Rise of paranormal romance

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 8.59.46 AMBy Jennifer Gomez | Staff writer

TL02_breakingdawn_gl_4may11_PR_426x639The Twilight books have sold over 116 million copies worldwide and have spawned a $3 billion movie franchise. How could such a critical failure make so much money? The answer is novelists and filmmakers know their audience.

Young adult paranormal romance novels have a fairly simple formula, an easy to read book involving love and mythical beings. The main character — almost always a female — falls for a handsome magical creature (usually perfect in every way) or finds out that she herself is the special or “chosen one”.

The heroine or hero is typically underdeveloped, being more of a vessel for the reader to go into than an actual character. They identify themselves as Plain Janes, while everyone around them sees them as extraordinary. It’s great wish fulfillment for young girls.

Since the massive success of Twilight, this formula has been redone over and over and OVER again. Barnes & Noble has even made a whole new section dedicated to these books. The more popular ones are guaranteed at least one movie release; Hollywood loves to profit from products with an already built- in audience.

Are these paranormal romances good? Not really, but they are not necessarily a bad thing either. More people — especially teens — reading is never a bad thing and it’s no secret there is a serious lack of female leads in films. If this is a way to get more girls in leading roles then so be it.