Why I Read... Paranormal

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No, wait! Don't stop reading yet! I have a confession to make. In my baby-book-blogging days (aka about a year ago), I was a little bit of a book snob. In general, in high school and college I read classics, with perhaps a smattering of literary fiction and the occasional fluff read. I read YA in middle school. When I first realized that I had not in fact invented the concept of a book blog and that there were hundreds, maybe thousands, out in the blogosphere, I was excited - but also a little disappointed that so many were dedicated to YA lit and especially paranormal YA lit. It took a bit of searching to find books that were "my" kind of book.

I quickly expanded my horizons to include YA lit - many of the literary books I was already reading could be classified as YA, although I didn't know it at the time - but I still avoided paranormal. I think it was the Twilight phenomenon - which is silly, to be honest, because I heartily enjoyed Twilight. I was never obsessed, but I genuinely enjoyed it. I was a little turned off by the covers, and the concepts. It all just sounded a little... weird.

However, this summer I picked up Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare and that all changed. While at first I was a little turned off by all the paranormal "weirdness," I found myself genuinely enjoying the story once I got past my initial uncertainty. And while I will never consider paranormal lit to be my favorite genre, I'm glad I chose to give it a chance.

Because it is that Halloween time of year, I thought this would be an appropriate genre to cover. While paranormal romance and I are more on acquaintance/coworker terms (as opposed to soul mates with modern classics or BFFs with contemporary YA), I'm enjoying the development of our relationship. Here are a few reasons why.

Why I Read Paranormal

* Because sometimes, I like to read about scary things. I don't like reading things that feel evil or gross from how scary they are, but it is fun to get the little thrill of scaredness with creepy creatures.
* Because they are exciting. While escapism is by no means the main reason that I read, sometimes it is nice to forget about the fact that there is a thick layer of grime on my bathroom sink, that I have a test next week, that it is hard to lose weight. It is nice to go into a little fantasy world for a few hundred pages and forget about real life. 


* Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Oh, you know it. I'm sure there were great paranormal reads before this series came out, but this was the beginning for me. I know that Bella is annoying, and that Edward is kind of a stalker, and that Stephenie Meyer makes things way too easy for her characters. But the atmosphere of the story rocks, in my opinion. I loved discovering that Edward was a vampire, and I loved when Bella and Edward went to the meadow and discovered they were falling in love. And I want to go visit Forks, because it sounds beautiful to me. Anyway, I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed it. I also liked New Moon. After that, things went downhill for me. But we won't talk about that.
* A Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Steampunk. 
* The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I loved this story, despite the fact that it took itself excessively seriously. I think zombies are my favorite paranormal creepy thing to read about. 

For more recommendations, visit...

A Makeshift Bookmark. An exuberant YA blog with a love for paranormal romance. 


  1. nice! I started reading cassandra clare last yr and put it down, i think i will give it another chance. i love paranormal! Can't deny the YA novels are getting better

  2. I think I totally fall into the "reads for escapism" category. At least most of the time. When I read, I want to be somewhere else. I think that is why I love the paranormal genre so much, and dystopian, and fantasy, and science-fiction--all the sort of 'weird' ones. I typically tend to shy away from contemporary or historical books, but as you know or may be aware, I'm trying to get better about that.

    Until I DO become better at that, however, I'm totally looking to escape. :D


  3. So yeah, paranormal really wasn't my thing at all until, like, a month ago, when I read The Girl in the Steel Corset (steampunk!). I am totally in love with that book. So after reading that one I dove into Vampire Academy, and now suddenly I'm on this paranormal kick. I never thought I'd ever say I like YA paranormal, but I kinda do now.

    I'll definitely have to check out Clockwork Angel! I loved this post, Lorren!

  4. @JYNCKL - They are a lot of fun! I'm glad I finally caved and read some.

    @Asheley - I think that is why I read paranormal, fantasy etc. as well. Those ones are better for forgetting the world around us. Sometimes I want to understand my life better from a book and sometimes I just want to think about something else completely.

    @Karen - I am really going to have to read The Girl in the Steel Corset. I've only read a couple of steampunk but they are so awesome! I've heard good things about Vampire Academy, but I am scared to start a six book series and I'm trying to finish up a few of the series I'm already reading first. If you like steampunk you should like Clockwork Angel! And thanks! It was fun to write.


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