Tag: time travel

5 YA Genres That Are Totally Dead

Young adult fiction is undeniably one of the most popular genres of all time. It was first categorized around the 1930s with Lauren Ingalls Wilder’s series Little House on the Prairie. Teachers and librarians were slow to accept books intended for younger readers, but young adult books today focus on issues in society with such a passion that even older adults love to read them.

YA subgenres have ebbed and flowed over the years, and the two ever-reigning subgenres seem to be fantasy and contemporary fiction. You can always find a unique new release of a fantasy novel or a self-aware contemporary love story. But what genres are so dead that publishers in 2019 will rarely publish them and why did young adults stop reading them?

 

 

1. Dystopian

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image via crosswalk.com

 

Ah, yes. Dystopian. Nostalgia for 2012, anyone? Maybe it was because everyone was talking about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world, but people were in a craze over dystopian society books like The Hunger Games and Divergent. Books about post-apocalyptic societies like The Maze Runner weren’t too far behind in the craze, either. Most dystopian subgenres are based on sci-fi and these particular subgenres started to oversaturate the sci-fi genre. Because of the immense popularity of books like The Hunger Games, every author wanted to replicate that fame and success. Understandably, readers got bored.

We became sick of tropes like “the chosen 16-year old who has a special ability that allows him or her to rebel and change dystopian society.” Readers began to pay attention to different genres and new authors, and the dystopian genre and its tropes slowly died out as YA readers found more relevant books. With the upcoming release of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakesit’ll be interesting to see how this dystopian writer tackles this so-called “dead” genre.

 

2. PARANORMAL / URBAN fantasy

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image via empireonline.com

 

When you think of paranormal YA, think vampires, werewolves, and zombies. So basically Twilight minus the zombies. For a while, the Twilight series was the reigning series for the paranormal subgenre. Teens were obsessed and buying t-shirts to show off their pride in Team Edward or Team Jacob. So what happened? Well, other authors tried to replicate the success of Twilight, and teens kept reading vampire and werewolf books until they wanted a taste of something different. Once the movies were released, Twilight stirred up even more controversy as readers began to release that Bella and Edward were an unhealthy relationship portrayal for young teens.

 

 

Still, it seems a bit disappointing that the whole vampire subgenre should die out because of one bad portrayal— especially when there’s so many amazing vampire stories, like Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. But never fear for those readers who were into paranormal or urban fantasy books other than Twilight, or even those who were into Twilight (no shame here)— these subgenres are making a slow return, starting with Renee Ahdieh’s new vampire novel The Beautiful.

 

 

3. STEAMPUNK

image via the portalist

 

Steampunk is one of a few YA genres that has never taken hold of a readership. Any successful steampunk books are technically classified under other YA subgenres and only have small steampunk elements. Those books that did attempt to focus solely on steampunk, an attempt that surged around the early 2000s, were usually adult books and were just too similar to each other to claim a place as a real subgenre.

 

4. Superhero

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image via CBR.com

 

Superheroes certainly have a presence in comic books and movies, but this genre just isn’t present in YA. There’s no clear reason why superheroes are more popular in movies than books— maybe viewers would rather see sexy superhero actors and actresses blow stuff up rather than reading about them. Or maybe, like steampunk, superhero YA books have just been too similar with dead YA tropes like “the chosen one.”

 

5. TIME TRAVEL

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image via the next web

 

Time travel in YA sci-fi hasn’t been as successful as you might think, although time travel in YA fantasy has more of a presence. Maybe it’s because sci-fi books like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine were written way back in 1895 and readers’ fascination with time travel has died out since then. Yet time travel is still popular in movies and TV, so it’s also up to speculation as to why this genre hasn’t taken off in YA.

If you’re interested in more about the book market or dead genres in publishing, check out this video by Alexa Donne, author of Brightly Burning. She explains all of these dead genres and tropes in-depth and also has some fascinating insights about the publishing world as well as advice for new writers.

 

 

 

Featured image via The Pilot Press

Image of a book on a leaf-covered floor.

7 Books You Have to Check Out This Fall!

Don’t worry, you still have time before the end of summer, but it’s never too early for book hype!

Here are some bonkers-sounding page-turners coming to shelves in the next few months.

 

1. The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley, Aug. 1

The cover of The Bedlam Stacks, which is a blue and gold illustration of monkeys and birds surrounding a lantern.

Image courtesy of Bloomsbury

 

In 1859, Cornish smuggler Merrick Tremayne embarks on a journey into the Amazon to gather quinine. The thing is, every previous mission has met its end at the hands of something mysterious and possibly magical.

 

2. The Walls by Hollie Overton, Aug. 8

 

The cover of The Walls, which is of a chainlink fence and a mysterious silhouette behind it.

Image courtesy of Hachette Book Group

 

Kristy Tucker works on death row as a prison counselor, and is content with her job as it supports her family. However, her home life is filled with a different kind of horror as she deals with her abusive husband, Lance Dobson. The inmates she works with give her an idea for the perfect crime, but she has to decide if it’s worth putting her family at risk.

 

3. The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille, Sept. 19

The cover of The Cuban Affair, which shows a red silhouette of palm trees.

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

When Mac is hired for a routine fishing trip in Cuba, he has a feeling there’s more to it than that, and soon finds out his clients are hunting for buried treasure. As relations between the US and Cuba are relaxing, someone is bound to dig it up soon; he just needs to be the first.

 

4. Fool Me Once by Catherine Bybee, Sept. 19

 

The cover of Fool Me Once, which shows a woman in a black dressing sitting in a white room.

Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction

 

Lori Cumberland is a divorce attorney who’s given up on love. That is, until she meets Reed Barlow, an undercover private investigator who’s been hired by one of Cumberland’s angry clients.

 

5. Paradox Bound by Peter Clines, Sept. 26

 

The cover of Paradox Bound, which is of a car driving on a moebius strip.

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

A time traveler driving a Model-A Ford keeps bumping into Eli Teague, and he can’t wait to meet her again. But when she drives back into his life, she brings with her a sprawling adventure that puts all of Time in danger.

 

6. It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, Oct. 17

The cover of It Devours!, which shows an endless circle of teeth on a yellow background.

Image courtesy of Harper Collins

 

It Devours! follows up the bestselling novel Welcome to Nightvale, and tells the story of scientist Nilanjana Sikdar. Nilanjana must uncover the mysteries of the local cult The Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, but her plans are complicated when she catches feelings for Darryl, one of the Congregation’s devotees.

 

7. Artemis by Andy Weir, Nov. 14

 

The cover of Artemis, which shows a black and white image of the Moon.

Image courtesy of Nerdist

 

Author Andy Weir stranded Matt Damon on Mars with his bestselling debut, The Martian, and is following it up with Artemis. Jasmine Bashara, or Jazz, like any small town kid wants to escape into something new and exciting. The interesting thing is her small town, Artemis, is located on the moon. When she engages in smuggling, she soon finds herself in a conspiracy endangering Artemis.

 

Featured image courtesy of Favim