Before I lost the book, I was reading Michele’s copy of Eclipse, the third in a series of vampire/werewolf/teen novels by Stephanie Meyer that we both enjoy. (The first two were Twilight and New Moon.)
The above description (vampire/werewolf/teen) is intentional: in these books, teenage girls really are the third monster. The books chronicle the love triangle between a teen girl, the vampire she loves and the werewolf who loves her. The vampire loves her back, so there are a lot of scenes where they almost kiss, or kiss a little. Except he also wants to eat her and it takes all his self control to keep from ripping her heart out at any moment; if they kiss too much he is liable to lose control and kill her. This means love scenes generally go:
Vampire: Knock it off!
Girl: Ooh, sorry. I am bad.
As the reader is frequently reminded, if the girl can’t keep her immense attractive powers in check, the vampire will do her some serious violence. And it will be all her fault for being just too tempting. Does this rationale sound familiar? You may have heard rapists using it. She should never have worn that dress/walked down that street/tried to kiss her vampire boyfriend. It was all her fault.
Now, the werewolf does not want to eat her. But he is new to the werewolfing game, and it is all too easy for him to lose control, turn into a wolf, and attack whoever is nearest. Which means she better not make him mad! Again, sound familiar? Domestic violence, anyone? She made him so mad, he just couldn’t help beating her up/rending her with his fangs and claws. It was all her fault.
I feel a little sick for loving these books so much, but I really enjoy the main character in spite of her manifest flaws. Other than her relationships with supernatural guys, she is sane, logical and responsible. She does her homework and tries not to make her parents worry. It’s pleasant to spend time with such a nice, normal girl.
In short, I cannot help reading these books. The main character is too darn likeable. It is all her fault.
You’ll enjoy this series if you like the supernatural sex appeal in early Anita Blake novels, the sexual tension between Buffy and Angel, or rationalizing violence against women. You might also like them if you really enjoy Anne’s sensible and slightly boring character in Persuasion, but I make no promises.