You can’t get everything you wish for, but here are fifteen hopes I have for the genre. I’m also going to put books that are going to be released this year, that I think might hit this target (note, I haven’t read any of them, so these are predictions/hopes at best):
15) Non-US locations. Okay, scratch that non-Anglo settings. Maybe it’s because I was an English major, but I’ve had my fair of American and English set novels. And sure there are fantasies, but I want to see parts of the real world that are not part of the Western world.
It takes place in a Korean boarding school. And it features K Pop. And a Korean love interest who’s on the cover. Yes. Yes. And yes. I already preordered it, BTW.
14) Historicals. Yes, I want more historicals. Because I’m a history buff. And quite frankly, YA should amp this part up some. Historical fiction is educational and its a great way to learn things and not feel like you’re sleeping in class.
If you haven’t pick up the first one now. I loved Prisoner of Night and Fog in 2014, and am hoping that the sequel is just as equally good.
13) Stepping out of the box. I have read plenty of dystopias, fantasies, retellings, and even contemporaries that stay in the norm and use the usual copious amounts of cliches. I would love, for example, a dystopia to read more like a contemporary. Or a retelling to create a fantasy world. Oh, sure there’s already series out there that blend genres. And that’s great. I just want more…
12) More Jinn. Yes, this is more for me than anyone else. But I love jinn books, and hope the jinn trend of 2014 continues and gets better in 2015.
This one is the first in a new series. I like how the main character doesn’t want to be a jinn. That’s a neat twist. Hopefully.
11) More snarky heroines. I always hope for this and put this down every year. Alas, I’m still dealing with a lot of Bella Swans.
This could be either really good or really bad. I like Lois Lane when she’s being a smart savvy reporter, not the damsel in distress that she was in the earlier years of the comic and when Kate Bosworth dyed her hair brown and pretended to be her (we’re going to act like that film didn’t exist).
10) Figure skating, figure skating. Another personal want for me. Skating is one of the only sports I watch and can understand-I don’t skate though since I’m very accident prone and don’t want to have to get pins put into my leg. That being said, I would love a decent skating book in YA.
I’m skeptically optimistic about this one. The blurb looks so good, but early reviews have been mixed at best.
9)Fantasies that don’t involve princesses. I love princesses more than anyone else, but sometimes I want a fantasy about someone not privilege. Or at least as privilege. Or if they’re going to a member of the ruling class, I want to see them actually yielding their power rather than acting like an idiot.
While still the privilege class, it does seem the main character decided to go mix amongst the lower classes. Plus, she’s not a princess. It’s sort of a stretch (this one), but I think it could be interesting.
8) Characters have hobbies outside of their love life. Shocking, I know. But I am sick and tired of reading about love obsessed teens. Can’t they like have a party, a job, or something other than their love interest? Is that too much to ask?
Yes, I know it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling with some faes thrown in it, but I read the first four chapters and am in love with how tough the main character is. While she doesn’t have a typical hobby, her interest is on surviving rather than romance. And that, sadly, is viewed as a hobby in YA.
7) Sequels that don’t flop. Yeah, that doesn’t sound good, but I’ve read too many sophomore slumps. I’d like to read a second book that is just as strong if not stronger than the first.
One sequel, out of many, that I’m really looking forward too. The early reviews seem to be fairly good too, so I’m really hoping it didn’t fall into a slump.
6) Family: I really wish family was emphasized more in YA. Last year, I got to read a few novels where family played a prominent role (see Snow Like Ashes). I am hoping I can find a couple this year that focus on them as well.
From the blurb, the main character finds out that she’s the GOP’s presidential nominee’s long lost daughter. Immediate thoughts went to What a Girl Wants (which is one of my favorite teen movies even though I can’t help but cringe when I watch Amanda Bynes in it now) where substantial time was spent building the father daughter connection. Please, book gods, let this be something similar.
5) Pink Contemporaries. I get that real life sucks, but on occasion I want to read light fluff that’s in the vein of Meg Cabot. It might be frivolous, but it makes me feel good. So, there.
This is a UK import coming to the US this January and it does look hilarious. And light. And fluffy.
4)Friendships: Friendships are a most in YA and sometimes I enjoy a good friendship more than a romance. I like the fact that relationships can be platonic and complicated.
If there’s one thing about Diaries that I like, it’s the fact that they include a great supporting cast. And I really like Mia’s friends. Or find them amusing. I am interested in seeing Tina grown up (I hope Toris stayed together). And I hope Lilly became a decent human being.
3) Complex Romance: Give me a complex romance with no insta love and I’l be a happy girl. I also don’t want the guy (or girl) to be a rat bastard either, but I do want issues to be worked out and for getting to a happy ending to be a bit complex.
Kind of a cheat. But Sydrian is my favorite couple in YA right now. I have to know that they’re getting their HEA. But I don’t want it to happen right away. And I don’t want them to become one of those boring married couples that has a minivan and annoying little kids that run around the store because they’re not being supervised and start screaming right in your ear. If that was the case, I’d probably…well, I wouldn’t love them.
2) Retellings with a Twist: I love a good retelling. But there needs to be something that keeps it interesting. Especially since there are a lot of them out there. I think the best books, usually takes either obscure stories or does something absolutely radical to the story.
It’s a retelling of Scheherazade which I’ve sort of been obsessed with ever since I had to play it in Region Orchestra. Which was so long ago, it’s embarrassing long.
1) Diversity. Yes, this one tops the category again. Race, gender, creed, nationality, sexuality, etc. should be explored to its fullest. YA can seem quite limiting. Books are one of the only few things, where you can step into someone else’s shoes. You learn so much from them. Books that explore someone who’s different from your typical WASP American aren’t only needed but welcomed. I think we’ll always be in need of diverse books, because diversity is something that is really infinite if you think about it.
Intersex characters-meaning characters born with both male and female hormones-are rarely explored in YA. I like the complexity that seems to exert itself from this blurb, and am interesting watching this character react to finding out she’s intersex.