Saturday, June 23, 2012

Top Ten (Middle School Appropriate) Paranormal Romances

Twilight. Red Riding Hood. True Blood. The Vampire Diaries. No doubt about it, paranormal romance has been hot in movies, on TV, and in books for years. But paranormal romance can be tricky in middle school libraries. So many paranormal romances have sexual content and mature language better-suited for high school readers. In addition to the traits all of my Top Tens must have, books in my "middle school appropriate paranormal romance" category have the following in common:

  • 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) 

What it's about: A young witch who can't keep control of her powers and is sent to an "alternative" school for paranormal teens.

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)

What it's about: Violet reluctantly works with her charlatan mother faking seances for grieving widows in Victorian England. At a seance, Violet sees the ghost of a young girl who won't leave Violet alone until her murder solved.

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)

What it's about: Dragon girl comes face-to-face with cute dragon hunter, who lets her go. When she moves into new town, she discovers the dragon hunter attends her high school.

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)

What it's about: Daisy and her two psychic sisters try to find out who is stalking the cheerleading squad and wonder why Daisy has not yet gotten her psychic abilities.

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)

What it's about: Meghan tries to save her 4-year old brother, who has been kidnapped and taken to a fairy world via his bedroom closet.

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)

What it's about: A modern spin-off of Beauty and the Beast, told from The Beast's perspective.

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)

What it's about: Clary discovers she is a Shadowhunter, part of an ancient race of warriors charged with killing earth's demons.

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.


9. The Summoning (Kelley Armstrong, 2008)

What it's about: Chloe has been able to see ghosts all her life, but she's done her best to ignore them and live a normal life. When she is sent to a small group home for troubled teens, she discovers she is living with a vampire, a werewolf, a half-demon, and a witch.

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)

What it's about: Vladimir Tod is a half-vampire, trying to live as a normal, 8th grade human boy. Only his best friend and his aunt know his true identity. Secretly dealing his daily thirst for blood and a vampire killer stalking him, Vladimir has more to worry about than 8th grade.

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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  1. Great list. I would also add Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong, and Clarity by Kim Harrington.

  2. Just thought of Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce and others by those two authors.

  3. Great additions! I am a huge Tera Lynn Childs fan, and Forgive My Fins is one that really should be on the list. Can I do a Top 11?

  4. sounds cool and oh mrs. cox this is one of your edmodo students!!~~#


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