My Brain Reads Some Books

So, I’ve been feeling pretty icky recently, and I’ve been rereading a lot of a certain type of book. To be honest the best way to describe them would be “paranormal romance.” Okay, maybe they’re not the most mind-expanding of stories, but they can certainly take one’s mind off of the most persistent distractions. Such as a painful sore throat.

One of my brain’s other favorite diversions is making lists of the similarities between two stories. So since I think I’ve had just about enough reading for the moment, I’m going to play a game called “I’m going to describe the book I just read using only sentences that also describe Twilight, and you can guess what it is.”

I don’t expect anyone to actually guess these. I’m just killing time until I feel well enough to focus on my own stories.

Story 1:

Some people have seemingly no sense of self-preservation. Our plain little heroine is one of these.

She is approached by men on the street, and she thinks it likely that they mean to assault her. Then the hero arrives, and takes her away using his very fast means of transportation. She is grateful, although he believes himself to be more of a danger to her than any human could be. He thinks himself a soulless monster.

Our hero is supernaturally strong and quick, ice cold and nearly indestructible. Once he was human and his eyes were the color of water, but that was long ago. Now they change from black to yellow to red, depending on the circumstances. He does not truly sleep.

He watches her sleep, and is captivated.

At first he believes that his fascination with her is merely a physical need, and that he only protects her because it is the wish of the one who changed him into a cold-skinned monster. But as time passes, his reactions to her confuse them both. He seeks out her presence although it causes him pain to want her so badly and leave her be.

She is surprisingly unafraid, and inexorably drawn to him. He threatens her with a display of his strength but she refuses to believe that he would hurt her. She believes the good in him will triumph. He says she is stupid.

She notices that he doesn’t eat. Someone tells her that he drinks blood. And he does indeed drain the life out of creatures to survive. He wishes it were otherwise.

Other sorts of supernatural beings warn her to stay away from him. She refuses.

She becomes pregnant with his child. This is an event of unprecedented importance and no one knows what it will lead to. There are varied opinions on what should be done, but she makes it clear that she will fight to her last breath to protect this child.

To protect her from destruction, he bites her. He tastes her blood. The exchange of fluid changes her, makes her into a monster like him. It is very painful, and her eyes turn red.

The first time she experiences the temptation he lives with every day, she cannot resist it. Until he goads her into attacking him instead. This snaps her out of it and she is able to resist. He is shocked at how easy it is for her, compared to others in his experience.

She already had a talent for one sort of defensive magic, but now she can do all sorts of variations.

She has prophetic dreams.

He decides to leave her for her own good. He lies to her. Once he is gone, she goes slightly crazy. She hears his voice in her head.

There are objects he pretended to take with him, but actually left with her. They are merely hidden.

He goes voluntarily to the enemy who wishes to capture him. They would kill him, but at the last minute, she arrives to rescue him. She succeeds, and they escape.

They get married. They have a pretty daughter who also has impressive magic powers.

Hints: I think this is actually the second in a longer series. I’ve only read the one. Not normally the kind of thing I’d own but I got it free at NYCC.

Story 2:

This is a story about a plain brown-haired girl who reads too much and doesn’t fit in anywhere. Or so she thinks of herself. But when she moves to a new place, she gets a lot of attention.

She spends a lot of time wondering what’s up with her pale, beautiful new friend and why he rescued her. But mostly she focuses on classes at her new school. She gets a reputation for being clumsy.

One day she is not paying attention and walks alone at the wrong time and place. A group of thugs with terrible intentions finds her there. Her supernatural new friend learns that she is in danger via mental magic, and saves her.

Being involved in the supernatural world continues to put her in danger. She learns that far away, someone she cares about is in peril. At the end of the first book she ends up reeling from her ordeals, but convinced this new place is “home,” where she is meant to be, and she is better off with supernatural creatures in her life.

The second book begins with the celebration of a milestone in our young heroine’s life. But soon afterward, she gets told something that sends her into a terrible tailspin of depression, leaving her practically without the ability to function. Her mind plays tricks on her, in ways that get her to do some dangerous and idiotic things. The turning point comes when she and her new best friend develop a bond that to some might seem to be romantic love, but to her is just a very close friendship, and together they manage to mostly get her functioning again.

He keeps a secret from her that it would be better if she knew about. She’s worried that she’s using him and leading him on. Things get a little awkward.

They spend a lot of time out in the forest together. They have to face danger. He is protective of her, but she is valuable as a source of information about their enemies.

She rushes to a confrontation without her new friend. Her unique brain is a factor in the resolution of this. The authority figures see that it makes her useful, and they let her go on her way.

At the end of the second book she’s still conflicted about a lot of things, but at least one thing is decided to her satisfaction – she doesn’t belong with the man who’s been her companion through most of this book. She is destined to be with the man who her thoughts have dwelt on, though he has been far away.

An overly large portion of the third book is taken up with the idiotic love triangle between the man she is destined to be with and the man she spent most of the second book with. It’s obvious how things are going to go, at least in her mind.

An enemy is seeking to harm her, but she is the only one who connects their threatening behavior with the larger power struggles the guys are concerned with. And she doesn’t even make the connection until it’s almost too late.

When violence begins, she is far from the rest of the forces on their side, and manages to almost die. In fact, she injures herself to help the larger cause.

Her destined lover saves her, but then he is worried that she doesn’t want to be with him. She reassures him on the subject.

Her second-book friend is grievously injured in the conflict.

In the last book, the heroine and her destined lover get married.

The heroine is at one point so close to death that her lover has to use supernatural powers to bring her back to life.

There is a battle. The two decisive factors in the good guys’ favor are 1) unexpected allies appearing from out of the woods and 2) the abilities of our heroine’s unique brain, combined with help and training from her also uniquely talented friends. Her magic trumps their magic. Their harmful mist is stopped, and her ability to seek out the flavor of people – the power of her heart – wins the day. Woo!

It also helps that their magical four-legged friends can communicate with each other and share magical advantages, and that one of the major female characters gets glimpses of the future.

Hints: This is a trilogy  – “Book 3” and “The last book” are the same. It predates Twilight by more than a decade.

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