From this post about the state of the YA market by agent/author Mandy Hubbard:
Things that ARE working:
-Contemporary, MOST ESPECIALLY with a hook. Think: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, anything By Ally Carter, etc. The usual “coming of age” or romance is tough, but if you can find a way to zero in on a big hook, you’re in GREAT shape.
Heck yeah, contemporary! A few years ago, you’d be way more likely to hear about how contemporary wasn’t selling in comparison to bigger concepts like dystopian or paranormal. I’m glad to see things shift back a little; stories about real life can be just as powerful as anything in a dystopian landscape.
That said, I think Mandy makes a good point that everything–whether or not the market’s ready for it–has to be done well. If you have a kickass vampire series that takes the genre somewhere new and exciting, that’s going to connect with readers. If you’ve got a cool sci-fi novel or a touching contemporary story, those will connect as well. It’s all about the story and the writing.