Over the past few years, Y/A fantasy fiction has exploded. The massive and unprecedented success of authors such as J. K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer and Suzanne Collins has meant that the genre has become increasingly mainstream, appealing to both adults and teenagers alike.
Walk into any bookshop and you’ll find shelf upon shelf of books filled with vampires, werewolves, witches and the like, usually with a plucky human heroine thrown in there for good measure. But this begs the question, how far can you capitalise on the success of a genre before it becomes saturated?
For me, this is an issue that’s becoming more and more frustrating. Recently, I’ve been looking for a new series to read, but on several occasions I’ve picked up novels only to find them poorly written and full of stilted dialogue, underdeveloped, implausible characters and unconvincing love stories. I’ve been thinking about why this might be the case, and maybe it’s being caused precisely because of the success of books like the Twilight series. Massively popular even before they were adapted for our cinema screens, the films catapulted its actors into stardom and inspired a whole generation of devoted fans (myself included I might add!).
But now, people continue to search relentlessly for the new Twilight, or the new Harry Potter. And where there’s a demand, there will always be a supply. And although there are some really great books out there, there are equally a whole plethora of books that just don’t make the grade. In my opinion, the Y/A fantasy genre as a whole needs a refresh. I don’t know what the next big thing will be, but I do think that we need to see some new ideas that haven’t been done before. And most importantly, the readers need to want this too.
In the meantime, if anyone can recommend a really great series, please let me know!
10 thoughts on “Searching for Y/A gold”
It seems that the publishing industry has gone in a different direction recently and is now interested in publishing YA stories set in the real, contemporary world (given that the YA fantasy market, like you said, seems to be getting saturated). I love fantasy and dystopian fiction, but this move is refreshing and I’ve found a lot of great writing and character development in YA Contemporary. Some of my favorite authors in this genre include Melina Marchetta (she writes YA fantasy too), Sara Zarr, John Green, and Jennifer Donnelly.
I love John Green and Jennifer Donnelly, both are amazing authors. Will definitely be checking out Melina Marchetta and Sarah Zarr as well, thanks for the tip!
Amen to that!!! 🙂
I loved the City of Ember series!!!
I’ll check this out, thanks for the recommendation!
You’re welcome! My 5th grade students hounded me until I read it! 🙂
I completely agree! I also find that many use fantasy as an excuse to bring in a completely implausible love story. I recently read/reviewed Dead Letter Office, by Kira Synder, which is really good, and it’s the first of a series. I’d recommend it!
I agree. I think that the premise for YA fantasy novels is often great , but I sometimes think they could do with a bit more of a focus on character development. Thanks for suggesting Dead Letter Office, from your review it sounds really interesting!
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