March 30, 2011

Five YA Trends I am SO OVER

(Not in any particular order.)

1. Eternal love. You know, the kind where for whatever reason, the protagonist (usually a girl) is reincarnated but never remembers the past, and her romantic meant-to-be interest (usually the brooding, semi-abusive guy) is stalking/"educating" her about her past. Plus some nonsensical danger thing. Sometimes involving a curse.

2. Vampires. Way back in the day (as in, WAY before vampires spiked) there were some novels I remember as being pretty cool (as in not totally sucky) -- Robin McKinley's Sunshine, Annette Curtis Klause's The Silver Kiss, and (for some random reason) Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' In the Forests of the Night. I haven't picked these up in a while, but from what I recall, the main difference was that the vampire trope was not just a foil for eternal love and crap like that. There was actually a plot. Shocking, I know.

3. Werewolves. I don't know if I've ever read a really good werewolf novel. I like the way they're dealt with in the earlier Anita Blake books, but those are certainly not YA. (Same with vampires. The early Blake books are kind of awesome.)

4. Fairies. Have I ever read a good fairy book? (I'm talking "the fair folk" sorts of stories, not "fairy tales." The two are very different.) Perhaps the only books I have ever loved that had fairies as a factor were Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Marillier, and sequels. Probably because again, the fairies were not the love interests. Although technically, that book is both a "fair folk" and a "fairy tale" book.

5. Angels. You know it's awful when you've only read ONE book featuring angels, and the thought of more makes you gag.

It's not that I hate vampires, werewolves, or fairies. It's that I detest all books that use these tropes just to carry some half-assed story about forbidden/destined/eternal/teenage love. Period.

Any trends you're sick of? Please share!


  1. This is me nodding along with everything you're saying sister!

    Also FINALLY you update. :)

  2. @jasbah

    Err... Yes. I should update more. The problem is coming up with stuff to talk about...

  3. i agree with you on all books included in point #2. also YES. now if only the rest of the world would be over them too...

  4. I totally agree with you on all counts! That said, I AM currently working on a series that involves Faeries, and one that involves angels, but considering that I don't even have an agent yet, it's not as though they'll be hitting the market anytime soon. Besides that, I'm just writing them because I'll go crazy if I don't get them out of my head, not because I see them as the next Twilight.

    Something I could stand to see a lit less of period is all this heavy romance/going to be together forever/by the way I'm sixteen high drama. It used to
    Be that YA was YA and some of it had a little gushy here and there. But more and more I'm feel like story/plot/details/even world building is getting brushed by the wayside as long as there's some juicy romance angst going on. And I don't mean Peeta vs Gale. That's how romance is SUPPOSED to be, vital and yet also secondary. At least that's how I personally feel about it.

  5. @A. Grey I have complete faith that you will be able to pull off faeries and angels without falling into the pit of horrible YA-forever-love. Totally agree with you on the romance front in YA. It should be vital yet secondary -- NOT the point of the entire book. Good luck with your books!

    @pickychick I know, right? I think a lot of people should be hit on the head with hammers...

  6. All of your points are well taken and while I still enjoy reading the paranormal, I have been leaning more towards contemporary of late. One addition I would make would be zombies, I have never understood how anyone could embrace books about zombies!

  7. Totally agree with you about the eternal love business - although I was never quite on board with it in the first place. And I am totally OVER the dystopian thing going on in YA right now. I get it, the world ended: just MOVE ON already!

  8. Have you read the most recent couple of books by Nancy Werlin? Faries, but good.

  9. Trends are never going to die out, a new fad will come and go. I just enjoy the ride. I can understand you issues though. Mermaids also seem to be a huge thing

  10. :) Agree with all five of these! I linked this in my "Friday Five" over at Kate's Library.

    Have a great weekend!

  11. My biggest problem is the immediate undying love at first sight. How in the heck can you possibly know with one glance that the boy across the cafeteria is your soulmate before ever talking to them?

    Love is something that is built not an instant reaction. Lust is instant and, sorry kids, it doesn't last forever.

    Hunger Games did this well. Katniss and Gale were friends first. Peeta had a crush on Katniss for years and it took quite some time for her to reciprocate those feelings. Much more realistic.

    Rachel- Endless Reading

  12. I read this post several days ago and agreed completely. Then I happened upon a story that contained at least two of these elements. I almost put it down, but the style of writing was interesting enough that I wanted to see what was going to happen. Still reading it, but reserving judgement until it either becomes to horrible, or incredably great.

  13. Your post made me laugh. I'm with you on all counts. I'm sticking with cozy mysteries.

  14. @Jan von Harz

    I'm not much of a zombie fan myself, but the (only) series I've read, I really enjoyed. (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan.) If you're only going to read one zombie book, I'd make it that one. :)

  15. @Kay (Dead Book Darling)

    I can't quite make up my mind whether I agree with you or not... But I just wrote a whole blog post about it!

  16. @mfh

    Not really that into Nancy Werlin -- she just doesn't do it for me, I guess. Thanks for the tip, though! I always enjoy book recommendations.

  17. @Liz @ Cleverly Inked

    I definitely think that there is an overkill threshold, though. I haven't seen that many mermaid books, but that may just be because I'm selectively ignoring them?

  18. @Kate

    Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

  19. @Reading Rachel

    Totally! I think The Hunger Games was really great in the way that it handled the love story. Important, but not the center of the universe.

  20. @Plain Jane

    Well, a genius writer can sell you anything. That can make all the difference!