Book trends are changing all the damn time. With new ones cropping up so frequently that are so popular, everyone wants a bit of the action. But, in the literary world, there will always be certain elements which are not explored enough in books. Similarly, there will also be elements and themes which are explored all to often — although this is mostly down to the fact that they are usually so popular. As book lovers, we don’t all have to love the same genres and themes, it would be hella boring if we did. Some trends work for us and some don’t and today I want to talk about a few trends which I’d like to see more or less of in the book world right now and it is not my intention to offend anyone in this post!
Trends I would like to see less of
Food & cafés: Sorry, but I had to say it. I’ve not been a huge fan of the ‘cake lit’ trend anyway. There are so many that I’ve been selective about the ones I did read. If it’s done well, they can be fantastic (Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge for example, which I absolutely adored). But this trend can be so easy to over-lap and for me, the cakes and the cute little cafes novelty wore off quick.
Missing children: Okay, enough’s enough now. The amount of books I’ve read about a missing child and the amount of books I still have left on my shelf to read which are about… missing children really is getting a bit silly now. Similarly with what I said above, if done well and done originally then they can be extremely gripping and tense reads. But if not, it’s just the same as the last missing child book you’ve read.
Vampires: Is this even still a trend? I don’t actually know but what I do know is that the vampire craze got old, old, old. Mainly after Twilight, when everyone wanted to replicate it. Don’t get me wrong, I actually loved Twilight but what’s the point in trying to re-create an already insanely popular concept, with your own concept which is pretty much the same. It’s not going to work. And anyway, enough of vampires. Where are all the mermaids and mermen?
Cutesy titles and/or covers: I don’t know about anyone else but over the last year or so, I’ve found that so many covers look so freaking similar. They’re all trying to portray the same thing to the point where you can’t differentiate one from the other. Please, be original. The same with titles, sometimes less is more.
Trends I would like to see more of
Realistic dystopian: I don’t even know if this is a “thing” (probably not) but if you’re a reader of mine, you will know that The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson-Walker is one of my all-time faves. It portrays a world where the Earth’s rotation is starting to slow down, affecting every living thing on it as night and day gradually become out of sync with what humans know. It’s such an incredible book and I love it because in theory, this could happen. It’s scary and that’s what I love about it. More of this type of “end of the world / civilisation as we know it” please.
Female romance in YA: I don’t know if I’m just not looking in the right place or what but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a YA novel with a homosexual female protagonist (or not even protagonist, just character in general). I feel that gay couples are becoming quite popular amongst YA, for example in Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan and Every Day by David Levithan. And that’s great but I would like to see more female relationships too.
[…] good while ago now, I wrote a post on ‘trends I would like to see more and less of in the book world’ and this covered a whole bunch of different elements and genres. Today, I want to talk about things […]
They’ve put the term ‘grip lit’ out there since all the ‘girl’ books (I Dont like clumping them together as I love them!) came out and I love that thrillers are out there now for people like me who aren’t a fan of gore or violence. (I could be wrong, maybe theyve always existed but either way I love that they’re such a big thing and hope ‘lighter’ thrillers are here to stay!’ Great post!
I was SO happy when the Twilight craze died down and the vampire books stopped coming out by the truck load. Even now when I see a vampire book come out, I give it the side eye. Same with The Hunger Games. YES that was a cool book/movie, but I got so sick of the knock offs. I like the post apocalyptic books, like the realistic dystopian you talked about. They’re scary as F because it feels like it could really happen. Trends can be kind of blah sometimes.
[…] Jenny in Neverland discusses book trends she would like to see more and less of. I agree with every single point on this list. […]
For me, it’s the ‘The (insert profession here)’s wife/daughter’. It’s getting to the point, where I can’t tell them apart any more so I’m just not even considering them as options when looking for something to read.
Ooooh yeah that’s a good one!
I’m going to read Age of Miracle. I love dystopian stuff! Have you read Station Eleven?
Yessss! Thank you! I have not but I’ve heard that if I like TAoM then I would like that?
You make some excellent points that I fully agree on. For me personally, I would like to see novels set in the future where it’s not dystopian. Every time another dystopian YA comes out, I wonder if there’s not a single author who don’t believe things will improve in the future. I would like to see outlooks on it, other than negative ones.
I said the same thing to my teenage daughter just yesterday. Can there not be a future where things aren’t awful?
That’s a fantastic point! Yes I’d like to see that too.
