Books (and series) to read after (or instead of) Twilight
By now everyone at least knows of Stephenie Meyer's novel Twilight whether they have read it or not. Even though the four book arc is called a saga, it does remain finite leaving fans with a dilemma after they have worked through all of the novels. Instead of harassing Meyer to finish Midnight Sun, here are some other titles that might be enjoyable for readers. Similarly, if you heard about Twilight but didn't love it, these comparable books and series might be more to your liking. (These lists are in no way comprehensive, but hopefully they'll point interested readers in the appropriate new direction.)
- Companions of the Night (1995) by Vivian Vande Velde: Before Bella met Edward, Kerry drove to a laundromat in the middle of the night to retrieve her little brother's stuffed bear. She found the bear, and a vampire. All the emotion and action of Bella's story concentrated into a much shorter volume.
- In the Forests of the Night (1999) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes: While most thirteen-year-olds were busy with school and being a young teenager, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote a novel. Risika came to terms with her mother's (and her own) vampire heritage long ago. Still, when an old nemesis resurfaces leaving roses in her Concord home, Risika knows that soon she will have to take action. Very similar to Anne Rice but for a younger set.
- Demon in My View (2001) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes: Jessica is a high school student by day, writer of vampire novels by night. Jessica is content being the outsider at school and spending time with her own vampire creations until one of them shows up at her school. His unexpected appearance forces Jessica to question his intention, hew own inspirations, and indeed her own future in this blend of romance and suspense.
- Peeps (2006) by Scott Westerfeld: Infected by a mysterious parasite, Cal found himself exhibiting some very vampire-like symptoms. Given the choice of hunter or hunted, Cal chose to hunt down others like him (specifically the ones he infected). Part vampire story, part medical thriller, all action--almost no romance or melodrama.
- The Last Days (2007) by Scott Westerfeld: Pearl sees the sanitation crisis in the city. The increasing number of stray cats. The rats that are slowly taking over the subway system. And Brooklyn. Pearl’s friend, Minerva, has been acting pretty weird herself. Pearl decides the ideal way to help Minerva and cope herself is to start a band. Little does she know the band might also be the key to staving off a vampire apocalypse.
- Fire and Hemlock (2002) by Diana Wynne Jones: No vampires here, but if you like supernatural romances this might be the ticket. Polly has two sets of memories. As she sorts through, trying to figure out which memories are real, Polly realizes she's missed entire parts of her life--including Tom Lynn, who might be the most important thing Polly has ever forgotten--in this modern retelling of the popular Tam Lin tale.
- Blood and Chocolate (1997) by Annette Curtis Klause: For the werewolf fans out there this tale chronicles a romance as rife with obstacles as anything Stephenie Meyer could muster. As Vivian, a werewolf, grows closer to her human classmate Aiden, she has to fight her base animal instincts leaving Vivian to wonder if she really can inhabit both roles as human and werewolf.
- Thirsty (1998) by M. T. Anderson: Chris already has a lot on his plate dealing with his family, friends, and negotiating high school. Just like your average teenage boy, mostly. Except Chris seems to be turning into a vampire and isn't sure, exactly, what to do about it.
The books below are for readers looking for another "saga" to fill in for the Twilight books (for whatever reason). Each book below also features vampires in one form or another. I list the first book in each series, some of them go further, you can find out what's next over at the Kent District Library's "What's Next" Database.
- Bloodsucking Fiends (1995) by Christopher Moore: A modern romance that finally features a girl vampire. Jody didn't really plan on becoming a vampire. But then, she also didn't plan on falling in love with a night clerk who bowls frozen turkeys either.
- Blue Bloods (2006) by Melissa de la Cruz: When a popular classmate dies, Schuyler Van Alen finds herself thrust into a new social circle to help investigate the death. Stranger still, Schuyler soon realizes the classmates at her posh New York school are actually vampires. A new twist on the blue-blooded upper classes.
- Dead Until Dark (2001) by Charlaine Harris: Sookie's never really fit in, what with the mind reading and all. When she meets a dark, handsome man whose thoughts she can't hear, it's a dream come true. Except that he's a vampire. There's also the murder to deal with . . . (This series inspired the True Blood series on HBO, but it's nowhere near as gory/racy as the TV show suggests. Just compare the original cover art to the TV tie-in edition to see what I mean.)
- Eighth Grade Bites (2007) by Heather Brewer: Raised like a human, Vladimir Tod has been able to keep his vampiric nature under wraps all of his life with the help of his family. Problems arise in eighth grade, as they often do, when a new English teacher arrives with an unusual interest in vampires, especially Vlad.
- Glass Houses (2006) by Rachel Caine: Claire is less than thrilled with her dorm situation in Morganville, Texas. Little does she know that housing is the least of her problems in this town where vampires lurk after dark.
- Guilty Pleasures (1993) by Laurell K. Hamilton: Anita Blake has many talents ranging from raising the dead to hunting and killing vampires, which is fortunate because in her line of work she needs all of them. Warning: Content is racy here and gets racier as the series progresses.
- Cirque du Freak (2001) by Darren Shan: Darren's life is turned upside down when he and his friend Steve go to see Cirque du Freak, especially when Steve tells the freak show's vampire that he wants to join him! A modernized 'Salem's Lot, gore and all.
- Vampire Kisses (2003) by Ellen Schreiber: Raven, a vampire-crazed goth girl, sticks out in her small town like a sore thumb. At least until a mysterious family moves into the town's creepy mansion and attracts some of the attention. Could these be the vampires Raven has been dreaming of all her life?