Tuesday, February 11, 2014

So Fetch! New Trends in YA Part Four: The Middle East

Today we conclude our series of what's so fetch and what's no longer going to happen in YA!

To recap, what's hot:
1) Killer Girls
2) Psychological Thrillers
3) Getting Incepted

And what's not:
1) Dystopia
2) Paranormal Romance
3) Love Triangles

To finish off our list, today Gretchen Weiner says...

to...The Middle East!

I'm really pleased about the introduction of this trend. This one looks like it's still growing--which is understandable, because it's definitely not easy to write about a different culture in a way that is both interesting and respectful. But I'm super glad that there are authors out there willing and ready to try, because diversity is always a) a hot button topic in YA lit and b) something that is often sorely lacking in YA and MG. (Blogger Steph Su, among others, does a great job of pointing out how sometimes diverse YA books end up getting white-washed.)

So if you're looking for something diverse, check out these books:

THE SECRET SKY by Atia Abawi
From Goodreads: "A novel of love during a time of war by NBC's Afghanistan correspondant. Set in present-day Afghanistan, this is the story of two teenagers, one Pashtun and one Hazara, who must fight against their culture, their tradition, their families, and the Taliban to stay together. Told in three rotating perspectives—the two teens and another boy in the village who turns them in to the local Taliban—this novel depicts both the violent realities of living in Afghanistan, as well as the beauty of the land and the cultures there. And it shows that love can bloom in even the darkest of places."

From Goodreads: "When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?"


From Goodreads: "As a straight-A student with a budding romance and loyal best friend, M.T.’s life seems as apple-pie American as her blondish hair and pale skin. But M.T. hides two facts to the contrary: her full name of Monserrat Thalia and her status as an undocumented immigrant.  But it’s harder to hide now that M.T.’s a senior. Her school’s National Honor Society wants her to plan their trip abroad, her best friend won’t stop bugging her to get her driver’s license, and all everyone talks about is where they want to go to college. M.T. is pretty sure she can’t go to college, and with high school ending and her family life unraveling, she’s staring down a future that just seems empty. In the end, M.T. will need to trust herself and others to stake a claim in the life that she wants."

**So clearly THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY is not about the Middle East, but I'm putting it on here as a honorable mention because I think it falls into a similar category of books that are being written about very right-now issues and things that many teenagers are either a) dealing with, b) aware of, or c) are in the process of becoming aware of.  Also, this book looks fabulous, and I want to get the word out about it!**

And Regina George says:



I don't know. Honestly, I couldn't think of any other major trends that seem completely out right now, or that I'm tired of seeing. So I'm posing the question to all of you: What is so not fetch anymore? What are you excited to see go? And what are you most excited about to see more of?

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