What genres and topics in YA are going to be on the rise in 2017???
This is, obviously, the golden question you’ve all been asking. And if you hadn’t even thought of asking it until right this second, well — BOOM — you’re asking it now because you just read the first sentence of this post. #MindControl
And because it’s a question that I think is very interesting I am (A) not only going to answer it with my own infallible knowledge, but (B) I’m asking several amazing bloggers to lend me their genius skills! (COLLABORATION POSTS FOR THE WIN.) So a massive thank you to these bloggers for lending me their brains (in a non-creepy way…nope, wait. Still sounds creepy) and be sure to let us know YOUR predictions in the comments.
Basically we’re going to share some books we’re super excited for and predict what genres, trends, and topics might be A BIG DEAL in young adult books in 2017.
We’re most likely right.
Also I absolutely 500% recommend you go attack all of these bloggers with your friendship because they’re so fabulous and kind and they love books. Basically they are perfect.
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I’m so excited for this year’s YA, because it looks like it’s going to be more diverse than ever. I’m particularly hoping this is the year that #ownvoices books are really promoted by bloggers — if we fangirl hard enough, we can hype up any brilliant book, right? This year we’ve seen a lot of discussion on sensitivity readers, author intent and representation, so I think it’s fantastic that we’re getting more complex, nuanced portrayals that don’t rely on stereotypes.
I also love that we’re getting lots of retellings based on lesser-known stories — we’ve got Wintersong in March, which is based on Goblin Market, a poem I studied in year 12 English. There’s also Roseblood based on The Phantom of the Opera, and Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, a re-imagining of Snow White based on Asian folklore and mythology. So excited for all of these!
I’ve already noticed several trends emerging in 2017, and I’m optimistic about all of them. I’ve been branching out of my fantasy comfort zone lately, so I’m pleased to see several YA horror novels coming out this year. The one I’m most excited for is Garden of Dust and Blood by K. K. Pérez – a fantasy based on the world’s first female serial killer. How epic does that sound? Many of the other upcoming horror novels also cross genres, which is a plus in my book, and they seem to mostly feature monsters of the human kind. I find this trend particularly relevant, considering the current political climate.
Another trend I’m hoping pans out is a long-awaited rise in diverse fantasies. I’ve seen blurbs mentioning sexual diversity, cultural diversity, and even characters with physical disabilities. I can’t wait! My most-anticipated diverse fantasy this year is The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera. I’m equally excited that YA seems to be moving beyond sexual diversity limited to a token gay or lesbian character. I’m looking forward to also reading about gender-fluid, transgender, bisexual, and asexual characters. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller, for example, is about a gender-fluid pickpocket, while Kathryn Ormsbee is releasing Tash Hearts Tolstoy, featuring an asexual main character. Really, the only thing 2017 doesn’t have to offer is an extra day each week to read all these fantastic books.
2017 is going to be such an amazing year for books! If I stacked all of the books I want to read this year up against myself it would be 10x taller than me. AND THAT’S ONLY BOOKS FOR 2017. There are many fantasy books I can’t wait to read. I feel as though this year is a year filled with action packed fantasy adventures that are really fast paced and keep you on the edge of your seat, with cliffhangers. SO MANY CLIFFHANGERS. Some books like this include Flame In The Mist, which will have SAMURAIS AND BANDITS and sounds epically awesome, the main character in this book is a prominent Samurai’s daughter I CAN’T WAIT!
But I have to say that I think in 2017 contemporary will absolutely amaze us all. Which I’m excited for because contemporary is my favourite genre! Also pre-warning I am predicting that there will be many tears shed this year over said contemporaries. I am soo excited for all of the diverse contemporary books that are getting published this year in particular When Dimple Met Rishi (which sounds like a super cute, and fun contemporary read) also The Upside of Unrequited (this book is by Becky Albertalli who wrote Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda which I loved so I can’t wait for this one, which is a book about twins), History Is All You Left Me (a heartbreaking contemporary about a boy who loses his first love) and also The Hate U Give (which is a book inspired by #BlackLivesMatter and sounds like a very important book to read.) ALL OF THESE COVERS ASWELL! So beautiful!! I also can’t wait for the final Lara Jean novel, Always and Forever Lara Jean! I’m going to miss this series so much once it’s over! This year sounds like a great year for both fantasy, HEARTBREAKING contemporaries (oooh and also gorgeous covers) but I’m calling contemporary to have it’s best year in 2017.
