Over at Nerd Girl Blogging, Lindsay admits to a misconception she had about The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel: “I guess I kind of forgot what Liz B had said in her review [of The Beautiful Between], because I was totally expecting a paranormal story. I just reread the review and though she doesn’t come and say it’s not paranormal, she does say there are no ghosts or vampires (so of course that means it’s about witches and vampires, right??). To be honest, I was about halfway through the book and I was still waiting for the main character, Connelly, to be all SURPRISE MY MOM IS A WITCH YO!”
That just cracked me up, because I’ve done that. Somehow, gotten the entirely wrong idea about a book. As I wrote in my review of Octavian Nothing, I began reading that book thinking it was a fantasy. Yes, Dear Readers, I thought that one of the most moving, thought provoking, and authentic examinations of slavery and the American Revolution was an epic fantasy with Gothic overtones about a lost prince being held hostage by evil magicians. Also, I thought it was set in the future. On another planet.
This leads me to ask you two questions.
First, how late can a story say “by the way, SUPERNATURAL?” Usually, when a main character living in the regular world (just like us!) realizes that vampires/werewolves/demons are real, it happens pretty quickly. There could be an entire book about Grace from Shiver that is set in a realistic world without a whisper of wolves. Imagine if that first book was just about her in high school, and the sequel to that first book introduced Sam and company. Would we be, “hey, you cannot just change a real story to a supernatural one,” even though it would give us a better experience of how shocking it is to the main characters to realize that werewolves (or vampires or witches) do exist?
Second, have you ever had a “where are the witches? what, this isn’t on another planet?” book moment?