One of the things I love most about YA is that no matter what fandoms you love outside of books, or what other interests you have, YA has you covered. Whatever interests you, or whatever you want to read about, I’m sure there’s a YA novel that you’ll see a part of yourself in — and I absolutely love that. Whether your passions lie in fencing or personality quizzes or giant grasshoppers threatening to bring about the end of the world just as you’re discovering your sexuality, there’s a book for that.
But some of my favourite YA novels are the ones that I can see aspects of my existing fandoms in. I think there’s something so universally pleasing about picking up a book that has been inspired by one of your favourite shows or other creative works, and falling in love with it all the more because of the connection you already have with it.
So today, I’d like to compare fandoms to YA novels! I’ve chosen just a few of the thousands of different fandoms out there and suggested a great book to read for fans of that particular thing. Yes, I’m basically just trying to get you addicted to more shows, and I’m not sorry about that. I’m an enabler. And while you’re at it, yes, you should buy all those books in your online cart.
If you’re Sherlocked, a Cumberbitch or a proud shipper of Johnlock, then the Every series by Ellie Marney is something you need in your life. I’ve come across quite a few YA Sherlock retellings, but none of them have come close Ellie’s phenomenal series. Set in Melbourne where the ‘Sherlock’ character is James Mycroft and the ‘Watson’ character is Rachel Watts, this is a fast-paced trilogy filled with crime, mystery, and a dash of romance. I just loved these two characters so much and this book was everything I’d hoped for from a Sherlock retelling.
Okay, so I’m kind of cheating here because there’s currently a group of YA authors writing novels inspired by DC Comics, but I’m going to share them with you anyway. The first release of this group is Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, which, of course, tells the story of Wonder Woman. If you’ve been a fan of DC for years now or only just recently got into those movies from the new Wonder Woman film, these should be on your TBR. I’m so excited to get my hands on Batman, Superman and Catwoman, by Marie Lu, Matt de la Peña and Sarah J. Maas respectively.
As Doctor Who was the first fandom I was a part of, even before I knew fandoms were a thing, I’m always excited to hear about books that are compared to this amazing British sci-fi show. Because of that, Invictus is a book that’s been on my radar ever since it was announced. While I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, I know that it’s about time travel and heists and history, and it sounds phenomenal. I haven’t read a novel that quite satisfied my Doctor Who cravings yet, but I sure have high hopes for this one.
I’ve fall in love with books set in space over the last year or so, but nothing beats Illuminae for the similarities to Star Trek in terms of thrilling elements, amazing characters (like my bae, AIDAN) and plot twists that I’m still thinking about. If, for some reason you haven’t picked up this book yet, co-author Jay Kristoff described it as ‘The classic tale of Girl Meets Boy: Girl Loses Boy: And Parents: And Planet: and Ends Up on a Crippled Spaceship: with a Mad Computer: and a Deadly Virus Outbreak: in the Middle of an Interstellar War.’ Yes, it’s as phenomenal as it sounds, and isn’t just for people who already love sci-fi.
While I’m not a massive Supernatural fan, simply because I feel I was a bit young when it first came out and I never really had the chance to watch all the series, it’s such a massive fandom and it simply couldn’t be left off this list. Thanks to Tumblr, I feel like I know an awful lot about it without even watching a full episode, and the YA novel that I’d compare it to would be Gap Year in Ghost Town. Even if you’re not into books with supernatural elements, Gap Year in Ghost Town is one that’s so accessible to every reader. It’s fun and full of great dialogue, and it’s set in Melbourne and mentions coffee on every second page, which made it all the more amazing. Everyone needs a good ghost story in their lives from time to time, and this is not one to be missed.
Okay, yes, I’m cheating again because Harry Potter is already a book. But guess what — it’s also one of the biggest fandoms ever. Unsurprisingly. Although there are a ton of books out there that compare themselves to Harry Potter, the only one I’ve read that felt incredibly similar, but at the same time, had it’s own unique flare, was Carry On. I adored the fantasy elements, the friendship between the characters, and, of course, the romance. Nothing can ever compare to the love I have for Harry Potter, but Carry On was sensational.
Welcome to Night Vale
As the author, Alice Oseman, has professed on many occasions, she adores Welcome to Night Vale — a weird podcast about a strange dessert community called Night Vale — and this is clear when you read Radio Silence. One of the protagonists in her novel makes an equally strange podcast called Universe City, and the inspiration for it is referenced a few times throughout. While Radio Silence is starkly different from Welcome to Night Vale as it’s a contemporary YA novel featuring teens in England — as opposed to featuring a sentient glowing cloud, a five-headed dragon, or a floating cat — I loved the transcript excerpts from Universe City and the overall themes were ones that so many people will relate to. Radio Silence is one of my favourite novels of all time, and for good reason.
YA Novels Perfect for Fans of YouTube, Cosplay, Conventions, and Fanfic. Basically just fangirls in general.
And then there are a few novels that are just perfect for people who just love any fandom, really. Tash Hearts Tolstoy is such a brilliant novel about YouTube and overnight success, and it has great asexual representation too, and it’s perfect for everyone who loves YouTube. Similar to Tash Hearts Tolstoy is Queens of Geek, which takes place at a convention in America. There’s talk of YouTube and cosplay and Tumblr, and it’s just the book that every fangirl must read. Geekerella is another one that should be on your TBR if you love fandoms, cosplay and conventions, because it’s another one that’s simply marvellous. And finally — Eliza and Her Monsters! If you loved Radio Silence or if you’re into webcomics and fan fiction, then this is a novel you need in your life. It’s adorable and so, so relatable for us hermits who live on the internet.
What are some of your favourite fandoms, and what YA books would you associate with them? Did I mention any of them above? Would you choose any different books for the fandoms I talked about? I’d love to know!
Blog: Written Word Worlds