Last year I put my money on YA Fantasy (not literally because I’m always broke, but ssshhh), thus abandoning my YA Contemporary roots. But not this year! No no. I’m going to predict that 2017 will be a grand year for YA Contemporary. Specifically the diverse kind because diversity is a BIG thing these days. Which is good because YAY diversity! Why do I predict this? Because of books in the genre that I have already read and loved like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which is freaking spectacular, and The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, which is adorable and diverse and amazing. So yes, diverse YA Contemporary will be huge. I’m telling you.
Three books in the genre that I’m particularly looking forward to…Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. Because The Serpent King was my faaaavorite of last year so I’m sure this one will blow my mind. If not, I will be very sad. Next to that I’m also going to give a shout out to Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski and The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz. I hope these two will be amazing and that I will love them forever and ever.
Even though I feel like everyone was screaming that 2016 was going to be the year of high-fantasy, I felt like it turned out to be more a year of contemporary issues books—just tons of hard-hitting, heart-wrenching, snot-inducing books about the harsh realities of life. And me? I read to get away from that. As far away from it as possible, actually XD SO! I’m hoping that 2017 will be the year of YA Fantasy! I’m talking sword fights and magic wands, made-up lands and planets I’ve never heard of, character names and creatures I can’t pronounce, and dragons galore! (A.K.A. The Year of The Cait?)
Additionally, I’d say it’s pretty inevitable that it’s going to be a big year for YA Superhero books! With the collaboration between Random House and DC Comics, we’re going to see some epicness, I can just feel it! We’re getting Wonder Woman: Warbringer by the amazing Leigh Bardugo, plus books about Batman, Catwoman, and Superman, all of which are being conquered by megastars Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas, and Matt de la Peña. Now I’ve never been big on superheroes, but when they’re written by such fantastic authors and with a YA spin? I’m on board!
So to stick with my genre picks, three of my most anticipated books of 2017 are as follows: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (holy balls, Batman—have you seen that stunning cover?!), The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye (kinda cheating here because I’ve read it, and WOW, it’s a marvelous Russian-inspired fantasy and everyone needs to read this series), and FINALLY… Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (because duh, Leigh is a mythical creature whose writing skills should be worshipped, and she can basically do no wrong)
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a bit of an increase in the number of retellings being published, but I think 2017 is going to be THE year where retellings are going to be everywhere. As someone who has really got into retellings over the past year, I am so excited for the books being published this year!
Maybe you’ve been wishing for the origins story for sea witch in The Little Mermaid? 2017 will answer your wish: The Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. Or maybe you fancy a retelling of the little mermaid herself? Where she’s bisexual? With some Norse mythology thrown in? 2017 has got you covered: The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember. Or maybe you’d like a middle grade story about Jack Frost’s daughter? 2017 can give you that, too: A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson. With Disney’s Beauty and the Beast coming out this year, perhaps a retelling of the fairy tale is what you’re after? 2017 is way ahead of you: Hunted by Meagan Spooner. Or maybe you’re after a reimagining of The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndam? Yup, 2017 will see that on the shelves, too: The Fallen Children by David Owen.
And that’s without even mentioning the huge retellings we’re anticipating; RoseBlood by A. G. Howard, Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh, or, for us UK readers who are still waiting on it’s release over here, Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I’
My biggest prediction for 2017 is that it’s going to to smack us in the face with ALL THE BOOKS OF EVER. My TBR is exploding with dozens of books I’m desperate and dying for. I cannot even. My wallet cannot even. RIP us both.
I definitely think authors and publishers are answering the cry for diversity, which is brilliant and I’m so excited! I admit my soul has been particularly swallowed by all the diverse fantasy coming out. But I’m also seeing a lot of books promising disability rep (which we desperately need more of) coming out, including Things I Should Have Known which features a girl with Autism, A List of Cages which features boys with ADHD and dyslexia, A Quiet Kind of Thunder which features teens with Selective Mutism and Deafness, and Love At First Sight with a blind protagonist, and Unfolding with a boy with Epilepsy.
I’m also excited about the promise of pirates WHICH ARE MY FAVOURITE. Daughter of the Pirate King and Blacksouls are gracing us with their piratage presence. And also con artists with The Gentleman’s Guid to Vice and Virtue, Here Lies Daniel Tate, City of Saints and Thieves, and The Love Interest. This is probably an indication that 2017 wants to steal our souls with all these good books. Good on it. I am the excite.
An enormous thank you to these wonderful blogger contributors!
And I hope you (A) found an enormous amount of new books to flood your TBR with to make you somewhat scared for you life, and (B) enjoyed our hypotheses on what 2017 is going to bring us!