young adult fiction, that wonderful category that’s not quite a genre but has
plenty of stories that practically anybody should find something they like. For
me, it tends to be bittersweet contemporaries and well-developed fantasy and sci-fi stories. A couple years
ago, I wrote a post about why I like the category, but today I’m going to talk
about some aspects I want to see more of!
Though I no longer fit into the bookish young adult category (13-18 year old’s), I read a lot of YA fiction. That being said, I still have some opinions,
and to make sure I wasn’t completely crazy, I talked with some young adults to
see what they thought as well.
1) Novels with Art
we’ve got graphic novels, which are amazing. Then there’s some stellar cover
designs, awesome maps that usually accompany fantasy, and even books with art
that readers can buy separately. But I want to see more novels featuring art within
the chapters themselves. Let’s be honest, I don’t really set aside money to buy
art as well as books, so can we just put it inside the books? Please?
the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black
Monster Calls by
Patrick Ness (arguably middle grade)
2) More Friendships
“Building up a friendship throughout an entire book instead of romance. Friendships can exist too.” –my sister, 17
Friendship is such a wonderful thing. It’s kind of frustrating how middle grade
has more emphasis on friendship than young adult does.
Stars by Olivia A. Cole
Smell of Other People’s Houses
by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
3) Military Brats
a kid, I loved travel stories and the tropes with the new kid, so more often
than not, I found myself leaning toward fantasy because it’s one of those
genres where the characters are constantly on the move. When it comes to
military stories, most of them focus on the grownups, the military personnel
and their spouses, which is cool, but they have kids too!
never really found any stories that told what it was like to be a military brat
until I was out of college, and even then, it’s only been the one:
by Ashlee Cowles
4) Contemporaries set outside America
year, I wrote a blog post on a bookish trip across the US, and I had a
brilliant idea to write a post about books in Europe and… found very little. I
mean, sure, I’ve amassed three books so far, and I have more to read yet, but
there are so many books set in America.
books aren’t set in the states, they tend to be historical fiction or fantasy.
Yes, one of my own WIPs is a contemporary fantasy set in Germany, but I really
struggle with writing realistic fiction. I want to read
more realistic fiction though. There’s so much more to this world than just the States!
a few I’ve read so far (only one by an American author):
by Ashlee Cowles (Germany and Spain. Can I list the same book twice? Eh, why
Boy Who Steals Houses
by C. G. Drews (Australia)
Silent Voice by
Yoshitoki Ōima (Japan)
5) And More!
“It would be great to see more strictly good characters and strictly bad characters instead of having a majority be gray characters.” –Zoë
glad I’m not the only one. While I enjoy well-developed characters, sometimes,
it can be confusing who to root for when everybody is morally gray. I like
“[I] would like to see more the villain’s POV more. Because it’s nice to have both sides of the story.” –Anonymous
yes! I think the Renegades trilogy does this really well, delving into
the villain’s POV, so that you start wondering who’s supposed to be the
protagonist/antagonist. I know this point seems to contrast the previous one,
but who’s to say we can’t have more of both?
chat! What are some concepts you want to see more of in YA? Have any
recommendations for the above categories?