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Trends in YA: Game of Thrones for Teens

I've mentioned how much I love Game of Thrones here on the blog. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan had read the whole series and couldn't wait for the TV Show. I was quickly hooked on the TV Show and am now working my way through the books. Of course, the YA world took note and now a big trend of books being marketed as "Game of Thrones for Teens" are coming out. And even those that might not have that tagline are appearing this year and I think they could have the same thing said about them. I'm really hoping this means a rise in epic fantasy in YA!

-This was the first book I heard as described with the Game of Thrones for Teens tagline when it was announced in Publisher's Weekly. It's been on my radar ever since because, that simple sell totally works for me!

-Another one I heard mentioned with the "for Game of Thrones fans" tagline

-I've seen this one with Game of Thrones mentions as well as Hunger Games mentions (trying to hit all genres I guess!)

-I haven't actually seen this one with the Game of Thrones tag, but it was the first thing I mentioned to Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan as I was reading it.

And it's even heading into next year as well:

-I noticed in the Goodreads says "Tamora Pierce meets George R.R. Martin" Also, while it might have romance in it, there's no mention of romance in the description which certainly makes it stand out!

Now, if you'll let me name drop for a moment, I got to meet Mr. Martin at ALA this year (it was one of the highlights!!). I asked him what he thought of this trend of calling YA books "Game of Thrones for Teens" and he replied, "So what would that be? The story without all the sex?" We shall see, Mr. Martin!

So, any others you've noticed in this trend? Like it or not?


  1. I'm just now getting back into blogging after quite a long hiatus, so I didn't know this trend was happening but I can't tell you how happy I am. I'm downright sick of the paranormal stuff, so this is awesome. Also, I've been wanting to watch and read Game of Thrones so badly but there is just too much adult content for my comfort level. I'm excited that its bleeding into YA so that I will have a shot to read more.

    -Kate the Book Buff
    Recent Post: Review: The Gallows Curse by Karen Maitland

  2. I for one am pumped about this trend. I love epic fantasy and Game Of Thrones (I'm on Clash Of Kings) so I look forward to reading much more fantasy.

    Also? The end with your conversation with GRRM? That totally cracked me up.


    And I'm really irritated at this marketing scheme, actually, because most of the books marketed like that are JUST high fantasy and don't follow most of Martin's stereotypes - lots of characters, lots of plots, lots of death. THRONE OF GLASS definitely wasn't anywhere near Martin's atmosphere, so I have no idea why they decided to market it that way. Gosh.

  4. Kate-I love this trend too since I'm hoping that it means more epic fantasy is on the rise!

    April-I was so fangirly when I met him! :) And the books and TV series is so good-you can't help but get hooked!

    Nicole-I was so glad I saw your post! I agree that most of the books listed don't really match Game of Thrones at all. The only one that I thought was similar was Grave Mercy, because of the political intrigue.

  5. As it happens, those three have mostly positive reviews, and as I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones, I am so picking them up!

  6. I, for one, am also happy to see the rise of epic fantasy in YA. But I'm also curious, as was mentioned, to see how the "lack of sex" (so prevalent in the GRRM novels) will play out. I suppose only time will tell . . .

  7. I've noticed it - and I LOVE it! (Because I love GOT and high fantasy)

    But I agree that mostly they're about political games/assassins.

    I think it's mostly for adults to pick up the books.

  8. I actually hate these types of marketing - it sets my standards WAY too high for the book usually. I don't know how many times I picked up a book marketed as the next Harry Potter and then was horribly disappointed. Even though they were usually decent enough books, they didn't live up to the standards I had for HP and I was really let down... I also agree whole heartedly with Nicole.

  9. Dazzling Mage-It's the type of marketing that totally works for me!

    Ilana-Yeah, we'll see if that actually plays out and if his prediction is true.

    YABookNerd-I love GOT too and my teens always ask for high fantasy and there hasn't been as much published in the last few years (it's been all urban and paranormal) And I think the GOT line is to get adults interested in them as well.

    LibrarianJessi-I know what you mean. It does set the standard very high! I had the same thing with Harry Potter-good books but nothing like what it was compared to. I like the "it's this meets that" or "it's this for teens" marketing sometimes but it can disappoint.

  10. Great post! I'm a huge GoT series fan (I have the books but haven't read them yet).

    I have read Falling Kingdoms, Throne of Glass and Gravey Mercy. Of the 3 Falling Kingdoms is the most like GoT but it wasn't my favorite of these. I'd say Throne of Glass was my favorite.

    I too think epic fantasy is a great genre and needs more YA books for us to read. I would add the title Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder as one of the best epics I've read. It has a bit more magic than the others but it was a great fantasy.

    I am looking for more so like these so I'll have to check out Definance and The Cadet of Tildor. :)

  11. I love fantasies. Hadn't heard of all these books. Defiance was great and I just bought Throne of Glass. Will have to check out Clash of Kings.

  12. I'm all for more epic fantasy in YA but aiming for GAME OF THRONES level is a bit much and a bit out of range for most of this stuff. I loved Martin's quote you have up there and it's completely true. There is NOTHING about GoT that's for teens so in essence you can't really have a GoT for teens because everything that makes GoT GoT has to be removed in order to pander to a teenage audience. So no.

    Not to mention if the book doesn't live up to those impossibly high standards talk about a disappointment. I haven't read the books (mainly because I fear their density) but I LOVE the show. Like epically love the show. When I saw THRONE OF GLASS pegged as a teen version of GoT I jumped on it. And then wanted to light it on fire. It was atrocious and an insult to all the marvel that is GoT. I have high hopes for FALLING KINGDOMS as well but this is the first I'm seeing its comparison to GoT. Hopefully it won't tank like ToG did for me. I get playing to something successful but let's keep it within reach and not aim so high is just completely misses the mark entirely because it just doesn't have a fighting chance of ever reaching it.


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