This week in Teen and Young Adult Fiction the trends and niches of the genre are showing their power to shape the charts. Plus, the chart is seeing how writing a series can really help with your long term book selling ability.
So first off, to clear the air, so to speak. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is everywhere across the chart this week. While, obviously, the fame of the series and it’s old on modern culture is much of the reason why, it is also true that the series has much in common with the other books. This is a bit of a chicken or egg scenario, did Harry Potter make these trends or niches, or did these trends and niches make Harry Potter. But either way, Teen and Young Adult Fiction is filled with teenagers, magic, and schools. You ignore this at your own risk.
Also in the charts this week is the novel by acclaimed authors Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, which has lately been made into a TV series. This book has been selling well for two decades and this latest boost to its fame has done nothing to dissuade people from searching it out and reading it. As a fantasy novel, like Harry Potter, that is based in a mostly familiar world it also has a lot of niche and trend similarities with other books in the charts. Young people fighting powerful enemies to choose their own futures. If you wanted a tag line to explain much of Teen and YA Fiction, that would do it. In addition to this older classic is The Dark Phoenix anthology,put out by Marvel Comics to celebrate the recent movie adaptation of the comics. An even older classic is The Little Prince, a sorry which does stick out a little unexpectedly in the midst of the chart.
A lot of books doing particularly well this week have been paranormal and fantasy novels that are parts of larger series. The Harley Merlin series by Bella Forest manages to almost fill the chart by itself, with eight book in the series. Some shorter series are represented on the list with Emily R. King’s, The Hundredth Queen, Amy A. Bartol’s, Rebel Born, Rachel Aaron’s, Part-Time Gods, Sarah J. Maas’, Crown of Midnight, and Kendare Blake’s, Three Dark Crowns. Interestingly, they also all feature many of the same plot and character points. Principally, the main character is a young woman thrust into a life of danger, in the midst of political and/or magical power struggles.
There are still plenty of books on the chart with no trailing series before or after them, these are some of those books. Bucking a lot of the trends is Tara Westover’s memoir, An Education, which is the story of how she went from a survivalist background to Cambridge University. This book is doing well in all of the charts it is able to get on, so it is no surprise that it is doing well here as well. Next up is The Upside of Falling Down, a novel about a young woman finding out who she is and who she wants to be after she loses her memory in an air plane crash. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng, is an emotionally driven story of a single mother and her teenage daughter after they move to a new town and become entangled in the complicated family dynamics of the Richardsons.
Finally the most popular niche this week is that of Paranormal/Fantasy Schools and the teens who fight monsters in them. Obviously, Harry Potter comes under this headline, but so too does X-Men. And the works of Shannon Mayer and K. F. Breene, Shadowspell Academy: The Culling Trials, and the sequels. Described as a combination of Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, it fits well into a lot of the most popular niches of Teen and YA. Coming of Age, and Survival to speak of only the most obvious.
So, in short, a lot of the best selling books in this genre are retellings of the same idea and the trend of young women fighting back against oppression is not going anywhere!