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Tag: trends

Young Adult Fiction Book Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Neko Atsume Cat

Neko Atsume is a “cat collecting” IOS and Android game that has, quite literally, taken over the world. I defy you to find a child, a teen, a millennial, or an adult that has NOT played or at the very least heard of this phenomenon. You can find these cuddly kitties everywhere! They have their own cafes, their own toys, their own specials places in our hearts. I know I can’t go a day without taking care of mine. And I’m still working on collecting a few of those pesky rare ones!

neko atsume

If Neko Atsume has taken over not only the game and merchandise market, then why not books? I have compiled a list of some of the rare and more special (no offense to you other kitties!) Neko Atsume cats and found a book purr-fect for them.

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The Hub Loves the ’90s

The Hub Loves the '90sHave you noticed that the 1990s seem to be popping up a lot recently in pop culture? YA lit is no exception to this and we here at the Hub have decided to take a closer look at the ’90s nostalgia that seems to be hitting us from every direction. Along with upcoming posts from Traci Glass and Katie Shanahan Yu, this is the first in a three-part series this month looking at this memorable decade’s persistent appearance and influence.

As someone who was a tween and teen in the 1990s, it does not really surprise me to see so much of this time period seeping into contemporary pop culture now. These years had a huge impact on my long-term interest in music, television, movies, and books. Now, many from my generation are at a point in our lives where we are not only creating the content found on television and in books, but we are also adults with some disposable income that we are willing to spend on these types of media.

Love Letters to the DeadTraci and Katie will be looking at examples of books set in or produced in the 1990s, but I have even noticed a good amount of references to this period appearing in contemporary pieces. For example, Ava Dellaira’s Love Letters to the Dead begins with a letter to Kurt Cobain, a grunge rock icon and tragic symbol of the decade. Soon after, a letter to actor River Phoenix appears; and while the majority of his films were made in the ’80s, his untimely death in 1993 was a memorable part of this time. This book is a contemporary story, but it had an undeniable nostalgia for pop culture of the ’90s. 

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Russia-Infused YA Lit

Photo by Jessica Lind
Photo by Jessica Lind

One year ago today, my first post for The Hub, From Russia with YA, went live. Today, I am celebrating my blogiversary with another Russian-related topic: the abundance of YA lit being published with a Russian connection.

Over the past couple of years, it seems that Russia (or the USSR) has been popping up everywhere! At first, I thought I was only noticing this theme because I moved here, much like how the world felt like it was suddenly filled with weddings as soon as I got engaged. I had a few conversations with friends who did not have the same connection and they had noticed it, too.

What is it about Russia that makes for such an interesting background in YA lit? Is it simply because it is a country that has such a long history filled with royalty, religion, and rebellion? Did the Cold War draw a clear line between the cultures of the US and the USSR, making life in Russia seem even more distant and distinct, a novelty?

The books that I have included in this post focus on various aspects of Russian history and culture, across a range of historical time periods. None of these books are contemporary stories (the most recent occur during the Soviet Union) and most include elements of fantasy and the supernatural. It seems that something about Russia cries out for the inclusion of magic – even a story of spies and ballet is open to a supernatural addition!

  • shadow_and_bone_coverThe Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2013 Readers’ Choice)
    • The Grisha trilogy is a Russian-influenced high-fantasy series based on magical powers and battles between light and dark. Bardugo used elements of Russian culture and language to create a completely new world. Some readers have expressed frustration with her departure from the traditional rules and customs of Russia, for example not following the proper gendering of surnames, but the Grisha trilogy is a separate fantasy world, not an attempt to recreate the actual culture. 
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Trend for 2014: Concluding YA Trilogies

by flickr user ginnerobot
by flickr user ginnerobot

Trilogies have been an undeniable trend in YA literature recently.  This topic has been addressed here on The Hub before, both with enthusiasm (Good Books Come in Threes) and frustration (Too Many Trilogies).  This past year saw the conclusion of a number of trilogies including the Divergent (Veronica Roth), Legend (Marie Lu), and Chemical Garden (Lauren DeStefano) series.  A look at upcoming releases shows that many more trilogies will be wrapping up in 2014.

I have compiled a list of eight trilogies with finales scheduled for release in 2014.  I am also throwing in two bonus conclusions that are not quite trilogies, but I think they are related enough to warrant mention.

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More Roller Derby in YA Lit, Please!

Here at the Hub, we often blog about trends in YA that we notice whether we are happy to see them or not. Today, I want to write about something that I hope becomes a trend in YA literature: roller derby.

Derby GirlAfter Shauna Cross’s 2007 novel Derby Girl (2008 Best Book for Young Adults2008 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers) was turned into a film starring Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore, I hoped this sport would begin to make regular appearances in YA literature. Unfortunately, the years passed and few titles were released featuring it. This year, though, roller derby is being given another chance through the Roller Girl series by Megan Sparks. The first four books have already been released in the UK and the first two books, Falling Hard and Hell’s Belles, will both be available in the States on October 13. With four books in this series being published within a year, roller derby may have a chance to finally become a YA trend.

