Recently, we asked literary agents to tell us what they wish for when they open their query inbox. Now, we want to know what's on your reading wishlist? What do you want to see more of in future YA releases?
Candace, Candace's Book Blog
I'm an eclectic reader, I read about everything there is, but one thing I really have found I love is epic fantasy in YA. They are becoming more popular, but it's still not what I would like it to be. I want epic fantasy to be big like paranormal and contemporary. Big, big. Another thing I want more of is LGBT lit for teens. It's also become more popular and you can often find it in the background of books, but it's not focused on as much as I'd like. I think it's something that we definitely could use more of. The last thing I would say is international travel books. Books where teens get to explore more of our world. This is becoming more and more popular all the time, but I just eat it up, I want MORE!
Jennifer, YA Sisterhood
I have always loved gothic classics like Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights, so to see a new trend of gothic romance and gothic horror in the YA genre has been a dream come true for me. Unfortunately, the trend is very new so there are not many of them out there. I love the dreamlike settings, that seem to be straight out of a 1950s film noir classic. The settings are so intense that it's like I can truly see the dilapidated mansions, smell the crisp air, and sense the danger lurking around the next corner. But the setting isn't the only thing that I love about gothic novels; I also love the duplicitous and mysterious characters. There is always a secret to be kept, always a mind to unravel, and always a heart to break. The characters always have a realness to them, but at the same time, there is something to lifts them up, keeping them straddling the world of reality and the world of illusion. Three gothic books I have read recently are Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke, The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd, and Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey. I highly recommend all of these to those looking to indulge themselves in this new sub-genre. Now, I am anxiously awaiting more books that are gothic romance or gothic horror.
Stacee, Adventures of a Book Junkie
What I would like to see more of in YA is a trend of girl MCs who don't have to have a boy swoop in and save them.
I'll admit to being a HUGE Twilight fan. I devoured the books [multiple times]. At the time I read them, I didn't see the indifference that Bella had. It wasn't until I stepped away from the fandom that I realized that she just stood there and took whatever Edward [or anyone else] doled out.
I want snarky, sassy, impertinent girls like Elizabeth Bennet, Maggie Silver [Also Known As by Robin Benway], Caymen Meyers [The Distance Between Us by Kasie West] and Elyse Morgan [Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett].
I want smart girls who aren't portrayed as nerds and don't hide just how smart they are. I want strong girls who go after what they want without being called bitches by other girls. I want girls who hang out with the boys and aren't tomboys.
Sure, there are Bella Swans out there, but there's an entire world of girls who are the exact opposite. I want more of those opposites.
Katy, YA Confidential
I'd love to see more bittersweet conclusions in YA stories, like the endings of ELEANOR & PARK, NOBODY BUT US, and TIGER LILY. I love that Rainbow Rowell, Kristin Halbrook, and Jodi Lynn Anderson didn't tie their stories up with pretty bows, but instead left it up to their readers to absorb and interpret the happy AND the sad bits of their characters' lives.
Talynn, Ink in the Book
As a teen, I enjoyed reading about girls my age involved in activities similar to me. I loved reading about the heartaches, problems, and relationships that I experienced. And romance, too. Not just sex, but the emotional connection I craved as a teen. Friendship ranked high on my list of must reads, as well as reading about teens who succeeded in accomplishments they struggled with and wanted to give up, but kept pushing and striving to win. Last, strong family bonds, where mom and dad are a part of the children's lives more than just a pass by and say hi. These are what I'd like to read more about today in YA.
And finally, our new intern at Adventures in YA Publishing -- Please welcome her everyone!
Kate, The Magic Violinist
1. Normal characters who are homeschooled. The few characters that are homeschooled in YA books are always socially awkward or the children of secluded hippies who have never seen a pizza before. It'd be nice to see some homeschool characters who are fairly normal, because we aren't all weird (take it from me). ;)
2. More quirky novels. More wildly creative books with made up creatures and a fantastic adventure with bizarre obstacles. Something that makes sense, but only barely so. My dad wrote a children's fantasy book for NaNoWriMo one year that was like this, and it was hilarious. My favorite character--and probably my brother's, too--was the "Wizard of Oblivious." His magic always blew things up, and eventually he blew himself up. You don't see these kinds of things in published books very often, and it's a shame because it adds humor to the story and makes it more memorable.
3. Books from the villain's point of view. We've already seen this a little bit with "Megamind" and "Despicable Me," but I hope we'll see some of that in books, too. It's a trick to write a villain that your readers will care about, because, well, they're the villain. They're the bad guys, and who likes the bad guys? I think this will come about eventually, because these movies with villains or anti-heroes that you're rooting for are pretty popular right now.
And in case you are wondering, yes, we are still looking for at least one additional intern to add. If you're interested, please see the announcement here.