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Booklist: Vamping It Up

February 8th, 2009 (12:59 pm)

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Amadeus by Falco

Vampires have been haunting readers in poetry and prose for hundreds of years. Sink your teeth into a good book!

My favorite fangy fiction pieces include:

Individually, Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski rock. Put them together and you've got some extremely good times. The Menagerie series brings together legendary characters, making this an excellent recommendation for those who like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. One of my favorite members of The Menagerie is Eve, who became a vampire after she fell from grace. She fights on the side of good now, and she is both ferocious and fashionable. The Menagerie is written for adults.

The Nimble Man
Tears of the Furies
Stones Unturned
Crashing Paradise

Now hear this: Christopher Golden's Shadow Saga is for adults. In the vein of gothic, gutsy vampire stories, it contains death, vengeance, adult language, adult situations, and violence. The Saga should be read in order, though you could easily read The Gathering Dark independently.

Of Saints and Shadows
Angel Souls and Devil Hearts
Of Masques and Martyrs
The Gathering Dark
Waking Nightmares
The Graves of Saints
King of Hell

There's another book I really love that's in the same vein, but because the revelation of the vampires is a big twist, I don't want to give it away. If you want to know the title of the book to which I'm referring, leave a comment below and I'll tell you.

Scott Westerfeld infuses horror, comedy, and science into a funny tale for teens called Peeps. (Click for my review.) Peeps is wicked tasty, people. Delicious. Its follow-up, The Last Days, is good, but Peeps is great.

There have been plenty of teen books released the past twenty years that vamp it up, and I could list those for days. They include but not limited to those by Richie Tankersley Cusick (recommended), Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, L.J. Smith, Darren Shan, Carla Jablonski, Vivian Vande Velde, Ellen Schreiber, and Pete Hautman.

Also check out the original novels and short stories related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Some are for teens, others for adults. I highly recommend those written by Christopher Golden and/or Tom Sniegoski, especially their BtVS/Angel crossover Monster Island and Golden's The Lost Slayer.

Try historical fiction. My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick, which is a nice take on ancient vampire legends. A woodcutter and his son deal with villagers, gypsies, and the newly risen dead.

Additional contemporary series for teens:

We all know about the basic star-crossed vampire romance in which a human girl falls for an immortal boy. Stephenie Meyer breathed fresh life into this storyline, and her books have become international bestsellers. Whether you like them or not, you can't ignore their success.

New Moon
Breaking Dawn

Alyxandra Harvey has launched The Drake Chronicles, a series about two girls who are best friends. One of them, Solange, happens to be a vampire. The only daughter in a large family of vampires. The younger sister of seven brothers, one of which might be crushing on her human best friend, even though the two of them are ALWAYS at each other's throats. (Not literally.) Solange's 16th birthday is around the corner -- and, if the vampire queen or the vampire hunters have their way, it's not going to be sweet.

#1: Hearts at Stake
#2: Blood Feud (June 2010)

Check out Mari Mancusi's comedic trilogy about twin girls quasi-unwillingly become vampires and vampire slayers.

Boys That Bite
Stake That!
Girls That Growl
Bad Blood

Brace yourself for Serena Robar's comedic trilogy about a cheerleader who is made into a vampire. The first book takes place while she is in high school; the second and third books find her at college, in a very special sorority.


For Pre-Teens and Younger Readers

Looking for vampire books for middle school? How about a vampire who is IN middle school? The Chronicles of Vladmir Tod kicks off with Eighth Grade Bites, in which the thirteen-year-old half-vampire, half-human main character hides his fangs from his classmates (except for his best friend) and looks for his missing teacher. Read all about Vlad:

Eighth Grade Bites
Ninth Grade Slays
Tenth Grade Bleeds (not yet released)
Eleventh Grade Burns (not yet released)

Need something vampiric yet innocuous for a younger reader? You must pick up Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe. The title character is a pet bunny. Instead of sucking blood, he sucks juice out of vegetables. The book is narrated by Harold the dog, who, along with Chester the cat, knows Bunnicula's secret. This book led to many more full-length books and short story collections. Here's the order of the novels:

Howliday Inn
The Celery Stalks at Midnight
Return to Howliday Inn

Vunce Upon a Time by Siobhan Vivian and J.otto Siebold is a fun picture book featuring a vegetarian vampire that has a sweet tooth - er, fang! Dagmar does not drink blood. He likes to eat vegetables instead. He also likes candy. No, he LOVES candy. When he learns that humans give out free candy on Halloween, he must muster up the courage to go out - and decide what costume to wear! I love Siobhan's YA novels A Little Friendly Advice and Same Difference, so I absolutely had to read Vunce Upon a Time. J.otto's illustrations are extremely colorful, as always, with lots of things to see. This book will amuse the entire family. The publisher has some neat extras at their site, including a video trailer and activities.

