The YA Trends of 2018

Posted by Marie on December 11, 2018

Since the arrival of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, bookshelves have been brimming with teens bent on saving the world. But while magically gifted students and young rebels are still in vogue, the nuances have changed and so has the scope.

As 2018 draws to a close, we took a look at the year's biggest trends in the world of young adult literature.


A melting pot of magic.
Trend #1: Culturally inspired fantasies.

< br/>

Rate this book
Clear rating
YA fantasy settings have often been inspired by medieval Western Europe. This year we're seeing a larger wave of magical worlds inspired by other countries.

At the top of this list is Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone. This 2018 Goodreads Choice Award winner is based on Nigerian folklore, and its immense popularity is a testament to the demand for more representation.

Asian culture also continues to be a major influence. Representing Japan are Julie Kagawa's Shadow of the Fox and Emiko Jean's Empress of All Seasons. Natasha Ngan's Girls of Paper and Fire is a love letter to her Malaysian roots. The anthology A Thousand Beginnings and Endings features reimagined myths from both East and South Asia.

From India we have Sangu Mandanna's A Spark of White Fire. This genre-bending high fantasy is set in the far reaches of outer space, similar to Somaiya Daud’s rich Morrocan-inspired Mirage. And finally, this year's odes to Latin America include Zoraida Córdova's Brooklyn Brujas series and Anna-Marie McLemore's Blanca & Roja.

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rise up.
Trend #2: Teens take a stand.

< br/>
YA heroes often fight for what they believe in. Their readers do as well.


Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating
Today's teens are especially savvy about social justice, as seen throughout YA fiction. A prime example is Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give, which follows the story of a young girl drawn into a movement after witnessing the police shooting of her best friend. This groundbreaking book continues to resonate with readers, winning the Best of Best category in this year's Goodreads Choice Awards.

Its success has also paved the way for other socially conscious contemporaries, including Jay Coles' Tyler Johnson Was Here, Mark Oshiro's Anger Is a Gift, and Ellen Hopkins' People Kill People.

Recent news headlines have also brought in a wave of YA nonfiction for the aspiring activist. Among these are "starter kit" anthologies, including How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation, Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration, and Our Stories, Our Voices.

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Where do I belong?
Trend #3: The immigrant experience.


First- and second-generation immigrant narratives are also becoming a larger part of YA contemporary fiction, telling the stories of teens torn between two worlds.

Many of this year's young adult debuts explore the conflict of dual cultural identities, including Gloria Chao's American Panda, Samira Ahmed's Love, Hate & Other Filters, Emily X.R. Pan's The Astonishing Color of After, and Adib Khorram's Darius the Great Is Not Okay.

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating


Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Elyse (new)

Elyse It's too bad Tomi Adeyemi outrageously overreacted to Nora Roberts' book Of Blood and Bone and called her out for plagiarism on Twitter. That's not how you treat a fellow author and not how you treat a PROLIFIC author who has penned many many more books than you have. I've lost respect for Tomi Adeyemi because of this situation she created.

https://www.bellanaija.com/2018/11/no...


message 2: by julia (new)

julia Elyse wrote: "It's too bad Tomi Adeyemi outrageously overreacted to Nora Roberts' book Of Blood and Bone and called her out for plagiarism on Twitter. That's not how you treat a fellow author and..."

Yesss! I feel the same way. I was embarrassed on Adeyemi's behalf, she was so out of line! I had Children of Blood and Bone on my TBR, but after this situation I kind of want nothing to do with it.


message 3: by Elyse (new)

Elyse julia wrote: "Yesss! I feel the same way. I was embarrassed on Adeyemi's behalf, she was so out of line! I had Children of Blood and Bone on my TBR, but after this situation I kind of want nothing to do with it..."

I'm sure I'll read it eventually but not for awhile. I'm too miffed at how she mishandled it. And you can't own a book title. *eyeroll*


message 4: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Nora Robert's response was excellent and eloquent showing what a seasoned professional she is.


message 5: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Pauline wrote: "Nora Robert's response was excellent and eloquent showing what a seasoned professional she is."

