So everyone seems to have heard of the Twilight books and movies, that is unless they live under a rock or in a cave somewhere. Twilight is not my favorite book series, as a matter of fact it’s one of my least favorite and not one I’d recommend to anyone, and yet as an educator I kept it on my bookshelf for my students. I read the entire series, I was interested to see where it went and in some vague ways it reminded me of the Anita Blake books, very vague like she has to pick between and werewolf and a vampire that both love her. I wasn’t bothered as many were by the age difference between Bella and Edward, if you like vampire books that’s part and parcel of the genre so you just read past it. The writing itself was what bothered me, it is not quality. As a teacher I desperately want to take my editing pen to the book, teach Ms. Meyer the difference between showing and telling because all she seems to know how to do is tell. However again I say I could not keep the books on the bookshelf the kids yes even some of the boys loved them, so I used the series as a gateway to better vampire books.
One such set is the Saga of Darren Shan also known as the Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan, the story of a young boy who becomes a half vampire and an assistant to a vampire. The entire series is 12 books long. I have only read the first one, and posting this reminds me I want to go back and read the rest because I really did enjoy that first book and have had students who loved it as well.
Another set and one I have read and loved is the Vladimir Tod series by Heather Brewer. Vlad is the son of a human mother and vampire father which means that he is a half vampire living on both food and expired blood brought home from the hospital by his aunt. Vlad lives with his Aunt Nelly and has since his parents were killed in a fire years ago. Throughout the series Vlad meets other vampires and comes across vampire slayers as well. Brewer has since written a spin-off series about the slayers called the Slayer Chronicles. I haven’t read them yet but they are on my list. This would be another set of books I couldn’t keep on the bookshelf.
Otherworldlies and The Siren’s Cry is a duo of books about Fern, a young vampire in this world known as an Otherworldly, except she doesn’t know she’s a vampire. Fern does not drink blood, she has to always wear sunscreen because she blisters if in the sun for a just a few moments, she can talk to her dog, and has been able to accurately predict the weather each day for two years. Things just get stranger when one day in class she disappears and reappears on the beach miles away. She has no idea how this has happened. Suddenly she is thrust into a world she knows nothing about, didn’t even knew existed and because she is special, one of the Unusual Eleven, she has no choice but to participate.
Another great duo is Suck it Up and Suck it Up or Die by Brian Meehl. The cover alone of the first book let me know this is not your ordinary vampire book. A vampire smiley face sucking up blood in the shape of the title through a straw. The name of the central character was my second indication: Morning McCobb. Morning is a sixteen year old vampire, and not your usual vampire. He’s not gorgeous, tall, strong, he is instead short, scrawny and nerdy. Morning has been attending the Leaguer Academy, a school for recently turned teenage vampires. The League has decided it is time to come out to the world and is looking for their spokesperson. Morning has never drunk real blood he subsists on a soy-based blood substitute called Blood Lite. The story follows Morning and Portia the daughter of the Public Relations person the League is using to come out. It is a fun and different read. Pick it up! Then pick up the sequel, I can’t tell you much about it yet but maybe some day, it’s sitting in my to read pile right now.
I know that there are numerous other YA vampire series out there: Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, Blue Bloods, House of Night, and Morganville Vampires to name just a few. Don’t assume as my husband mistakenly does that just because a book is written for young adults that it’s not good for anyone to read. Some of the best books I’ve read have been written for pre-teens and teenagers.