Friday, October 22, 2010

Supernaturally Brown

Due to a bookish meme that I gave a new twist, I have begun to think of specific YA sub genres in which poc are ignored. I listed 5 sub genres and I hope to have five posts with recommendations of books in this genre that fit my criteria. If you missed last week's post, it was a list of YA book set in/near boarding schools with poc as the main or very important secondary characters. Feel free to add on recommendations to that list as well!

I'm not entirely clear as to the difference between paranormal and supernatural so I decided to include both. I would love it if someone clued me in on the difference though :) Some of these titles do come from recommendations left at the original post so stop by there to see who recommended what (and thank you so much for all who left recommendations!)

1. Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda (and its sequel The Dark Goddess). I LOVE these books. There are no friendly paranormal creatures in this book, they all want to kill you. Bringing scary back (but not nightmare scary). Seriously READ THEM.

2. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves. Another book that I become a fangirl over. MUST READ. One of my favorite books of 2010.

3. Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing

4. Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith

5. Dead Gorgeous by Malorie Blackman

6. Manifest by Artist Arthur

7. City of Ghosts by Bali Rai

8. Invisible Touch by Kelly Parra

9. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

10. Half World by Hiromi Goto

11. Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz

12. Other by Karen Kincy

13. Sisters of Isis series by Lynne Ewing

14. Ruined by Paula Morris

OK I won't make myself mad by thinking about all the white YA paranormal titles I could list.....

Please leave recommendations!

ETA: It's hard sometimes to distinguish between paranormal and fantasy (for example Half World could probably go either way) so I'm using my discretion when it comes to adding to the list. If it has the usual suspects of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, it will definitely make the list. For less-popular creatures (at the moment), it's harder to tell but I'll do my best! I don't want fantasy recs yet, solely paranormal.


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  2. Hi Ari,

    Here are few more:

    A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts, by Ying Chang Compestine

    Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, by Nahoko Uehashi

    Soul Enchilada, by David Macinnis Gill

  3. I don't know of any POC authors for this genre, but I like the info you have here and I will put these on my list to read. Thanks.

  4. Fledgling by Octavia Butler.

    And thanks for adding to my to-read list!

  5. Man, you rave about Devil's Kiss so much that I NEED to read it now! :D

  6. You should also include Lynne Ewing's other series, SISTERS OF ISIS. Two of the three main girls are POC. (The only downside is that this series got canceled due to low sales, so no closure. Sigh.)

    Also, if you're in the mood for a POC YA about werewolves, I highly recommend Kristopher Reisz's UNLEASHED!

    I don't think there's much of a difference between "paranormal" and "supernatural." It's words like "paranormal" and "fantasy" that are more distinct. (I've heard people describe paranormal books as ones that happen in the real word to human people, whereas fantasy books take place in another world with equally fantastical beings/creatures. But then there's urban fantasy, which takes place in the real world, as well as a whole slew of other subgenre names, so I don't think it matters much which word you use. People will get what you mean!)

  7. Yeah, I don't think there's much of a difference between paranormal and supernatural either (although I've heard writers differentiate between urban fantasy and paranormal when querying -- paranormal is supposed to be more romance-centric, I *think*).

    And thank you for this list! I'm always on the lookout for books this week, and I was lamenting the lack of paranormal/urban fantasy novels featuring poc, so it's nice to have a list (I've really only heard of The Devil's Kiss and Dead Gorgeous, sadly. I wish I could add books to this list). This is an awesome feature -- I'm going to check out the post about poc in boarding school novels as well :D

  8. Late reply, but I'd like to recommend "Half World" by Hiromi Goto. The main character is Melanie Tamaki, aged 14, lives in Canada with her single mother. She is sent on a mission to the Half World to save her mother -- and to fulfill a prophecy to reunite the three worlds that have split apart: the Flesh, the Spirit, and the Half World. It's lovely and creepy and a little harsh -- there's no bending of the universe's rules to help Melanie, though she does find some unexpected allies. It's also one of the few supernatural/paranormal books that doesn't have a main romantic theme (nor a boy rescuing the girl), which I appreciated a lot (especially since the main character is only 14).

  9. There's also Ruined by Paula Morris, the main character is creole (or cajun, it's been a while since i've read it) and she haunted by a ghost of a dead black girl who may or may not be her ancestor.

  10. I think Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves would fit more with paranormal than it would fantasy, and I feel like a majority of the town is POC.

  11. The Cambion Chronicles by Jamie Reed features a bi-racial main character...and succubi/incubi.

  12. The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Reese Brennan!


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