Most teen girls I know “loved” the Twilight series and want something else like it. Personally, I have not found anything exactly like the Twilight saga, but if you check out Barnes and Noble or Amazon there is an entire genre now called Teen Paranormal Romance. If you like vampires, but are not necessarily into romance, there are still a number of great books featuring vampires that you might enjoy.
Night Road by A.M. Jenkins. How do vampires learn to be vampires? In this novel, Cole, an extraordinarily conscientious vampire, and Sandor, a more impulsive acquaintance, spend a few months on the road, trying to train a young man who recently joined their ranks. The problem is that the new recruit doesn’t want to be vampire.
Vampire High by Douglas Rees takes an ordinary teen and plops him in the Vlad Dracul Magnet School. Cody soon discovers that his fellow students all are dark-haired, pale-skinned, and supernaturally strong. How will he ever fit in? A sequel, Vampire High: Sophomore Year is also a fun read.
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jenkins will make you laugh. In this humorous story, 15-year-old Nina has been stuck for 51 years in a boring support group for vampires. Nothing exciting has ever happened to them until one of the group’s members is murdered and the others try to solve the crime. I never knew vampires could be funny until I read this book!
Still want some romance? Try Jessica’s Guide to Dating the Dark Side
. Seventeen-year-old Jessica, adopted and raised in Pennsylvania, learns that she is descended from a royal line of Romanian vampires and that she is betrothed to a vampire prince, who poses as a foreign exchange student while courting her. This light-hearted romance is just a fun read!
Hopefully, these will satisfy anyone’s need for more vampire stories. Tired of vampires? You can always switch to werewolves! Try Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater and follow the romance of Grace, who falls in love with Sam, a werewolf who discovers he can take a human form for a short time each year.
This year’s theme for Teen Read Week is “Picture It!” What better way to celebrate than to feature graphic novels that are full of pictures. The LMC is holding a Teen Read contest from Oct. 17 through Oct. 31. Use your barcode to check out a book during these two weeks and your name will be entered into a drawing. Five graphic novels will be given away to the lucky winners!
If you haven’t read any graphic novels, check one out. Graphic novels are full of colorful pictures and present a story using sequential art in a comic book format. But, don’t let the term “comic book” fool you. These aren’t traditional comic books printed on thin paper and featuring cartoon characters like Donald Duck. These are full-length stories on glossy paper, and can be either hard back or paperback. Some graphic novels do feature cartoon characters like the popular Boneseries, or superheroes like Superman and Spiderman. Girls might enjoy the Emily the Strange series.
There are also retellings of classics such as Frankenstein, Fahrenheit 451, and Dracula. Young adult novels are also being made into graphic novels. Two books in the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, Stormbreaker and Point Blank, are now graphic novels, along with several books in the Artemis Fowl series, and the Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief series. The extremely popular Twilight novel is also available. Reading these isn’t exactly like reading the original novel, but you definitely get an overview of the story. Graphic novels also help you “see” the story and visualize the characters.
Not all graphic novels are fiction. Many authors are using the graphic novel format to make serious topics accessible to readers. Perseoplis is an autobiographical account of a girl growing up in Tehran. Other biographies include Houdini: the handcuff king, and Anne Frank: the Anne Frank House authorized graphic biography. Laika tells the story of the first dog sent into space. Safearea Gorzade recounts events in the Bosnian War.
There are a wide variety of graphic novels available. If you haven’t read any yet, give one a try. You can pick one up in the LMC or browse the graphic novel section in your local bookstore.
Have you read any Steampunk? Maybe you have, but didn’t know that’s what it’s called. Steampunk is a new genre that is gaining in popularity with readers who enjoy science fiction and fantasy. H.G. Wells and Jules Verne created steampunk settings in their books, The Time Machine and Journey to the Center of the Earth. In the 1990s writers began to use Victorian settings for novels where characters have access to advanced technologies, many of which are the imagination of the author. The novels often take place in an alternate universe where time and history have been altered. Sometimes they are set in the future, while other times they are set in the past against a well-known historical event. Often there is a paranormal element, along with a touch of romance. Steampunk novels are exciting reads, and once you read one, you will want to read more. Here are several available in the LMC:
Clockwork Angelby Cassandra Clare
16-year-old Tessa Gray has traveled from America to Victorian London to find her brother. She is kidnapped by two evil sisters, but manages to escape and takes shelter at the London Institute, home of the Shadowhunters, whose job is to fight demons. She learns that she has the power to shift her shape and she joins the Shadowhunters in their quest to defend London from evil. The novel combines romance with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and fast-paced action.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield
In an alternate 1914 Europe, war has broken out between the Clankers and the Darwinists. The novel follows the story of Prince Aleksander, a Clanker who puts his trust into machines. He encounters Deryn Sharp, who is disguised as a boy and works on the airship, the Leviathan. These two clash in their beliefs and in how they plan to fight and survive the war.
Airborn and Skybreakerby Kenneth Oppel
These novels are full of adventure and romance. Matt Cruse works on the Aurora, a luxury airship that carries people across the sea. It is powered by a fantastical element called hydium. Matt is on a quest to find magical creatures he believes live in the skies. He is joined on his quest by Kate, a wealthy heiress. Along the way they meet a variety of interesting people, and have a number of harrowing adventures.
Want to know more about Steampunk? Check out www.steampunk.com