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Be Original!

I vaguely remember a time a few years ago when libraries and bookstores had some variety in their Young Adult section. A time when the only fictional vampires in literature were found in Dracula, Interview with a Vampire, and the masses of generic romance novels on the second floor, between Science Fiction & Fantasy and Manga. This was before the “supernatural” obsession emerged within contemporary teen fiction. I fondly look back at those days, before magical creatures hijacked my reading choices. Sometimes I like to contemplate what first commenced this fixation towards mythical creatures. My theory is that it all started with Stephenie Meyer.

Now, to clarify my point, I’m not saying that Meyer in any way was the first writer to merge together the two ideas of juicy teen fiction and the supernatural (There’s Charlaine Harris, L.J. Smith, and more…). But she was by far the first person to smartly take advantage of those two things in a way that makes a lot of money. This strange occurrence is, in my opinion, a bit of a double-edged sword; though seeing aspects of fantasy in fiction did make me happy at first, the novelty wore off in about a year. I can’t put my finger on the exact date of this revelation but it must have been about a year and a half ago. I distinctly remember walking into a bookstore and practically being blinded by the sheer amount of copy-cat vampire/werewolf/fairy/angel/miscellaneous mythical creature teen fiction novels.

Take note, this was only a few days after I read the first book in a series of YA books eerily similar to Twilight: Mysterious guy, eternal love, danger, etc. Now I planned on giving this series another chance to redeem itself. And then I saw the sequel. If there were a contest called “Book Titles Nearly Identical to Other Book Titles” this book would win. The sequel was- wait for it- Blue Moon (New Moon, anyone?). Needless to say, I didn’t purchase a copy.

Let’s get down to the details now. I’ve noticed that there has been a slow but steady shift in trends for YA fiction. Perhaps only a YA connoisseur like me notices these subtle nuances in trends, but it seems to be that vampires are steadily decreasing and “angels” are increasing. I speak from personal knowledge and much reading. While this looks slightly promising, I remain skeptical. I long for the day when cheesy, vampire Twilight knock-offs cease to be displayed at the entrance to any common bookstore, and instead are exiled into the bowels of the YA aisles. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy cheese as much as any other girl, but I’ve reached my limits and so has respectable teen literature.





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Lena13 said...
May 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm
Wow, you totes just read my thoughts!!! :D
 
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