The YA Paranormal Drinking Game
I have been sitting on this post for some time, like a hen on a very shy egg. No, wait. That’s a weird simile. Who says things like that? Weird people, that’s who. And I am clearly not one of those. ANYWAY. Before we begin, I must disclaim a few things:
First, this entire post is meant to be in humor, and good humor at that. I love YA paranormal books, and I love the people who write them even more. Hell, I write them. Many books I adore are guilty of at least a few billion things from the below lists. My books certainly are. And because this list is both somewhat-serious and somewhat-in-jest, it’d be pretty impossible for a book to not hit at a couple of these points somewhere along the way.
Secondly, consider this list interactive. I may add any particularly salient suggestions the internet throws at me as time goes on. If you’d like to keep score, count the number of drinks you take and add them up at the end to find your BAC! And please, share your results with the class.
Final disclaimers: This game should probably not be played with actual alcoholic beverages, or at least not point-for-point. I think you could probably have a jolly good time if you actually took a shot every third or fourth times you’re supposed to, but keep track anyway! Additionally, if you are under the age of 21 you should not be playing this game with alcohol at all because you are underage and I don’t endorse that because that would be a Very Bad Thing
but I won’t tell your parents.
I am not responsible for any damage, physical or mental, temporary or long term, caused to you or your internal organs over the course of this post. With that said, let’s roll! Make sure you have your drink of choice handy.
* If your main character is a teenage girl, take a drink.
* If your main character moves to a new town or starts at a new school toward the beginning of your novel – or is returning to a town or place of residence she hasn’t been to in many years – take a drink.
* If one or both of your main character’s parents are dead, missing, or otherwise out of the picture, take a drink. If this is the backstory to why she’s moved (see previous point), take two drinks.
* If the majority or entirety of your book takes place in a boarding school for teens with magical powers, pour one drink for each named character enrolled at said school, and drink all of them in rapid succession. Repeat until liver fails.
* If your main character fulfills ALL of the following: white, able-bodied, heterosexual, vaguely non-denominational Christian and/or agnostic, take a drink.
* If there is a love triangle in your novel, finish your drink and pour another. Or a love any-geometric-object-with-MORE-than-three-points. (Ha, you thought you were being sneaky! Drink, motherfucker!)
* If there are vampires and/or werewolves in your novel, dial emergency services, step away from the screen, and play Edward 40-hands with yourself until the ambulance arrives.
* If either your main character or her love interest are over 100 years old, take a drink.
* If either your main character or her love interest are enrolled in high school for the second (or third or fourth or or or…) time as a result of their age, take two drinks. Yes, L.J. Smith and Stephanie Meyer, you may be excused to go to the bathroom.
* If your main character is a redhead, take a drink.
* If your main character comes into superpowers at some point, take a drink.
* If your main character’s acquiring of supernatural powers is due to either her reaching the appropriate but totally arbitrary age, and/or a paranormal family legacy to which she is totally ignorant, take a drink.
* If your main character only acquires supernatural powers as a result, somehow, of her love interest, take two drinks.
* If there is a supernatural reason why your main character and her love interest cannot make sexy times, take a drink.
* If your love interest is a quintessential bad boy who has never shown emotional interest in any girl before Protagonist sweeps into town, take a drink.
* If your main character is both strangely attracted to yet superficially repelled by Love Interest, take a drink.
* If there is a supernatural reason why their romance is pre-determined and/or inevitable, take three drinks.
* If Love Interest’s expressions of affection could, at any point, be mistaken for stalking and/or psychologically unstable behavior, take a drink.
* If there are other people in the world with the same ability as your main character, but she is or becomes the best at it despite having her powers for only a short time, take a drink.
* If there is a prophecy of any kind in your book, self-fulfilling or otherwise, take a drink.
* If your main character is, in any way, the Chosen One – whether by destiny, fate, or prophecy, take a drink. Since ‘prophecy’ is now on this list twice, take another drink for good measure.
* If there is, has ever been, or will at some point be a magical object your characters must acquire in order to advance the plot, take a drink.
* If your character and her love interest are automatically, instantly smitten with one another from the moment they meet, take a drink. Yes, L.J. Smith, you may go to the bathroom again.
* If Love Interest is dark and broody, sexy and angsty, misunderstood and a troublemaker, or some other embodiment of these qualities, take a drink (Acceptable alternatives include: disheveled and detached, emo and sexy-ugly, obnoxious and whiny.)
* “We’re in a terrifying situation and I know we need to run but FIRST I’m going to DEMAND an EXPLANATION about your backstory!” You. Yes, you. You know what you did. Just drink.
* If your narrative voice is somehow remarkably genre-savvy but your character is still a genre idiot, take a drink.
* If any characters contract a mystical or demonic pregnancy at some point, take a drink.
* If the pregnancy is a thinly-veiled attempt at promoting abstinence to your readers, take a drink, and consider writing contemporary instead.
* If Love Interest is foreign (but still white), and/or speaks with an accent (but a sexy one, of course), take a drink.
* If Love Interest or his family somehow has more money than God, take a drink.
* If Love Interest – or any character – is actually a god, take a drink.
* If there is a token minority character among your cast, take a drink.
* If the token minority character dies or becomes evil or was secretly evil all along, take a drink.
* If your villain at any point says “As you know…” or “Since I’m going to kill you anyway…” take SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS-SHOTS-SHOTS!