Sunday, August 14, 2016

YA Subgenres & How to Tell Them Apart

               These days it's not just teenagers reading YA novels - but don't be fooled - there's more to the YA (Young Adult) Section of your local bookstore or online book retailer than just one single genre of books. YA books come in lots of different subgenres and it's up to you to experiment and see what subgenres you like. Here are some of the subgenres that are hot now, or have been hot in the past few years. 

Paranormal Romance
Paranormal Romance started out being really big around the time of the Twilight series and has since grown into a really popular genre in YA fiction. Paranormal Romance themes can include much more than ghosts, encompassing a broad spectrum of stories featuring romantic stories ranging from vampires to werewolves to witches and more. 

Over the past few years, the popularity of Paranormal Romance has shifted to...

I used to think was like Sci-Fi or Dystopian novels so I stayed away from Fantasy novels as a whole. A few months ago that changed as I realized there were different kinds of fantasy novels and it was all about finding which kinds suited me. The two main kinds of Fantasy novels I read are:

Urban Fantasy

Very similar to the Paranormal genre these books usually include some kind of magical creature or creatures in a modern realistic setting. 

High Fantasy

High Fantasy is closer to Sci-Fi in that the setting is usually an imaginary land (usually with an unpronounceable name) and can be influenced in part by fairytales or be loosely based on medieval Europe (at least this is how I sort it out in my mind).  

Moving on from Fantasy we get the three types of Young Adult novels I don't read regularly due to personal preference...


Think Aliens and Space.  Yes, there are other offshoots and sub-subgenres of science fiction (sci-fi) but true science fiction usually involves a space theme or alien/unearthly beings.

Dystopian novels are usually set in a distorted version of our world in which some great event has caused a massive change - and not for the good. YA dystopian novels usually follow a hero/heroine as they struggle against a harsh, rigid, unfair society. Will the hero/herione of these novels overthrow the leaders of the society and show everyone how wrong they've been living? I'll read some dystopian novels but I personally don't favor them because we live in a depressing enough world without reading books that show even more depressing societies. 

Similar to Dystopian novels (or at least I get them mixed up often) are Post-Apocalyptic novels. A great catastrophe like the apocalypse has occurred and these books are all about how society acts and rebuilds after such an event. 

Moving away from magic, fantasy, and sci-fi, Contemporary YA novels are all about relating to real teens with real life situations and struggles. No witches, vampires, or aliens here.. but you might find a nasty cheerleader or two.

Last but not least of the major subgenres is...

YA Horror is the answer for all those who love anything scary. Bring on the psycho killers and twisted teens. Will anyone make it to prom night alive? Be warned though: like any good horror novel, these books can get gory. Read at your own risk.

So which YA subgenres do you like best? Do you love all things paranormal or do you wish in a fantasy land. Do you crave a good scare or do you wish to be a game-changer in a dystopian or post-apocalyptic society? Or do you just like to be contemporary? 

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