Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and The Bookish. This week they’ve picked a super-cool subject, Top Ten Trends We’d Like to See More or Less Of. I know, right? How long do you have?
Actually, when it comes right down to it, there are a few really, really annoying trends that continue to be overdone in YA books today (hey who’s judging? Someone out there loves them), but it was tough for me to come up with a large list of things I wanted to see more of because YA authors continue to inspire me, make me cry, make me laugh and most importantly, make me feel a little swoony. Still, here’s my list: a combination of things I’d like to see a little (or a lot) less of and some I’d be happy to see more of.
1. Less Angels, Wolves, Vampires– For the love of everything holy, I get that Twilight was a colossal, huge, gigantor hit. I totally enjoyed it and the sequels. But does every book have to be about these three things? I mean, I know there were no angels in those books, but you get my point, right? Many of the ones that have been done are great (Blue Bloods, for example) but many have fallen short (I won’t go into names). On with the program! Let’s have some new otherworldly creatures. Or let’s see more books like The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, where such paranormal creatures are a part of the story, but they aren’t the only story.
2. Less “New, Dangerous Boy in School Coincidentally Assigned to Be Lame Girl/Heroine’s Lab Partner”- Really. I’m astonished at the sheer volume of books that use some combination of this idea to throw the main character and her possible love interest together. Is there no other way for them to meet, hate each other and then fall madly in scary, dangerous love? And also, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, where was this abundance of new crazy hot single male students when I was in high school? Nowhere. There was not a single transfer. Nope. Not a one. There were hot guys, but not mysterious ones who seemed to come from another world and coincidentally needed a Bio partner.
3. Less Fairies- I’ll admit it. I hate fairy books. I can’t explain why. I just have an unfair aversion to them. Maybe it’s because I spend way too much time at Disneyland and so my image of fairies has been completely warped by Tinkerbell. I know there’s some creepy lore out there about these mystical, powerful creatures, but they just don’t do it for me.
4. Less Annoying Love Triangles- Sometimes a love triangle can be so good in that it stirs up your emotions and makes you say, “Dylan, what the shizz are you thinking? Brenda is a moody, selfish spoiled brat (who will go on to get fired by Aaron Spelling more than once) and Kelly is so much sweeter and so much prettier and so NOT one of those stick in the mud Walshes?” I mean, come on. Who can hear that Sophie B. Hawkins song, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” and not think of Dylan, Kelly and Brenda? Is it just me?
Anyhow, where was I? Oh yeah, less love triangles, please. Don’t get me wrong. I like love triangles, but there are some that feel so manipulative, like the author couldn’t think of another way to throw a wrench in the love story. Or worse, they spend so much time making one part of the triangle look so obnoxious that it’s impossible to believe our heroine could really be that stupid (Bella, for serious. You cannot be in love with two people at once. You can like two people. You can love one and be attracted to another, but you cannot be in love with both. Especially if one is an apeface like Jacob Black). I can go on for days about this.
5. More Ghosts- I really enjoyed Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready. To me it was incredibly unique. And while I liked the love story aspect of that book, I think any story with ghosts is pretty intriguing if it’s well-written. So bring on the spooky stuff or the creepy stuff or the tragically sweet swoony stuff (or any combination).
6. More Real Girls- The ladies who can skin a squirrel and kick everyone’s arse are incredible to me. I love their stories because they are so far removed from me and my own sheltered life. But give me a real, normal girl any day and I’ll eat up her story in one sitting. This is why Sarah Dessen’s girls speak to me or why I loved books like Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have). These are characters who seem like people I once knew (or who are like I was when I was younger). I feel an instant connection with them. Along with that, I’d love to see more stories about the relationships these girls have. Not the romantic ones, but the ones they have with their siblings and best friends. Real-life situations, for better or for worse.
7. More Retellings- I recently enjoyed the pants off Entwined by Heather Dixon, which was a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It was familiar and yet totally fresh and new in its own right. And there have been other books that attempt to do the same, such as The Goddess Test and Abandon, both which successfully take on the myth of Persephone. It’s always fun to see a new twist on an old idea.
8. More Science Fiction- Now, I’m not a huge sci-fi buff, unless you count the fact that I’m crazy insane totally in love with Star Wars (now I know I put up a Star Trek picture, but I got too overwhelmed with the awesome Star Wars options on Google. It was very distracting). But really, other than that, I don’t really read science fiction. This year I picked up Across the Universe and was blown away. The premise is fantastic, but more and more I forgot that I was reading something that wasn’t entirely plausible in this world as much as it was just completely engrossing. And then as I thought more about it, I realized that my favorite book ever is The Time Traveler’s Wife, which, I don’t know if you realize, is about a guy who time travels (kind of sci-fi, right?). I think I’m ready for more stories like these!
9. More Historical Fiction- I’ve not read a ton of historical fiction in YA, though I’ve read a few Adult Fiction and loved them. I think the opportunity to learn about life in another time period, especially one that is significant in history, would be a welcome change. And they don’t even have to be heavy, serious stories. Think Nicola and The Viscount or Victoria and The Rouge, both by Meg Cabot and thereby both as charming and romantic as any of her modern novels.
10. Fish out of Water/Or More Exotic Locales- One of the things I loved about Anna and the French Kiss (outside of the fact that I loved everything) was that Anna was an American student in Paris, someplace I’ve always dreamed of visiting. Or recently I picked up Falling in Love With English Boys, about a girl spending a summer in England with her mom. Stories such as these, where the main character has to get acclimated to a new environment, make new friends and face the normal challenges that girls their age encounter, make the story that much more interesting. And, as a huge plus, they give me a chance to travel, if only mentally, to some wonderful places.