Everybody should believe in something. I believe I'll read another chapter.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Trends in YA Lit

Continued title: And whether or not I'm a fan of them.

Most kind of medias have trends that ebb and flow. Thankfully, some are good and stay a while (like empowering female leads,) and some are bad but eventually dissipate (paranormal romance THANK GOD WOW.) Here's a breakdown of trends I've been noticing and whether or not I approve (and why.)

Modernizations of Classic/Older Lit

Is this good? Occasionally

Why? Sometimes, re-doings of things have gotten to the point of cliche, like the billion Romeo & Juliet adaptations that are out there that make me want to bash my head in because IT'S NOT A LOVE STORY DAMMIT BUT THAT'S HOW THEY MARKET IT AND IT MAKES ME ANGRY, ALONG WITH STORIES ALONG THE SIMILAR VEIN.

But, on the other hand, these can be good because re-doing things in new light can be AWESOME. Awesome-but-similar like Elizabeth Eulberg's Prom and Prejudice or a badass extension like Dorothy Paige's Dorothy Must Die. I think putting well-written modern twists on stories help keep the classic alive and well so I think some modernizations have merit.

LBTGQ Themes 

Is this good? YES

Why? Teens are going through a lot of changes and discovering their sexuality. Books often offer different perspectives and solace for them. While I think it's awesome there are stories for those discovering/having problems with coming to term with their sexuality, there need to be more books about the relationships and them as people and not just gay people.

A Guy's Point of View

Is this good? Definitely

Why? I kind of feel like the majority of teen/YA/New Adult are written about and for girls, and not that that's wrong, I just think there needs to be a balance. I also think it's fun to read things with more POVs than I think I'd read normally. Plus, I haven't met enough boys who read and "girls are icky" so we need to work on expanding their demographic because they certainly aren't themselves.

Boys *scoffs*

Is this good? Depends...

Why? I'm not really sure how to write this so I'm just going to say it: Showing consequences of unprotected sex and showing couples making mature decisions are great because sex is a BIG DEAL and I don't care what some movies/people/TV shows (initially) say and I think not addressing that is the bad part. But look at Judy Blume's Forever... ! It was published almost forty years ago, and I can't think of more than five books that handled sex as well as Blume did. So this trend needs to be improved, but I still think it's helpful.

Death of a loved one/Cancer/Memory Loss


Why? I don't think I'm in a position to actually judge whether this is good or not because I have not really lost a loved one, had cancer/had someone close to me get cancer, or experienced memory loss. I'm never really sure if the emotions are being accurately described and, personally, I feel a bit awkward that I can't relate as well as things I have gone through. But I also think it's a good to get new perspectives on things and I like to think that people can find solace in books, especially in ones that are relating to what they've been through, so I'm glad this trend is a thing.

Abuse/Rape/Sexual Assault

Is this good?
Why? I think if it's well-handled, then it needs to be out there because people are too afraid to discuss this topic and it's something that definitely needs to be discussed. Otherwise, when it's poorly written (cough cough The boy who sneaks in my bedroom window,) I genuinely think it's an insult to the people who have gone through it. They deserve the things representing what happened to them (not necessarily their exact transcript of what happened, mind you) to be well-done. Not poorly like the author wrote it in one go without consulting anyone and thinking everything's happy and awesome and flowers.


Is this good? YES

Why? I've noticed this in some ARCs I read over spring vacation, but books like Royally Lost and Wish You Were Italian are just two that I've noticed in the (hopefully) growing trend of teens travelling to different countries and the experience they gain. It's awesome because maybe people who can't travel can live vicariously and people who can travel can relate to those experiences and I just think it's an awesome way to tell the fabled "hero's journey" by having a literal journey.

Plus, hot foreign people are always a bonus.

If you have any you've noticed, feel free to leave them in the comments! Or list some examples of these that you'd like to recommend. You can never have too many books to read ;)



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