Also recommended for kids: the Oliver Nocturne series by Kevin Emerson. Oliver Nocturne is about thirteen in human years - but over sixty in vampire years! You see, vampires have been secretly co-existing with humans for years, living underground or in abandoned buildings, feeding on humans without hurting or killing them. The young vampires go to school at night when the human kids are asleep. Oliver is the youngest in his family, which consists of a businessman father, a sleek, sophisticated mother, and a trouble-making older brother.

Repeatedly, a young girl named Emalie sneaks into Oliver's house, camera in hand, ready to capture the unknown. Though Oliver and Emalie become friends, her cousin Dean is wary of Oliver. Emalie tries to develop a photograph of her new pal, but he keeps coming out blurry. The more Oliver talks to Emalie and the more he learns about humans, the more surprised he is - but nothing could prepare him for what he learns about himself and about his own origins. Is he really a full-blooded vampire? What role does he play in an ancient prophecy? With cliffhangers and continuing mysteries, this series is sure to hook young readers.

The Vampire's Photograph
Sunlight Slayings
Blood Ties
Demon Hunter
The Eternal Tomb

Vampire Island by Adele Griffin introduces readers to the Livingstones, a family of fruit bat vampire hybrids who are trying to lead "normal" lives in modern-day New York. Lexie, the oldest child, who likes to recite poetry; Maddy, the middle child and main character, who means well but often gets into tricky situations; and Hudson, the youngest, who can still morph into a bat and is fond of antiquated words and phrases. The family members are now trying to be vegan and are aging a year at a time, like mortals, after being around for hundreds of years. The series so far:

Vampire Island
The Knaveheart's Curse
V is for Vampire

Related Booklist: Go Gothic


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 6th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Buffy Summers


Fendi, Ferragamo, and Fangs by Julie Kenner, Johanna Edwards, and Serena Robar

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 6th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)

R. L. Stine sometimes had vampires appear in his Fear Street series. He also wrote a sequence of books about teens who were turned - the Dangerous Girls sequence. My favorite Stine take on vampires came in the Goosebumps series for kids. However, if I tell you which book it is, it will spoil the ending, which is the reason why I like the book so much!

Highlight to spoil yourself:
* Goosebumps: The Girl Who Cried Monster *

Posted by: Heidi R. Kling, Author of SEA, June 10, 2010 (seaheidi)
Posted at: May 7th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC)

Not normally a vampire or supernatural book fan, but LOVE the New Moon/Twilight books...they are so cool and aren't too scary for me. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 8th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC)


Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 14th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)

From a. fortis: Though not necessarily YA per se, I absolutely adore Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I do like Stephanie Meyer's series quite a bit, too. To me both authors provide a fresh angle on the vampire story, which is a theme I can burn out on rather easily! I'll have to check out Christopher Golden--have heard a lot of good things about him.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 15th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)

Yes, yes, read Christopher Golden's books! He has over a hundred, and he's hit many genres, so if you aren't sure where to start, let me know what type of book you like best of all and I'll get you set up!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 14th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
Vampire themes

Another series that one of my male 8th grade students led me to is the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. While a little 'mature' in places, it's good fun. She has also written a more adult storyline in her "Succubus Blues," and the 2nd, which features the same characters, "Succubus on Top." Not for children, but both are delightful tales if you like the fantasy type genre.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 14th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Vampire themes

Thanks for the recommendation! I have the first Vampire Academy but have yet to read it.

Posted by: novel_tee (novel_tee)
Posted at: November 11th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)

Did you ever review Breaking Dawn? I'm curious as to what you think of it, since as a fellow Sarah Dessen/Deb Caletti fan who appreciates subtlety, I was appalled...To say the least.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: November 11th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)

I didn't. I read the first three and had no desire to read the fourth.

I agree: Subtlety is key.

Posted by: novel_tee (novel_tee)
Posted at: November 11th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)

I think the fourth book would be kind of an entertaining read if you wanted to point and laugh at the ridiculousness of the fact that a book like that got published. It's...outrageously absurd. It's the kind of pop culture phenomenon of a book that'll end up on VH1 I love 2008 a couple years from now where they make fun of it's craptastic nature. I think it was just pure crap, though.

It makes me sad that there are probably a bunch of great authors out there without a published book to their name and then there's Stephenie Meyer who's reeling in the big publishing bucks with this drivel.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: November 11th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)

*hands you a Christopher Golden book instead*

Posted by: adamj7 (adamj7)
Posted at: February 13th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
I love vampire stories too!

Everyone has to admit that the 'Twilight' series of teenage vampire romance stories are eloquently written.

Stephenie Meyer has a very good, unique style; I hope we see more of her writing in the future.

Please feel free to visit my journal - adamj7.



Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 13th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
Re: I love vampire stories too!

Thanks for dropping by!

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