Let it never be said that I don't know how to kick it up a notch! My second pick for my year of reading dangerously was a YA novel. My third pick was a bestselling smash hit major-motion-picture-fodder YA novel about teen vampires.
What's not to dread?
If you haven't heard of Twilight and its successors, you've obviously spent the past four years living under a rock. Mormon housewife Stephanie Meyer has penned, to date, four volumes of this ungodly successful series about a lonely teenager named Bella who moves to a new school and falls in love. Standard stuff, except -get this- her Lothario is an ageless, deathless vampire. Bet you didn't see that one coming.
Twilight's principal effect was to make me long with every fiber of my being for the smart, gutsy heroines of the novels of Robin McKinley. Those girls were embattled but strong, intrepid but thoughtful, and, above all, masters of their own fates. Sure, Bella is smart -smart, gorgeous, soft, pale, virginal and perennially in need of hunky vampire assistance! I counted at least four separate instances of Edward rescuing Bella from mortal peril, and we're only one book into the series. (Number of people/undead rescued by Bella herself= 0).
Twilight panders to every stereotypical female fantasy you can think of. Edward is "God-like" in his handsomeness, smart, cool, popular, older, protective, rich, and powerful. He is irresistibly drawn to Bella (she smells, apparently, like the best dinner *ever*), and ignores every other female. Best of all, he's locked in a holding pattern of longing: since even kissing threatens to make Edward "lose control," he nobly resists pursuing his physical desires, content to watch Bella for endless hours while she sleeps. Ick.
Which is not to say I didn't suck this one dry in less than 24 hours.