I had a marvelous dream the other night. Riding on the back of the dragon Saphira (of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle), I battled the vampire coven of Cullens (of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga). With Saphira’s help, I reduced the Cullens to sparkly puddles; vampires are practically stone, and dragon fire can melt stone, you see. I laughed until morning. The dream could only have been improved by Harry Potter (of J.K. Rowling’s series, of course) flying in on his Firebolt broomstick and joining Saphira and I in battle.
Yes, though while once I would have said that Twilight and the rest of Meyer’s series were the best books ever written, I now firmly believe that they are nothing compared to the many other excellent fantasies written for kids and teens. For a month or two after completing the Twilight Saga, I could think of nothing else, but looking back and re-reading a few passages, I have to laugh. What worthless mind candy!
Now, don’t get riled up, Twilighters: hear me out. The plot line of the Twilight Saga starts basically, and as twists and turns add up, it only gets more ludicrous. Think about it: Girl meets boy, falls in love. Boy turns out to be a vampire. Girl loses boy. Girl’s best friend is also in love with her, but is a werewolf. Girl gets boy again. Do you see what I mean?
At the peak of Twilight’s popularity, the great debate was Edward vs. Jacob. Now as the preparation for the release of the seventh Harry Potter movie builds up, the new thing is Twilight vs. Harry Potter. I am firmly planted on Team Harry Potter. Why? I detail my loyalty to the Harry Potter series in this post, but I can sum it up in a simple way: I could be given nothing but Harry Potter books to read and nothing but Harry Potter movies to watch for the rest of my life, and I would be content. I’m not joking, not at all.
Others don’t agree. According to various newspaper/magazine articles, blog posts, and personal conversations, more boys favor Harry Potter, while the Twilight Saga’s following is predominantly feminine. I gather that this is due to the Harry Potter series’ action, suspense, and mystery, as well as the male perspective on the “romance” (of which there is very little). I don’t find these boyish elements off-putting at all; indeed, I have never come across more pleasing books.
I know what you are thinking now, readers: Okay, so Harry Potter is better than Twilight. What else am I supposed to read? I’ll now address this question by giving a list of good fantasies for young readers other than J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.
- Fablehaven series by Branden Mull
- The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- Damosel and Quicksilver by Stephenie Spinner
- Works of Gail Carson Levine
- Works of Shannon Hale
- Works of Neil Gaiman
I’ve put in my two cents on the Twilight vs. Harry Potter debate; What about you, readers? Twilighters and Potterheads alike, please leave your thoughts!