Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Reading Nephilim

When I last went to the public library, I made an impulse check out.  I almost exclusively use the public library's holds shelf to get all my reading material.  I almost never just browse the shelves.  But on this occasion, my daughter was picking out a movie (by looking at all options individually) so I had a few minutes to kill so I browsed the shelves and found Fallen by Lauren Kate.

I am a huge fan of the Young Adult genre and I know that this book and the rest of the books in the series have been prominently featured on YA blogs so I knew it would be good.  Plus, it was something marked as "to-read" in my Goodreads account (along with hundreds of others).

I started reading it Friday and finished on Sunday.  I read and read. It is over 400 pages (but unlike Kavalier and Clay it had big font and spacing).

To the gist of this book, and every other paranormal romance story featuring the Nephilim (those pesky, super hot fallen angels), is that the main character is female and strongly attracted to this super hot and sulky male.  Some where in the plot it is discovered that this male is a fallen angel and has to be grouchy an mean because of reasons out of his control.  In this series the fallen angel is Daniel and he has to be rude to Luce because he is stuck in a 17 year cycle where Luce shows up in his immortal life and they fall in love and when they kiss she disappears only to return 17 years later to do the same thing...for hundreds of years.  He is rude so she won't fall in love with him and hence not disappear on him again only to torment him more. But Luce does fall in love with him, this is how fallen angel stories work.  Luce does have another love interest, another fallen angel, Cam.  In fact...spoiler alert...almost everyone at her boarding school is a fallen angel.  This of course is discovered at the end of the book with the plot's climax.

It is true all books follow this simple diagram I learned in freshman honors English.

I really liked this book.  It is at a boarding school (key setting in YA) and paranormal, combing to great features of YA.  One great thing about not reading this series when it first came out is now all the books are published and I can read them all without having to wait for the next installment to be published to see what happens next. I will be reading both Torment and Passion in the near future. 

Reading Fallen, reminded me that I had started a fallen angel series (Hush, Hush) last year but never read the rest of the series, so I decided to read the next book, Crescendo.

In this story the fallen angel is named Patch and the main character is Nora.  Patch not only is Nora's love interest, but also guardian angel, after saving her from a Nephil is Hush, Hush.  Patch is too secretive for Nora so she breaks up with him.  Throughout this book Nora is in imminent danger because the person who killed her father over a year ago is now after her, but Patch can't protect her because after the break-up he was reassigned as guardian angel to a different person. So Nora and Patch have to work out who is after her, separately.  Of course this all culminates in a showdown at the end of the book.  I will have to read Silence to see what happens next.  You know, the exciting conclusion!

So now that I have tried to explain the last three paranormal books I have read, I feel a bit silly.  These are great books.  I loved reading all of them, but explaining the plot sounds so weird.  Well, they are weird, that is why they are paranormal books.  I like weird.

I love most aspects of reading a paranormal romance, except the Twilight factor.  It seems that every YA book is now rated on some Twilight scale which compares every protagonist with Bella and every love interest with Jacob or Edward.  I hate that.  These are books in the same sub-genre so there are similarities in plot, but they are not Twilight.  None of these girl's lives stop when their beau is not around.  None of them are trying to die for their guy.  They are all just "normal" girls with paranormal boys.  I think I would love to read this genre from the other vantage point too.  I would love to read about a boy who loves a female fallen angel. Now that would be something.

Now I am changing it up a bit and currently not reading a book about angels or witches or anything fantasy.  Last night I started reading Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.

Its a critique on society told through beauty contestants stranded on an island due to a plane crash.  I have only read the first few chapters but I think I'll like it.  I have been meaning to read Libba Bray, I hear good things about her so I am glad I am finally getting around to reading something written by her.  This is my book club's selection; I have to have it read by May 2.  I am so happy that my book club is finally reading something in the YA genre.

After this I am going to read YA historical fiction.  I made my self a challenge to read 5 YA historical fiction novels and so far this year I have read ZERO.

Any YA historical Fiction recommendations?  I know I am going to read  Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, as it was a Christmas gift from a colleague to help with my challenge, and Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood since it is historical fiction and paranormal. Any others I should have on my list?

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