Saturday, August 3, 2013

Genre Spotlight: The Paranormal Romance Section

The Paranormal section is one of the most difficult to order for in my library. My students--girls, especially--are screaming for paranormal romances like Twilight. As one of the most popular genre of our library's 18 genre sections, paranormal romance tends to be more advanced and include more mature content.


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Making it doubly difficult for me is the fact that while paranormal romance used to be among my favorite genres, I have grown disenchanted with it in the past couple of years. Since I am reading it less often, I am reviewing content for the books in this section less often as well.

NUMBER OF BOOKS IN THE SECTION: 464

GENRE LABEL COLOR: lime green

POPULAR TITLES:
  • Hush, Hush series (Fitzpatrick)
  • Paranormalcy series (White)
  • Vampire Diaries series (Smith)
  • Mortal Instruments series (Clare)
  • Chronicles of Vladmir Tod (Brewer)
  • Darkest Powers trilogy (Armstrong)
  • Nightmare Academy series (Lorey)
  • A Temptation of Angels (Zink)
  • Firelight trilogy (Jordan)
  • Beautiful Creatures series (Garcia/Stohl)
  • Fallen series (Kate)
  • Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Stiefvater)
  • The Raven Boys (Stiefvater)
  • Darkness Rising trilogy (Armstrong)
  • Dead Is series (Perez)
  • Twilight Saga (Meyer)
  • I Heart You, You Haunt Me (Schroeder)
  • Chime (Billingsley)

2013 TITLES TO WATCH FOR:

Middle school:
  • School Spirits (Hawkins)
  • Dance of Shadows (Black)
  • Mind Games (White)
  • Girl Meets Ghost (Barnholdt)
  • Doll Bones (Black)
  • Rules for Ghosting (Paquette)
  • Texting the Underworld (Booraem)
  • Wicked Cruel: Three Urban Legends (Wallace)
  • Dead Is Just A Dream (Perez)
  • Dead River (Balog)
  • The Murmurings (West)
  • Pivot Point (West)

High school:

  • Unbreakable (Garcia)
  • The Beautiful and the Cursed (Morgan)
  • The After Girls (Konen)
  • Chosen at Nightfall, Shadow Falls series, book 3 (Hunter)
  • Dead Silence, The Body Finder series, book 4 (Derting)

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GENRE/ WHAT CONSTITUTES A PARANORMAL BOOK IN MY LIBRARY:
  • supernatural beings or powers are major part of plot
  • contains vampires, werewolves, angels, ghosts
  • focus is on the romance or the supernatural power/being--it is NOT SCARY
  • if the book is scary or violent, I will likely put it into our HORROR section
  • romance is frequently a major part of the story
  • often occurs as a trilogy or series

TRENDING:
  • I'm seeing a lot of romance between humans and angels, demons, fallen angels, and ghosts.
  • Newer publications feature fewer sensitive vampires and brooding werewolves than they did a few years ago. Vampire and werewolf characters are once again the bloodthirsty killers they should be. See Fukuda's The Hunt and Kagawa's The Immortal Rules for some seriously fierce vampires!
  • Newer books are trending toward YA and away from MG. I have difficulty keeping my paranormal readers happy because mature content prevents me from ordering lots of new paranormal romances. Authors, there is a huge need for paranormal romances for middle schoolers!

TROUBLESHOOTING:
  • By far, the biggest issue I have when ordering paranormal books is mature content. Demand is high, but there are just not enough middle school-appropriate paranormal romances.
  • Genre-fying this section is difficult. Many paranormal romances could also be classified as horror, light fantasy, or even science fiction.
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