If you like realistic dystopian, the Light series by Terri Blackstock is really good, as long as you don’t mind some hardcore Christian preaching. EMP’s hit earth, knocking out all of the electronics and they’re all trying to get back to where they can function. I really liked them! And for WLW romances, you might like Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, though it doesn’t come out until September.
Ooh I’ll definitely look into the Light series, thank you!
I would totally read mermaid/mermen fiction! Perhaps I should get writing and begin a new trend…
Please do! I would so read that!
I highly agree with you! Realistic dystopian would be good too. I would love less love triangles.
Less love triangles seems to be a popular one!
The novel I wrote actually had a female homosexual relationship but because I realised how people in my country are not ready for such a thing, I removed the couple and changed the story.
I think if more and more people start to open their minds about other sexual orientations more female couples in novels will increase.
I haven’t seen anything about food and cafés though. However I would love to see books that can touch people at different levels. Nomatter what type of book it is, it just needs to have a great message. A message that touches the everyday issues, especially those things that people are not aware of and may actually make a change in their behaviours and lifestyles. Or a factor that when anyone is reading, they can relate to a character or the story as a whole.
Ah that’s such a shame. You should have continued to write it anyway and write about what you want. If some don’t like it then it’s their problem, they don’t have to read it!
Serial Killers. Enough with the serial killers.
And I agree about troubled cops.
Even worse is a troubled cop who is related to a serial killer (No kidding I came across one!…Eeeesh, would it ever hurt to have a bit of lightness in crime thrillers?)
Ooh troubles cops there’s an awful lot of those isn’t there?
I agree with your list and would also like to end the trend of unreliable, not especially likeable female narrator – Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, etc. It made for a cool read the first couple times I encountered it, but now I’m over it.
Ooh great point. I didn’t read Gone Girl and only got a fraction of the way through TGonT before I got bored!
The elderly unreliable narrator (can be wonderful but has now been done!), the unreliable narrator on the autistic spectrum (ditto), the alcoholic unreliable narrator…. Could be time for the return of the governess (reliable)?
Ah see I love books with an autistic character they’re some of my favourites!
And mine! That’s perhaps why I think I don’t want any more, it’s been done so well already.
Jenny, you are going to LOVE my new book for next year… Love at the Lemon Tree Cafe 😀 xxx
Ooh I’m so sorry Cathy! 🙊
I’d like to see less books with girl in the title and books been compared to gone girl! stop it already.
I’d like to see more books about mums or groups 🙂 or book clubs
The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James you might like! ‘The Girl…’ Does tend to crop up quite a bit doesn’t it?
I do have to admit the missing child thing is getting a little too much now! It does seem to be in every novel lately. I hadn’t noticed the cafe/cake thing but now you mention it there does seem to be a large amount of them about the place!
I want to see more strong female characters, and more women who enjoy sport there are many of them out there but a lot of books don’t portray them at all. It’s very much pretty girl who likes nice dresses and makeup. Most women are a mixture of things I am happy to put on a skirt covered in pineapples one day and have co-ordinated nails but then the next day I can be in my gm gear sweating it out trampolining or flinging battle ropes around the gym!
I love this post Jen, never stop being strong enough to put your opinions out there!
I just realised I shortened your name without even thinking about it – please feel free to stone me! I hate it when people do this to me, it won’t let me edit my comment 🙁 x
It’s okay, I don’t mind being called Jen!
Yes I’m totally with you on this! Wholesome women, not those who are stereotypically strong or stereotypically weak.
LESS FUCKING LOVE TRIANGLES.
Books with the title “The Girl with/in/at….” Stop it now.
I’m also a bit fed up with the detective with a troubled past. Give me a cop with a happy home life 😀
That’s come up quite a bit you’re not the first one to mention that!
Oh my word, I agree so much! Looking around WHSmiths the other day and they all literally looked the same! And I swear I’ve read the same “thriller” three times if not more because it’s the same premise in each other them! The cliche love triangles in YA is another that I wish people would move on from!
I’m not sure there is anything in particular that I can put my finger on that I would like to see, but just something a different to break away from these trends – getting boring now! Great post!
Thank you! I’ve found it hard to read a GOOD thriller lately too without loads of the same themes cropping up.
I would really like to see more non-heterosexual female characters in YA literature as well, we need more inclusivity to make girls with sexual orientations other than “straight” feel represented! 💗
Abbey ✨ http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk
I think the unreliable female narrator has been done to death too…. (in my opinion ;))
Yes, you’re not the first one to say that!
Reblogged this on Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.