If You Loved “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” These 12 Books Belong on Your Must-Read List
Have you been binge-watching “Buffy” in celebration of her 20th anniversary this year? Keep the vamp vibe going with these great reads.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
In a world where vampires live in “coldtowns,” walled-off quarantine cities that provide footage for reality TV shows, tough teenage Tana wakes up one morning to a party gone wrong. Everyone else has been bitten to death—except Tana’s sometime boyfriend, and a mysterious new boy she just can’t seem to leave alone. The ill-assorted trio escapes and heads toward the nearest coldtown, waiting to see which of them will “turn,” but the rogue vampires just won’t leave them alone. Will Tana ever find out why? Discover the secrets of reality TV shows.
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Talk about the Chosen One! All her life, Sabriel’s father has been the Abhorsen, fighting the Greater and Lesser Dead, the dreaded necromancers and “dead hands” that stalk the Old Kingdom. Meanwhile, Sabriel has lived far from danger, at boarding school across the Wall. Then one night her father’s spirit appears in her dorm room with everything she needs to become the new Abhorsen—except for any real experience at all. And her new enemies are following close behind.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Sometimes there really is no place like home. Ethan is slogging out his senior year of high school in tiny Gatlin, South Carolina, longing to leave for college, when a dark, lovely new girl shows up in his English class one day. Over the course of their whirlwind romance, Ethan learns about the infernal powers threatening the world from his tiny Southern town. Here’s what Northerners don’t get about Southern hospitality.
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
These best-selling novels about vampires, werewolves, fairies and a certain plucky, ponytailed cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana, form the basis for the long-running TV show True Blood, but they’re so much better plotted and funnier. And if you liked Angel on Buffy, you’ll love Charlaine Harris’s souped-up supernatural hunks.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
If you like your fantasy with fangs, don’t forget the novel that started it all. Bram Stoker’s hypnotically alluring antihero is, of course, the great-granddaddy of all the sexy supernaturals we now know and love. And however familiar you may be with the story, you’ll be spellbound by the narrator’s dark journey into horror at the heart of Dracula’s castle. Did you ever wonder why old books smell so good?
Devilish by Maureen Johnson
When Allison, a cute, geeky senior at a Catholic prep school, goes through an overnight transformation that gets her the clothes, hair, boyfriend, and even the mastery of Latin she’s always wanted, her best friend Jane discovers the Devil is involved. Jane wants to help Allison, but at the risk of her own soul? As it turns out, she may not have much of a choice. Check out the fascinating daily rituals of famous authors.
The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
The ruthless Obsidian witches’ circle of greater London has been hunting Alan and Nick for most of their lives, and the boys have learned a trick or two about survival. Against Nick’s protests, Alan shares his insider knowledge with petite, pink-haired teen Mae and her brother, a boy with a dangerous third-tier demon’s mark. But as it turns out, Mae just might be the one to do the saving.
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
A hilarious sendup of dramas about the undead. Nina writes popular books about sparkly, glamorous vampires, but no one knows better how false they really are. Bitten decades ago at the age of 15, Nina is stuck living at her mum’s house in Sydney, Australia, living on guinea pig blood, and, worst of all, hanging out with other vamps—a bunch of weak, whiny losers. But when one of their small number disappears, will Nina find herself longing for the way things used to be? These vampire legends are based on real-life events.
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Located just across the river from Ohio, the Hollows are an otherworldly no man’s land where the regular rule of law does not apply. So when a witch, a vampire, and a sarcastic, subversive pixie get bounced off Cincinnati’s supernatural police force and decide to set up their own private agency of bounty hunters, where else would they go?
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
If you enjoy the rich ambiguity of the Buffy-verse where the line between good and evil is not always entirely clear, you’ll love this story about a young girl who must choose between dying a little bit every time she uses her gift for magic, or bottling up her power until she goes insane. Forced to live with her grandmother, a witch she has been taught to fear and hate, she finds a door that leads from Sydney, Australia, to New York City. Will she ever make her way back?
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
We all know how saving the world affects the “Chosen Ones,” but what about the regular kids at the fringes of the story? What if you didn’t know why the entire town of Sunnydale, California, had been plunged in darkness and you were just hoping to wear your new dress to senior prom? After reading this uproariously funny spoof, you may never look at Buffy in quite the same way again. Enhance your sense of humor in five simple ways.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Sunshine is a grumpy chick who works at a bakery; she gets is randomly kidnapped by a vampire and chained to a wall to torment a second, more scrupulous, vamp into breaking his abstinence to drink her blood. But she’s also the descendant of a powerful sorcerer, so in fact the vamps picked the wrong grumpy chick who works at a bakery. Now that her enemies have unwittingly helped her tap her occult powers, they’re in for a surprise. Neil Gaiman said it best about this book: “Practically perfect.” These off-the-grid reads will make teens fall in love with reading again.