[Opinion] Are Mermaids Or Dragons The Next Big Thing In YA?
Harry Potter gave kids a reason to read again. Magic became the big thing in publishing for awhile. Then Twilight came out and copycat paranormal vampire love stories were being pumped out of every teenage/adult publisher all around the world. Hunger Games finally broke the trend and made the dystopian genre big. 2011 and 2012 have been the years of Dystopian stories. So what’s next?!
Well according to USA Today Mermaids may be swimming up to take charge. Publishers are releasing a school of mermaid novels. And MerCon 2011, the first mermaid convention, will be held at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Aug. 12-13.
Stephenie Meyer announced a long while ago that she was interested in writing a series about mermaids.
“Publishers and readers are looking for the next big thing in the paranormal genre,” says Mandy Hubbard, whose young-adult novel Ripple, about a seemingly normal teen who must hide that she’s a mermaid (Razorbill, $16.99), is out July 21. “We’ve already done vampires and werewolves and angels. Mermaids feel a little more fresh and interesting.” (USA Today)
While Mermaids are definitely interesting – half woman, half fish, wet and beautiful – I just can’t see them being the big thing. Girls have become the target demographic in YA publishing but I think since the Dystopian genre has become big, boys are becoming a bigger target audience. Quite simply Mermaids wouldn’t interest boys and I’m not sure how many girls it would interest. If Meyer does publish a Mermaids series she could make the genre big. But I think from what I’ve been reading that there is another fantasy creature that it making itself big in fiction. Dragons!
Twice in the past month I have read about dragons in fantasy/dystopian books and I feel like the way these books are being written they will capture the interest of both boys and girls. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey (read YABR’s review here) featured dragons, fairies and humans. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (review forthcoming, to be published 10 July) is a fantastically written book about the co-existence of dragons and humans.
What do you think? Mermaids or Dragons? Or something else?