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Trends in 2020 YA Lit

Posted about 4 years ago by Jennifer Deuell

It’s a new year and it’s time to get excited about new YA books!  I’ve sifted through all the 2020 releases I could find and (painstakingly) narrowed them down to the top 10 titles I’m most excited about.  I’ll be revealing those in my post next week.  But before I do, I want to share with you some 2020 YA book trends I’ve noticed…

Music is going old school.  While 2019 brought us some great books about teen rappers and DJs, 2020 is taking it back to vinyl and record stores.  From 70s lesbian pen-pals who bond over punk music to a “Vinyl Underground” record club providing sanctuary for a group of misfit teens during the Vietnam war, historical fiction with a musical flare will be all the rage in 2020.

Girl squads rule.  In 2020 there will be no shortage of YA books featuring bada** girl gangs.  You’ll find friends fighting to save their favorite indie bookstore, females fighting off actual zombies at a zombie convention, and a whole female field hockey team taking on their toxic coach.  Best yet, Daphne and Velma from Scooby Doo will get their own series!

Election year 2020.  You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that 2020 is a presidential election year.  So, it’s no surpise that the political fanfare has spilled over into YA world.  In 2020 you can read ya lit about a young Cuban American teen whose dad runs for president.  Or, read a love story about the 16 year old sons of opposing presidential candidates.  Looking for some non-fiction?  You’re covered there too with a biographical anthology of influential female polititions from around the world.

The #MeToo movement is still going strong.  Survivors of sexual violence will not be silenced.  Stories of handsy harrassers, abusive boyfriends, and sex trafficking are prevelent in this year’s YA literature.  Immigrant stories will also stand out such as Kelly Yang’s new book about “parachute” girls sent over from Asia.  All women, including survivors, will feel empowered by these reads.

Young, black, and queer.  There are several stories of teens of color on their journey of self-discovery in the coming year.  From a queer “memoir-manifesto”, to boys in red dresses, to a drag queen named Black Flamingo, these young men are reflected proudly in 2020 YA literature and we’re here for it!

Pantone’s color of the year is classic blue.  And the YA publishing world got the memo.  So. Many. Gorgeous. Blue. Book covers!!

Have I gotten you excited yet?  Check back next week for my top 10 list of 2020 YA books I’m most excited about!

Jennifer Deuell

Jenn Deuell is a Librarian with Richmond Public Library. She is a native of Fredericksburg, VA but has lived in Richmond for long enough that she now considers it home. She loves all things YA and can usually be found curled up at home with a good book (rainy day or not). Her other hobbies include traveling and spending time with family, including her husband, daughter Hannah, and two rescued pit bulls. For YA reading recommendations from Jenn, visit Bookologist.

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