Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What's hip and groovy for young adults

In my opinion, the wave of YA vampires is collapsing into seafoam and air (boy wizards are LONG gone), but the wave of YA steampunk is building. I also think it's higher in America than anywhere else - which means Australia will love it more and more over the coming months and years. 

Although it's never wise to follow a current trend (because you'll finish that book when the trend has just been tapped out), what trends are you seeing and/or liking lately?

While I'm quite fond of highly imaginative (i.e. speculative) fiction for adults, I actually like more realistic YA, so that's usually what I'm looking for - and no doubt that's just because it's what I was used to growing up, so I'm constantly trying to recapture the days of rapture of my reading youth.

I try to stay away from trends for YA because once the trend is identified it's usually on the way out - although this may change as publishing time frames become shorter with more digital publishing (although children's/YA publishing probably won't move as quickly to digital as genre fiction for adults). So it's just the boring old finding-identity-in-a-small-town-or-bit-city kind of thing for me. I also love it when there's a dark edge to a story - genuine darkness, not a showy attempt at juvenile delinquency to suggest 'bad boy' behaviour - but it's often very hard to get those stories published. Adults, you see, don't like to be reminded that teenagers have a fully functioning awareness of the crappy things in life and, more specifically, the crappy things adults do.

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