the second and third books surround the same protagonist, we are given another story from a character we have already met. Sometimes there may even be a shift in time. I love this concept, because what if you like the writing and the minor characters but want to punch the main character in the face?

I think I first started noticed something like this when I was in high school devouring Sarah Dessen novels. Dessen puts in cameos of her characters in her books, so if you have read them all you will notice characters from her older works passing by. I always liked that about her novels. These cameos were not quite companion novels, so I think the first series I actually read that utilized this literary trend was the Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashshore. Graceling also uses the time aspect in her series, since the second book actually goes backward in time to explain how that realm came to be.

Stephanie Perkins is also using the companion series with her books Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and The Happily Ever After. Which I really love, because Anna annoyed me a bit so I hope I can like Lola and Isla better. Another book that I am so happy employs the use of companion novels is Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assassin series. I am only on the first one, Grave Mercy, but I think the concept is so cool that I'm really interested to read Sybella and Annith's stories as well as Ismae's.

Diversity:

Okay, so this is not necessarily a trend, but I think something that is starting to emerge in YA writing and needs to continue. I love the We Need Diverse Books Campaign, that I could probably write a whole blog about why I think it's so important.

So here's the thing, not everyone is a 5 foot 1 white girl from PA like me, and I wouldn't want any reader to be alienated by a book because who they are is not represented. We cling to the characters in the books we read, because we see ourselves in them. I think readers need more ways to connect to those characters, and that means more characters that represent them. That could mean a diversity of race, body types, sexual orientation, etc. I truly believe that this push for diversity in books overall, not only in young adult books, will lead to a change in literature for the better.

So what trends in Young Adult fiction do you love? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reads, Everyone!