1. Allie Condie's MATCHED (7 figure deal, coming out in Nov 2010)
From Publishers Weekly article:
Dutton Kids Nabs Hot Debut
[T]he house compared the book to Brave New World and The Handmaid’s Tale, calling the dystopian work “one of the year’s most talked-about manuscripts.” In the book, a 17-year-old girl, who’s spent her life waiting for a group dubbed “The Society” to tell her who her ideal mate is, has her world upended when she discovers she’s falling in love with someone other than her supposed soul mate."
2. Josephine Angelini's STARCROSSED: (coming out in summer 2011)
From the Publisher's Weekly article:
Harper Teen Pays Seven Figures for Debut YA Trilogy
The first book is called Starcrossed--and said she pitched it as "a Percy Jackson for teenage girls."...
In Starcrossed, which brings Greek tragedy to high school, a shy Nantucket teenager named Helen Hamilton attempts to kill the most attractive boy on the island, Lucas Delos, in front of her entire class. The incident proves more than a bit inconvenient for Helen, who's already concerned that she's going insane--whenever she's sees Lucas (or any of his family members) the image of three crying women appear to her.
The murder attempt does have an upside though, as it ultimately leads to Helen's revelation that she and the local heartthrob are, in fact, playing out some version of a weighty ancient love affair. (Said female apparitions are, in fact, the Three Fates.) So Helen, like her namesake, Helen of Troy isn't going crazy, she's destined to start a Trojan War-like battle by being with Lucas. This then begs the unfortunate question: should she be with the boy she loves even if it means endangering the rest of the world?"
3. Amy Huntington's SLEEPWALKING (coming out in summer 2011)
The Publishers Weekly article describes it as “Twilight...in Paris...with zombies.”
HC Goes Undead in Paris
"[a] new zombie series by debut author Amy Huntington.
The first book, Sleepwalking, follows a 16-year-old who, after losing her parents, is cast off from her Brooklyn life to live with grandparents in Paris. There she meets, and falls for, a French teen named Vincent, who just happens to be a zombie."
And if you're wondering how a zombie could possibly be a love interest:
"a new kind of zombie mythology in which the undead are “re-animated humans”—they look just like us—and don't feast on brains but, instead, carry out special missions."Whoa.
So it looks like we've got a 1) dystopian love story 2) Greek-based love story and 3) zombie love story on our hands for big releases within the next year or so.
What do all of these novels have in common? The romance. I really have a hard time thinking of YA books without romances these days; and it looks like that's what's selling. And I think also that the Big Three here profited from the popularity of bestselling books now--Matched, the dystopian novel has the benefit (other than being represented by S. Meyer's literary agent) of The Hunger Games. The Greek-based novel, Starcrossed, has the benefit of the Percy Jackson's success. And of course the zombie novel, Sleepwalking, has the benefit of Twilight. For the latter two, it's mentioned specifically in the article--and you have to wonder--a lot of the times these pitches are only half-truths--I mean, they call every new bestseller "The next Twilight" or "the next Harry Potter" even if the book is nothing like them.
And may I say, the inevitable has finally struck: zombies are love interests. It'll be interesting to see how it's done, but it seems like the zombies have been stripped of their eww-gross factor. (If only they could eat brains AND be smoking hot).
And since I'm the greatest mythology geek ever, I'm pretty excited about the premise of Starcrossed--if you think about it, a retelling of the Illiad is absolutely spot-on for YA--it's the whole love/action combo.
But what will the next big advance go to?
I'm betting on mermen. Their
hey, maybe I should write that and nab me a 7-figure deal. I'm glad of this new dystopian trend though (I love dystopian).
But you have to wonder--these books have all expanded on respective bestsellers. A truly breakthrough novel are books like Harry Potter or Twilight or Hunger Games that expand a whole entire genre (children's fantasy, YA and paranormal romance, dystopian respectively)--and I'm really wondering what the next trend will be. I guess if anyone knew, they'd be writing it and keeping their mouths shut.
I, for one, am wishing I could plot a graph that would show all the rises in trends and genres, or analyze all the deals up at Publisher's Weekly somehow. But I'm sure there's some book percolating in a writer's mind that's going to absolutely blow our socks off in a few years time.
What do you think will be the next gamechanger? And are you excited by these books?