YA is constantly changing and growing and developing, but there are always phases and trends. These are some of the ones that have been leaping out at me lately.
Dead parents, particularly mums
They’re EVERYWHERE. I don’t think I noticed it that much before, but now I can’t stop noticing it. Sometimes it has a genuine place in the story and the characters, but I’m seeing it more and more as a convenient plot device to get them out of the way so the protagonist can get up to all sorts with no repercussions.
Blogging and social media
It’s a sign of the times, ya know. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are starting to become commonplace in YA now. They’re so ingrained in a teenager’s daily life that excluding them could potentially cause accusations of a story or character being unrealistic if they don’t use these platforms. I’ve especially noticed a new focus on cyber bullying around these sites which I think is really important, and I even read a series earlier in the year about a book blogger! My only worry is that mentions of Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr may date books in a few years, after all, a mention of MySpace or MSN and my mind jumps back at least eight/ten years...
FINALLY, my time has come! Dystopians and paranormals seem on the way out and gutsy, real, contemps seem to be dominating the blogs and reading lists and all I can say is AT LAST. Most of the books I’ve read, reviewed and been sent this year has been YA contemporary novels and I’m so glad they’re getting the spotlight at last. It’s my favourite branch of YA and they’ve always been overpowered by the genre blockbusters. Basically, this point is just a YAY.
What have you noticed cropping up more and more in YA? Anything blindingly obvious that I’ve missed?