YA Trends 2013

2013 Young Adult (YA) popular books to read

By Dale Spencer, @DaleSpencerwork

Do you know what’s popular in Young Adult (YA) fiction?

There are lots of opinions on the subject. According to Sarah Fisher at Pepperdine Magazine, “Vampires are done…After vampires, werewolves, and supernaturally strong girls saving a postapocalyptic planet had dominated pop culture since the late 2000s, publishers considered them at the point of being exhausted in the young adult market. What they really wanted were contemporary stories about angels.” Keep in mind, there are always exceptions to the rule where the trends are constantly changing. I’m sure some of these types of YA books will continue to sell.

When YALSA’s President, Jack Martin was asked about the ongoing trends, he said, “It seems like dystopian romances are still on the rise as well as alternate histories and even retellings of fairy tales…Manga is also still huge with teens everywhere.” He also mentioned that supernatural romances and zombies are still popular and that YA books are being advertised to adults more often.

Here’s a good top 10 list from Scholastic’s Editors on the YA trends for 2013:

  • Bullying .
  • Science Fiction.
  • Intriguing Nonfiction.
  • Novels-in-Cartoons (such as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series).
  • Kid Lit in Movies (such as Ender’s Game, Beautiful Creatures, Mortal Instruments, and Percy Jackson). Some bigger trends in this category include novels that reinforce positive messages and action-packed novels.
  • War (such as Civil War titles).
  • Tough Girls (such as Katniss from Hunger Games).
  • Survival Stories.
  • Diversity.
  • Nature Runs Amok (such as realistic fiction, science fiction, and campy that focus on the environment and ecology).

Scholastic mentions lots of new YA books being released for 2013. I suggest checking some of these books out. I’m sure they’re good ones to read.

If you are looking for a YA author’s opinion on Scholastic’s YA trends for 2013, then read Rosanne River’s post. She agrees with some of these trends and gives her own predictions . Some of these include historical fiction, dystopian fiction, mermaids, New Adult (NA), mash-ups, comedies, cancer contemporaries stories, and lesser known fairy tales. I have seen many bullying, dystopian, science fiction, tough girls, supernatural, and NA books being released this year. I recommend checking out the list of novels being published in 2013 from Goodreads.

For those wanting to write a YA book, there’s a helpful article offering current advice on writing YA novels from a writer who took notes from Bree Ogden, an agent with D4EO Literary and a guest speaker at the UW Madison Writer’s Institute. The article’s writer, Carla Luna Cullen, noted that, “A lot of publishers are looking for YA thrillers, mysteries, and suspense…Use Publishers’ Marketplace to see current sales of YA books; the listings will include the agent’s name, the publication house, and the book’s logline.” I have to agree that it’s best for writers to monitor these trends while writing unique stories with fresh ideas.

If you want to read more about the YA genre, try these resources:

What are some current YA trends you’ve noticed as a reader or a writer?


  • Cullen, Carla Luna. “UW Madison Writers’ Institute – Session on Trends in YA.” Web log

post. Carla Luna Cullen YA Fantasy Romance. N.p., 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 8 June 2013.


  • Fisher, Sarah. “The Rise and Rise of Young Adult Literature.” Pepperdine Magazine Pepperdine

University. N.p., 29 Apr. 2013. Web. 8 June 2013.



  • Rivers, Rosanne. “The Top Ten Hottest YA Trends in 2013.” Web log post. Rosannerivers. N.p.,

16 Dec. 2012. Web. 8 June 2013. <http://rosannerivers.com/2012/12/16/the-top-ten-


  • Silvester, Niko. “Trends in Teen Reading For 2013.” About.com Young Adult Books. About.com,

n.d. Web. 8 June 2013. <http://youngadultbooks.about.com/od/for-parents-


  • Sinek, Sara, and Nadia Almahdi. “Scholastic Media Room.” Scholastic Editors Forecast Top 10

Trends in Children’s Books for 2013Scholastic.com, 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 8 June

2013. <http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/press-release/scholastic-editors-


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