|OH MY GOD THE INTENSITY OF MY FEELINGS!|
I’ve been reading a lot of supernatural Young Adult and “Women’s” literature over the past couple of weeks. Some of it was damn fine popcorn (“Warm Bodies.”)
A lot of it was pleasantly uncharred microwave popcorn that didn’t even make the rest of the house smell that much. (“Shadow of Night,” The four “Beautiful Creatures” books, the last three Sookie Stackhouse novels, “Divergent,” “Insurgent,” and “Delirium.”)
And some of it was like the movie theater popcorn on the floor that your middle school friends dared you to eat and you immediately regretted even considering (I’m looking at you, “Matched” trilogy.)
Why did I binge read a bunch of popcorn instead of going for cooler sounding, heartier fare? I’m not really sure. But my disordered reading habits are your gain because in case you’re considering reading some supernaturally tinged YA or “Women’s” lit here is a handy dandy fill in the blank guide to the genre:
Meet strong and fiercely independent _______________ (female lead character – I’m going with “Eva Feelings-GirlPower” but any name will do). And guys: She’s going through some serious stuff. On top of living in a like totally unfair dystopia, she’s just _____________ (major life event – say, moved to a new town).
But their romance faces many obstacles mainly in the form of the _____________ (super natural creatures or futuristic societal factions – I’m covering all the bases with totalitarian vampire zombies). Eva and/or Broody have somehow either previously not seen the totalitarian vampire zombies as a big problem or failed to notice them entirely up until this point.
In a way Eva and Broody’s struggles are just like those in ___________ (widely read work of literature with gravitas – “The Scarlet Letter”) You know Eva and Broody’s situation is just like “The Scarlet Letter” because characters say things like, “This is just like “The Scarlet Letter” but with more totalitarian vampire zombies.”
Here’s what you need to know about totalitarian vampire zombies: _____________ (random back story or new, markedly less interesting twist on current mythology: Stalin was the original vampire zombie so culturally vampire zombies have a thing for totalitarian government, purges, and strong facial hair. Also – get this – they can only go out in the daylight, never at night. If they so much as get caught in a dark room they’re helpless. Instead of coffins they sleep in tanning beds).
Totalitarian vampire zombies take up secret machinations and evil schemes the same way regular people take up “Angry Birds” or cross word puzzles. What with their pro-angst agenda, they’re generally not fans of True Love Forever but they have a paparazzi level of fascination with Eva and Broody’s romance because everything two love struck teens do and feel is SUPER important to everyone. Just like in “The Scarlet Letter” kind of.
In between the totalitarian vampire zombies, moving to a new town, and generally living in conditions mirroring a post Apocalyptic hellscape Eva, Broody, and their feelings also have to deal with ____________ (universal milestone life period – high school is very popular).
As a reader I can SO see where Eva and Broody are coming from because even though my life involves no totalitarian vampire zombies and is not Beyond Thunderdome I’ve totally moved, been to high school, and had feelings. I can relate to like three out of five key story elements, you guys.
How will the supremely relatable Eva and Broody stop the totalitarian vampire zombies from carrying out their dastardly plans? Definitely not by bringing in people you’d encounter outside of Eva’s new high school who would almost certainly be better equipped to deal with such a massive, deadly problem.
Is this really True Love Forever after all? After witnessing certain completely out of context actions by Broody, Eva has her doubts. How will they get through this? Certainly not by calmly talking to each other about the situation before things snowball into “Real Housewives” territory. That never happened in “The Scarlet Letter” either so that’s another way Eva and Broody are just like Hester Prynne.
By the time the ___________ (culmination of external events that necessitate a turning point – I’m going with ‘last book in the trilogy’) rolls around things are looking pretty bleak but in a series of strategic moves worthy of a five year old chess player, Eva and Broody make a dramatic play to protect their True Love Forever from totalitarian vampire zombie wrath. They do something improbably simple connected to the totalitarian vampire zombies’ back story like telling everybody to just turn off the lights when the strictly diurnal villains enter the room. Against all odds our heroes and their feelings manage to defeat the totalitarian vampire zombies who’ve previously been able to cripple all of society for years.
Naturally Eva and Broody celebrate their victory with even more feelings. Just like in “The Scarlet Letter.”
You come away from the book knowing that Eva Feelings-GirlPower and Broody McAngsterton will live happily ever after. Because if you take totalitarian vampire zombies out of the equation, nothing at all is challenging about maintaining a long term relationship.