Tag Archives: Stephanie Meyer

Life After Twilight…What To Read When You Finish Meyer’s Saga

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

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Yo Ho Yo Ho A Vampirate’s Life For Me (Or Life After Harry Potter)

There was never any intention to discuss this series straight out, but seeing as PW has featured it recently, and there is a growing demand in the States for the books, it’s only fair to explore the creativity and talent behind some of today’s newest Young Reader series.

Justin Somper, former children’s book publicist and publicity consultancy group owner, has made a huge slash (pun completely intended) with his debut series, Vampirates. These books bring about all the adventure and excitement imaginable with a daring combination of the world of fable and the realm of paranormal. While the YA and Romance world or following their regulated worlds of vampire folklore and Hollywood trends, children’s publishers have unleashed a hot ticket that blends Pirates of the Caribbean with the increasingly popular blood-sucking phenoms.

Enter the land of L.A.P.-Life After Potter. When Harry’s final adventure came out, the world was left with some great options (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Spiderwick Chronicles), but nothing seemed to fill that age-defying void.

(And yes, I am staunchly refusing to endorse, let alone mention the swill circling the book world that masquerades as a revolutionary vampire love story.)

So when the last book ended, and our days of roaming the halls of Hogwarts were final, many of us returned to the stuffy and structured world of adult fiction, with only an occasional glance back at the mystifying lands of magic and childhood mayhem.

But while we, the Lost Boys (and Girls, to be completely PC) grew up again, publishers didn’t let the Pans wander alone, with no stories to strike their fires of curiosity and creativity.

And while I enjoy my Three Cups of Tea and A Thousand Splendid Suns, there is something undeniably endearing and enjoyable about this realm of fantastical faith and magical imagination. Not to mention financially satisfying: while future sales are sure to drop or remain flat, PW acknowledges that, “children’s paperback is expected to be the strongest trade segment this year.”

So if you’ve an interest in returning to the unbound splendor of Neverland (no, not the Michael Jackson kind), then go back without shame. Because really, why should the little kids get all the fun?

If you had trouble understanding this post, perhaps it’s because “a child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.” (Groucho Marx)

**Some titles I’m looking forward to reading:

  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, in which four adventurous children respond to the mysterious Mr. Benedict’s ad (“Are you a gifted child looking for Special Opportunities?”) and in turn attempt to save the world from subliminal messages and the quintessential evil-mastermind. (Little, Brown-2007)
  • The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer, featuring 21st-century time-travel victims, Peter Schock and Kate Dyer, who find themselves trapped in 18th-century London. (S&S-2007)
  • The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, which follows a series of magical mysteries, starring Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, descendants of the famous Brothers Grimm, and detectives in this excitingly magical land. (Amulet-2007)

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Jane Austen, Risen from the Dead

I’m sure everyone has heard, seen, read about, or anticipated the release (6 days and counting) of Seth Grahame-Smith’s rendition of a “literary classic”. If not, here’s the gist: Mr. Grahame-Smith has taken the great Austen novel, Pride & Prejudice, in it’s entirety and added a key element to the mix to make it a little more his own-namely, zombies.

Now, there seem to be two general schools of thought on the topic:

1) It’s an atrocity and will ruin a timeless and “sacred” piece of work.

2) It’s the best idea since mini-donuts.

(And here’s my shout-out to those who just don’t care, either for lack of trying or utter intolerance for reading as a whole.)

To the first group, don’t you think you’re going a bit far? Think about it. When Austen came out with this thing, it was a novel…not like today’s concept of a novel, which you buy and read on the subway, proudly displaying the cover so those around you know you’re a) literate and b) an intellectual. No, back then, novels were like trashy Harlequin stories: women read them often, and most scorned them openly. Nowadays we see it for what it is-a witty interpretation of society, with a slight-to-shocking degree of haughty judgments, surrounded by a young ladies semi-fantastical concepts of ‘true love’.

So please, relax and just enjoy the fact that someone may get new readers interested in your “classic” again.

For the others, well, I’m biased and technically one of you, BUT this may be taking the Stephanie Meyers piggy-bag craze too far. While I am as into paranormal as anyone else these days (come on, I grew up with Buffy and Angel, not that sap Edward), I’m a bit sick of the purge and binge we’ve been doing with the undead these past few years. And if one more person tells me that werewolves are the next big thing, I’ll stake them myself.

Let me just say this for it: I’m grateful for the people who think outside the box, and also for the people who appreciate the historic and formative works. So will I be in line Wednesday to storm the doors of B&N for this book? No. But, it will be put in my list for anticipated summer reads this year.

So go forth, spread the good word, procreate, and “do it flamboyantly.”-William James

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