Kresley Cole, Stephanie Meyer, J. R. Ward, Cassandra Clare, Lisa Jane Smith, Spirit Bliss, Claudia Gray, L.J. McDonald, Anne Bishop, Juliet Marillier. Only a few names of those authors, who constitute in a genre, which is one of the biggest phenomena of this decade, especially among young women. Romantic fantasy has become particularly popular with the Twilight books, which were released in 2005. Since then, the vampire-and other supernatural creature-themed fantasy romance novels have been extremely popular all over the world. According to statistics brought out by Romance Writers of America, in 2009, the paranormal subgenre made up 17.16% of the popular romance genre, which in itself 54% of all books sold by the publishing industry.(Bailie) Vampires have come a long way from the 19th century until nowadays. Not so long ago they were a sort of evil, but nowadays they are rather teenager’s fantasy heroes. How could such a big change happen? How do these books affect young people’s minds? Are they dangerous for teenagers’ ideas about life? I try to solve the mystery and find answers to the vampire craze in teen literature in this essay.
In the past two years I read almost thirty romantic fantasy books. I bought the first book because I was wondering why this genre is so famous. I was surprised and I continued reading. Then I researched further. I was a kind of skeptical, but also addicted reader. Finally, I made a conclusion that Bram Stoker, the author of the novel “Dracula” is certainly turning over in his grave. After I got used to the fact that in this century vampires in literature are vegetarians, spark in the sunlight, all of them are attractive creatures with a 17-year-old body, but with a 104 year-old soul and they have absolutely no problem with garlic, I started thinking. Basically I liked the main story, but if I were twelve, how could this affect my brain and my ideas about love?
Teenagers' minds are more susceptible to influence – from peers and experiences, especially from books. Pubescent children are taken in harmful messages and they can easily believe incorrectly what a relationship look like. What is more, teen couples bite each other regularly to show affection, sometimes so hard they draw blood and what is even more bizarre: some of them cut their skin so they can taste one another’s blood. According to doctors biting can lead to diseases. Fifteen percent of bites from humans can become infected; moreover, biting can spread sometimes blood-borne diseases like HIV, hepatitis or syphilis.
Let’s see an example from the first part of Twilight Saga, because it has been already mentioned. In the first part of the series, Bella says, “About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how potent that part might be-that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.”(Meyer,195) It sounds as if...