What are some things you are tired of seeing that are trends in publishing? Maybe something that pops up on a lot of covers these days, or the popularity of certain tropes in a particular genre? Let it out!
The first trend I thought of is so true of way too many YA books:
- The helpless female protagonist. The first two books that came to mind were Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey (not a YA book, but still). In Twilight Bella becomes so incredibly obsessed with her male counterpart, Edward Cullen, that she puts herself in life-threatening positions in order to feel him. What dafqu Stephenie Meyer? Give your female characters a life of their own to be in control of; stop making your female characters nothing without a man.
- Covers with faces. That’s kinda weird, I know, but I don’t like to see the face of characters. Think Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series or Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments. Not cool, don’t force your characters on me, bro. Instead, consider Sasha Alsberg’s and Lindsay Cumming’s Zenith or Light smoke, cold fire. Those covers are beautiful. While Zenith has just a beautiful shape on the cover that reminds me of Xmas, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire has human figures but sans the faces. The latter is very much appreciated. I can’t see their faces but I do get a sense of what the characters are wearing, something I often struggle with.
- Let’s not forget the spines of too many books. They’re too boring. When I read a book I want to see a pretty, naked book underneath the dust jacket. I know I’m being picky but on my book shelf the spine is usually all you can see…Like, make it interesting for me. I display all my books with pride and I actually prefer looking at the spines of books, rather than the front cover when they’re on my bookcase.
- The brooding male lead: Twilight and 50 Shades come to mind first. I know I’ve mentioned them a million times but it’s so true. These men even told the woman that they won’t make good partners and they just. Don’t. Listen. While other examples are slow to come to mind, I want to get that out there. Ladies, if he says he’s not going to be a good boyfriend, LISTEN TO HIM and flippin’ get away from him. You deserve better, and this goes for “real” women as well as fictional characters. Show yourself that you love you and stay the fudge away from him. Let him mess up someone else’s life.
- Girls are bad at math and if they aren’t, like Hermione, they’re bossy women who are so annoying that even the teachers don’t like her. Ladies, there’s nothing wrong with being smart, or being bossy. Think: Harry Potter and remember that Hermione saved Harry and Ron’s asses over and over again. They even admit that they wouldn’t have survived as long as they did if she hadn’t been their friend. Embrace your nerdy self and show the world what you’re made of!