Alternatives to Twilight

Someone asked for titles for more progressive books for adolescent/tween girls. I hear you saying, “C’mon what can be more progressive that having a fetus chew through your spine and loving it, as in the most recent Twilight book (breaking bad — oh wait that’s about meth, isn’t it?). Our Mormon friend Stephanie Meyer sets the bar pretty low.

So here goes:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show, but it belongs on any list)

Trudi Canavan (Australian) — her magician series ROCKS, featuring real gay musicians and not the closeted Dumbledore variety. I’d read her to-do list if she published it.

Kristin Cashore (American) — Graceling, Fire; not as strong as some of the other titles here, but autonomous chicks in fantasy settings nonetheless.

Tamora Pierce (American) — Beka Cooper series is fantastic, but I’d read anything she writes (also has a wonderful Protector of the Small series, with awesome animal rights sentiments).

Philip Pullman (British) — Lyra of the Dark Materials books is wonderful, but I’m partial to the less popular Sally Lockhart series which I understand is being adapted by the BBC.

Robin McKinley (American) — I’ve only begun reading Fire (co-authored with Peter Dickinson), but it’s sweet and wonderful and none of the girls need boys to protect them. Refreshing. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Suzanne Collins (American) — The Hunger Games is brilliant and I also liked the sequel, Catching Fire. Sometimes a bit too heteronormative for my tastes, but I’m picky that way.

I’d be totally remiss if I didn’t mention Angela Carter’s old school The Bloody Chamber, in which Bluebeard is defeated when his wife’s mother comes riding to her rescue on a TIGER and kicks his ass. Probably not for the under-10 crowd or faint of heart.

There’s a lot more, and hopefully folks will add to this list, but I’ve got to sneak in a work-out before heading to the last day of Tony’s K’nex camp. One tip for grown-up readers: if you haven’t read Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind, get it now.


2 responses to “Alternatives to Twilight

  1. i remember borrowing your copy of Meyer’s Host and really liking it. what happened to her!?

  2. Host is different, but traces remain. I think the word-building in Twilight (across four books) allows for us to get a better sense of the agenda . . . Plus The Host is sci-fi and not romantic supernatural crap.

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