In virtue of two females in the house reading it I have discovered a new (to me) genre and given it a new (to all) name, which title appears as the title of this post.
Hermione is patron saint of females pre-sexual still satiated when tittering gleefully over Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson, with New Kids on the Block on the tiny turntable in the background. Readers in this genre are the next mini-generation up in a world where children are urged and prodded to grow up every 3 to 5 years.
Here it as if the boy band mated with James Dean and reverse produced a little Lord Byron with a teaspoonful sized Bronte plot. Chick Lit (the next generation up again) — a Bridget Jones’ Diary, say — comes as desire for Lord Byron clashes with desire for babies and the white picket fence.
That’s what happens when NKOTB gets older but doesn’t grow up and the women look around, “Wha’ happened?!?!” Hermione may be considered the candy cigarette and this new-christened middlin’ version may be seen as the gateway drug.
Hermione notices sex whereas Chiclet Chick Lit involves the smoldering-eyed real possibility of sex. The girl still wants to walk on soft sand in the tender moonlight as the waves lap the shore but if she ends up jammed into a wet dune with a harsh and hairy moonbeam thrusting into it as nature crashes all around her there may be shock and ow, and of course blood, but it will be tastefully, skillfully rendered in some of its glorious detail for the reader, like fat.
It’s beautifully written and accurate to the audience as the girls who read it are of the age and beginning to think those thoughts — Hermione’s crowd pre-sexual; these girls, prehensile — and pernicious in its effects on life actually lived.
Because women after reading these three levels of books still want the white picket fence and a manicured lawn behind it besides but they have spent the last damned decade dreaming about boys who kick over fences and mate on manicured lawns because they so deeply feel, ya know?
Except they don’t.
Just as the woman realizes she doesn’t want to marry Lord Byron she see it’s all she’s known in all his maturity-stunted ecstasy. There’s a chance they’ll marry it and get all this knowledge, too late.
Don’t worry. There’s a genre for that too.