There have been some obvious suggestions, focusing mostly on more vampire titles: L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries, which has already begun to gather a Buffy-deprived generation of follows through the CW series; Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series; the Mother-Daughter Cast pairing with the House of Night books; Blood Coven, by Mari Mancusi; or the Melissa de la Cruz collection, Blue Bloods.
Many think the that the undead obsession will shift to werewolves and zombies next. While these creatures have grown in popularity amongst the adult and humor genres, it’s not a likely contender for this younger crowd. Because really, what’s sexy about kissing a hairy dog, or a walking carcass with a fetish for brains? Granted, I could be proven wrong with the fascinating Shiver title from Maggie Steifvater.
And still others believe the undead fixation will dwindle, and allow other fantasy worlds to emerge: angels (Fallen by Lauren Kate), steampunk (Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld), faeries (Wings by Aprilynne Pike), and the return of magic (Patterson’s latest YA, Witch & Wizard).
My opinion is less concerned with WHAT to read next. Instead, look at what these titles represent to YA readers. Many of these vamp-filled titles leave much to be desired (though I could personally claim the same for Ms. Meyer’s books as well), and just don’t do justice to some of the more advanced adult fiction selections. And just because Steampunk and Zombies have been huge for the adult fiction doesn’t mean the younger readers will follow the trend. However, none of that matters. What matters is what doors this ridiculous Twilight craze has opened to a generation of potential readers. I predict that after the teens finish the Twilight saga, they’re NOT going to follow the flock anymore. S.M. did more than begin the biggest underage cult fandom since Harry Potter; she blew down the door for fantasy and make-believe to be “cool” again. The days of hiding your book cover inside your backpack and under the lunch table are over! Because if the cheerleaders and jocks give you grief for your love of extra-terrestrial romance or medieval history adventures, ask them just how many times they went to see Edward and Bella on the big screen.
So while I believe pirates, faeries, and vampires are the trends to watch, the real “win” for publishing is that kids are reading, and reading with a vengeance!
*read more on these titles at theDailyBeast