Monday, February 19, 2018

Does the World Need Another Twilight?

Okay, let me back up and explain why I'm asking this question, especially about a book that was first released more than ten years ago. For anyone who knows me, you know I'm a HUGE Twilight fan. I mean, look at my bookshelf:

Four entire shelves dedicated to Twilight. And yes, those are in fact, the Twilight Saga dolls. #NotAshamed This picture doesn't reflect all the DVDs I have, because of course I have the all the movies and all the special features, too! Nor does it show the other stuff currently sitting in my Amazon cart that I haven't bought yet.

Now, I know Twilight isn't a literary masterpiece, but I'm not here to talk about the mechanics of the writing. I want to talk about the story itself and the characters. There's an innocence and simplicity to this series. A human girl falls in love with a vampire. That's the crux of it. Throughout four books, they deal with angry vampires, werewolves, and other conflict. The author, Stephenie Meyer, has said in numerous interviews that this story is about first love and all that entails. The healthiness or abusiveness of this relationship is a different post for a different day, but yes, I'm well aware of the arguments and limitations of this series. Putting that aside (for now), there's just something about this story and these characters that pulls you in. I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what that is, and maybe that's why it's such a pop culture phenomenon.

For me, though, it's more than just the story. It's the story behind the story. The story of how a normal, stay-at-home mom wrote not one, but four books (well, technically six counting The Host and The Chemist). She is responsible for getting admitted non-readers to fall in love with reading. Through her writing, she united thousands of people which resulted in lifelong friendships and even writing partnerships. Personally, she gave me something to bring me and my oldest daughter closer during a time when things weren't so great between us, and it's something we still share to this day.

I even threw her a huge Twilight themed 13th birthday party...

Before Twilight, there was Harry Potter, which is arguably the most successful series of all time. Since Twilight, we've had The Hunger Games and Divergent, to name just a couple, but there really hasn't been anything as big as Twilight since it's release in 2005. Sure, lots of authors have written paranormal romance books about humans and vampires falling in love, but none of them are quite like Twilight. Now, I realize there will never be anything exactly like Twilight--believe me, I've tried to find something--which is what led to this post.

For years I've been trying to find another series that is similar to Twilight. When I say I want a book "similar to Twilight," what I mean is I want a book that's simple, a book that focuses primarily on the romance, a book that has the same kind of innocence. I want something that will suck me in and not let me go. I've Googled until I was cross-eyed, and while I've found numerous lists of books to read, it's not exactly what I'm looking for.

I have kept an open mind, though, and I have tried other authors and series. So, I have decided to share those other books with you. I will write a review and share my thoughts on why it is or isn't (strictly in my opinion) the "next Twilight."

Here are the books I currently have on my list:

  • My Blood Approves (The My Blood Approves Series) by Amanda Hocking
  • The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith 
  • The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • Evernight by Claudia Gray
  • Laney (The Brookehaven Vampires) by Joann I. Martin Sowles

When I get to the end of my similar-to-Twilight-TBR, I will have an exciting announcement for all of you, so I hope you'll stick around. In the meantime....back to my original question:

Does the world need another Twilight?

It doesn't necessarily have to be vampires, (although I wouldn't personally object if it was), but with the current state of affairs, I don't see anything wrong with another book or series taking the world by storm and uniting people over their mutual love of a story.

What do you think? Is it time for another Twilight? Are there any Twilight-like books you'd like me to read? Leave me your thoughts in the comments!