It’s time we unpacked our magical powers and predicted the bookish future.
I mean WHAT could possibly go wrong with this. Clearly nothing. As 2019 tumbles in and books are announced, we start to wonder what is going to be BIG this year. What’s going to rule the shelves?! What trends will show their shiny faces and what genres will be top of the shelves and what patterns will we see in plots and topics???
So I’m teaming up with some fantastic voices in the YA book community to give our opinions on…
And the most MASSIVE thank you to these bloggers who’ve joined me in speculating about upcoming trends and book patterns! I’d love to do more collabs this year with more amazing bloggers, because you’re all so fun and nice?? I can’t even. Lovely beans.
ALSO. I asked everyone to volunteer their opinions independently, so it’s super exciting to see how many of us had the same thoughts!
* Note: none of us believe diversity is a “trend”! Whenever we talk about diversity here, we’re predicting what’s on the rise. And diversity isn’t a trend that’s here just to be popular. It’s a needed and realistic voice that’s here to sTAY.
I’m going to put this here now: 2019 IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR OF TISSUES because tears will surely be shed with all the amazing book releases this year. With books like King of Scars, The Wicked King and The Gilded Wolves gracing us with their presence in January, I don’t even know how I’ll be able to survive the rest of the year. As early as now, we need to organize support groups. Trust me, we will need it.
No one can also stop me from saying that YA Fantasy is going to be a hit this year especially because we’re getting a lot of diverse books from this genre in 2019. ASIAN BOOKS ARE ALSO RULING THE YEAR and I’m a million percent here for this. I’m looking forward to Descendant of the Crane which is dubbed as the Chinese Game of Thrones full of court intrigue and murder mystery. Yep I’m here for all the blood, folks. Then there’s Shatter the Sky which has DRAGONS and sapphic protagonists. You should also watch out for The Gilded Wolves (yes I’m mentioning it twice because it deserves everything) which has a crew of diverse characters who you will surely love from page one. Clearly these books are what you need in your life.
I have about a hundred books on my mental 2019 TBR pile and my wallet is crying fresh blood as we speak. Despite this, I’m still glad because HELLO TO MORE BOOKS. We just have to say goodbye to most of our money though.
VAMPIRES AND WITCHES. VAMPIRE WITCHES. There, I’ve called it. 2019 already seems to be shaping up to be the year where two of my most beloved things are exhumed and let back out into the world to thrive (and feast on our blood). I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED. Even though I’m still not over the emotional torment things like Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer instilled in me, I’m ready to have my heart broken again (in the best way possible) over vampires and witches. And let’s not forget: vampire witches.
Honestly, Dracula would be TURNING IN HIS COFFIN if he knew it’s taken this long for vampires to be popular in YA again. But with the upcoming releases of The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh and the anthology Vampires Never Get Old, finally these blood-sucking fiends will get the respect they deserve once again. And let’s not forget the witches! We were blessed in 2018 with the Toil & Trouble anthology, but I’m calling it as another big thing this year, first up with the release of These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. Prepare your TBRs (and your bank accounts), because 2019 is going to be one heck of a year!
2019 will be such an incredible reading year, I can feel it and I am seeing such good upcoming books, too ! For me, there is one great and much needed wave coming this year better, harder and stronger than ever: diverse young adult contemporary books. If the last few years have brought us some wonderful diverse books, 2019 is kicking the bar even higher with such promising upcoming reads, Color Me In (Natasha Diaz), Don’t Date Rosa Santos (Nina Moreno), Opposite of Always (Justin A. Reynolds), I Wanna Be Where You Are (Kristina Forest), obviously On The Come Up (Angie Thomas) and WAY more to look forward to!
I’m absolutely thrilled to see that joined by diverse fantasy and sci-fi, too, with diverse casts taking the lead of many upcoming books: The Fever King by Victoria Lee, We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, The Light At The Bottom of the World by London Shah to quote only three! YES TO ALL THE DIVERSITY IN 2019 I AM PUMPED CAN YOU TELL.
I feel like 2019 will also be super interesting when it comes to fantasy (and that comes from a mostly contemporary reader!), especially twisty, dark stories and complex retellings. I could mention here The Beholder (Anna Bright) pitched as The Odyssey meets Cinderella and WHAT, Blood Heir (Amélie Wen Zhao) which is a dark Anastasia retelling (SCREAMING), House of Salt and Sorrows (Erin A. Craig) pitched as a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, Once & Future (Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy) a gender-bend ARTHUR retelling (!!). There are just SO many books to look forward to!
Given the recent groundbreaking success of Kpop, as well as the movie adaptations of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Crazy, Rich Asians, I think that 2019 will be the year of breakthrough young adult books—both contemporary and fantasy—that are influenced by Asian cultures. Also, given the heated state of the current political climate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more books that tackle hard-hitting themes that are relevant to our everyday lives. And finally, though I’m not necessarily predicting that this will happen, but we could all surely do with more kissing books, so fingers crossed for that happening!
Most anticipated books:
1) KING OF SCARS by Leigh Bardugo (a.k.a. the most anticipated book of my ENTIRE LIFE, because Nikolai Lantsov. Need I say more?)
2) DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE by Joan He (LOOK. AT. THAT. COVER!)
3) DARKDAWN by Jay Kristoff (I am convinced that Jay is trying to kill all of his readers, so this will probably be the last book I ever read. But it’s fine, I’m sure it will be worth it.)
So this collab post has been AMAZING and I’m squishing myself here at the end, despite feeling like everyone has marvellously covered what I, too, agree are going to be The Good Things™ of 2019. I’m still so stoked about the levels of diversity that flooding the shelves. Seeing all the #ownvoices Asian fantasies, to a glorious increase of POC teens on contemporary covers, to seeing queer kids starring in every genre??? WE ARE THRIVING HERE.
As May, Brittany, and Rain have mentioned, I too agree that Asian fantasies are going to be big in 2019. Another prediction I’ll make is: more focus on diverse contemporary! I’m living for The Weight Of Stars (f/f and POC) and You Asked For Perfect (m/m and POC) and I Wish You All The Best (nonbinary narrator!) and Love From A to Z (Muslim, POC, and disability rep!). I’m also really pleased to add my own contemporary, The Boy Who Steals Houses (with anxiety/autism rep), is getting to stand with these great and admirable authors I look up to!
So many of these are #ownvoices authors too, which makes my heart so full that these people are getting to tell their stories. All that’s left is for us to wildly support these types of books so publishers see us asking for more. Moooore. MOAR.