Your Favourite YA Genre?


I guess I started reading YA fiction with the Harry Potter series, since it bridges that gap between MG and YA. Since then, I’ve read dozens of YA books in all different genres. Below are (most of) the genres of young adult fiction, with just a few of my favourites, and down the bottom is a poll for you to choose your favourite genre.

CONTEMPORARY

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Side note: love this cover.

Contemporary is your classic John Green, or Meg Cabot, or Stephen Chbosky. It’s a book that’s set in real life, usually high school, usually about “issues” or “boyfriends.” It’s the type of YA that I love to write and read. Usually either a) incredibly funny or b) incredibly sad and beautiful. Of course, it could be both a) and b) in which case it is most probably MY favourite book of this genre: The Fault in Our Stars (yes, sorry, I’m unoriginal).

FANTASY

Fantasy is another genre in YA that I love. This is everything from Harry Potter to the Inheritance series to The Mortal Instruments. Characterised by, well, fantasy. “Fantasy” usually means magic, either in an urban setting (hence, urban fantasy, or UF), or in another world altogether. There are different classifications of fantasy, like high fantasy, dark fantasy, magical realism and science fantasy (like Doctor Who). My favourite for this genre (apart from Harry Potter, which is a given) is His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman.

SCI FI

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DON’T PANIC.

When I think sci-fi, I generally think futuristic setting, lots of technology, maybe a few aliens and space. But sci-fi has a few different sub-categories as well: dystopian, like The Hunger Games, science fantasy and space opera. It’s a very diverse category. For this section, I love A Wrinkle in Time, or Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – both great books, and maybe not YA, but too bad.

HISTORICAL FICTION

Pretty self-explanatory, right? This one is the opposite to sci-fi, in that it’s set in the past. Usually things are re-imagined by the author, putting a unique spin on historical events (eg Pompeii) or characters (eg Hitler). The Book Thief is one of my favourites. But this section is going to have to go to Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, by our own Katie.

PARANORMAL

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Black cover? One-word title. Check.

The phenomenon of Twilight has made this genre famous. They often have a strong romantic plot, and often between a human and a vampire/angel/warlock. If it has a black cover and a one-word title, it’s probably paranormal. I’m kidding, of course. I really do love paranormal fiction – some of it, at least. In this genre, I love Fallen by Lauren Kate.

CRIME/THRILLER

I’m putting these two together because I don’t actually see much of crime in YA. And if there is crime, it takes a back seat to the major genre, like fantasy or science fiction. In this genre, I love The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. Though she doesn’t normally write thrillers, I loved it even more than her contemporary books. Ghosts, Jack the Ripper and an English boarding school? Yes please.

But even though I’ve made this list, I’m sure most of you know that YA books overlap into many different genres. Okay, so you probably won’t find a historical science fiction with paranormal elements and a strong contemporary plot (although, if someone does, please let me know immediately). I think it’s great that authors are breaking the boundaries,  though.

So now it’s thinking time: which genre is your favourite to read?

OH, and PS. Ahem. Important announcement. If your book is polished, ready to query, and is YA or NA, there will soon be a THING on this blog. Yes, that’s right, a thing. Are you excited yet? You should be. Stay tuned for our announcement tomorrow!

Emily Mead is a year ten student who is currently writing this blog post instead of studying for maths. She writes contemporary YA and talks in third person.

Emily Mead is a year ten student who is currently writing this blog post instead of studying for maths. She writes contemporary YA and talks in third person.

19 Comments

  1. I vote contemporary! It focuses on the actual “YA” of the story, where fantasy or thriller focus more so on the genre part. (Which is good, but I’ve found I connect more with cont.)

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    1. I haven’t actually read that much paranormal. But I love romance, and I figured it was such a big part in practically every YA genre that I didn’t give it a category on its own.

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    1. I love dystopian too! There are some ones that aren’t great, but the good ones never fail to amaze me. And of course, contemporary is always fun. Which did you end up voting for?

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      1. I voted SciFi. But my taste leans more toward the dystopian and post apocalyptic end of the SciFi scale rather than the aliens and space travel end.

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  2. LOL same issue here as others it seems, hahah BUT I would not be true to myself if I didnt say I couldn’t live without a Historical novel close by…. the others are so close in the race there’s a hair width between though 🙂

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    1. That’s the problem – there are amazing books in every genre. I love historical as well, though I haven’t found many YA ones. Except for Katie’s, of course!

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  3. I like fantasy hands down. I mean, you have urban fantasy like the Twilight series, dystopian, like Hunger Games and the Shatter Me series, steampunk, like Cinder. The sky is the limit with fantasy. Of course, I do stray and read contemporary and The Fault in Our Stars tops my chart. Wow. I love YA.

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