Gretchen Weiner knows what's hot and what's not. And so does the FNC! (At least in the book world.)
While checking out many upcoming titles at ALA, some definite trends emerged--and some trends were clearly absent. Some of the pitches we heard at the buzz panels and in the booths reminded me of Mean Girls--I kept waiting for a publishing rep to say, "Seriously, this book is SO fetch! You have to read it!"
Originally I was going to try to put all these books in one post, but the thing just kept growing...and growing...and growing...and I just knew I couldn't fit all these awesome new books (and these great new trends) in one post. So this is the beginning of a four part series of what's the hot new thing in YA books--and what's been hit by a bus, Regina George style.
Today, Gretchen Weiner says:
Teen girls as assassins? Yes please! There were several books we saw at ALA that were pitched as "Dexter meets YA" or "Dexter meets Pretty Little Liars" or "Dexter meets..." anything, pretty much. Personally, I'm excited for this trend because I'm always on the lookout for something a little more dangerous and edgy than the average YA book. I'm glad I won't have to look far this spring!
If you want to see some kick-ass girls literally kick ass, you should look for:
UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan
Pitched as "The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report," in UNINVITED, main character Davy must struggled with the results of her genetic testing--she's coming back positive for the murder gene. Suddenly her world is turned upside down, and everyone she thought was on her side turns against her.
DEAR KILLER by Katherine Ewell
From Goodreads: "Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known. But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there."
From Goodreads: "She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges. Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick. Why? Because she might be one herself. Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts. When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim..."
And here's something Regina George has told:
Of course, no kind of book ever disappears completely--and dystopia is no exception. We did see a book here and there featuring some sort of dystopia-type setting or circumstances, but for the most part they were sequels to books or the third in a trilogy. Overall there was a distinct lack of books with back copy that started, "In a world..."
I have mixed feelings about this one, because I did love the dystopia trend a lot. I was a sucker for dystopia, really. But towards the end I found that more and more books were setting up really interesting dystopias that ultimately didn't have a logical follow through or resolution. For me, that means it's time for dystopia to hibernate a little, so it can reappear a few years down the line in some kind of grander, fiercer, 2.0 style.
Don't forget to continue tuning in as the FNC reveals the other big YA trends to come!