Yesterday I saw a link on Twitter that directed me to a post about YA and Rape Culture by bookshop, a very well thought out post on the dangers of YA paranormal romance and the trend toward stalker, moody, and/or dangerous heroes and the gullible female protagonists. Specially it points to Hush, Hush, a book about a fallen angel with an obsession with the "heroine." I recommend reading that post. It also points towards these two articles and a follow-up on the same topic. All very thought-provoking.
I recently read Hush, Hush and so I went back to my review. I knew that I had liked it, but I couldn't remember what I said about Patch. This is what I said "I've noticed that some people seem to love Patch, but I didn't. I was a little sorry that he is going to stick around in fact, though his new role might make him better. He annoyed me and Nora had no reason to like him." I remember actually being disappointed that he didn't die at the end. How often does that ever happen? I remember telling my husband that Nora was crazy because this dude wanted to kill her and she still ended up with him. So why didn't I write that in my review? After reading all the posts yesterday, I wondered what I was doing, not saying anything about these thoughts. I'm not sure. Honestly, it is one of those things which is no excuse but it's the truth. When I write a review, I only write about what is standing out most in my mind. And it was an easy book to read, a very fast book, mostly well-written, fans of paranormal romance would like it. But this has been bothering me all night long and it was the first thing I thought of this morning.
And then I began to worry because one of articles said this "And I may be offending some of you PR readers/writers but I can't think of a single--not a single-- paranormal romance I've read in the last year or so that doesn't exemplify bad romance. I can't think of one that was actually--good."
That bothered me too. I went back and looked. It turns out that I really don't read much YA Paranormal romance. Usually the romance is incidental rather than the point of the book in the books that I read. Hush, Hush is actually an abnormality for me. I was surprised to find this out. Anyway, I have to disagree with the above statement. Of the YA paranormal that I have read a few stand out as being really good with the right message.
1.Beautiful Creatures - maybe because it is told from the guy's POV, but Ethan is neither creepy nor a stalker so nice.
2.Shiver - alternate POVs, the girl's obsession may be creepier since she falls in love with a wolf
3. Graceling - Katsa can kill a man with her pinky so there is no danger to her really.
4. 13 to Life - recent read as an ARC, Pietr was cool and honest and the love/hate thing was purely one sided. Jessica didn't have a reason not to like him.
Those are just the ones I read. I agree that Twilight and Hush, Hush are not sending the right message and they are perpetuating the rape culture. But I can't agree that there are no good paranormal YAs. A lot of authors seem to be going out of their way to write books that the opposite of Twilight. And I applaud them all.