- a swoon-worthy romance (preferably the kind that is NOT insta-love)
- supernatural beings including vampires, werewolves, fairies, teens with supernatural abilities
- very few content concerns--language, violence, and sexuality are kept to a minimum
- the romance is not the whole story--characters have friends and a life outside the romance
1. Hex Hall (Rachel Hawkins, 2010)
Why I love it: Cute story for Harry Potter fans, interestingly imperfect characters, love triangle in second and third books, several plot threads
2. Paranormalcy (Kiersten White, 2010)
What it's about: A girl who can see through "paranormal glamours" is raised by and works for IPCA, an international policing agency for paranormal creatures.
Why I love it: It's unique! Characters are likeable. Lots of surprises readers won't expect.
3. Haunting Violet (Alyxandra Harvey, 2011)
Why I love it: Nice and creepy! The sweet romance takes its time. This one is best for girls who love scary books and won't be up all night picturing Rowena's ghost.
4. Firelight (Sophie Jordan, 2010)
Why I love it: Great for Twilight fans who love dragons. Maybe not the greatest YA book of all time, but my girls consistently love it.
5. Dead Is the New Black (Marlene Perez, 2008)
Why I love it: Sisters! The family dynamic of the single mom with three daughters is spot-on. The books are short with brightly-colored front covers, which makes them all-the-easier to talk up with my girls.
6. The Iron King (Julie Kagawa, 2010)
Why I love it: A contemporary spin on A Midsummer Night's Dream, this one packs in tons of action and romance in a beautiful and deadly fairy world.
7. Beastly (Alex Flinn, 2007)
Why I love it: Great story of how people can change and love can transcend hideousness and socio-economic status. Release of movie in 2011 really helps boost checkout. Love the Beast's chat room conversations with other forlorn fairy tale misfits!
8. City of Bones (Cassandra Clare, 2007)
Why I love it: Well, I actually don't LOVE it, but my students do! Action-packed with a complex love triangle that seems virtually impossible to resolve. A planned movie in 2013 will boost this already-popular series right off the charts.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
9. The Summoning (Kelley Armstrong, 2008)
Why I love it: Unique characters and strong friendships. Cute love triangle. All three books in this trilogy are page-turners. One of the few paranormal romance trilogies I've read entirely.
10. Eighth Grade Bites (Heather Brewer, 2007)
Why I love it: Vlad is realistic, and students identify with him. The first two books in the 5-book series are short enough to recommend to reluctant readers. Each book is a year in Vlad's life, up to high school graduation.
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