Monday, October 5, 2009

How Twilight and other vampire novels ruined regular novels for me

Let's start this up with a dream I had last week that I've been meaning to share. I was in a grocery store with Sam and Dean from Supernatural. The guy in line immediately before us bought porno mags and some shamwows. That last episode of Supernatural gave me weird dreams. I would throw those shamwows out after that guy's done if he knows what's good for him. Anyway, on to today's topic.

Last night I tried to read John Updike’s Widows of Eastwicke. I lasted through exactly 3 pages before I gave up. I haven’t read any of his other works, but this was just paragraph after paragraph of run on sentences. What’s happened to me? Have all these years of chick lit, vampire books, and chemistry texts/journals killed my ability to read regular literature and enjoy it?

I started my love affair with vampire novels a little over a year ago. I started with Charlaine HarrisSouthern Vampire Series after watching a few episodes of True Blood. I was hooked instantly. Once I finished all available books in two weeks, I immediately started over. Rereading these books at a much more leisurely pace allowed me to catch some things I missed the first time around. I read several more non-paranormal books before Christmas before I stopped reading novels all together. My pregnancy addled mind couldn’t focus on novels, so I read magazines and surfed the net on my crackberry to keep me from maiming the freaks on the train. Thinking ahead, I told my sister to buy Twilight as my Christmas gift since I had heard good things about the series. She bought me Twilight and New Moon. These two books were shelved away for the future when I could focus on a novel.

After Baby C was born in March, I found myself with three months of maternity leave ahead of me (Well, 10 weeks actually since Baby C was stubborn and came out a week late). On a baby supply run to Target, I bought Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I hate to start a novel series and not be able to read them all in a row. I once spent two months reading through 13 of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series. I don’t like having to think about what the hell happened in the last book that I read months ago (I never said I wasn’t OCD about anything!). The next books that I was due to read out of the authors I follow weren’t going to be released until the beginning of May (Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series Book Nine – Dead and Gone and Jennifer Lancaster’s fourth memoir Pretty in Plaid). I was recovering from an emergency c-section so what better way to rest than to sit stiffly with a good book and the cutest baby in the world in your lap? Then the wheels were put into motion for my fascination. Hey, I needed something to occupy my time while the hubs was playing Call of Duty nonstop.

I started Twilight and was done in two days. There is something about Stephenie Meyer’s writing that just sucks you in. I still maintain that there are subliminal messages in the text. How else could so many people of all ages love these books? I continued on to New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. Breaking Dawn nearly broke my psyche, but I finished it after taking a break to read the books I had been waiting for above. I did watch the Twilight movie on DVD with my sister. She was totally in love with it and I made fun of it the first time I watched it. Now I don’t have much of an excuse, I’ve watched it about 10 times now. It gets less hokey upon repeat viewings. There are still some scenes that make me cringe, which I’m sure will come up in MrsVanquish and Betti’s movie vs. book discussion on their blogs. Bottom line, I read these books quickly and probably missed some key points. I plan on rereading these before New Moon comes out in the theater to refresh my memory.

Through various True Blood websites like and Twilight websites, I found out about other vampire series. The first set I read was the Queen Betsey series by MaryJanice Davidson. These books follow the life of the Queen of the Vampires whose main hobbies are shoes and cussing. These are very comedic but also contain some lovely lemons. Seven books are available in this series. The next set I finished was the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. There are four books currently available, featuring a half-human half-vampire woman named Cat who fights bad vampires with her vampire husband Bones. This series is also funny but more serious than the Queen Betsey series and also contains serious lemony goodness. I can’t wait for a new release in this series to come out in 2010.

In between some of these books I’ve attempted to read non-vampire books without much success. I read Stephenie Meyer’s The Host with difficulty. The book was pretty unbearable from about 100 pages in until around page 450. Several of my friends have read this and it’s a pretty even split among those who loved it and those who loathed it. I’ve never forced myself to finish reading a book like I had to do with this one. I had borrowed it from a friend and didn’t want to buy it for myself. I finished it, gave it back, and am now on the fence about reading any future non-Twilight Saga books from this author. I read the seventh book in the Andy Carpenter Lawyer series by David Rosenfelt I had been waiting for (New Tricks). David Rosenfelt's books feature a reluctant lawyer and always have dogs in the story. In real life, his foundation has rescued over 4000 dogs from shelters and death. Then I read a book featuring a woman prophet and demons called Every Demon Has Its Day by Cara Lockwood. That book also took a little getting into even though it was supernatural. I never had a problem getting right into books before like I do now. If the subject is vampires, I’m right into it. If the subject is something else, blah. All of these vampire series has ruined me on regular fiction.

So what’s a girl to do that has free time on her commute to help her ignore the mutants that ride the train? I think I’m going to start the Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith. Next I’ll reread Twilight and New Moon. Maybe a little Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I still haven’t gotten around to reading the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton or the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. The covers of those book seriously embarrass me, but who cares? I don’t ride on the train with anyone I know anyway.

I guess I might as well continue my vampire book obsession. I do have the new Patricia Cornwell book, The Scarpetta Factor, coming out in a few weeks. That will be my only non vampire book to read in the near future. Any suggestions to what I should read? I need to start compiling my Christmas wish lists...


  1. I've been reading the Outlander books...pretty thick, but some good Scottish kilt action.

    Just read 2 terrible books on vacation. So I'm a little limited on recs right now.

  2. I've been so damn consumed with fanfic and re-reading the Twilight Saga for *cough* the 4th time, I have no suggestions.

    But, I will say this, I did love The Host. There was some dead weight in there I could have done without but still loved it!

    Have you read Anne Rice? I read her stuff like 10 years ago but am seriously considering taking a trip down memory lane ;)

  3. L.J. Smith has a whole lot of books that are really good. Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde has my favorite vampire man ever. But that's just one book.

    If you want other stories that are somewhat different in general, I recommend the author Francesca Lia Block. She has a beautiful way of writing and is my favorite author in the whole wide world. Oh, and The China Garden by Liz Berry, is another book that I've had since I was younger and I adore it.

    There are plenty of books out there that are awesome without the presence of vampires. I'd honestly hang out in the Young Adult section.

  4. I agree with FireCrotch, the Outlander books are awesome and there are so many that you will need some time to read them. I'm really in love with this series.
    Hm what else, I also just bought the Vampire Diaries, I think there are 4 but then there are also this Spin-offs about Damon, did you read them too? Or planing it?

    I read just tons of Fanfics at the moment, I'm not yet done with Edward and Bella:-) But give the Jamie The Outlander a try!

  5. @FC I need to add the Outlander books to my list, been meaning to.

    @Kyrene Thanks for the suggestions. Those look like some really good books. I'm eventually gonna have to get off this vampire train. I actually read a wide variety of books before this vampire kick of the past year. Maybe someday soon...

    @MrsVanquish We tweeted about the Vampire Diaries. I'm part way through book one and they are very different than the tv show. So far I'm liking the tv series much better, mostly because of Ian Somerholder...hehe. I only have 5 fanfics that I read and I'm starting to get confused. Can't read anymore than that or I'll have no clue what is going on.

  6. Its like you took this right out of my head! My friends keep giving me good books to read but I just cant. Everytime I start a book I'm like "wait where are Edward and Bella" then I give up and go back to fanfic. I can not stop reading fanfic. I literally spend hours a day reading it. I would like to try the Black Dagger Brotherhood series though. I checked for it at the library and no such luck. Guess I will have to buy it:(


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