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Tag: trilogies

Three’s a Crowd? The Future of Trilogies in YA Literature

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The ubiquity of trilogies (particularly if they are dystopian or otherwise fantastical) in young adult literature has been a topic of frequent discussion in the past few years. And for good reason. It seems like just yesterday I read the first in the epic The Hunger Divergent Mortal Legends trilogy. All joking aside, these books have all sold countless copies, sparked film adaptions (or rumored films) and had an incredible amount of crossover appeal. And I want to make it clear that I don’t consider myself immune to the hype surrounding dystopian trilogies, or trilogies in general. I was there opening weekend for Divergent and Catching Fire just like you, and I love those worlds.

But I also suspect that some of us are burnt out. It’s become commonplace to read a YA novel cover to cover with the understanding that all of this will be explained in the second or third installment. I’d argue that while most novels are judged like films for their ability to stand alone as a piece of media, trilogies work more like watching a miniseries. You know there’s more coming later, so it’s okay if you miss something the first time around. I’m not sure why three is the exact magic number, either. I think we can speculate–personally, I think one sequel is often one too few but by the fourth book one starts to wonder if the author gets paid by the word. Or perhaps there’s an inherent literary quality about trilogies that a full series lacks. The Lord of the Rings does tend to have a more erudite quality than, say, the Fear Street Saga. (Which, by the way, I love. You should all re-read the Fear Street Books. Trust me on this.) 

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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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Too Many Trilogies

by flickr user erin_everlasting
by flickr user erin_everlasting
I like a good YA book. Obviously. And I love and hate the attention YA gets lately from the general public — love it when people acknowledge that a lot of the most creative and experimental writing and a lot of the most progressive things (more and more LGBT teens who do more than just come out, for example) are in YA; hate it when people think that YA stands for “any book published for a person who can’t vote that isn’t a picturebook” or when they think that all YA is Twilight (and that fiction for adults doesn’t have equivalent books of varying literary quality).

But because of the greater attention given to YA, I feel extra bad about a trend that I think tends to lower the literary quality of so many potentially wonderful books. There are just too many trilogies (or duologies, or quartets) in YA.

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