Even though YA paranormal romances have shifted from vampires to werewolves to angels to every creature imaginable, many of the same themes present themselves in the various iterations. In an effort to take a lighthearted poke at the cliches that inhabit this genre*, I present the Rules for Heroines of Paranormal Romances:
  1. Aim to be normal in every way. Paranormal guys are really attracted to this.
  2. Being uncoordinated, a bad singer, or lacking in other artistic talents is really cute.
  3. Every heroine must be morose and taciturn, at least in the beginning. It’s a real turn on for paranormals.
  4. Higher than normal levels of sarcasm and snark are required of every heroine.
  5. Any girl friends should be ditzy and oblivious. They must also love shopping and talking about boys.
  6. Humans boys are boring.
  7. Ignore the nice guy who seems like he’d be your perfect match. He’s meant to be the best friend.
  8. If your biology teacher doesn’t pair you with a gorgeous but mysterious guy to be your lab partner, transfer to a different class.
  9. Don’t question it when the jerk who’s horrible to you turns out to be a mythical creature intent on killing you. This is how it’s supposed to work.
  10. It’s normal to be afraid of human guys in dark alleys, but you shouldn’t feel any fear around the sexy mythical monster.
  11. Never tell your parents—if you have any—about the creepy guy following you around. They’ll only put a crimp in your budding relationship.
  12. Absentee parents are preferred. The less they’re around, the fewer questions they’ll ask about your weird new friends.
  13. The fate of the world/universe/other dimensions really does rest in your hands.
  14. If your paranormal love interest acts like he wants to eat you for dinner, don’t worry. That’s his way of showing he’s undeniably attracted to you.
  15. Ignore any indications that the really hot paranormal hates you and wants nothing to do with you. He’s just playing hard to get, so you’d best make a move.
  16. When he threatens you and tells you to stay away from him, he’s really just flirting.
  17. Also ignore anything he says about being bad for you or not wanting to be with you. He’s being silly.
  18. Dangerous bad boys make the best boyfriends.
  19. You’re not meant to be together unless you’re naturally mortal enemies. He should be the worst possible guy for you.
  20. Paranormal guys are all gorgeous and have six-packs.
  21. You should be at the center of at least one love triangle.
  22. Your mutual attraction should be instantaneous and insanely intense.
  23. If you’re not sure which paranormal creature he is, type in a vague description into Google/Bing and it’ll come up immediately with a website describing everything you need to know about him.
  24. Ignore any logical advice from others about your new relationship.
  25. Your regular friends should only be used as a crutch. You don’t need them after you and your boyfriend hook up, though they do come in handy during breakups.
  26. He’s not too old for you as long as he looks like he belongs in high school. But any guy who physically looks like he’s over twenty is robbing the cradle.
  27. Your paranormal boyfriend proves his love for you by being overprotective and controlling.
  28. Remember, he’s wiser than you are and knows what’s best for you, so let him make all the decisions about your life.
  29. It doesn’t matter if he’s murdered thousands of people before he met you. He became a changed man the moment he met you.
  30. When you get kidnapped by your new boyfriend’s mortal enemy, don’t worry. Your beau will be along shortly to save you.
  31. Letting yourself be maimed is the best way to show your love for that special someone.
  32. Don’t let yourself get physically older than your boyfriend. That would just be creepy.
  33. Once you come into your full powers, beating each other to a pulp is excellent foreplay.

What other rules have you noticed? Add them in the comments below.

*While it may seem I’m poking fun at a certain book *cough*Twilight*cough*, all of these have appeared in at least one or more books in the genre. This list isn’t intended to hurt feelings; instead, it’s to giggle at some of the cliches and tropes that tend to fall into these books.