The Era of YA Vampire Books

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I was looking at my bookcase, and I still have a bunch of books from when I was a teenager. I went through a serious vampire phase. Don’t get me wrong I still love a good vampire book. But there’s something about the late 2000s and early 2010s in young adult fantasy books, where there were a lot of books featuring vampires. Now, I didn’t read all of them and most of the book series I’m going to mention today I technically never finished either due to going to college or growing out of the phase by the time the rest of the books in the series came out.

Vampire Academy

I read every book but the last one in the series, by Richelle Mead, and I can’t remember 90% of the fifth book. I still have them on my bookshelf as I keep telling myself that eventually, I will get around to finishing them. The final two books on my shelf are with the new covers instead of the old ones. Honestly, I’m torn over which version of the covers I prefer. The new ones are all one color, but they have a hint of the original covers beneath the VA symbol of the series.

This series follows Rose a dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) that is training to be the guard of the last member of the Dragomir line, who is next in line for the throne. The vampires in this series are broken into two parts: Moroi (mortal vampires with a normal lifespan and death who have magical powers) and Strigoi (undead vampires). Moroi can become Strigoi if they drain their victims of blood or are turned. Lissa is one of the few Moroi who specializes in the element of Spirit, allowing her to heal and revive individuals which leaves them “shadow-kissed” (a type of bond). This bond exists between Rose and Lissa, which allows Rose to sense where Lissa is at any time.

Also, a major thing about this series is that Rose has a relationship with her mentor, Dimitri, which is forbidden on so many levels. Not only is he way older than her, but he’s a teacher at the academy for dhampirs and the guardian of Lissa Dragomir. Two things that are a major no-no.

House of Night

A twelve-book series, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, that I’m 99.9% sure I only made it to book 5 or 6 before I stopped reading the series, mostly due to the fact that I went off to college. I don’t remember a large majority of the plot at this point and have donated my books, but I remember enjoying this series.

The vampires (or vampyre as it’s spelled in the series) in this world are individuals who get marked (an empty crescent symbol appears on their forehead) and are forced to attend an academy where they can learn about their new abilities. Some individuals are gifted with one of the five elements, but Zoey is gifted by all of them. She must learn her abilities and deal with an elite group of individuals who are abusing their goddess-given gifts. I remember there was also a plotline of Zoey getting involved with a teacher at some point during the series, but it always had that gross undertone to it. And I especially hated that she cheated on her boyfriend at the time because of that plotline.

Blue Bloods

This series, by Melissa De La Cruz, I stopped reading after the third book, though I might have read the fourth. I can’t remember as I no longer have the books. Most of this series I had borrowed from a friend, so I only had one book myself in my collection. Which I think was the main reason I never finished it. I didn’t have a lot of money for books, and there were other ones at the time period that came out that I wanted to read more. I have no idea how this series ended but it had an interesting concept.

Basically, the vampires in this universe have blue veins that start to appear as they get older. The individuals start to crave raw meat and blood. Most individuals are aware they are Blue Bloods, but not Schuyler Van Alen. She was raised outside of that life, but those who were raised inside are aware they are reincarnated and most have a pair/bond that must be kept or else the cycle breaks. However, Mimi and Jack end up as siblings in their latest life, and Jack and Schuyler have an attraction for one another due to Schuyler’s unique blood legacy. Does Jack end up with his bonded half or with Schuyler? Also, there are individuals called Silver Bloods that are attacking the Blue Bloods. Which leads to trials and accusations across the board.

The Vampire Diaries

I read this series all the way until it switched from being written by L.J. Smith to a ghostwriter. I did read one book from the ghostwriter, but the tone switched so much that I didn’t feel the need or want to keep going with the rest. This happened during The Salvation plotline. I still watch the shows that were inspired by the original series, but it does not follow the plot by any means once you get past the first book.

This story follows Elena and her love triangle between the vampire brothers: Damon and Stefan. However, unlike the TV show on the CW, Elena is an angel who has a resemblance to Katherine (the former lover of both brothers) but they are not identical. The brothers are also far older and from Europe, instead of the Civil War era of the United States. Elena is also a guardian angel with special wings that have unique abilities, but this does not come in until The Return. Werewolves are also different in this book compared to the TV show, and Elena has a different friend group. Caroline is not friends with Elena, and there is an additional friend named Meredith. Not to mention, Elena’s personality is so different than how she was portrayed in the show. So, if you like the show, you might like the series but it is drastically different. The Mikkaelsons are not in the series, Klaus is featured in one book but the story surrounding his plotline is different. He’s not a hybrid, but just a really old vampire.

Twilight

Can’t do this post without featuring my main squeeze, the main obsession of mine during this era: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I helped run a Twilight forum back in the day on Gaia Online, and it’s where my pen name technically comes from.

This series follows Bella Swan and Edward Cullen as they deal with their complicated relationship. Complications due to the fact that Bella wants to become a vampire, and Edward doesn’t want to turn her even after they are ordered to in New Moon. Also, Jacob Black wants to be with Bella, and she doesn’t but continues to string him along.

The books have a lot more color and personality than in the movies. But there are a lot of problematic things in these books from the handling of Native Americans to stalking to toxic relationships. I would not call any of the relationships in this book “good”. And there are a lot of things I would’ve loved to read instead of the story between Bella and Edward, that were mentioned at one point or another during the series.

What vampire book series was your favorite from the 2000s/2010s?

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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