By Pinto Lokesh |
Twilight is a book that is notoriously famous among people of all ages. Back when it was popular, it was unique, but now, it’s popular for being seen as stupid. Twilight is often ridiculed by others and has parodies emphasizing its poorly constructed plot, writing and lack of a memorable moral or lesson.
In spite of its checkered past, Twilight launched one of the most popular genres in young-adult books today: paranormal romance. Now, there are many books about vampires, werewolves and supernatural love triangles. Despite the fact that the genre has a vast amount of creative space for authors to make entertaining and reflective stories, authors don’t seem to be utilizing that space to generate a variety of original mind-blowing works.
The dominant focus of a young-adult paranormal romance book is to illustrate an unlikely (and epic) love story to the reader by using the mystery and appeal of supernatural creatures, people and worlds. However, that doesn’t mean authors can’t shed light on other issues with their writing.
The reasons I don’t particularly enjoy the genre as a whole anymore now that I’m older is because authors don’t place substance and creativity as priorities in their stories.
1. Young-adult authors should explore and emphasize diversity.
Many young-adult paranormal romance books have very little to almost no diversity. In many of the books I have read there is predominantly a white cast of characters. I am not trying to bash anyone or call any authors racists, but I do think that the world is quite vast and there are various people that have different skin-tones, cultures, and beliefs that could also be included and represented in these books. The supernatural element of these books is fueled by magic, something that is reflected in cultures from all over the world. Wouldn’t it make sense to show that something as powerful as magic in these fictional worlds has hands that can reach far and wide and be gifted to people everywhere around the globe? It is crucial for authors to have more diversity of and represent people of all colors and cultures in their books. This demonstrates to teenagers and young adults that everyone is equal and being different from one another is more than okay.
2. The most popular paranormal romances have the same supernatural creatures all the time.
The majority of young-adult paranormal romance books seem to focus romances with mainly vampires, faeries, angels and werewolves. Although these are often deemed as the “prettiest” supernatural lore for the main characters to romance, I think it would be refreshing for the main character to have an ugly or a little unorthodox supernatural love-interest such as a troll or goblin. This would show that love isn’t completely about outward beauty. I have also noticed that authors tend to conform to whatever the masses, even if this is making the genre repetitive and boring. Authors should broaden their horizons and create a world and creatures people have never read about.
I have read a lot of young-adult paranormal romance books. I won’t lie-, I didn’t enjoy many of them. That doesn’t mean, however, that I think young-adult paranormal romance is a bad genre by any means. It’s certainly entertaining and after a long day, one can get windswept into an intense supernatural-love story. The stories that I really loved were written quite differently from the ones that seemed to mimic each other. The authors made efforts to create characters that a wider and more diverse audience could relate to by illustrating a cast of characters that had varying races, socioeconomic statuses and mindsets. Moreover, I felt truly connected to the author’s magical world by getting to know the characters. In order to reach out to their readers, young-adult paranormal authors need to start branching out of their comfort zones.