In Teen and Young Adult Fiction this week, there is a very clear focus on Fantasy over Science Fiction, and some Literary Fiction Novels are doing very well, but over all the real winner continues to be the Magical Academy niche which is selling in very high numbers.
The Magical Academy Niche, and to a lesser extent High School based novels in general are doing well. Often these books feature Bully Romances, and this trend seems to be growing, rather than diminishing in popularity. There is usually a threat against the school or the main characters, in Magical Academy books this is often a world ending magical threat, but Real World based novels the threat is sometimes economic, academic, romantic, or all three. Occasionally there are murders that need to be solved, though these are generally not as major a part of the plot as they are in the following niche.
One book doing well outside of the niches and trends, is Las Vegas Girl, by Leslie Wolfe. This mystery novel featuring a teen Private Detective is one of the few books on the list that do not lie somewhere on the Fantasy and Science Fiction spectrum. It is interesting to see the evolution of the age old niche of Private Detectives change to include Teen and YA audiences, though of course it is not brand new, Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars spring to mind, showing that there is a legacy to the niche. However, this book is quite on its own in the chart, perhaps indicating a return from the niche, or at the very least a small blip of a trend on readers’ scanners.
In Literary Fiction for this age group, The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, is selling well. Which might surprise some given the length of time since the movie came out, but this does prove that well written books about classic ideas (Castaway Fiction) and featuring animal characters are almost always going to be popular. This helps inform the reasons why the Classic Novel, Watership Down, by Richard Adams, is doing so well. Stories featuring animals always tend to hit above their weight, and since this is a classic novel with multiple adaptations it has a very high weight class as it is. It also shares with The Life of Pi themes of loss and change, and lots of passages described as hallucinogenic. So if any writers have something like that in mind now might be a good time to include that style of writing and these themes to your work.
Fantasy is proving popular this week, and for once it is very distinct from the Paranormal Romance Genre that normally fills the chart. Fatemarked, by David Estes, and JA Andrews’, The Keeper Chronicles, both incorporate the common Fantasy tropes of Chosen Ones, Evil Lords, while telling distinct stories. Fatemarked follows the life of a man forced to hide his powers from a world that has been told to fear those marked like him, only for the world to now need his powers, while The Keeper Chronicles, follows a band of adventurers (featuring an elf, a dwarf, and a human) in their attempt to stop a dark power from taking over the world. So, fairly traditional plots in the Fantasy genre, but presumably the writing and the characters set them apart to entrance readers so much.
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