Oh the ever changing trends of publishing. Cover changes, genres…the list is endless. But like many people, I’m getting tired of certain trends. I feel like that guy from the movie Network: “I’m mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore!”
With sarcasm aside, here’s the top 5 trends with books that I’m sick of!
- Cover changes!
You walk into a bookstore. You see a book that looks cool and you’re like: “Hey, this book looks good! I should grab the second one too.” So you look, and when you find the second book, you see that it looks completely different. It’s that same feeling of when you watched the show LOST. You know, that cool survival show of people stuck on an island that ends up being a ridiculously meta thingy no one can you figure out? (No moments of silence for that one, it’s been years and no one cares)
Here’s a couple examples of cover changes that just don’t make sense:
The Diviners series:
See that beautiful first cover? It’s edgy, clean lined and draws the eye immediately. Then you see the second book, while not horrible, doesn’t draw the eye as much and doesn’t even match the theme of the first. There’s many other people who didn’t like this change either. Maybe we’ll get lucky and have the rest of the series return to its formal glory?
The Old Kingdom series:
Back in 1995, the world experienced this classic Australian fantasy series starting with Sabriel. The first three books all have the same theme as the original book. But now, after Clariel and the pictured new installment, this is another case where if you saw these books next to each other, you wouldn’t think they were the same series? The entire series did get a cover update back in the new millennium that match the two newest. But for the nostalgic purest that I am, I think the covers should’ve stayed the same all around.
2. Fairytale Retellings:
From the fifty different takes on Snow White, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, I could avoid every YA section at the book store for a year. I swear if I see one more of the same four fairytales, my eyes will bleed. There’s so many different stories out there that could be retold, like from Africa, Saudi Arabia, Tonga, Finland…you name it. From the stale Lunar Chronicles, Stitching Snow, A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Wicked Thing….go look on Goodreads and see how many fairytale books have been published in the last decade. While I can appreciate books like The Forbidden Wish, that is their own original story, authors should not rely on writing a fairytale book to get published.
3. Not Enough Male Main Characters
I kid you not; over 80% of YA books that are published are female characters. While that’s not terrible, it is getting overly saturated. Lots of main females are starting to sound like copies of others and can be very forgettable. Where are the guy characters? Young male readers don’t have a lot of series they can read that are geared towards boys. Sure, Rick Riordan is the main title holder for that, but authors should experiment and write books geared towards young boys. We need more authors like Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull and D.J. MacHale that bring guys in the forefront of YA.
4. Love as the main focus or subplot of every story
Another situation where at least 80% of YA has a story focused on romance. You can’t see the YA section at bookstores without reading stuff like “star crossed lovers”, “love triangle” etc. Romance, while important in life, should not be at the forefront of every single story. I’ve been hearing about many YouTubers and reviewers that truly appreciate books that have more focus on: friendship, family, sisterhood, etc. Every YA fantasy does not need a love interest! Just have them be allies and fight together, or at least friends. Having so much romance in YA can have negative perceptions on real life for teen readers if they read too much of it. I do like a positive relationship and all that, but it needs to be scaled down.
*I will make a whole list of books that are not focused on romance in the future so that you don’t have to get bored of YA and try books that are more of up your alley if you don’t like romance heavy books.
5. The Badass Female Trope
From Throne of Glass, This Savage Song and Truthwitch, I really think that the “badass” female is losing its appeal faster than any new Beyonce album. It’s always the same thing to me: a girl is great at fighting, has no regard for human life, is so so so pretty and gets everything she wants. She never has to fight for anything! Young girls need main characters that are different body shapes, nationalities, family backgrounds, etc. Having these awful Mary Sue characters again create negative perceptions for young readers.
*I have recommendations for this type thing. Stay tuned for a list of books that are about female characters that are not the “badass” type and are, in my opinion, better role models for young girls.
Alrighty! I know that was long, but thank you so much for sticking around this long. I know there’s so many other pet peeves that bother people. Comment below and tell me some of your thoughts about publishing trends that bug you and what you think of my choices. See you guys with a new post on Friday! 🙂