Cassie, a 6th grader, is an avid reader and has pretty much read everything worth reading in the Seward Park teen collection. In fact, to find her something she hasn't read usually takes a lot of effort — on both our parts. Her favorite genre? Supernatural romance. "You're not getting bored by it?" I ask. "Never! It's so interesting to see the connections between the human characters and the supernatural ones. Even if it's the same type of supernatural being there is always a different plot." That's not to say that she likes everything she reads. She definitely knows what she likes and what she doesn't like and she is always bringing books back and letting me know EXACTLY what she thinks about them.
For Cassie, the key to a good supernatural romance is the plot. It has to be suspenseful, full of adventure and the characters must face some sort of trial or danger. The characters themselves should be, "…interesting and capture your heart. That way if the plot isn't too good then the characters at least keep the story going. And, oh, well, it doesn't hurt if the boys are hot." She doesn't necessarily have a favorite supernatural being but if she had to choose it would be, "Angels and demons. Because they can be good and bad and unlike vampires — they don't bite you." Some of her favorite supernatural series include: Hush, Hush by Becca FitzPatrick, Fallen by Laurent Kate, Angel Fire by Lee Weatherly, Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, Sweep by Cate Tiernan and the Darkness Rising trilogy by Kelley Armstrong.
The other day, I cornered her for her recent favorites and she offered up these recommendations:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011) / Days of Blood and Starlight (2012) by Laini Taylor
A Prague art student and monster's apprentice Karou has questions about who she is, where she came from and just what are these mysterious errands she keeps getting sent on all about? Things get complicated when a warrior angel named Akiva comes into her life and she finds herself in the middle of a war that seems to have been going on for centuries. According to Cassie, "…it keeps you guessing till the very end. You don't know who the good guys or bad guys are which made it really interesting." Days of Blood and Starlight is a, "...great sequel and is as good as the first book, it not better!"
Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
Ten years ago, 17 year old Vane Weston lost his parents to a tornado which he survived — not that he remembers any of it. Now living in California with his adoptive family, Vane is haunted by the idea that something about their deaths doesn't make sense. Then he meets Audra, a beautiful girl who resembles the girl who has been dancing around his dreams. Audra is a "sylph," a mystical creature that can control the wind and she holds the key to his past and his future. The book is, "…really romantic!" says Cassie.
Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter
Miranda, the daughter of the sorcerer Prospero and heroine of Shakespeare's The Tempest, now enjoys eternal youth in the modern world, along with her siblings and father. When Prospero vanishes, Miranda discovers that ancient demons are after their magic powers and enlists her siblings to rescue their father and keep the family safe. Cassie loved it because it had, "…lots of danger and suspense!"
Immortal City by Scott Speer
After Angels revealed themselves to the world they began offering their services to the highest bidders. Now Los Angeles is known as Angel City and humans are obsessed with the lives of the celebrity Angels they see on television. The hottest-of-the-hot is Jackson Goodspeed and he is inexplicably drawn to Maddy Montgomery, a regular girl waitress who could care less about Jackson's fame. Cassie has raved about this book since she finished it and she can't wait for the second book Natural Born Angel to come out. She loves all the "…arguing. It creates great romantic tension between Jackson and Maddy and leaves you wanting more!"
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
In a small Florida town, 18-year-old Emma has grown up thinking she is nothing special. After surviving a strange and deadly encounter with a shark, one that kills her best friend, Emma meets the handsome Galen on the beach. Galen is a prince of Syrena and he has been sent to land to the find the girl he's heard that can communicate with fish. After meeting Emma, Galen becomes convinced that she is the one that will save his kingdom from destruction — if only she wasn't afraid to go back in the water. Cassie liked the romance and the story, "…of a girl figuring out who she is."
Obsidian (2012) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
When Katy moves to West Virginia for her senior year she expects to be monumentally bored but then she spies her new, hot neighbor with his tall muscular build and eerie green eyes. Unfortunately, when she meets him, Daemon Black is smug, arrogant and infuriating. It's hate at first sight. But when a stranger attacks her, Daemon saves her with a wave of his hand. Turns out he and his sister are aliens and they are the run from their enemies and Katy just got caught in the crossfire. If Katy wants to survive she'll have to stick close to him — if she doesn't kill him first. The story of an alien and a human is not necssarily a supernatural romance but it is, "sooooo Good!" affirms Cassie and she liked that it was, "…a little different," from what she usually reads.