While the majority of the books in the Teen and Young Adult category this week are under the various umbrellas of Paranormal and Urban Fantasy, High School Romance, and Magical Academy books, there is also a rising number of books that lie determinedly outside these brackets. Memoirs and biographies are particularly popular this week, as are Fantasy novels, and Literary novels.
The sheer scale of the interest in books centred around High Schools should not be underestimated. Both magical and non-magical settings are popular for these books, though the magical side is winning by a significant margin. Bully Romances are a popular trend in this niche, as are Love Triangles, Fated Mates, Reverse Harems, and similar tropes. The settings of these books tend to be an important factor in the plot, creating limitations on what the characters can do and what they are able to get away with. Of course, the different settings have different rules (some seem, for example, to actively encourage murder) which ensures that while the characters have their choices limited the writers do not. Often the main characters in these books are outsiders, new to the community or forced to the outskirts. Stresses from normal school life are matched with stresses from out of the ordinary events, such as magical cults, or wars, or more mundane threats.
The Memoirs and Biographies doing well this week tend to be about young women, there is a definite trend on that front. A lot of them are about leaving home and living in a new community, while also stressing the importance of education and keeping your connections to your roots alive. Farewell to Manzanar, by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, and An Education, by Tara Westover are both examples of this.
Many of the Literary novels doing well this week cover similar topics to the Memoirs, while some, like Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, are even posed as memoirs. The theme of leaving home and exploring the world is very important in the books doing well this week. As is the idea of searching out who you are after a life time of believing yourself to be someone else, either metaphorically or literally.
A lot of Fantasy novels this week are of the classic style, Sword and Sorcery, but there are also several that are more themed around Urban and Dystopian Fantasy instead. Books focusing on righting injustices are as popular as books about magical wars and quests, and in some cases they are selling far better.
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