With another year comes a tide of booklists, which I have scoured to make my own 2015 booklist (which you can read next week). And through scouring books upon books due for release this year, I have noticed some genres and tropes that are slowly becoming more popular, so I thought I’d add my two cents.
Gone are the days then superheroes existed only in graphic novels or television shows with stuffed muscles. Superhero books are becoming more popular recently, especially in YA fiction. I have a love/hate relationship with this specific category, since I’ve been writing books that fall so neatly into it for over five years now. While I enjoyed Perry Moore’s Hero, and Othergirl by Nicole Burstein and Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond look interesting, I really don’t want this sub-genre to become popular. But with Marvel’s long list of films coming out over the next—how far does the list go? Ten years?—and DC’s list of films, plus TV shows like Arrow and Flash for DC and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter for Marvel…wow that’s a long list…it’s no wonder superheroes are becoming so much more popular in all forms of media. Still, I’m allowed to be annoyed about it.
What I do like about books lately is that more and more are dealing with big, ugly issues. Fiction is no longer just an escape into some utopian fairytale, but has instead become a means of studying ourselves as a species. Relationships don’t always mean romance, illnesses aren’t always physical, sexualities are no longer invisible, and the future does not look very bright. 2015 will bring a fresh batch of books that, in some way or another, tell us about the state of the human race. The books written about the future are no longer about flying cars and hover boards, although they may contain those things, but instead feature normalized murders, corruption at the highest of levels, and inner conflicts to the extreme. Panther by David Owen will be an interesting read to do with the latter, coming out in May, and Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons deals with the most former.
On the other side of that, there is fiction that takes place in fantasy worlds that are the equivalent of the dark ages. Princesses, knights, assassins, slaves, they’re all there, often along with some element of magic. You might be thinking, isn’t this just fantasy? Yes. Yes, it is. But fantasy is becoming ever more popular these days and as a result, tons of fantasy novels are coming out. It used to be considered childish for adults and young adults to read fantasy novels, but if anything has proven that opinion to be outdated, I would say it was Game of Thrones, which is definitely not for children. I’m pretty happy about the rise in popularity for this genre. Even though fantasy isn’t the first genre I go to when I want to read a book, when I find a fantasy novel that I enjoy, I practically eat it. Still, fantasy can be such a complicated genre and has high demands in terms of description and world building which forces the pace down, which then needs to be picked back up…it’s a tough genre to write. I mean, I haven’t written every single genre in the world, but I’ve experimented in a lot of them, and I admire any fantasy writer that can pull off the high demands of balancing action with detail with character and setting.
Lastly, I wouldn’t say it’s a genre but it’s definitely a type of book that is in high demand: The standalone. With Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, people are getting tired of all this supernatural crazy stuff that goes on and on for years. The public wants a good old-fashioned book with a story that ends the same time as it does. The characters don’t have secret powers and the settings are real enough. These books are the books that get nominated for awards and that people cry over. Standalone books coming out this year that I’m looking forward to are Follow Me by Laura van den Berg and All the Rage by Courtney Summers.
As you can see, there is some top-notch stuff coming this year. I only hope I have enough time to read everything I want to read! What books are you looking forward to? What genres do you want more of? Tell me below!