When Twilight hit the New York Times best sellers list all the way back in 2005, it prefaced a major change for the small and cramped Teen shelves of bookstores everywhere. All of a sudden, Young Adult novels were a hot ticket to popularity and literary success (for the sellouts), by way of vampires, werewolves, witches, and monsters galore. The emergence of the Teen Paranormal Romance genre spelled a major boon for children's book companies, and a massive headache for uptight mothers, while many simply questioned the merit of books that essentially capitalized on being creepy.
However, in a decade that witnessed the Rise of the Geek on shows like Glee and Big Bang Theory, it was nice to know that the pseudo-Goths got their share of the locker room glory as well.
As more YA books of this species flew off the shelves, and it became more socially acceptable to proclaim that the lack of a pulse was considered a turn-on, vampires were thrust out of the darkness and into the limelight, and not to burst into clouds of dust as the vampire mythology purists had expected. The all-too-pale inhabitants of Forks, WA, made their on screen debut in November of 2008, and eventually racked up way more than 5 times their production budget, as well as assurance that their saga would continue for longer than had originally been envisioned, both on paper and on screen. However, even though it was only Edward that first sparkled his way into America's heart, the other "things that go bump in the night" were still causing a racket.
A small advertisement on Twitter first caught my eye about two weeks ago...
The City of Bones, the first novel in Cassandra Clare (aka, Judith Rumelt)'s The Mortal Instruments series, follows fifteen-year-old Clary Fray, a young girl with extraordinary power, and a very missing mother, as she discovers the true darkness hiding within the dangerous paranormal underbelly of New York City.
The book involves seemingly every monster in the closet, convoluting the mythology of demons, vampires, werewolves, faeries, and more by throwing whatever a "Shadowcaster" is into the mix. It was released by Simon & Schuster in 2007, and became a New York Times bestseller shortly after its debut.
However, despite all of the positive reviews I have heard about it - "Buffyesque"? Really? - The Cheerleader raves the loudest. Despite my personal feelings towards my sister's reading habits, maybe it deserves to be considered a little differently.
Premiere Date: August 23rd, 2013.
Starring: Lily Collins as Clary, Jamie Campbell Bower as Jayce.
That advertisement was followed a few days later, by a trailer - on the Cheerleader's Facebook page, no less - for this movie...
Warm Bodies, the debut novel of Isaac Marion, examines the topic of humanity and living life to the fullest, by way of a zombie named R. R -- who can't remember the rest of his name, just that it starts with an R - falls in love with a human girl named Julie, and protects her, on her way home to a human encampment, from other zombies, as well as terrifying skeletal entities named "Bonies."
The novel was published in 2010, and gained endorsement from zombie lit lovers everywhere as quickly as it did a movie deal. Praised for its message as much as its plot, the comments for Warm Bodies on Goodreads are as quick to embrace the romance as much as shy away from the gore.
Besides, the actor playing R is currently dating Jennifer Lawrence, so if Katniss approves, you know he's got to be pretty cool.
Premiere Date: February 1st, 2013.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult as R., Teresa Palmer as Julie.
And finally, I was lured into this trap by a gorgeous still I found on Pinterest this morning...
Beautiful Creatures is the first novel in the Caster Chronicles, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It introduces the quiet Southern town of Gatlin, as well as its newest inhabitant, mysterious Lena Duchannes, her odd and powerful family, and a terrible curse, that threatens to destroy her relationship with Ethan, the boy who thought nothing important would ever happen in a town like Gatlin.
The book was released in 2009 from Little, Brown & Company, and several in the series followed shortly thereafter, gaining progressively impressive amounts of word-of-mouth at my younger sister's middle school.
And the people involved in this cast list are simply too amazing to be overlooked. I mean, Emmy Rossum? Come on!
Premiere Date: February 13th, 2013
Starring: The two lead actors, I've never heard of. But Emma Thompson is Mrs. Lincoln, Jeremy Irons is Macon Ravenwood, and Viola Davis is Amma, so I'm sure they're fine.
My point is, now that our fang-toothed friend Edward is out of the way at the box offices with the end of the Twilight franchise, maybe it's time to get new perspective on the teen paranormal romance movie. That is, unless Stephanie Meyers changes the game again, with her teen alien romance, The Host (premiering March 29th, 2013; starring Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder, and Diane Kruger as The Seeker). But let's just wait this literary trend out first.