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 I was in a chain bookstore the other day and walked through the YA section, as is my wont, when I saw this heading on a shelf  – “YA Paranormal Romance.”  Well, it’s been quite a while, but I’m pretty sure that all teenage romance is paranormal, so it seems to me a bit redundant.  We can probably thank, for lack of a better word, the Twi-hards for this.  Anything dealing with vampires, werewolves, dragons, and zombies is hip right now, as long as it involves some heavy sighing from lovelorn girls and the breathtakingly beautiful young men who inspire such, ahem, expiration (that’s one chock-full, respiratory metaphor right there).

Aprilynne Pike has her own version of this, but hers is about fairies.  This would be a hard sell if not for her ingenious vision of fairies – they are actually plants, not little flying humanoids like Tinkerbell.  They are human sized, they have human habits and they are – male and female – exceptionally beautiful.  Sounds like a winner for sure. 

There are some obvious parallels between Ms. Pike’s books and the Twilight series, which is to say that all teenage romances are the same formula – girl meets boy and likes boy a lot, girl meets other boy and also likes him a lot.  Boy fights boy over girl.  Sexual tension ensues.  Only now there are the added bonuses – someone gets bitten, someone shape shifts, someone tries really hard not to eat his girlfriend.   But the Laurel Series in many (many) ways are not even in the same category as those vampire books.

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