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The Next Big Thing in Romance

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.

I love teen romance novels. They’re so emotional with their first love, their first kiss, their first time, and their first heartbreak. I’ve been hoping that there will be a surge in the contemporary romance book. I have teen girls asking all the time for books similar to Sarah Dessen’s. I pass along several of my favorite authors including Meg Cabot, Jennifer Echols, Jen Calonita, Abby McDonald, Rachel Hawthorne, Catherine Clark, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins. Often, they come back looking for more.

Here are a few upcoming contemporaries that I can’t wait to read.

  • All I Need by Susane Colasanti (May 2013)
  • Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler (May 2013)
  • Dirty Little Secrets by Jennifer Echols (July 2013)
  • Grass is Always Greener by Jen Calonita (April 2013)
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (2013)
  • The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (June 2013)
  • This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith (April 2013)
  • Trouble with Flirting by Clair LaZebnik (February 2013)

Besides contemporary books, romance can cross all genres. So I wanted to look at the big picture: historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, thrillers, action/adventure, and sports books can all contain romantic elements. The romance doesn’t have to be the story’s center, although it should be a major plot point for it to be considered as a romance book and not just a book with a little romance thrown in.

  • Awaken by Meg Cabot (May 2013)
  • Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed (January 2013)
  • Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep (December 2012)
  • Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (April 2013)
  • Book 3 in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth (Fall 2013)
  • Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross (June 2103)
  • Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan (May 2013)
  • Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (January 2013)
  • The Elite by Kiera Cass (April 2013)

What type of romance books are you most interest in reading? What type of trends would you like to see continue, or what new trends would you like to see started in teen romance books?

— Jennifer Rummel, currently reading Science Fair by Dave Barry and Ridley Peason

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I'm a YA Librarian who love love loves books and reading. My favorite types of books include mysteries, romance, thrillers, and spy books. I adore crafty books, regency romances, and cozy mysteries. When I'm not reading or talking about books, I love baking, crafting, and watching the Celtics.

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