Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The good, the bad and the sparkly?

Imagine this- you walk into your favorite book store and decide to rummage through the young fiction section. You finally get there and realize that the one place where you enjoyed doing some light reading has now turned into a watering hole for pre-teen girls. But you must be warned, because if you get any closer, the chances are you might not survive “The Vampire Invasion”. It’s like a zombie apocalypse in the literary world, but only a whole lot worse. Because replacing squealing teenage girls with zombies is a lot scarier.

Before you decide to label this post as a hate rant against all current vampire themed books, I would like to tell you that the reason behind this post is that people need to learn to look beyond those books that tarnish the category of young fiction and look beyond only to find fiction that is actually worth reading.

Although young fiction like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings quite clearly contradict the fact that everyone is obsessed with vampire books, there are also books like Hunger Games, The Percy Jackson series, Artemis Fowl, Lemony Snickett- the series of Unfortunate events etc which aren’t given enough of credit, at least in India. These books are most likely judged by their movies which do them no justice what so ever.

But then again, if adventure, humor, Greek mythology and suspense aren’t your thing, then who are we to judge?

But every time I have this conversation with any pre teen or teenage girl, the reply is the same.

“But I love vampires!” Fine. If you must read about vampire stories, read Anne Rice! At least Lestat is a REAL vampire who doesn’t sparkle in the sunlight! Or isn’t “vegetarian” for that matter. Yes, that is a direct Twilight reference, but you have to admit that not only does the series not make any sense but it’s also degrading towards women. But before any Twilight fan decides to hunt me down while chanting slogans about “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” they ought to know that I have read the entire series for some god forsaken reason. Maybe it’s because I am a bit of a masochist (and also a leo. Masochistic lion. Oh the irony!) But back to the topic of concern, why would people read about a spineless not to mention dull character that falls in love with a vampire who breaks into her house just watch her sleep? Mind you that is not romantic, it s downright creepy. So our spineless character accepts her vampire (stalkerish tendencies and all) only to wage a war, get married and give birth to some kind of half breed abomination. Oh and did I mention the part where her EIGHTEEN year old best friend is in love with her infant daughter. So congratulations to all those who are twilight fans and those who are currently reading the book, cause you have just read about necrophilia, bestiality and pedophilia all in that order! But then again, people always must make their own mistakes. Que another hellish vampire book, “The House of Night” . Twelve books of pure torture about vampires with supernatural powers and shallow problems. Did I mention the book “Vampire Academy”? Oh yes school for Vampires where they teach you how to suck. Pun intended. But then again the list doesn’t end here. You still have so many more to go like Blue blood Vampire diaries, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss etc. But sadly this mainly because this is what the public demands and some authors are more than happy to write about those oh so lovable creatures. It’s infuriating because they write such nonsense just to cash in on the success but then again, can you blame them?

Its depressing as a reader to know that this is what the younger audience prefer these days. All you can do is hope that it is just a phase, something that they can out grow. If they don’t and still insist that vampire have somehow evolved from being dark feared creatures of the night to misunderstood emos who just want to be loved and accepted, well then that’s their loss.But if one ever decides to pick up any other young fiction book, encourage it! Encourage them to pick up the Hunger games which is a deathly spin on reality in a post apocalyptic world. It deals with a strong female protagonist which is a great roll model for young girls. Throw in some action, drama and struggle and you have fiction worth your time. Encourage them to pick up books like Eragon or any other books for the Inheritance Cycle if fantasy is what they like!

Expose them to the world of literature for the young where the key to your imagination is your pen. Believe me, they will be grateful. After all, those who have read those books have never regretted it.So well then my dear muggles, demigods, orphans, contestants, dragon riders or whatever it is that you like to call yourselves, I suggest you keep reading young fiction worth reading.

After all, one does not simply let vampire books take over!

Aurelia Fernandes

Roll no :11