Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Wishes

  1. More contemporary stand-alone novels. I hate ranting against series because I really don't have anything against them except for the fact that there are so many and so many books that make incredible stand-alones are turned into series, which I'm definitely not a fan of. Contemporary is one of those genres that does really really well with the one-shot stories and I want to see more of them in the coming year.
  2. More family. It's no secret that I adore novels about family and I think it's largely overlooked in YA. Though 2010 saw some great stories centered around family relationships I'm always wanting more, and I'd especially love for the father-daughter dynamic to be explored because I haven't found much of that in teen books.
  3. Unexpected and well-handled stereotype subversions. Cheerleaders who kick butt and take names (a la The Naughty List) and super-smart models (a la Plus) are both awesome and I'm eager for more stereotype subversions that make for really well-rounded characters.
  4. Actual and realistic problems. I'm starting to hate the female YA protagonists who are drop-dead gorgeous, have (at least) two guys after them, get great grades, don't worry about money at all, are healthy and happy and normal -- their problems never seem real to me. I want characters who are legitimately struggling, either with self-confidence, looks, grades, guys, the future, family, money... whatever. These are real things that real teenagers actually deal with and I'd love to see that portrayed more in books.
  5. Books with tweets! Um, just yes please. Especially if most or all of the story is told in tweets like Tweet Heart was.
  6. A historical fiction set on the Oregon Trail. Sure, blame this one on the fact that I've been playing The Oregon Trail as if I'm nine years old again but I just think that would be awesome. Get on that, somebody. (Or if it already exists... alert me to it!)
  7. Science Fiction YA. I'm so hyped up to read Beth Revis' debut, Across the Universe and wish there was more sci-fi in the YA world because I love science fiction but I'm incredibly picky about it and I feel like sci-fi with a YA twist would be more awesome.
  8. Non-college options explored in contemporary YA. I want characters who end up going to a community college after high school, who go to a vocational school or straight into the workforce or get married or move away or... or... or whatever. Everyone doesn't take AP classes and get scholarships and go away to college and even though most YA doesn't cover "the college years," it definitely covers the junior and senior years of high school where these decisions are made and I really feel like there's a whole demographic (many demographics) of people that aren't represented because of this. I'm not saying they're all the best choices, but they are choices people make all the time.
  9. Better love stories. Sadly there are very few couples/potential couples in YA that I feel like are really, really great. And I don't even read paranormal! I love finding realistic and cute and aww, so perfect toether! couples in YA lit and when I do I'm completely spazzed-out happy about it so I hope 2011 brings more of these couples.
  10. Good girls (and boys). I feel like for a long time there has been this big push for "edgy" YA, whatever that means -- drugs, sex, pregnancies, explorations of "real life" problems and things that teens deal with. And I'm not denying that these are real things that teens handle and deal with or saying that they shouldn't be explored in YA literature, but I've never been that kind of person. I was/am a "good girl" and I do sometimes get a little annoyed at all the super-edgy characters in YA (like, um, Bianca from The Duff) and the books that seem to assume these types of teens don't exist. I want to read about good people! Flawed, confused, and messed-up, sure, but also good.
  11. Me. I can't help it. I want an agent, an editor, a book deal. I want to be a part of YA as a writer and not just a reader/blogger. True, it's nearly impossible for it to happen in 2011, but I would like to be on the path by the end of this year.


  1. ALL OF THIS LIST IS A MUST. I LIKE THIS LIST. especially number ten. And number 6!

    ~first comment of year~

  2. Oh Jordyn. *sigh*. Have I told you yet that you're my hero? You're absolutely right on all of these.
    #s 1, 2, 4, and OH MY FREAKING GOSH ESPECIALLY 10 - I'm just as with you on. I've been griping about that stuff on my blog all year. In fact, #4 and #10 are pretty much why I *DONT* read a lot of contemp(t) YA. Hopefully it changes!
    #6 and 8 - I'd never thought of before...but you're right!
    And I think the literary world would be such a better place if #11 was implemented :D Pronto!

    In fact...if I do a post about 2011 wishes on my blog, can I link yours? You say things so much more eloquently and straight-forward than I do, lol.
    Happy New Year!

  3. Awesome list! I can't even choose favorite numbers since they are all so good. I guess summed up it is: variety! YA lit goes in these waves (can you say vampires?) and I wish a better variety of books were always available. Happy new year!

  4. Hey J -

    Great, great list. I was nodding as I read each and every point.

  5. You know that #8 is granted by my novel. :)


  6. Khy

    *gasp!* We need to get you some GOOD contemporary, STAT! And yes, you can definitely link to my blog/post. I love that you agree with my "wishes"!

    Helen's Book Blog
    Yeah, it would be cool of this variety of books were always available, but TRENDS, you know? I'm waiting for contemporary to be the big thing in YA. :)

    Yay thanks!

    Bri Meets Books
    YES!! Your book does have #8, doesn't it? Just one more reason for you to finish, edit edit edit, and get it published somehow!! I wish #11 for both of us. :)

  7. this is a wonderful list and I especially agree with #2 and #8. I don't have a grea relationship with my family but I'm such a daddy's girl, I want to see more of those relationships portrayed ;)

    Also yes please more options besides college explored! Or just novels that discuss the college process. I don't get how books about juniors and sneiors can avoid mentioning what the main character wants to do after h.s. (even if they want to do nothing at all). Personally I would love to take a gap year, so I would be pysched to read a novel like that. The only book I can think of is Pull by B.A. Binns, the main character doesn't believe college is for him and while the book isn't fantabulous, I did like that it showed an option beside college.

    I wish you well in joining the publishing industry! It could use some fresh faces with new ideas and if your novel does anything to help fill in these goals, I would so read it =)

    Happy New Year!

  8. Great wishes! I'm all about reading some stand-alones. How great would it be to read a really good book that wasn't connected to other books to keep us hanging on for 3-5 more years? :-)

  9. This is a great wishlist! I particularly agree with number three and four. I think for fulfillment of number three you could consider checking out The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy.

  10. This is a great list! And I wish #11 for you!!!

  11. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this list.I too would like to see actual and realistic problems. I'd also love to see more books like Lauren Oliver's DELIRIUM...I couldn't put it down and would love to see more like it!

  12. This is a great list... I agree with all of them. More stand alone, more historical fiction, more real life, more of not going to college. Let's face it, there are many teens who don't have that option.

    Great list!

    Kat @ A Journey in Reading

  13. I share so many of the same thoughts. Especially about the stereotype subversions and actual/realistic problems. I don't mind reading about underdogs who always get picked on or the popular girl who wants more for herself or the "edgy" teenager. But what about the normal people in the middle who deal with problems too? It makes it seem like unless we're at either extreme then our lives must be really dull. It's been a while since I actually read a novel whose female protagonist I could completely relate to. I hope this list gets fulfilled because these are great wishes. Hey, writer-genie, y'hear me?

  14. Great list. Very fun with good points. :)