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TGIF: Book Trends

March 23, 2012
tags: , , ,

This week, Ginger at GReads is asking:

 What are some bookish trends you are noticing in the literature world today? Is there a particular trend you’d like to see more of?

Why, indeed, yes there are.

1) Strong Girls
It’s no secret that YA is dominated by female-narrated books. Ok, maybe not dominated, but MANY YA novels are about a girl are from a female character’s perspective. And something that I really appreciate is that a lot of books I’ve read lately are centered around strong, smart girls.

I love seeing characters like Myra McEntire’s Emerson Cole, Cassandra Clare’s Tessa Gray, and Anna Carey’s Eve. They may not have it all together all the time, but really, who does? These characters are nowhere near perfect, nor do they have their lives figured out, but they are strong in who they are and keep their heads about them the majority of the time. I absolutely love seeing characters like this, who can serve both as great role models and great characters that are multi-dimensional and are allowed to grow.

2) The ‘Things are Not as They Seem’ Trend

A trend that I a) greatly enjoy reading, b) find infinitely interesting and complex, and c) mind-boggling when thinking about the amount of organization it takes to write, are the books that offer a world where either things are not as they seem or where the narrator isn’t necessarily one hundred percent trustworthy. As a reader, I’m FASCINATED by this last point, and as a writer completely terrified of it. Because HOLY HELL would that be a challenge to write.

But I would definitely like to read more books that are in tone and pace like Michelle Hodkin’s The Unbecoming of Mara DyerTahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I love the off-kilter feeling these books provide and the thrill of thinking, “I have absolutely no idea what is about to happen,” and turning page after page because you’re driven to figure out what exactly is going on.

So those are my two offerings! I am digging and craving more of great female role models (Don’t get me wrong, I love the guys too. But we seriously need to cut down on the, um, Ella-Bay An-Sways of the YA world.) and books that make me question the information I’ve been given.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Friday and a fantastic weekend ahead!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012 11:27 PM

    I would like to second that too! I would love to see more diversity and boys (men) as the main character. I would like see girls in YA not give up family for a boy or a man. (ie, Bella)

  2. March 23, 2012 6:09 PM

    I totally agree with you – although I have read many YA books with female main characters, and could stand to read more from the male point of view.

  3. March 23, 2012 9:18 AM

    I love your answers, but I sort of have to disagree with the Strong Girls thing. I know that authors do try to write more strong female lead-characters, but as far as I can tell, they just – and correct me if I’m wrong, because I don’t read many YA novels for exactly this reason and have many issues with Adult novels as well – have a physical strenth or are clever or whatever. But they aren’t really complex, strong characters.

    People promote them and say they are Kick-Ass, but lately Kick-Ass seems to be an euphemism for “Too Stupid To Live”, for “Not Able to Pick Her Fights” etc. Authors say a character has certain abilities and character-traits, but the character doesn’t act accordingly. It makes me distrust the narrator, and not in the good way. :/

    [rant off]

    Obviously I’m a little frustrated about this thing. *g*

    I do have to read the books you mentioned in your “second” answer!

    Patricia // My FF

    • March 23, 2012 9:31 AM

      In a lot of ways, you’re absolutely right. But I feel like in YA there is suddenly a trend where the girls have a quieter strength. Maybe that’s what I should have called it. What I like about these particular characters is that they are flawed and make mistakes, but they learn from them and apply the information to their lives. But overall, they stick to their guns and trust their instincts and refuse to change who they are for, you know, stupid boys.

      And I think it’s really hard to make a main character really complex. You have to have the reader on your main character’s side and if that character has too much going on, it’s hard to do that. But you aren’t wrong. There have been some major issues with female characters in YA for a long, long time. I think things are finally heading in a different direction, but it’s gonna take awhile to iron it all out.

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