Welcome to Trending Thursday, a weekly post in which I pick a trend and we discuss.
Today I'm looking at a few of the 2014 YA BEA Buzz Books to see how they might fit into -- or create -- YA trends.
by Amy Ewing
(HarperTeen, September 2014)
Synopsis, adapted from Goodreads: The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty––because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring. Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life. Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence . . . and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.Trends: Royal Romance -- Many girls love their princess stories, and Royal Romance has had a fairly constant presence in YA, with books like Princess Diaries, The Selection, Throne of Glass, and Cinder. I looked a bit at this trend in a prior Trending Thursday post on (Almost) Famous Romance. Thus far this year in that category, we've seen All That Glows, Royally Lost and The Ring and the Crown.
Surrogate/Doppleganger -- plots in which the protagonist has to play the part of an more elite or powerful person have been a growing trend recently in books like The Lost Girl, Tandem, Pawn, and The Ring and the Crown.
by Ryan Graudin
(Little, Brown BFYR, November 2014)
Synopsis from Goodreads: There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run. Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there run drugs or work in brothels—or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.Trends: Crime Lords as villains have recently played a part in books like The Bone Season and Avalon. There have also been plenty of YA books about mafias of various kinds, books like the Birthright series and the Curseworker series.
Books With Rules. Okay, this is partly tongue-in-cheek, but I feel like I've seen a lot of blurbs with rules in them recently -- in books like Dear Killer, The Project Paper Doll books and NIL. I think this has to be because Rules are Made to be Broken, right?
This book also features The Ticking Clock, a staple of thrillers, and a technique that has been recently used in YA books like NIL, Unraveling, Countdown and Fire and Flood.
And before we move on, can I just comment on the cover, which features my favorite new cover trend, Head in Profile -- a trend we discussed a couple weeks back.
by Robin Talley
(Harlequin, September 2014)
Synopsis from Goodreads: In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever. Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”
Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.
Trends: I'm hoping this one is a trend-setter -- books that tackle race issues head-on seem too rare recently in YA. Plus, in my opinion, YA always needs more books about female friendship.
There's another upcoming book that deals with race issues and is set in the 1950s, Girl in Reverse by Barbara Stuber (Margaret K. McElderry, May 2014).
What do you think? I'm definitely in for all these three :)