Friday, October 21, 2011

Fads and Trends - A spazzing out by a bibliophile

Every once in a while, some book or movie succeeds so well that it starts a craze for the same type of book or movie. If you don't know what I mean, you probably haven't been paying attention to the same book shelves as I have, and haven't noticed the vampire craze that Twilight started. Some of these fads I love, some I hate, and there are some I just want to happen. Here's my top three lists for book trends and fads.

Top 3 Book Fads That Make Me Hate Books
  • Vampires - Now, don't get me wrong. I used to love vampire fiction. I read Twilight back when it first came out, before it became a goddamn cult for tweens and unhappy housewives, and I didn't hate it. My favorite books for the longest time were Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series, which revolve around vampire-esque beings, and I like the Sookie Stackhouse books and a lot of other vampire books that have come out. But I'm getting really sick of picking up the same goddamn books rewritten almost every time I pick up a YA book with vampires. So maybe I should say that I'm more sick of YA vampires, not vampires as a whole. I mean, damn. Can I get a little originality, please? At least Twilight did something new, even if it was just body glitter.
  • Love Triangles - Has nobody else noticed this annoying trend? You get this great book, with an awesome female main character whose strong and absolutely badass--until it comes to these two guys, where she's like a bubbleheaded Beverly Hills barbie. "Oh, I can't pick which one I want. They're both so special and amazing and sexy, and sure I've been with this one guy forever, but this new one is so sparkly and neat!" I swear, it seems like some authors only do this to get their fans into shipping wars. Obviously, some authors do it well. Others, however, completely fuck up a plot that could have been great by making it all about some stupid girl who can't pick a boy and, in some cases, cheats or kisses both or something because she's so 'helpless to resist her feelings'. It makes me hate the characters, and sometimes, it makes me hate the books. What the hell happened to female characters who were strong and confident and not confused sometime-sluts who can't make up their minds between the footballplayers/werewolves/vampires/nerds/badasses/bestfriends/etc
  • Dystopia - It started with Hunger Games. Well, really it started with Battle Royale, and the Giver, but nonetheless, Hunger Games set this off. Now, if you actually read my reviews, you're probably surprised to see this on the list, because I think I've stated my preference for Dystopia fiction a few million times. But here's the thing about fads: no matter how good the original idea is, and how amazing a few of the books come out...there's always a sudden rush of books that shame the entire subgenre, and get published just because they have the theme that's popular. I'm not going to list any names, because you can probably think of two or three on your own, but if you've been reading any of the new dystopia books lately, you've probably noticed at least a few that had a great idea but were pretty much terrible in practice. As much as I love Dystopia, I am not looking forward to what this subgenre becomes in a year or two.
Top 3 Book Fads That Are AMAZING
  • Werewolves - I know, I'm probably a hypocrite for hating the vampires and loving the werewolves, but I can't help it. I've always loved the idea of shapeshifters, and I adore how the werewolf genre has evolved. It's one of the things I give a happy nod to Twilight for, even though I hate what the book has done to vamp fiction. Liar, Raised by Wolves, Blood and Chocolate, etc.Wolfs, and shapeshifters in general, just make me happy, and I'm loving the flood.
  • Dystopia - I know, it's on both lists. I have a love hate relationship with this book trend. On one hand, yeah, I'm hating how the average quality of a YA dystopia book is declining. On the other, I'm loving the sudden vast influx of stories with the themes I love. I loved Dystopia back when the Hunger Games idea was still just Battle Royale, and I'm loving the new ideas that keep springing up. A lot of them have flaws, but then you get books like Divergent, which I adored, Uglies, Unwind, Inside Out, Jenna Fox... I mean, yeah there are some bad ones that annoy me, since I get excited to read them only to find out I've wasted my time...but at the same time, I'm loving that I suddenly have so many choices, and there are such amazing gems that its' worth it.
  • Real Life Grittiness - Maybe this isn't really what you can consider a fad, but I'm loving the sudden influx of the really gritty, dark stories. I love a good fluffy story, and I reallllyyy love when the main character pretty much just kicks everyone's ass out of sheer awesome, even if that does make me a sue lover....but goddamn, I am liking these stories where I get to LEARN when I read. You know, books like...The Chosen One, say, or anything to that effect. Stories about the stuff from real life or that could be real life, but not MY real life. Angsty stories, gritty and real stories, stories about sex or rape, murder, the gay kid's rebellion, the skinny barbie who suddenly gets fat (My Life In the Fat Lane, anyone?), nerds, polygamy, cults...I love it. I love when a good fictional story still gives me stuff that I get to learn about. I love reading about angst and terror and confusion and learning and awesome and yes. <3

Top 3 Book Fads I Want To Happen
  • The Fae - The Fairy, Fairies, Faeries, what have you. The Iron Daughter, Meredith Gentry, Tithe, Valiant, I LOVE THIS AND WE NEED MORE. Obviously Meredith Gentry isn't YA, but still. I love the dark, evil fairies, the twisted tinker bell. I love the Sidhe and Unseelie and the brownies and trolls, the summer kings and wow. I am so hoping this becomes something big, very soon. I would be so hyped for this. It seems like it might be on the cusp of becoming popular, and I want it to. Now.
  • Time Travel - I always used to love reading fanfiction, and my favorites were always alternate universe, dimensional travel, time travel, etc. And I want that to become something big in my fiction. I want that now. I want modern day girl forced to live in ancient times, I want the future girl who can't function in today's society messing up and struggling. I want the YA version of the highlander being sent by magic into the future, and attacking a car. I want a HUGE flux of time travel and awesomeness.
  • Super Powers - This seemed like it was getting popular for a while, then suddenly the trend was all about dystopia instead. I want more of the super powered fics. I want more Hero, more Shatter Mes. I want flying and fighting and the coolest powers ever. I want this to become some awesomely popular thing, so the part of me that still squeals in glee over the new batman game can squeal in glee over books that don't have pictures.

What about you? What book trends do you hate? Love? What would you like to see as the next fad, if you have a choice?
And hey, got any good suggestions for my favorites? <3
Let me know!

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