Other Bookish Things

All the Fang-Filled Glory!

Note: this is the only post carried over from my previous blog hosted on Blogger.

As you can tell on my Twitter, I’m #TeamUnicorn. But as someone with unnaturally sharp teeth (my orthodontist commented on it), I’m also #TeamVampire.

And a Ravenclaw.

At my middle school, there was this huge debate/argument that I’ve seen evidence of on social media. Twilight vs. Harry Potter. Vampires-that-sparkle vs. Wizards-at-wizarding-school-with-mortal-danger. But with this came fandom shaming. It wasn’t “cool” to like Twilight (Was I “cool”? No.); Harry Potter was the ONE TRUE FANDOM.

This isn’t okay, guys.

Don’t shame someone for their fandom. You don’t have to like it–heaven knows my sister is in a ton of fandoms I don’t like–but don’t shame someone for the things that appeal to them.

How did this even get started in the first place? Twilight and Harry Potter are two different series with completely different people. Bella is a teenager who recently moved to Forks. Harry started as an eleven year old living in a cupboard under the stairs. Each writer, Queen Jo and Stephanie Meyer, had different stories in mind, though they both feature vampires. But they both had movies made. Could the comparison have started with Robert Pattinson?

My guess is yes.

He’s an actor, guys, and most importantly, a human who chose what movies he wanted to work on (ok maybe this isn’t how casting works but he could’ve said no). His characters are two separate people who belong in their own universes and probably never dreamed they could’ve met.

Cedric Diggory (Rest in Peace) and Edward Cullen aren’t the same person, though they share an actor. Did you hear about that guy who plays the vampire AND the one who dies in that tournament? Yeah, he’s cool, he’s got a couple successful movies, let’s cheer him on.

Then there’s the writing/interpretation criticisms. HP fans have argued that true vampires don’t sparkle in the sun (The vampire at Slughorn’s party was kind of adorable though). Twilight fans have made the following criticism (found on Pinterest).

Sorry if that’s too small to read. In essence, Twilight fans call HP dumb and HP retaliates and relationships go down in flames, fueling the Montague/Capulet-esque hatred.

Writers have differing interpretations of things. Look at Holly Black’s vampires in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. They’re dangerous, ruthless, and formed through a disease that causes those infected to become “Cold”–i.e., a vampire. In Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, vampires are bitten and have the whole long-life blood and glamour business going on. Two seperate interpretations. These aren’t the same books (they’re both REALLY AWESOME so go read!).

I asked my Twitter writer friends (Y’all are great, love you bunches!) to give me words to describe a cabbage. Green. Gloopy. Ruffled. Crunchity. Reliable. Sometimes red. So many words with varied meanings, trying to describe one thing that is completely unique. They chose words I wouldn’t have chosen for a cabbage; reliable was a pleasant surprise.

Like my Twitter peeps, Stephanie Meyer and Queen Jo are different. Harry Potter and Twilight are two distinct books. Queen Jo and Stephanie Meyer are unique and seperate writers. So who are we to compare and fight over two totally different, amazing things?

Because they’re both amazing. I watched Bella grow into someone else, find new things, and live her suddenly incredibly complicated life as she tried to suck it up and deal. She had those human moments where she wanted to give up (Harry did too–we can’t ignore that). Harry took me to Hogwarts and helped me discover myself. Each book satisfied a different need. I wanted epic vampire romance: Twilight was there. I wanted to go away for a while and learn magic: Hello, Harry, how are you? They really can’t be compared.

Furthermore, there’s so much to both wizards and vamps. But I’m going to focus on the vampires in all their fang-filled glory.

1) Usually have superhuman abilities

2) Aren’t picky about food; blood comes in a few varieties but it’s pretty much the same.

3) Generally have awesome style

4) Turn into bats? (Iffy about this one, but OMG SO COOL.)

5) No reflection means not having to look at their face in fits of self-loathing.

6) Sharp, glinty teeth are good for scaring off people they don’t like.

7) So many legends and stories. They’re famous, essentially.

8) People are interested in them.

The list could go on and on; needless to say, vamps are pretty cool. My late present to you will be this other list. Check it out and let your To-Be-Read Lists get ever longer! 😉

ALL THE FANG-FILLED GLORY:

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Mini review: Not a lot of fang-flashing, but it fit, for this book. Mel was completely relatable and cares deeply for her friends. Team Human challenged the whole sensibility of vampire-human relationships through Mel, a teen who’s skeptical of these relationships, particularly because her BFF Cathy has caught the eye of the new vamp in school: Francis. A+ read, guys.

Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Mini review: We have the ultimate girl power thing going on here, reminiscent of Rachel Hawkins’s book Rebel Belle. Gina Covello is the girl (sorry, vamp), I wish I could be. Yes, she likes fashion and beauty; yes, she’ll definitely kick vamp ass. She deals with waking up dead better than anyone I know would, especially when the vampire Mellisande is out to get her boyfriend AND turn the entire student body in a legion of the undead.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Mini review: I read this earlier in the summer and TOTALLY FANGIRLED. Tana, our lovely main character, wakes up at a party gone wrong, a massacre with the sunrise. She suspects vampire and lo and behold, there’s one chained to a bed. However, she’s feeling suspiciously…Cold. Definitely clear away time for this one and grab a blanket!

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Mini review: I read Twilight one Halloween, stowing a friend’s copy in my pillowcase to read while we walked. AND WHOA. Really, this was the introduction to vampire fiction for me. I’d heard about it, of course, the infamous Bella and Edward dominating my school. Don’t believe the people who discredit it because of the movie; the book is great! Also check out Midnight Sun, which is the first couple of chapters of Twilight told from EDWARD’s POV. I loved it and desperately hope Stephanie Meyer will finish it, someday. It’s a different story from Twilight, told in a new flavor because EDWARD. I’m nearly positive that the hugely popular Twilight series would’ve been even bigger if Midnight Sun had been written first.

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Mini review: Nina Harrison became a vampire at fifteen and every Tuesday, she’s forced to go to a Vampire Support Group in the hopes of coming to terms with vampirism. One day, a member vanishes via silver bullet and suddenly life (death?) is more exciting in the support group. I loved this book’s vamps; instead of being powerful, mighty, and intimidating, vamps need help. They’re human at heart and yet less than human. They’ve got to come to terms with who they are now and forget their human ways.

iDrakula by Bekka Black

Mini review: I got this book from the school library’s FREE BOOK SHELF. It’s the story of Dracula retold through emails, phone messages, and websites, hence the “I” in the title. Sometimes it’s a little hard to tell the interactions between characters but I must say: Bekka Black did a great job. It’s certainly not easy to make the most famous vamp story your own. But that’s just what she did.

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus

I haven’t read this one, actually. The marvelous Victoria Schwab mentioned it on Twitter and it seemed like a good read. TDLZF focuses on seventeen-year-old Zebulon Finch after he is introduced to the gritty, dark vamp life. It’s definitely next on my TBR list.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Mini review: While Paranormalcy isn’t a vamp-centric book, they’re featured a couple times. Evie, a sparkly pink taser-wielding agent, has a few memorable run-ins with vamps. She’s an agent without question until a mysterious boy shows up at Headquarters and turns things upside down. I love Kiersten’s vampires in the trilogy–they’re not quite Dracula, but not the famous creatures of legend as they’re made out to be. DEFINITELY read this trilogy and have chocolate on hand because it’s BEAUTIFUL.

Cheers,

Kaelyn

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