18 October 2010

"Teen Paranormal Romance"

Posted at Reddit as "the newest for-real book section at Barnes & Noble."

When I initially encountered this, I dismissed it as rubbish, but based on a comment by a reader of this blog I've looked into it further and discovered that this may be a case where I jumped to a conclusion too quickly (a not-uncommon occurrence when blogging rapidly).

The category is explained in some detail at Wikipedia:
A type of speculative fiction, paranormal romance focuses on romance and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the genres of traditional fantasy, science fiction, or horror. Paranormal romance may range from traditional category romances, such as those published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, with a paranormal setting to stories where the main emphasis is on a science fiction or fantasy based plot with a romantic subplot included. Common hallmarks are romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other entities of a fantastic or otherworldly nature.

Beyond the more prevalent themes involving vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, or time travel, paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters with psychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy.

Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction.

A few paranormals are set solely in the past and are structured much like any historical romance novel. Others are set in the future, sometimes on different worlds. Still others have a time-travel element with either the hero or the heroine traveling into the past or the future...
Romance is not my cup of tea, but since I am a science fiction fan, I need to give this category its due.  For a deeper discussion of the genre from the viewpoint of someone in the publishing business, see "What is Paranormal Romance?" (pdf).

Thanks for the heads-up, Kirsten.


  1. Is it really a Paranormal,........Or same thing in different way

  2. Some thing is interesting, I would be like to see the store.

  3. I think this question has been a part of several surveys, with the answer always the same (unfortunately, I don't have a direct reference--anyone?):

    "If you were stuck in a library in the middle of a snowstorm, and you had to burn books to remain warm, which books would you burn?"

    The answer in at least two surveys that I recall was, "The romance novels!"


  4. I urge you to pick up a few of these books before dismissing them all as trash. I read and write young adult literature, and I assure you that there are some worthy titles on that shelf. (And yes, one of my books as well.) As authors, we have little control over the labels our novels are assigned by bookstores. Perhaps “teen paranormal romance” isn’t your cup of tea. I’m not sure I’m crazy about that label, either. But I wouldn’t reject an entire shelf of books based solely on a sign at Barnes & Noble.

  5. Post amended; thank you so much for the comment.

  6. No, thank you. Posts like this are the reason I love your blog.

  7. A business acquaintance sent this picture to a group of us, calling it the sign of the apocalypse. But my kids enjoy some of this stuff! I like some and find other books too far outside my own realm of reality, I guess. Maybe it depends on my mood! But I have an advance copy of a great paranormal thriller that I'm quite enjoying! It's "Stronger than Sin" by Caridad Piñeiro. It involves experimental gene therapy, doctors,patients, ordinary people drawn into extraordinary circumstances, supernatural powers ... and romance! The paranormal elements are different than other books I've read -- based on real-life science, I'd say. It comes out next week, though Barnes and Noble apparently is already selling it. Don't dismiss it until you've given it a look!

  8. I'm a 45-year-old grim and serious kind of guy who reads more non-fiction than fiction, but a good percentage of the fiction I do read is YA. Why? Because, to be blunt, that's where the *stories* are. For the time being, it seems like a lot of the best story-tellers in speculative fiction are applying their talents to YA and I'm not going to complain about that. Among other things, it means my daughter will get to them sooner.

    That doesn't mean I like Twilight specifically (sounds like trash) or "paranormal romance" whether teen or otherwise, but if that happens to be the sub-genre that's drawing people to reading then I say, "Good for you!"


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