Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fairy Tales

A few years ago, wizards lit up the YA book world. Then came vampires who sucked up book sales. Now fairies are flittering into the bookstores.

If you write YA, you may already know about the fairy invasion. I don’t. And I didn’t.

According to The New York Times, “These aren’t gift-shop fairies. They’re capricious, twilight creatures that travel between the fairy realm and our own, meddling in human lives.”

The fairies seem to come with different powers, friends and aspirations.
In Cyn Balog’s “Fairy Tale,”a clairvoyant high school girl discovers that her perfect boyfriend is actually a changeling — a fairy child raised by unsuspecting humans. Malinda Lo’s somber and lovely “Ash” is a lesbian retelling of “Cinderella.”
In the majority of these fairy YA novels, the conundrum is a choice between an earthly and a fairy lover. There’s, of course, the usual teen angst over fitting in with the rest of the kids at school, only sometimes with a twist:
Laurel, in “Wings,” has the worst time with this because she discovers she’s not only a fairy but a plant.
Some of the books are apparently quick reads. Some are complex. At least one is getting attention from more than just the pre-teen and teen crowd.
Another much-admired writer in the fairy genre is Laini Taylor, whose fantasy collection “Lips Touch” is a nominee this year for a National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
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25 comments:

  1. Thanks for keeping us up on the trends. Since my daughter is 8, we've been doing the fairy thing for a while--but I had NO idea that YA was embracing fairies, too!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  2. YA authors Maggie Stiefvater and Melissa Marr have tempted me to read YA and I'm enthralled. My favourite author's in the past have been Dean Koontz, Gerald Seymour, Bryce Courtney, and others, but I'm now looking at YA and dare I say it, fairy's.

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  3. If I could just get through the stack of to-be-read books on my desk, I would like to start reading some YA. Maybe fairies. I'm not sure. If you read one of the fairy YA books, Simon, let me know what you think of it.

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  4. Fairies hey? Well, why not :) I think I prefer them to vampires just quietly!

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  5. Fairies have been around for a while -- check out Holly Black's TITHE -- and I, for one, am thrilled they have made a comeback. :)

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  6. Fairies are back in, eh? Cool - bring 'em on. Hopefully by the end of 2010 the market will be ready for quarks and hardron and quantum ghosts as Adam Atom explodes onto the YA scene. (wink)

    Marvin D Wilson

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  7. They each seem to run their course, don't they? For the YA writer, I guess the coveted secret would be to know just what fantasy element will be hot next and have that manuscript ready.

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  8. I think Angels are going to be next.

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  9. These sound like fun reads. I'm going to pass a couple of those titles on to my YA niece.

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  11. I have never read YA, so I'd have no idea about trends, but I love the idea of books about fairies. I've always loved Tinkerbell!
    karen

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  12. The problem for us as writers is that by the time a trend is identified, it's most likely too late to write a book to jump on the trend. So, what's the next trend? Marvin, Adam Atom is one of a kind. I can't see someone else jumping on your bandwagon!

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  13. Very interesting. My daughter is in line with the trend. Suddenly she is obsessed with Tinker Bell.

    Thanks for sharing with us the latest trends.

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  14. I don't follow YA trends at all, so this was news to me! I'd rather read about fairies than vampires or zombies. I shall talk to my teenage daughter to see if she'd be interested in any of these new books.

    Elspeth

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  15. I'm so out of touch with the trends - but between vampires and fairies, I'd prefer fairies. Thanks for keeping me updated!

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  16. Had not heard about the faeries!

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  17. I'm falling behind. Hadn't met this trend. Thanks.

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  18. You're not alone, Sheila. I'm back there with you.

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  19. Encouraging news as I'm finishing the first book of a YA fairy trilogy!

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  20. Helen, have you read The Stolen Child, by Keith Donohue? It's not YA, and came out a year or two ago. It is one of my all time favorites. About two changelings (it takes two, after all) told in alternating chapters. A really excellent read.

    Conda, great timing!
    ~jon

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  21. I've not read that, Jon. It sounds familiar, though, so I must have heard something about it.

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