Thursday, July 11, 2013

Reviewers' Roundtable- Trends

Inspired by all the blogs who do joint discussions, The Reviewers' Roundtable is our version of a weekly feature where we discuss a book related/blogging topic.

Meet the Reviewers:
Me (Michelle) from here at Pink Polka Dot Book Blog (Thursdays)
Emily from Read Your Bookcase (Fridays)
AND.... our newest member Emily from Emily's Crammed Bookshelf (Mondays)


Book Trends... Like them or hate them?

As a rebel at heart I have to say that I usually go against trends in general.  If it's something everyone is into, my brain tells me that I'm annoyed by it.  Books are sometimes different because occasionally the stuff I like becomes a trend and well, I'm not going to stop liking what I like.  The thing about book trends is that they seem unnatural.  I am not an author, but I feel like authors should write about what they feel passionate about, what they truly love.  They should not bow to some trend and hop on the bandwagon because they want to sell books.  I mean I know the book business is a business, so it sounds na├»ve of me to say that, but books are like art to me and art does not work if it's being forced.  I especially don't like when authors that are famous for doing one genre jump on a different trend bandwagon.  BLAH!!  So here are a few trends that have come into the YA genre in the past few years and here are my thoughts on them:
Here is one trend that I was NOT a fan of.  Twilight came out and then news that there would be a movie and then it seemed like every freaking book that came out tried to be Twilight 2.0.  But Twilight wasn't that great of a book to begin with, and a lot of the bandwagon vampire books turned out to be even worse.  (Although I have heard really good things about Vampire Academy).

So this trend is a little better.... but also annoyed the crap out of me.  First let me specify that when I say Dystopian, I mean books where an apocalyptic event of some sort has changed society as we know it into something completely different.  And it has to be years down the road where new governments have had time to form and people are used to this new way of life.  Hunger Games was obviously the book that set this trend off.  For a while when I was doing my weekly list of books being published they were probably 80% dystopian.  This annoyed me because it was completely out of no where.  People saw the popularity of The Hunger Games and suddenly everyone wanted to write a book about a dystopian America or Europe.  SO ANNOYING.  And so many of them have got terrible reviews on them :(  Seriously even the covers on those books look the same.... *yawn*
Fairy Tale/Mythology Retellings
This is a trend I think is really cool.  I don't read a ton of this kind of stuff because it's not 100% my thing, but I really would like to read Cinder.  Cinder seems to be the book which really got this trend ignited.  Ever since it came out I've been seeing tons of fairy tale retellings and mythology retellings.  I did read the first Goddess Test and I wasn't a fan, but I think there are quite a few in this category I can get into.
Other Trends I've Noticed:
  • Angels
  • Mermaids
  • New Adult
  • Contemporaries
The Angels and Mermaid books are definitely not my thing at all. 
New Adult
The New Adult trend was something that when I first heard about it made me really really happy.  I think there is a severe lack of books about the college years.  Everything is either high school and then straight in to Chick-Lit which is usually about the mid to late 20's.  But then.... in actuality this genre hasn't wowed me like I thought it would.  Most of the books I've read have been borderline porn.  I get that there is more freedom to be edgy, but it doesn't have to be sex, sex, sex all the time.  I know there are great NA's out there, I just haven't found one I'm obsessed with yet. 
 Finally, I love contemporaries and I've been really happy that so many more have been coming out this year. Like:
So those are my thoughts on recent trends.  I would love to see a big 80's theme trend or post-apocalyptic (which is pre-dystopian I guess), and really gritty YA or NA that isn't borderline porn.
What trends do you like/dislike and what books out of these trends would you recommend I read (since most of the books pictured above I have not read).  Especially NA, I'd love some good NA recs.


  1. New Adult is all about sex, sex, sex because it comes off the heels of Fifty Shades. In fact Fifty is now being classified as NA. O_o What bothers me about NA is applying the term to ALL books that feature protagonists aged 18-26. Recently a few bloggers called a historical romance book from an established author NA and suggested she was taking advantage of the NA market. UM...historical romance has always featured young protagonists. It annoyed me and even the author questioned it because she doesn't read NA and didn't even know the term. It will be interesting to see what changes happen to NA in the next 3-4 years.

    1. Yeah they really need to get a good definition of what New Adult is supposed to be. I've seen books about girls who are still in high school be classified as NE and that confuses me. Is it an age group or a theme that classifies the genre?

  2. Interesting post, Michelle. I read Twilight before it got huge and LOVED it. I even went with my college dorm to a midnight movie (even though it sucked). I tend to love books before the fans get crazy and then feel...meh about them.

    Also with New Adult, I agree. It is not a clear genre and seems to have lots of more sex than real plot of being a young 20 something. A friend of mine just sold her NA to Penguin - it is kind of like Hunger Games except about 20somethings who are believed to have done a crime. It was well done and NOT too sexy at all (called The Wicked We Have Done). It comes out in March and I hope it's a hit bc it's NOT overly sexed. :-)

    and *giggles* about your desire to see a gritty contemp/80s theme - my novel, now being queried to agents, is like a modern day Heathers. :)

    1. Modern day Heathers!!!! LOVE IT already!! I also love the title The Wicked We Have Done. I will definitely look for it next year :)

  3. I don't actively hate trends but I do get annoyed when every book published is trying to fit in with the *new* trend of the moment. Blah.

    I'm still liking the Dystopian trend but I haven't found a really great one in a while. I'm still loving the retelling trend as well.

  4. I really don't dislike trends. In fact the above categories I thought were just genres.. I didn't really think of them as trends before. What I do think of a trend though is this whole trilogy thing. Every young adult book seems to be a trilogy to make money.

    Angela's Anxious Life

    1. I get what you're saying... and I guess they are sub-genres of YA, but those sub-genres seem to go in and out of style. I never heard of a YA mermaid book until 2010 and now it's like almost every week and new one comes out. I didn't think about the trilogy trend, but that is SO true. I think A LOT of people are annoyed by that trend and know it's just being done to get their money!