By Melina Lynne • October 26, 2015
Vampires, werewolves, monsters, zombies, wizards, witches, and all things that go bump in the night. These topics used to be relegated to fiction pulled out in the fall to get us geared up for Halloween, but now have their own presence in the literary world. I have three words for you: teen paranormal fiction So how did they make the leap from October reading material to year-round "go to" reads? I have three words for you: teen paranormal fiction, and I’m not just talking about books, or in our case, used books like Twilight and Harry Potter. Sure, Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling made it “cool” again to write about fantastical elements. It helps that these are usually easy reads and always leave us wanting more; another series, another set of characters, and another chance to further our paranormal addiction.
If we follow the progression of supernatural fiction, we see that vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other monstrous creatures have gotten less scary and more relatable over time. In the beginning, books like Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), Dracula (Bram Stoker), and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Washington Irving) had young readers grabbing for a baseball bat, sleeping with the lights on, and bolting out of bed at the smallest creak of the floor or shutting of a door. Vampires frightened us, werewolves chased us, ghosts haunted us, and zombies wanted our brains. Terrifying, right?
werewolves are more representative of the cool people than the scary ones
However, looking at the current scope of paranormal fiction, we see the landscape changing tremendously. Vampires are now relatable young folks just trying to get through school; werewolves are more representative of the cool people than the scary ones; and angels, contrary to popular belief, are not always perfect. I, for one, have loved the shift and indulge habitually in series like House of Night (P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast), Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead), Fallen (Lauren Kate), and Nightshade (Andrea Cremer). These books have all the fantastical elements we crave without any added side-effects, such as nightmares and a fear of dark places.
If you want something that keeps the lights on a bit longer at night, there is a new peak emerging in the mountain range of supernatural fiction. Authors are now taking classic novels and fairy tales, and bringing an element of the paranormal to them. So as long as you have a bat nearby, you can try Pride & Prejudice and Zombies (Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Seth Grahame-Smith), or Red Riding Hood (David Leslie Johnson and Sarah Blakley-Cartwright). Just when you think you have read it all, these books show you that nothing is off-limits when it comes to the paranormal.
With Halloween just around the corner, and the sale on Teen Fiction finishing up, it’s time to grow your paranormal fiction collection! Vampires, angels, werewolves, zombies, and other monstrous and magical creatures are just waiting for you on the other side of reality (or in your closet and under the bed). So pick up a book and turn up the lights, because it’s time for some spooktacular reading. (I couldn’t resist!)