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Tag: Alexandra Adornetto

The Rise and Fall of YA Lit Trends: Timing is Everything

In 2008, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight hit the big time with the release of movie version. Millions flocked to the theaters, then to bookstores and libraries to finish Stephenie Meyers’ saga. Suddenly, everywhere we looked, there were vampires: scary, sexy, sparkly, fangs… you could take your pick. More books hit the shelves (or were discovered) like PC Cast’s House of Night series, Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, and Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series. Not to mention the many TV shows cropping up everywhere, such as HBO’s True Blood and CW’s Vampire Diaries. It was vampire frenzy. Then the inevitable backlash hit—hard. Folks had clearly hit a saturation point with vampires (particularly Twilight.) It became cool to loudly proclaim ones’ hatred of Twilight—and all things vampire. Twilight spoofs were being produced, such as Nightlight: a Parody by the Harvard Lampoon and the Vampires Suck movie.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackFast forward to 2013 when Holly Black (author of both children’s and young adult gold like The Spiderwick Chronicles and the overlooked but spectacular Curse Workers trilogy) offers The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. This book has everything a lover of gothic reads could want: creepy cool cover art, a terrifying opening scene, scary and dangerously hot romance, flawed narrator, realistic intriguing side characters, and a vividly described falling apart Las Vegas-like town under constant camera surveillance (showing another frightening side of reality TV like that depicted in the Hunger Games trilogy.) In fact, in this librarian’s humble opinion, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown has nary a flaw to be found—except that it’s about vampires. As Karyn Silverman of the Someday My Printz Will Come blog writes, “…I think the anti-vampire bias runs so deep in most librarians these days that Coldtown risks a cold shoulder as a result.” I fear Silverman might be correct in her assessment, as I haven’t heard much buzz from other readers about Coldtown—unless of course, I’m the one who brought it up (which I do, often and loudly). On a bright note, Coldtown‘s appearance on YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list offers hope for this overlooked gem. 

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The Next Big Things That Never Were: Predictions That Haven’t Come True…Yet

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.

As much as we love to look into our crystal ball, not everyone can be Nostradamus. Some predictions just never take off. As we near the YA Literature Symposium, let’s take a moment to look at the trends that didn’t quite get off the ground.

Mermaids

In 2010, as we were sure the vampire trend was waning and the dystopian train was still gathering steam, we began looking for the next big thing. Publishers guessed that paranormal was going to continue to be popular and were looking for the next hot creature. Vampires were old news, werewolves were even a little dated, zombies were hot but had probably hit their peak — mermaids, they decided, were where it was at! Some of the highlights:

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Books That Make Me Wish I Had Wings

Lately I’ve been reading some fantastic fantasy about angels and dragons.  I think my love for these stories is based in my fascination with wings and how it would feel to be able to fly.  This selection of books is perfect for readers who feel the same way.

Hidden is the final book in the Sophie Jordan’s Firelight trilogy. In this series Jacinda is a Draki, which means she can transform into a dragon. The books are full of beautiful flight scenes where Jacinda and members of her pride transform and soar on leathery wings. In this book Jacinda allows herself to be captured by the ENKROS, the cruel scientists who cut up and do experiements on the Draki, not realizing they are part human. This book is full of action from start to finish. When they escape from the ENKROS stronghold they are being tracked and have to use all of their powerful skills to evade and fight back against hunters. Jacinda is dealing with deep emotions. She still loves Will but has stronger feelings for Cassian now that they are bonded. She feels everything he feels. The action made this such a quick and satisfying read. Hidden will be available in September.

Illumiate is Amiee Agresti’s first novel for teens. Haven Terra is tapped to do an internship under the toast of Chicago, the young, beautiful, and highly successful Aurelia Brown. She is the owner of the Lexington Hotel, which was the notorious home of Al Capone. It is about to reopen as the hottest place in town. Haven and her best friend Dante and another classmate named Lance move into the hotel. The employees are ridiculously beautiful and part of an exclusive club called “The Outfit” after Capone’s gang. The three figure out quickly there is something unnatural about the whole thing. When the photos Haven takes of the staff start changing, strange and scary things start to happen. Haven discovers a mysterious blank book with her name on it. When an unknown person or spirit starts writing to her in the book calling her a winged one, her adventure truly begins and turns into an intense battle between good and evil. Agresti is brilliant at world building. She describes this hotel with its deep underground nightclub and tunnels with great detail. I felt like I was there experiencing this rich, luxurious hotel. I even felt a little claustrophobic when she described Haven’s hotel room in the basement. The characters were multidimensional and believable.

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