Ya know, there is a whole other world out there beyond Twilight…

16 Mar

I follow a lot of YA blogs, Facebook pages, and various other book related web stuff. From all of this I have discovered something kind of surprising. People really love Twilight. I know all about the fanatics and all the hype, but I am talking about librarians, teachers, and many very well read individuals. And I just don’t get it.

I read Twilight. Shoot, I inhaled Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. When Breaking Dawn came out I read it pretty quickly, but I had already started to get over the hype. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading all 4 books, I knew they weren’t very well written and contained a lot of stuff that could be misunderstood by young girls. I saw the movies in theaters, I even own the DVDs, but again I know this isn’t quality entertainment.

These 4 books have inspired some mass obsession and I just don't get it.

I think perhaps the reason they have been so loved by all types of readers is because they filled a void in YA fiction. There was a whole in the genre… FRANCHISE! Sure Harry Potter is a much bigger franchise with a lot more appeal, branching into everything from food to amusement parks, but reading about our good ole pal HP wasn’t just a YA thing. Kids, adults, the elderly all read Harry Potter. Right after the last book came out I went to an outdoor concert and practically everyone there was reading it. It was incredible to see such an impromptu community readership. The YA genre didn’t have a really huge franchise like that. Then came Twilight.

And now… Now we have The Hunger Games. A lot of people have starting making all kinds of comparisons between the two book-turned-movie franchises, but really there isn’t much to actually compare. The one thing that is evident when putting the two next to each other is that The Hunger Games reveals a lot about humanity and Twilight reveals a lot about… sparkly vampires and passive women? Seriously, I kept looking for positive things someone might have learned from Twilight and I couldn’t find any blog posts or articles that said there were any valuable life lessons to be learned.

Bella vs. Katniss? Please don't make me laugh...

So if you, too, are jonesing for some fierce YA franchise worthy series, look no further. Here is my awesome list of 5 great YA series that pretty much need to be into movies or TV shows.

Probably the best adventure series ever written for a YA audience...

1. Bloody Jack (and many sequels) by L.A. Meyer

Pirates, hidden identity, the high seas, tons of adventure, spies, the Mississippi River, New Orleans, Post-colonialism Boston, Napoleon, orphans, boarding schools, accents (if you listen to the audiobooks like I highly recommend), chivalry… And one of the strongest female protagonists ever written for a YA audience.

I’ve always felt that this would be an amazing TV show. I would probably make the first book into a 2 hour pilot/made for TV movie and then use the following books as material for many seasons of a awesomeness. There are currently 8 sequels… but as long as they made Mississippi Jack (my favorite Bloody Jack book) into a season I would be content.

2. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead Tossed Waves, and The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Dystopia, zombies, romance, survival, suspense… Holy goodness I love these books. Carrie Ryan is singlehandedly responsible for several sleepless nights. I became so caught up in each book that I barely did anything else until I finished. As much as I wish there was more than 3 books I really can’t handle going without sleep and am glad for a little break.

This is definitely movie material. I guess I could see it being a TV series, but it would be a very expensive one. I also don’t think the attitude of the writing would do well on television.

3. A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray 

Upper class English boarding school for girls, magic, mysteries, betrayal, being an outcast, forbidden friendship… Libbra Bray took a somewhat done idea and put a great spin on it. The books sucked me in and it felt like I was living everything alongside Gemma Doyle, the protagonist. I had high hopes that there would be more to Gemma’s story, but recent Libba Bray books are in a completely different genre.

These could be movies or a TV series. You could probably just make one movie out of the first one, but I think it would leave fans begging to see the other to put on the big screen.

4. The Gallagher Girls Books by Ally Carter

On the lighter side of the franchise worthy list we have : 1) I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You, 2) Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, 3) Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover, 4) Only the Good Spy Young, and 5) Out of Sight, Out of Time (which just came out a few days ago).

In case you couldn’t tell these books are about teen girl spies in training and the school they attend. I will not reveal more than that, because there is simply way too much for me to sum up in one more sentence.

I do think these would be great books to be made in to a series. Perhaps something on ABC Family or the CW would work. Each book could be converted to one season and you’d have enough material for 5 seasons easy. They are fairly light and definitely family friendly.

5. Secret Society Girl, Under the Rose, Rites of Spring (Break), and Tap and Gown by Diana Peterfreund

These books are another lighter series, but this time a bit more grown up. I could also see this being on CW or ABC family. The story follows a young woman at an Ivy League university who gets recruited to be in a powerful secret society. There is a bit of a mystery in each book, but for the most part they are fun and great beach reads.

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One Response to “Ya know, there is a whole other world out there beyond Twilight…”

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  1. Escapist Entropy: Seven Books I Can’t Wait To Read in 2012 | booksinthekitchen - March 20, 2012

    […] Ya know, there is a whole other world out there beyond Twilight… (littlelitgirl.wordpress.com) […]

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