Trend Spotlights: Angelic Reads Part I

I love angels.  Or at least I love the idea of angels in YA lit.  And apparently a lot of authors do too since like dystopia lit, angel books are all over the place in the YA section at bookstores.

A Little Bit of Background About Angels

Angels have been a part of literature since like forever.  Angels play a variety of roles in multiple religions. And have been viewed as these beings that watched over us.  But while angels have had religious connotations for thousands of years, in mainstream literature their origins aren’t as old.

Probably the first arguably secular work that included angels was John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost.  Although, the poem depicts the biblical fall, one might say that is more secular than other works that  featured angels because the work seems to go into much further detail of the fall than the actual religious text .  The poem itself is a masterpiece having been forced read in my early British literature class.  There are several ways you can analyze the work.  Often Satan has been viewed as the hero of the poem, even though this horrified Milton.   Interesting little fact, Milton wrote the entire thing while blind.

Since Milton there have angels have been frequently saturating the media more and more.

Remember this book?

The point is angels have always been a part of society.  They are often seen as a beacon of hope, a protective figure, or a way to connect with God.  However, angels are portrayed differently in modern YA lit.
Modern YA Angels

 

 

Angels have been popping up in YA literature for awhile.  Case in point, Elizabeth Chandler’s Kissed by an Angel series was originally released in the late 1990’s.

Lookie there, I found the original cover.  

Angel lit started exploding though after a little book called Twilight.

 

 

I know, I know, but this book just won’t go away.  As much as it’s a disgrace to modern day feminism it has affected the publishing industry big time.  

 

Since Twilight has been published forbidden instant love has been in.  And so have paranormal pairings for that matter.
Almost anything supernatural that can be made to look hot has gotten together with some poor human girl who potentially has special powers of her own.  I kid you not.  So why wouldn’t angels not be on the table?
However, while werewolves, mermaids, faes, and other creatures have made an appearance into YA lit. Angels have stuck out.  But why?
Compelling Theories to Why Angels Have Stuck Out

 

A) Angels are vampire lite: Some might say that the angel lit in the YA world is vampire lit lite.  Take for instance, Hush Hush.  A book that on some levels seems remarkably similar to Twilight–i.e. normal girl falls in love with the aloof mysterious boy– but the books are different because Edward is a vampire and Patch is a fallen angel.  So, you might ask what difference might this make?

B) The ultimate battle between good and evil: Angels have always played a role in the battle between good and evil.  Since YA lit likes to explore a lot of light vs dark themes.  They’d be the perfect paranormal creature to feature.

C) Wide Array of Possibilities: Angel mythology has been seen in many shapes and forms.  Giving YA authors a ton of source material to use for the origins of their worlds.  Seriously, while angels are most commonly depicted in the bible they have also been subject to an entire episode of Ancient Aliens.

D) Because Angels Have an Excuse to Stalk: Stalking is a big no, no in my books.  But it seems to always be a big part of YA ever since this guy decided to intrude on his girlfriend’s privacy.
While it has been noted that Edward’s stalking protectiveness is creepy, this sort of thing has continued in multiple YA books.  And with angel lit, the guy has the perfect excuse to be stalking his girlfriend if he’s her guardian angel.
Closing Thoughts:
I’ll be reviewing a lot of angel books this next month or so to sort of get a better understanding of the hype.  If you have suggestions for books I should read please leave a comment.
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2 thoughts on “Trend Spotlights: Angelic Reads Part I

  1. Interesting post! I have to admit that I was a closeted-Touched By An Angel watcher. My granny was a fan and I must hace seen pretty much the whole series… a few times.And I do remember the other angel show! I used to love that.As in books, I think Angels are hard to pull off! The only one I've liked was Coffee House Angel 😀

  2. I liked Touch by Angel. As for Teen Angel, I remember being amused by it when it was on. I just remember one episode where they had a time machine or something that the angel-Marty I think his name was-used back to try to prevent his death and pretty soon the rest of the cast was dead. And I think there was one with Sabrina the teenage the witch too The whole plot was sort of silly, but nostalgic sure. I have Coffee House Angel either somewhere on my book shelves or in storage. I need to see if I can dig it out-as it would be a great one to review. I actually got interested in angel lit by the Blue Bloods books which I really consider to be more about fallen angels than vampires but whatever. So far, the best straight up angel book I've read is Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. Beautifully written that one is.

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