YALSA’s upcoming YA Literature Symposium will explore the future of young adult literature. The symposium begins on November 2nd, but we wanted to get a head start here at The Hub, so we’re devoting October to 31 Days of the Next Big Thing. Each day of the month, we’ll bring you forecasts about where YA literature is headed and thoughts on how you can spot trends and predict the future yourself.
We’ve definitely got all kinds of perspectives this month as we focus on the Next Big Thing. I mean, it doesn’t matter if you’re interested in fantasy, or contemporary fiction, or even nonfiction — we’ve got you covered.
But since the Next Big Thing is all about the fast-changing world of public opinion and trends, I decided to head to the place where trends happen these days: the intertubes. I’ve rounded up some of the Internet’s most loved children, memes, to get their opinions on what the next big thing in YA is. If you’re still fuzzy on what a meme is, head on over to the Internet Meme Database, Know Your Meme, but be warned — it’s from the wilds of the internet, so there my be things that aren’t safe for all eyes. I’ll let the memes take it from here!
Overly Attached Girlfriend
Well, I don’t really have a lot of time to read, because my boyfriend and I spend all our time together. But when I do manage to squeeze in a book, I LOVE books about people who are just meant to be together and don’t let anything get in their way. I think the next big thing is totally going to be a fresh wave of books that re-tell the Wuthering Heights story — I mean, don’t you think it’s just the best EVER?! Books about couples who are kept apart by their secret, paranormal powers aren’t just a fad, either. They’re the last big thing AND the next big thing.
Socially Awkward Penguin
Um, well, hi guys. Is this where I’m supposed to type my entry? It seems like it is? Uh, I guess I’ll just go ahead and get started. So, I really like to read books that are funny? With … funny … characters? Doing … funny? Things? And I can’t ever find very many of those, and whenever I try to ask the librarian about where to find more she just gives me a bunch of books about hygiene. Which seems weird? But, anyway, I definitely think funny books are the next big thing. If, um, you ask me.
YOU KIDS ARE ALWAYS WANTING TO KNOW WHAT THE NEXT BIG THING IS. WHAT’S SO WRONG WITH THE LAST BIG THING. Hmph. Well, if you want to know, I think we’ll have more books about terrible things happening to good people. Sad books make me less grumpy. And everybody else must be grumpy, too, so I think tragically sad books are the next big thing.
Hey Girl. I read books all the time because I’m not just a pretty face, you know. I think the next big thing will be books about nerdy girls and guys. Because nerdy is the new cool. I bet you didn’t realize because you’re already so nerdy and so cool. Realistic books about teens who have really interesting hobbies they’re awesome at are definitely the next big thing, girl.
Gah, why would I want to tell you guys the next big thing?! You’ll just make it a best seller, and then everyone will be reading it. I mean, what good will it do to tell you that books about musicians are the next big thing? You guys will start reading all of those books, and then I won’t be able to find first editions anywhere. Plus the authors will just totally sell out and start writing just to sell books. Whatever, guys, I’m out. I’ve got to get back to reading Sweet Valley High (ironically, of course).
— Ariel Cummins, currently reading Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson