It's a pretty big deal. At least to booksellers, that is. In fact, I think it's safe to say that it's a genre now.
The other night, Tod and I were wandering through Barnes & Noble, and on our way to find a book on Airstream trailers (more about that later perhaps), we came across a very large section of books called "teen paranormal romance." We realized on the way home that we should have taken a picture of this gigantic section, filled with black and red vampire-laden books, all with angsty titles and twisty pictures on the covers, but we didn't. So no pics today, sorry.
Anyway, here's the true confession part of this post. During the past several months, Tod and I have become full-fledged fans of the Twilight series, which for those of you who don't know (if such a thing is possible these days) is a series of "teen paranormal romance" tales filled with vampires and werewolves. And I know we're a little late on the uptake here, but we're far away from our teenage years so it just takes time to learn about these things. (Tod's actually a much bigger "Twihard" than I am, so much so that after finishing the four books from the series, he also took on The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, an Eclipse novella (or as Tod calls it, the after-the-fact book that Stephenie Meyer wrote when it came time to go vacation-home shopping). And his next book is sure to be The Twilight Saga: the Official Illustrated Guide. I'm pretty sure he just likes reading the werewolf parts because they remind him of Heidi's potential. Sorry to call you out, Tod, but I'm just keeping it real around here.)
Now I guess it's time to call myself out. Although I liked the Twilight books, I never could buy completely into the whole vampire/werewolf thing. But no worries because, you see, the "teen paranormal romance" genre has made room for more than vampire and werewolf tales; the money-making genre also includes tales of a future world where children must compete in brutal killing games, where they literally fight other children to the death each year. Umm, sounds horrible, I know. But the funny thing is that it's not. It's actually really, really good. And if you're thoroughly confused now, I'm talking about The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
I started The Hunger Games on Saturday afternoon, read into the night, and finished it Sunday morning. One word: uh-mazing. Yep, I'm completely sold. Forget about Edward and Bella. It's time for Katniss and Gale. (Or Katniss and Peeta?) And I'm just so happy that it's a trilogy because that means I've still got two more books to read. Hooray for teen paranormal romance. Who knew?