Thursday, April 25, 2013

Alternate Realities are EVERYWHERE!

There are always new trends popping up in YA. Back in the late 2000's, thanks to the popularity of Twilight, paranormal romance became the new "it" genre and was it everywhere. In fact, I'm pretty sure the entire YA section of Barnes & Noble and Borders (back when there was Borders. *sniff sniff*) got taken over by paranormal romance books.

Yep, that looks about right.

Then of course came the rise of the dystopian novel due to The Hunger Games and its huge surge of popularity. Back in the day I could count the number of YA dystopian novels I had read on one hand. Not so anymore.

Of course dystopian novels are still getting prime real estate on bookstore shelves thanks to at least 2 more years of Hunger Games craziness, but I'm beginning to wonder what's gonna be the next "it" genre to hit the YA scene. A couple years back everyone thought it was gonna be zombies, and while zombies are quite popular in YA these days (hello Rot and Ruin and This Is Not a Test!) they certainly aren't as prevalent as dystopian novels or paranormal romance. I've also read a lot of people speculating that "sick-lit" (like The Fault In Our Stars) is gonna be taking the YA world by storm.

Well, I've noticed a new trend that no one seems to have mentioned yet. A trend that is everywhere. What is it?

Alternate realities.

Now you may be thinking that alternate realities isn't really something you could call a genre, and you're right, but the topic is still super popular right now. Don't believe me? Allow me to list some examples.

June 11th 2013 from Katherine Tegen Books

In this book, a girl gets pulled into an alternate reality to play a game where she fights against aliens for the future of earth.

Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell
July 23rd 2013 from HarperTeen

In this one, a guy wakes up in the hospital after falling off a waterfall only to discover that he is suddenly in what seems to be some sort of alternate reality of his old life!

Parallel by Lauren Miller
May 14th 2013 from HarperTeen

This book is about a girl who wishes that she could rewind her life, and then she magically wakes up the next day in a new alternate reality.

In this sequel to Unraveling (which I still haven't read yet even though I really want to) the protagonist has to stop a bunch of human traffickers from an alternate dimension.

And if those examples aren't enough, Kimberley Derting just announced that she got a book deal for a new series in which the protagonist falls asleep, and wakes up 5 years later with everything about her old life gone, even though she remains the same. ALTERNATE REALITY STRIKES AGAIN. 


Now, I honestly do not think that alternate realities is the new "it" genre. Technically you could call anything with a vaguely different reality an alternate reality book (ala Harry Potter and the wizard world or Percy Jackson and Olympus). It's such a broad term. However, I do find the sudden surge in alternate reality books interesting, especially since a lot of them have to do with characters dying (or almost dying) and then waking up in a different reality. I feel like there needs to be a special name for this specific trend. The After Death Reality? Ideas anyone?

Do you guys know of anymore alternate reality books that I missed? What do you think of this new trend? Love it? Hate it? If you could wake up one day and live in a new alternate reality what reality would you choose? 

Personally, I would pick either Narnia or Middle Earth. I just really want to live in Hobbiton.

Julia :)


  1. I totally agree! I've been seeing it all over as of late. It seems like some of them are offshoots of dystopian lit, but others are alternate realities in contemporary fiction? I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.

    1. Yeah, I'd expect this kind of thing from other genres, but contemporary is really surprising to me. I like the idea though! I just read Parallel and I thought it was handled pretty nicely. It was a cool step away from the norm. :)

  2. I've definitely noticed this trend, too. And I love it! I love the whole concept that even the slightest change in decision in one reality might send you on a completely different path in life that is completely different from your own (this is basically the plot of the movie Sliding Doors, which I love). And YES you need to read Unraveling! It's very much Fringe meets Veronica Mars. As for me, I would love to live in Rivendell!

    1. Ohhh you're right it is like Sliding Doors! I saw that movie last year and I loved the concept. It's so fascinating which is why I'm really glad it's becoming more popular in contemporary fiction. RIVENDELL YES. Good choice. :)


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