17 March 2011

Post 355: The Abused Rescue Werewolf Group

The Abused Werewolf Group by Catherine Jinks. ISBN: 9780152066154 (eGalley- publihses April 4, 2011).

When I think of an Abused Werewolf Group I think of people getting together in a church basement, drinking subpar coffee, and whining about how much it sucks to be a werewolf. I envisioned people talking about how hurt they were when their spouse hit them with a rolled up newspaper after sniffing well...what dogs sniff. Or maybe how someone just couldn't help the urge to chase a car and ran after it for six blocks before the owner of the car pulled over and threatened to run the werewolf down.

Perhaps I watch too many bad movies. I mean, I grew up on stuff like My Mom is a Werewolf and Teen Wolf. I kind of expect camp from a title like this, and I was disappointed when it didn't have any.

Unfortunately, it seems the paranormal has been co-opted by the YA/romance brigade. Vampires and werewolves have to be sexy, or in the case of this particular novel they're presented as just being regular people...most of the time. In some ways I wish I could point a finger and blame one particular author for the demise of the monster genre, but it's just not true. Certain authors have done horrible things to the quality of writing in today's YA market, but that's a completely different bitchfest. Instead I would say that movies have actually done the most harm to the literary genre.

I know, right? Movies always ruin books. Well, not really; there have definitely been some adaptations that I haven't completely hated, and some that I've even preferred. But movies have made Monsters less scary over the years.

Much of this is due to the limited technical abilities: camera, lighting, make up, etc. It is hard to make a convincing and scary monster when you're limited to grandma's old fur coat, some grease paint, and a crummy camera. There are certainly some excellent early werewolf and other Monster movies out there, but let's face it, there aren't as many as there are cheesy Double Feature make-out movies. Those of course evolved into the campy monster movies and B-films. Now instead of running away from our monsters we're too busy falling in love to remember that the whole point of them is remind us of how monstrous humanity can be. We always did like the bad boys, I just wish we weren't so enamored with the man-eaters.

My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Free review copy provided by Netgalley.


  1. Not sure I agree with you here. I think authors have been a major reason why monsters are more romantic than scary these days. Twilight was book long before it was a movie. The Sookie Stackhouse books have done their share as well. I'd even count Anne Rice as at fault. Her vampires were always more sexy than scary.

  2. I think movies paved the way though. It's easier to remove the fear of monsters when you've been laughing at them. I will agree that literature has done a lot towards making them sexy and Anne Rice is a _huge_ culprit, but at least her vampires were still dangerous and something to be feared. Which in a way was actually more in line with the original Dracula who represented the dangers of female sexuality in the Victorian era.

    Still, it's open for contention, I'm more interested in discussion than being right.

  3. Vampires and werewolfs have become more likeable these days.


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