Remember the start of the year when I wrote that wishlist of things I so desperately wanted to see in my favorite genre? It looks like the universe of YA was listening to me because many of the books I've read lately have been spot on.
More contemporary stand-alone novels.
Yes, there are a lot of series coming out and there's been at least a couple long-awaited YA sequels recently, but I'm also finding quite a few contemporary stand-alones, and many of these books I really love. Flirt Club, Rival, Leverage, I'll Be There, Stay.
Authors, agents, editors, THANK YOU. Though not all of these books are being talked about as a book about family, the following all have some very strong family elements: Like Mandarin, Rival, Sean Griswold's Head, Bitter Melon, The Lucky Kind, Invincible Summer, Stay, I'll Be There, and Other Words for Love. In my list I specifically mentioned a want for YA novels that explore the father-daughter dynamic and though I still want more, a couple novels have touched on the topic (both Rival and Sean Griswold's Head) while Stay took on this relationship more fully and with, in my opinion, great results. THANK YOU.
Unexpected and well-handled stereotype subversions.
You know, I haven't seen a lot of this lately. Stay subverts the popular insta-love trope by showing how things in this sort of relationship could very easily go wrong, but for character stereotypes there's not much. There is, however, Kurt, from Leverage, whose vicious and intimidating look masks an unbelievably kind, protective, and good-hearted person.
Actual and realistic Problems.
I'm not sure I can even list all the books that fit this item. So many of them do and I absolutely love it. It's great reading a book with a character who's dealing with a learning disability, or one whose problems come from an extremely unstable family, or one who deals with her father's chronic illness in an unexpected way. I love these things. I love books that tackle problems that are both real and rarely-before-handled.
Books with tweets!
Truth & Dare has a story written entirely in tweets, but aside from that I haven't read any. So if you know of a book with tweets, please let me know.
A historical fiction set on the Oregon Trail.
Science Fiction YA.
Ah, yes! Publishing listened to me! Or something. Sci-fi YA books are starting to be published somewhat regularly, it seems, and though I haven't found one that completely blew me away yet, I have a feeling that'll happen. (Glow, which doesn't come out until September, came the closest.)
Non-college options explored in contemporary YA.
Oh, this is sadly lacking, at least in the books I've been reading. If you have any good recommendations for me here, let me know!
Better love stories.
Of course, by "better" I just mean love stories that I like better, which is insanely subjective. This said, both I'll Be There and Wither (though the love story isn't the central plot) have couples or potential couples that I absolutely adore. And, of course, there's one more book but listing it as a love story might be a bit of a spoiler. SO I WON'T.
Good girls (and boys).
Back When You Were Easier to Love takes care of this one -- I absolutely adore Owen. There's also the teens in I'll Be There that are dealing with some crazy-heavy stuff, but are definitely kind and good at heart and you guys, you should all read this book.
Oh. Um. Well. No.
Wishes aside, I'm so incredibly thrilled with the YA that's been coming out lately. It's well-written and amazing and has great characters and I'm loving it so much. I don't read that much in other genres and I'm totally biased of course, but I'm pretty sure YA has the best authors.