Absolutely!


message 6: by Sharon711 (new)

Sharon711 turner I am looking forward to Shadow of the Fox, Mirage and Empress of all Seasons.


message 7: by Amber (new)

Amber I'm interested in Empress of all seasons cuz I love Japanese fiction and more. Wished that Ice Fantasy had a book out cuz I loved that show too. It was a pretty good Korean/Chinese fantasy series.

BTW will never read Children of Blood and bone cuz have no interest in it.

its cool that Nora Roberts has a book out called of blood and bone too. she's a good author.


message 8: by Lynn (new)

Lynn I'm reading Children of Blood and Bone right now - fantastic! Get over it.


message 9: by Ingo (new)

Ingo Elyse wrote: "That's not how you treat a fellow author and not how you treat a PROLIFIC author who has penned many many more books than you have. "

Actually, if she thinks she has a case, why not?
You should only regard that single book from Roberts, not her body of work, one mistake is more than enough.

Do not know both authors (except by name) and do not care to call someone who has written so many books as prolific, whatever you may think of her. Respect is something you have to work for, and both authors have now lost it for me, if they ever had it.

And the number of books should also not matter, if (!) she made that mistake.

For now Tomi Adeyemis book is still on my TBR (and also already bought).


message 10: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Ingo wrote: "Elyse wrote: "That's not how you treat a fellow author and not how you treat a PROLIFIC author who has penned many many more books than you have. "

Actually, if she thinks she has a case, why not?..."


All it comes down to is you cannot own a book title. End of story. Adeyemi was completely in the wrong.


message 11: by Lynette (new)

Lynette Floyd I will agree that Adeyemi was wrong. She apologized. She is also in her early 20's, give her a break.

There have been authors that have done FAR worse still being praised and read to this day.


message 12: by Taylor (new)

Taylor Renee If it’s her debut novel of course she’s going to be defensive. We’ve all acted out of anger and frustration and no one has any right to judge a situation to which we are merely bystanders.

Also. Roberts post was just as “shameful” as Adeyemi’s accusation. You want to be upset that a fellow author is not approaching you correctly, but then proceed to drag her actions through the mud while repeatedly and indirectly destroying her character..
she spoke in her statement like an entitled old woman ... not here for it.

Lastly white people have been stealing things from Africans for centuries. Her unwarranted outburst is understandable. But not excused.


message 13: by Jenbebookish (last edited Dec 20, 2018 05:37PM) (new)

Jenbebookish Taylor wrote: "If it’s her debut novel of course she’s going to be defensive. We’ve all acted out of anger and frustration and no one has any right to judge a situation to which we are merely bystanders.

Also. ..."


White people have been stealing things from Africans for centuries? That’s an absurd reference to use in relation to this. Roberts didn’t steal anything (as titles cannot be legally stolen & as she stated, her book was titled before Adeyemi’s was released.) And why is the action of Roberts publicly defending herself against unwarranted and basely incorrect accusations the action of an entitled old woman? I’m sorry, but I’m not old nor am I entitled and if I were in her position where I was being attacked & accused (very publicly mind you) of things that I did not do, I would also rise up and defend myself. I’m not understanding what is so entitled about that, you’re literally saying that Adeyemi’s outburst which was unrarranted & downright WRONG is “understandable” but yet Robert’s standing up for herself after repeated attacks is the act of an entitled old woman? Riiiiight.

So Adeyemi can do whatever she wants, including publicly spreading the word that a very well known & experienced author has stolen work & plagarized, & She can do this, even tho she’s 100% completely WRONG cuz it’s “understandable” that somebody be protective of their debut/1st time work. Oh ya, & because white people have stolen stuff from Africans for centuries. But when you’re being wrongfully accused of something & your reputation is being questioned as well as the validity of your work, & people are attacking you, criticizing you, accusing you... ALL publicly. You shouldn’t stand up for yourself and should stay quiet about it. Cuz I guess since this isn’t her debut she doesn’t have a right to be defensive about her work or reputation, & when she speaks up in anger, defensively, she’s dragging Adeyemi’s actions through the mud and destroying her character.

Uh. WHAT DO YOU THINK ACCUSING SOMEBODY OF STEALING IS? Is that not “destroying her character”?!?! The only difference here is that Adeyemi was in the wrong & accusing her of something SHE DID NOT DO, & Roberts was referencing something that Adeyemi 100% DID do. And yet somehow Roberts is the entitled one who’s in the wrong? *SMH*

I removed Adeyemi’s book from my TBR after this.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Taylor wrote: "If it’s her debut novel of course she’s going to be defensive. We’ve all acted out of anger and frustration and no one has any right to judge a situation to which we are merely bystanders.

