I’m really sorry for posting this so late, but life got in the way and I also totally blanked out. (I’m so sorry Kayla, please don’t kill me). It is Day 4 and Today I will be talking about the Paranormal Genre within YA.
When you think of the Paranormal genre what do you think? Twilight? At least most people do. They think of shiny sparkly vampires and werewolves. Or you might think of the cliche, lonely (or average) girl meets a hunky mysterious guy who just screams DANGER yet she cannot resist him and he turns out to be a fairy, vampire, werewolf, etc. The Paranormal genre has gotten such a bad rep that most of us kind of inwardly cringe when recommended a paranormal book. We shy away from it.
Today I don’t really want to touch upon the “bad” of the paranormal, but focus on the GOOD. I want to change your view that not all paranormal books are cringe-worthy and cliche.
First off, we have Vampire Academy. Yes, I know the title is a little cringe worthy, and the covers of the series aren’t one of a kind either, but the written word inside those pages is something you’re going to want to read. Richelle Mead has created this fascinating world where we have good vampires, bad vampires, and something called a dhamphir, a half human, half vampire hybrid. Also, the good vampires have “magical” powers which are connected to the four elements, and one extra one which… you’re going to have to read to find out about it cause it’s a big deal. Kayla was REALLY against reading any vampire book and paranormal stuff (unless we are talking about angels of course), but I convinced her to read this book. How did I accomplish this? I bought her the first book with the new cover. Let’s just say I have made her reconsider her vampire ban.
Second, we have The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. This book is creepy as heck, and the sequel is even creepier. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is paranormal done well. The book confuses you in a good way. You are just as confused as the main character. You are both experiencing everything at the same time. Honestly though, If I had known they were as creepy as they are, I wouldn’t have read them because I don’t like reading scary stuff, but nonetheless it is good Paranormal YA. We do not see the cliche tropes (she’s is actually the dangerous one *hint*hint*), or the really unbelievable (in a bad way) insta-love.
Third, we have The Morganville Vampire Series. The vampires in this series are more of the traditional kind. The story is a little bland, but in no way is it cliche. I think its the writing style which makes me call it bland, yet I read the first 5 books in two months. I was hooked. At the time when I read them the books were only in that funky trade paperback version, but they were republished not too long ago and will now look beautiful on your bookshelf.
Lastly, I will give two examples of good Paranormal YA that turned bad. The first example is The Blue Bloods Series. The first four books had me at edge of my seat, they were unique and different. Then the fifth book came out and the story spun out of control. Like it went off the path it originally was on. It didn’t feel like I was reading the BB series anymore. I was really bummed. The second example is the House of Night Series. I like to call the HoN series a greek mythology and vampire hybrid. I was in love with this series during the first five books, but then came book 6, and then 7… and then 8…. and you get the picture. The story was stretched out because of the huge fandom (it was riding along the twilight wagon) and the books started going nowhere. I felt like we had been there and done that. Then it started getting really cliche and I lost all interest.
The Paranormal YA genre is a genre one has to tread carefully and search for the diamonds in the rough. They are out there and shouldn’t be judged along with its companions on the shelf.
Are there any paranormal books that you’ve read recently that you have loved? Do tell! I need to add some books to my never ending TBR pile. 😀