First off, this is not a Twilight-bashing post. I’ve decided to stay silent (for the moment) on this issue. However, as any book-loving teen knows, there has been a recent influx of teen vampire romances, so many that they all blur together. What are you supposed to do if you do like vampire books, only sans cheesiness?
Fear not. There are some legitimately good vampire books for teens out there, and some of them even manage to pull off a dash of romance. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
This one is actually for adults, so be warned: it’s a bit slow to start, and it contains a sex scene. But I can’t say “for seventeen and above,” because that’d be hypocritical.
This is a beautifully written fantasy novel so gritty and real that the world feels as tangible as our own, yet spiced up with a tasty assortment of vampires, witches, warlocks, demons, and shapeshifters. The main character, Rae “Sunshine” Seddon, is a pastry chef with a mysterious background and a knack for both making addictive cinnamon rolls and escaping from vampires who should be able to kill her in a second.
The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause
This is not for a rainy day, after a breakup, or when you feel lonely. Klause is a master of bittersweet, and this tale of sixteen year old Zoë, in the midst of losing her mother to cancer, and the mysterious boy with the silver kiss she meets, is full of longing and heartbreak.
Companions Of The Night by Vivian Vande Velde
Vivian Vande Velde is one of my favorite writers, and in Companions of the Night she makes her own (quite engaging) contribution to the vampire genre.
When 16-year-old Kerry takes a midnight trip to the Laundromat to retrieve her younger brother’s stuffed koala, she doesn’t expect any trouble. What she ends up with is a kidnapping, a fight for her family’s life, and a dangerous young man who may or may not be a vampire.
Don’t worry: it’s a lot more unique than I make it sound.
Next Up: Unique Books About…Werewolves!
– Rheannon, Age 16
Teen Center Adviser