Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Trend-spotting: Vampire Edition

Now, I know I'm a bit behind the vampire fiction curve (I only read the Twilight series this year, and twilight itself was first published in 2006. The main "plus" to this is that I did not have to wait with baited breath for each new book to come out. JK Rowling, I hope you're taking notes. There doesn't have to be a 10 year gap between the first and last book in a series), but I like hopping on these literary waves as they fly by. So seeing how the vampire wave is just about to hit the shore and fizzle into the sand (am I carrying the metaphor too far?), I figured I'd try to get one more blog entry out of it. A friend lent me Dead Before Dawn, and I just couldn't help but notice...

These are just some things I have noticed are trendy in new vampire fiction:

  • Telepathy. It might be the vampire. It might be the girl. But someone can read minds... and the person they fall in love with is the one person whose mind they can't read.
  • Mainstreaming. These modern vampires want nothing more than to live among the uh, living. They want to hang out in bars, drink anything but human blood (synthetic/ animal), and have loving relationships with humans. Their favorite hobby seems to be mooning over their present relationship in a disbelieving "I can't believe I'm so in love with you" haze.
  • Crime Solving. Mysterious deaths in town? Mass murderer in Seattle? These vampires will get to the bottom of your problem with their trusty gal friday! Vampires... they're the new Sam Spade!
  • Socially awkward girlfriends who are mysteriously much more beautiful than everyone else, but don't really notice it. It's kind of amazing. These girls are the social outcasts that everyone is seceretly in love with. Much like me in high school, I must admit.
  • Bad vampries who dress all slutty and want to kill everyone.
  • Shape-shifters who turn into dogs/wolves and are also in love with the socially awkward girl, but she love the vampire more. But she really loves him... *as a friend*
And speaking of clothing in Dead Until Dark (et al), none the clothing that Sookie dresses in sounds pretty. She wears lots of things that I think would get her put on What Not to Wear, or that indicate that the books are set in 1991 when they were written a good 10 years later- white dresses with roses, jeans that lace up the sides in leather, blue dresses with daisies. The worst part is that all of Sookie's outfits are described in minute detail, making it so that I can't even pretend that she's dressed like a grown up. "But Amy," you're probably saying right now, "you said yourself that the female characters are socially awkward. She's probably supposed to be dressed badly as part of her characterization." However, I am mostly convinced you are wrong. I think you are wrong (yes, you are wrong) because EVERYONE comments on these outfits favorably. Everyone is like, "Wow, Sookie is dressed in clothes a decade out of fashion. She looks great! How sexy!" That just messes with me even more.
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