What to Read After... Twilight
Published on: 14 September 2020
With the new Twilight book Midnight Sun hitting the shelves recently, new and long standing fans of the vampire romance series may have been revisiting Bella and Edward’s death-defying romance. But what to read if you loved Twilight and want more – or something different?
If you can’t get enough vampire books, Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Deathless Girls considers the experiences of two traveller girls taken from their village in Transylvania to become servants for the cruel Boyar Valcar – expect gothic scenery, a slow burn girl-girl romance and an underlying threat of Dracula himself… Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz is a 7 book series following the adventures of Schuyler who realises that the kids at her exclusive private school belong to an ancient group of invincible vampires. It’s a thrilling romp but also explores ideas around class and privilege.
If you’re looking for more paranormal romance, Maggie Steifvater should be your next go to read: start with Shiver, in which Grace and Sam must deal with their wolfish identities – and their love for each other. Alternatively, Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series is a must – where demon hunter Clary is forced to navigate a frightening new world in which werewolves roam the streets of China Town and vampires ride above New York on flying motorbikes. Last, L A Weatherley’s Angel finds angel hunter Alex falling for half-angel Willow, who has the power to thwart the angels' global ambitions.
If you love a bit of romance without the vampires and shape-changing, what about Meg Rosoff’s dark, obsessive The Great Godden? Set in one sizzling summer, the beautiful Kit Godden makes waves in the narrator’s happy family – but there’s a darkness in him that belies his sunny appearance. Of course, Wuthering Heights is one of the all-time great gothic romances, and Tanya Landman’s recent dyslexia-friendly retelling makes the story accessible for those who might be put off by the wordiness of the original. John Green’s Looking for Alaska is a great choice for those looking for a quirky romance, and for something life affirming, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and her Halloweeny graphic novel with Faith Erin Hicks Pumpkinheads are sweet and heartfelt with plenty of laughs.
For readers 15 and above, Juno Dawson’s sexy, stylish thrillers and Clean, Meat Market and Wonderland explore the lives of older teens and young twentysomethings navigating identity, addiction and friendship in the toxic worlds of fashion, clubs and addiction clinics. As well as being full of modern, relatable and inclusively written characters, they’ll have you reading way past bedtime to find out what happens. Or, for some brilliant contemporary fantasy with a partial real world setting that also contains a brilliant selection of diverse characters, try the Every Heart a Doorway series by Seanan McGuire: Flawlessly written novellas that provide short reads full of original fantasy, thoughtful friendship and some delightfully dark humour.
If you liked the magical elements of Twilight you might like Julie Kagawa’s trilogy that begins with Shadow of the Fox which takes inspiration from the culture, folklore and myths of Japan or Deirdre Sullivan’s Savage Her Reply, a beautiful, haunting retelling of the Irish myth The Children of Lir. Illustrated throughout, it’s an otherworldly experience. Fans of a mythical-feeling adventure could also try Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands trilogy, a blend of the Wild West and Arabian Nights. The original mythology and legends are fascinating, and the politics of Amani's world are both familiar and foreign. For magic realism with an eco theme, try Yaba Badoe’s Wolf Light in which three sisters born in separate but naturally magical places must band together to fight skinwalkers, a threat to the balance of the world.
Last, for something a little different, Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers sci-fi series about Rosemary Harper and the crew of a down-at-heel spaceship and their adventures or Lauren James’ The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, in which dead character Harriet discovers a world of ghosts with magical powers – shape-shifting, hypnosis, even the ability to possess the living (also great for fans of TV shows Upload and the Good Place) are both excellent places to explore sci-fi, especially if you haven’t read much of it before.
Now it's your turn! You've read our recommendations, but which books do you think are perfect for fans of Twilight? Maybe you've just found a story your children love, or remember a tale from your childhood that fits the bill perfectly. Let us know by leaving your comments below or by tweeting us @BookTrust, using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter...
What to read after
We know that children can get hooked on a favourite book series or author and struggle to find something they love as much, but we're here to help.
From Harry Potter to Enid Blyton find out what to read next...