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The Next Big Thing in Historical Fiction

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.

In writing this post, I’m also making an online confession. I used to think that I hated historical fiction. Why? I’m not really sure. I just know that I used to talk myself out of picking up historical fiction titles unless they were basically forced upon me. However, in the last year I have read so many absolutely stellar historical fiction books that I finally rewired my brain, and I have to admit that I kind of love historical fiction! In doing so, I began to keep an eye on what might be coming down the pike.

By scouring the interwebs, I’ve been able to pick out what I think are a few of the trends in upcoming historical fiction releases. So, as we look to the past, what can we see more of in the future?

First up, there seems to be an emerging group of historical retellings. Not just fictionalized retellings of famous historical events, but more re-envisionings of famous tales in new and intriguing historical settings. This trend has already begun with books like The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, which came out in April. This dark and atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death creates a steampunk version of a plague-ridden land where only the wealthy can afford the stylish masks that prevent infection. The sequel, The Dance of the Red Death, will be coming out in April 2013.

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Upcoming Trends: More Mermaids, Psychological Thrillers, Human Experimentation, and More

by flickr user NoHoDamon
Our last post on upcoming trends we see in YA lit was such a hit that we decided to follow it up with a more in-depth discussion. Five Hub bloggers–Gretchen, Sharon, Mia, Nicole, and Emily–attended publisher previews, watched preview webinars, picked up ARCs, and scoured upcoming releases titles to get a sense for what’s been published recently and what’s coming soon. Here are some of the trends we observed.

Mermaids
This isn’t a new trend (we talked about it last fall), but it’s definitely still going strong!

  • Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (May 2012)
  • Real Mermaids Don’t Hold Their Breath by Hélène Boudreau (May 2012)
  • The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova (May 2012)
  • Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown (June 2012)
  • Waking Storms by Sarah Porter (June 2012)
  • Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama (September 2012)
  • The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan (September 2012)
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Upcoming trends we see in YA lit

by flickr user Cea
We here at The Hub read a lot of YA lit, which gives us a broad perspective on what’s come out recently and what trends in what’s published might be emerging. I asked our bloggers what they’ve been seeing recently; here’s what they had to say.

Jack the Ripper. Between September of last year and this month, three Ripper-based books have been published: Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star, Ripper by Stefan Petrucha, and Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves. I actually think this is a sub-trend of a bigger serial killers trend (see also: Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers) but three books featuring the same historical figure in seven months is worth nothing.
Emily Calkins

Serial Killers. Maureen Johnson was onto something with The Name of the Star. Books with serial killers that either just came out or are soon to be published include I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf, Ripper by Stefan Petrucha, Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves, and a nonfiction book on the Boston Strangler by Paul Hoblin.
Erin Daly

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Identifying a Potential Steampunk Reader

Steampunk in one of today’s growing trends in YA literature (read Maria Kramer’s award-winning previous post about it!), but many people still have no idea what steampunk means, let alone if they’ll like reading it. The clearest and most concise definition I could find online says steampunk is “genre fiction typically set in Britain in the 1900’s when steam power was prevalent and prior to the broad use of electricity. The location can be anywhere, however, including North America. Steampunk usually encompasses alternate history elements and fantastical inventions. They are often heavily geared toward science fiction and fantasy. Steampunk comprises romances and non-romances.” Even that definition can lead to some head scratching, though. What does it really mean?

Steampunk is alternate history. Steampunk is awesome gadgetry. Steampunk is corsets, cravats, top hats, goggles, and parasols. Steampunk is a variety of little elements that add up to a very unique reading experience. So, how to identify a potential steampunk reader? Here are some questions you could ask to find out:

  • Are you a fan of historical settings?
  • Do you love when characters use cool gadgets?
  • Are you fascinated by clothing from different eras?
  • Do you find yourself dropping slang you’ve read into regular conversations?
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Staking the Vampire

Smile! Your days are numbered!

It’s the beginning of the end, folks–for the Twilight series that is. As any Twi-fan knows, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 premiered last weekend, and it’s only a matter of time until “Part 2” wraps up the series in a happy little bow. Whether they like the Twilight saga or not, astute commentators must agree that those books changed the shape of teen literature, propelling paranormal romance, and vampires, to the top of the charts.

But have the blood-drinking sophisticates started to overstay their welcome? November 14th’s Hub poll determined that of all the trends in teen literature, “Vampires” was the one most Hub readers wanted to see go. So The Hub is here to ask the question “What next?” Towards which creature should we direct our adulation–or mockery? Who will put the stake in the vampire trend? Let’s examine the options.

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