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The next big thing for YA: Is dystopian dead?

2014 could mark a new book era

With so many dystopian series coming to a close this year, 2014 has the potential to mark a new era of young adult fiction in the marketplace with new trends set to rise.

In 2012 and 2013, readers saw a huge influx of dystopian young adult fiction due, in large part, to the popularity and success of The Hunger Games.

Dystopian is traditionally a plot that pits the government against the people (think the opposite of a utopia, though — often these societies try to mask themselves as being better for the people). More specifically, the main character grows to rise up and become at odds with the accepted establishment. He or she suddenly decides to fight against "the man" for a better world for all.

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Now, in 2014, readers will see a lot of those popular dystopian trilogies come to a close. Best-selling series like Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series, Kiera Cass' The Selection series and Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky series, among others, are all ending in 2014. So what's next? Here are the trends to look out for in the upcoming year along with some books to look forward to in these new categories.

1

New Adult

New Adult

The age range of 18 to 25 has been nearly nonexistent in literature for a long time. In previous years, publishers haven't wanted to take a chance on protagonists of that age in the young adult market because they weren't sure how to market them. Thankfully, times are changing. We're seeing older teenage main characters cropping up more and more, and now it even has its own category called New Age. This genre will follow the young adult patterns but will lend itself well to a more mature audience, too.

2

The space factor

The space factor

Loads of sci-fi novels are heading to release this year, with unique twists on the futuristic universe. Since paranormal creatures have been exhausted, lots of books are gravitating away from earthbound mythology. Space is the new frontier in literature this year.

3

Fantasy

Fantasy

Thanks to the ever-popular Game of Thrones, expect to see a host of young adult-friendly books that cater to the fantasy genre. More specifically, political intrigue for a throne and complex character vying for one common goal.

Enter in Erika Johansen's The Queen of the Tearling, which already has the internet buzzing with its potential to take over the young adult world. A year before publication, Warner Bros. already secured the film rights and Johansen got a six-figure deal with HarperCollins.

Tell us

Which trend are you most anticipating this year?

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