Also. ..."


Mate, I'm pretty sure you've come out swinging at a brick wall here since you're only hurting yourself with this argument. Tomi Adeyemi was wrong. There's nothing to counter-argue. Her age and status as a debut author do not protect her from that.

And using the argument that "white people have stolen stuff from Africans for centuries" does not hold up. The race card does not hold up here, so stop waving it about. Nora Roberts has been doing this for thirty years longer than Adeyemi, and the titles of one book of theirs each just happened to be similar, but the stories itself were not.

Adeyemi pitched a fit like a child and got called out for it. I'm ashamed to have her book on my shelves. She may have just damaged her own career by acting so stupid.


message 15: by Taylor (new)

Taylor Renee It does make sense when you look at why she might have reacted so viciously. She, adeyemi, probably has implicit biases against white people and that fueled the fire even more. If she truly believed that Roberts stole from her, without fact checking, I can see it as plausible in dealing with people she believes trying to take something from her.
Both women were responding from places of hurt and frustration. Not good for all these public eyes ppl keep talking about


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Taylor wrote: "It does make sense when you look at why she might have reacted so viciously. She, adeyemi, probably has implicit biases against white people and that fueled the fire even more. If she truly believe..."

Nora Roberts was replying to an attack on her character and career, though. Adeyemi was just attacking. Having a bias toward a certain type of person is, again, not a valid excuse. Look up "blood and bone" and you get 309 similar titles. She does not own the title. But since when does having a bias against a group of people "okay"? That doesn't stand.


message 17: by Jenbebookish (new)

Jenbebookish The race thing is completely irrelevant. Adeyemi was accusing Roberts of being a thief & a plagiarizer. A blatant attack on her reputation, career, & character. The statement was unfounded & just plain WRONG. Roberts was on the defensive, & naturally responded to the attack on her credibility & work. Regardless of race, Adeyemi behaved like a petulant child. Roberts on the other hand was responding to an unprovoked & unwarranted attack.


message 18: by Pihoo (new)

Pihoo Taylor wrote: “If it’s her debut novel of course she’s going to be defensive. We’ve all acted out of anger and frustration and no one has any right to judge a situation to which we are merely bystanders.

Also....”

I might agree with you when you say that it was her first novel and she was being defensive. Sure maybe she thought of Nora as a more published author and thought her book would t be as recognized, but I still believe that the way she approached the situation was completely wrong and immature. If she truly believed that she had a case then she should’ve emailed the author or wrote a personal message. There was no need to make it public.

Secondly I would like to state that Nora was responding to a personal attack. Any author would be offended if there hard work was considered plagerized. If Adeyemi was going to make a very public scene out of this then she should’ve at least fact checked as I’m sure the stories aren’t similar, only the titles are.

Also the racist bit, I don’t understand it. If adeyemi has a bias against white people then I’m sure that makes her fascist and as for Roberts part, it was defensive and not even racist.

Even after saying all that, I can’t deny the children of blood and bone a chance. I haven’t read the book but I totally intend to because I do believe that a book should not be judged, by its cover or by its author in this case. I might not like the author after the mentioned incident but I still think that I might like the book Andy so I will read and rate it based on the book it self and I wanna ask all the people who are standing up for Roberts to do the same because the book shouldn’t be judged based on the author but instead on its contents.


message 19: by Jenbebookish (new)

Jenbebookish Ingo wrote: "Elyse wrote: "That's not how you treat a fellow author and not how you treat a PROLIFIC author who has penned many many more books than you have. "

Actually, if she thinks she has a case, why not?..."


Ingo do you know what prolific means? Look it up. You don’t care to call somebody who has produced so much work as prolific, but yet that is literally EXACTLY what it means.

And she doesn’t/didn’t have a case. That’s the point. You can’t own a title!


message 20: by Emily (new)

Emily Hi all-- please remember to be courteous to other commenters. Differing opinions are welcome, but make sure to follow our Community Guidelines when posting.


back to top