Trend Alert: Return Of The YA Contemporaries

Young adult contemporaries are coming back! Have you heard? No? Probably because ... this is just a theory that I have. But as RT's YA editor, I also have a pretty accurate sense of the upcoming young adult fiction scene. And I'm excited to tell you that amongst the paranormal, dystopia, fantasy trilogies that keep on keepin' on (and don't get me wrong, some of them are just delicious), contemporaries are returning.

And just how are you going to tell when the contemporaries arrive? Well, for one thing? They all have awfully long titles as of late, as opposed to paranormal YA, which has been recently rocking the one-word titles. Don't believe me? Let’s go to the shelves!

A quick glance at upcoming paranormal titles? One word. We've got Switched by Amanda Hocking, Tempest by Julie Cross, Allegiance by Cayla Kluver, Embrace by Jessica Shirvington, Crossed by Allie Condie, Legend by Marie Lu, Slayers by CJ Hill ... the list goes on and on (and on). And that's just from my list of recent and upcoming YA reviews for RT.

Contemporaries, meanwhile, well, that's where things get wordier. There's Sarah Mlynowski's Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have), Madeleine George's The Difference Between You and Me, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith and Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick from Joe Schreiber all reviewed or about to be in the pages or RT.

I have to wonder (yes, just like Carrie Bradshaw) what's behind this trend. I think that for a paranormal title, there’s just too much world building and set-up to get into a long title, so the authors may as well go for the one-word punch, for maximum impact. Meanwhile with contemporaries, there’s a lot more room to play, as we already know the world — it’s one we’re living in already. A world with lots and lots of excellent books to read, some with long titles, some with short.

Do you prefer long titles or short ones? Let me know in the comments below. And if you are interested in learning more about some great upcoming YA releases, check back tomorrow when we look at ten book deals that have just been announced!