Monday, July 1, 2013

new teenage paranormal romance

Around two my daughter and I finally gave up our air-conditioned reading corner in Barnes & Noble and headed back out.  On the way I saw a genre sign I'd never seen before.  New Teen Paranormal Romance.  Two sections of it.  Next to a section of Teen Paranormal Romance.  I had no idea what I was looking at.  A girl stood in front of the second New Teen Paranormal Romance shelf holding a book with a monster on the cover.  The Sharpied name on the clear plastic cup with the light brown coffee drink in her other hand said "Jessica."  I asked Jessica what New Teenage Paranormal Romance was and how it's different from the classic Teenage Paranormal Romance. 

She said, "Vampires are sort of, you know..." 
"Passé?"  I offered.
"Yeah," she tilted her head to one side.  "They're not really, you know.  They're sort of out.  It's more zombies now."
I nodded.  "Yeah."

Any readers/fans/critics of this genre?  Is this for real or is it marketing?  Teach us in the comments.


  1. I find this very amusing, and it actually does make a little bit of sense. I haven't really kept up with the newer books coming out, but when I showed my brother ( who is in college right now) my reading list for this summer he kept teasing me that he read the zombie version of Pride and Prejudice and that I should read it to. I think this zombie idea is for real because there seems to be an increase in the interest of zombies for teens not only in books, but also in films and TV shows.

  2. I think the genre name is definitely for marketing. My guess is that the books under the new genre title are more-or-less the same as the books under the old genre title, except the new genre title promises the teen-paranormal-romance-aficionados that they're free from the pop culture mocking of Twilight (and the [old] teen paranormal romance genre by association). Especially since if a bystander like me was walking through the bookstore, I doubt they'd know which genre Twilight belonged to, so the difference would only be clear to fans (the XKCD geek/nerd Venn diagram comes to mind). However, this is coming from a non-fan of the genre(s) in question, so you might call me biased, or at least uninformed :P

  3. It's both marketing and the creation of a new genre riding off the coattails of Twilight's success, and so on. It makes shopping much easier if the sections are more specific; now I can only hope that they have a section labeled "Hopeless Dystopian/Apocalyptic Novels" in the future.

  4. From what I saw of the books in this aisle at a Barnes and Noble I recently went into in Ohio, I concur with Jessica in her description. It seems that for pre-teens and some teenagers, vampires are out now, and heroines with other bizarre, supernatural powers like necromancy are in. It's a "new" wave of paranormal fiction emerging, but with practically the same storylines as the original teen paranormal fiction section, I would guess.

  5. What I do not understand is why, if they choose to single out this current, 'flash in the pan' sub genres, why not do the same with widely popular, time tested genres, such as British comedy? You can find these books that are "riding off the coattails of Twilight's success" together on a shelf, but you still cannot find P.G. Woodhouse's Jeeves and Wooster series; Douglas Adams' The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy series; and the various comedy books by British comedy troops like Monty Python, and Fry and Laurie. Why?