Genre Trends: Where We're Heading Next

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's crazy to think about, but almost exactly four years ago, I started my little blog, i swim for oceans, and when I did, I had no idea what I was doing. I do, however, know that it was right in the middle of the Twilight book series, and it was honestly pretty much the most recent heyday of the paranormal genre. Some of my very first reviews were of the paranormal genre, the first of which were:

The genre trended for a while, too, with The Mortal Instruments series hitting the shelves and taking the YA realm by storm. Vampire Academy remained a fan favourite and books like Paranormalcy, Need and Claire de Lune hit the shelves at an all-time high. But I watched as the genre started to shift, too, as it crossed over and merged with dystopia - a genre in its own right that would really take the literary world by storm in the past couple years.

With the influx of series like The Hunger Games and Divergent, dystopian fiction really consumed much of the latter half of 2011 and 2012 for me. It was this rich, oddly voyeuristic genre that felt almost tangible, but it held me in its powerful, captivating grip, teasing me with broken worlds that I wanted desperately to understand. Novels like the following really hit hard on my radar:

But along the way, contemporary really hit its stride with novels from the likes of John Green, Deb Caletti, Kirsty Eagar and more. As someone who's avoided the genre for a long, long time, I was surprised to find that contemporary, and really powerful contemps at that, were finding their place on the young adult market. 

However, the biggest trend I've seen as of late is the influx of science fiction, which I'm totally loving, by the way. Sci-fi is my jam, so you'd better believe that I'm thrilled about it. I've seen a lot of upcoming novels that I'm thrilled about, as well, so I absolutely can't wait to see if sci-fi really is the next big thing in YA. Here are some of the books I've read, I'm reading, or I'm about to read in the wonderful world of sci-fi:

I love that the literary world is constantly evolving, and just when I'm getting tired of the same old, same old, something new comes along and spices it up, or we resurrect and old genre and breathe new life into it. What sort of trends have you seen throughout your time as a blogger (or before), and where do you see things going next?


  1. I am constantly surprised with the book trends that we seem to be getting, but especially more with the books that I seem to be finding myself drawn too. I too started off obsessed with paranormal books, but rarely read them these days. But if you were to tell me sometime last year that I would be reading a lot more dystopian and science fiction type books I would be completely shocked! I also like my books to give me something new, so I'm sure there will be plenty more books to come which will keep us on our toes! Brilliant post Melissa! :)

  2. The influx of sci fi comes at the perfect time for me. I've never liked science fiction, but with my newfound obsession with Doctor Who, i've started to give the genre a try. Have you read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? I loved it.

  3. I know NA is not YA but I really feel NA is the new YA trend, it's everywhere and all there is

  4. I want to read Avalon too!

    I adored both Shatter Me & Delirium, but their sequels missed the mark with me, which is SUCH a shame :/ I'm interested to hear your thoughts!

  5. I'm loving the new YA sci-fi, I think dystopian has been done to death at the moment and it's hard to breathe new life into it. Contemporaries are making a come back and I'm really enjoying them as a bit of a break. NA is definitely one of the newer trends as well, but I feel it has to find its place first. Fantastic feature Mel!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  6. Dystopian needs to take a serious break. I love the genre, but lately everything has felt the same. I want a little more excitement and originality, which is why I agree about sci-fi. There is plenty of room there to find something new to explore, and I've been loving what I've been reading. I also think paranormal is going to make a reappearance, but not with vampires and werewolves and angels. There are some books coming out that take a new spin on the supernatural, and I'm really excited for that!

    Samantha @ Reading-AndCoffee

  7. While I still love paranormal (I can't help it. Though I am kind of done with new vampire books.), I'm thrilled to see all the SciFi on the horizon! My Kindle is filled with new ARCs from that genre that are publishing next year. YIPPEE!!! Wonder what'll be next?

  8. I don't really follow trends in literature. I read what strikes my fancy and what sounds good. I will say that I don't really anything with vampires, zombies, monsters, etc.

  9. Sci fi is really growing on me:) I just finished Avalon and ADORED it, and I can't wait to read Elusion. Both sci fi and fantasy are genres that I used to never pick up, I stuck solidly to vampires, werewolves and faeries, but now I can't get enough of them. Yay for expanding my comfort zone!

  10. I totally agree that sci-fi is really where the trend is moving towards next. I think These Broken Stars was the book to really kick it off, and I see that series being pretty successful as a result. I've also seen a lot of new parallel worlds books coming up, which kind of falls into the realm of sci-fi. I'm really excited about this new trend! I've always enjoyed light sci-fi, but I'm really getting out of my comfort zone and trying more of the hard core sci-fi books lately.

    I actually just finished up Avalon, and while it wasn't amazing or anything, it was enjoyable, and I really liked the sci-fi elements in it. I'm also SO excited for Elysium. =)

    Lovely post, Melissa! <3 Happy almost 4 year blogoversary!!

  11. SCI-FI !!! YES!! OMG why haven't I heard of two before? COVER LOVE

  12. I have to agree: I'm enjoying the sci-fi trends a lot. I don't love all of them, but they're not as bland as paranormal or as overdone as dystopian yet which is a relief. Also, I have to say that there has been a lot more contemporary lately since I've been getting out and reading new titles these days too. Fantastic post, Melissa!

  13. I'd never really thought about this before, but it's so true! I love that you were able to bear witness to the genre trends that have come and gone since you started blogging. For me, it's pretty much the same. I think it's interesting to observe that contemporary sticks around no matter what time of the year!

  14. I'm with you! I went through all these phases (with the exception of paranormal romance which has never really been my scene). And I'm so glad you read Deb Caletti, I'm always so surprised how many people who do read contemporary YA (also like you, I've never been a huge reader of it and avoided it at all costs for a verrrry long time haha) have never heard of her! She's probably my favourite contemporary YA author of the lot. (I say this with the disclaimer that I've only ever read one John Green book and it was a good 5 or so years ago). Dystopias are great, but they're pretty limited in setting because has to suck. But sci-fi/fantasy? That's my jam. And I've read some AWESOME books because of this new trend, so I hope it sticks around for a while!


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