In Defense of Paranormal Teen Romance
Paranormal teen romance novels are hard to defend. A teenage time-traveling vampire girl falls in love with a suspiciously beautiful dude with a dark past? A mermaid with violet eyes has dreams of a ghost girl whose murder was never solved? An already-dead girl falls in love with the handsome devil (literally) who somehow knows a way to save her?I know what you're thinking: there's no way on Earth (or any of those ridiculous fantasy realms) you can make that sound worth reading. But I'm here to prove you wrong, Sparklers, because here are 7 good kind-of-okay reasons why you shouldn't totally hate paranormal teen romance:
- The guilty pleasure. Everyone's got something they can't help but loving, even though they're totally embarrassed and horrified by it. For me, it's Justin Bieber. For my boyfriend, it's Gilmore Girls. Paranormal romance books work that way, too—they're so bad but it's just so good. At least sometimes.
- The descriptions. Yes, yes, reading a whole book of those over-the-top descriptions makes you want to vomit smooth skin that smells like orchids. But, somewhere amid all those eyes the color of burnished something, there are actually some good, picture-worthy details.
- The "What Not to Do" Effect. Plenty of you want to be authors someday, right? And you don't want to write a barf-fest like Twilight, right? Well, at least these books provide you with hundreds and hundreds of guides for what not to do when writing your YA novel. (Hint: avoid vampires, please.) Besides, if you don't read a bad book every now and then, how could you fully enjoy the good ones?
- The dresses. Maybe this only works if you're incredibly girly, but sometimes it's fun just to stare at all the wonderfully frilly, twirly dresses on the covers of paranormal romance books. They're just so pretty and lovely, and you have to appreciate a book with good fashion sense, right? Right?!
- The colors. Are the colors in paranormal YA books overdone? Yes. Are they also kind of cool? YES. We hope that someday, someone out there sells a box of crayons themed after paranormal romance novels. We'd get colors like "forest-green eyes" or "hopeless soul black."
- Vampires are, like, dead. And we're not just talking about literally, here. If anything could have crushed the post-Twilight vampire craze, it was the plethora of terrible YA vampire books that swarmed the world. And for that, we must be grateful, because now no self-respecting author will go anywhere near that plot device.
- A few of them are maybe actually a little bit good. Stop writing that witty-comeback comment in your head for just a second and let us defend this. In the middle of all the terrible, there are a few paranormal teen romance novels that go beyond the realm of guilty pleasure and are actually a creative, well-written story. Are there many? No. But hey, what genre isn't filled with thousands of terrible books? (Sci-fi and westerns, I'm looking at you.)
All right, we're ready for the pitchforks. What's your take on paranormal teen romance?