As all readers and movie goers know right now, young adult books, television and movies are the end all and be all of entertainment. When you look back, it really was Mr. Potter with his owl sidekick and two best friends who turned the literary world upside down. In 1998, there certainly was no big ‘cry out’ in the world for a boy whose Aunt and Uncle loathed him enough to make him sleep in a cupboard underneath the stairs, but when you look back over a decade, you can certainly see that this one character WAS needed to offset a world that constantly talks about war, economic horrors, job deprivation, and other equally hideous subjects. We needed a hero - we still need them. And they were suddenly provided by the YA world.
The best heroes of 2011 were the ones who literally “sucked” us in and made us dream of the dark and mysterious; as well as the wounded ones needing a girl to understand them, or needing to save said girl so that their hearts could be full. (Although, no one has explained to this author quite yet why vampires would have such huge hearts considering they’re dead and their hearts don’t beat anymore.) BUT, that’s the world of fiction. There are many that have gone to the top of the heap. Some are coming to your screens – some may be coming to screens soon – and there is one that has entered the fray in early 2012 that is getting some serious feedback! (YAY!)
This writer sat down with a group of young ladies and young men ranging in age from sixteen to twenty-one (but, there were Mom’s there as well who had input, seeing as that these YA titles are just as important to them). The conversation was beyond interesting, as they narrowed down their list to what they feel were the best heroes written. These characters got to them. Without Edward, who didn’t materialize again except on the big screen, there were a few other fanged ones for your enjoyment.
Michael Glass has a huge following. From the series, The Morganville Vampires, which is a series of YA novels written by Rachel Caine. Michael’s mysterious disappearances – vanishing by day and corporeal at night, drew readers in. In this state, Michael could draw power from the house itself, but he couldn’t actually leave the house to protect his friends. What to do? He became one of the fanged ones, and this tremendously responsible, mature and charming young boy captured many a female heart.
Hush, Hush, written by Becca Fitzpatrick is another that was talked about A LOT! Written from the perspective of Nora Grey, this young girl finds her life in danger when she becomes involved with Patch – a fallen angel with a dark connection to Nora. Patch is one of those heroes that is the heart throb, yet he is often described as a boy scout, and his kind and noble manner definitely makes readers swoon.
City of Bones was the first in The Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Clare. Set in New York, this series has received some considerable praise from all the major bestseller lists and literary magazines, and a big reason why is Jace Wayland. Jace is a Shadowhunter, orphaned at a young age by the murder of his father, who now lives with the Lightwoods and Hodge Starkweather at the Institute. Golden hair, eyes, and skin make him popular with girls. Yes, he is a bit arrogant, but is a very kind and thoughtful person underneath. Clary Fray is the ultimate heroine in this set of novels, but Jace is the one who really gets hearts a-pumpin’.
Dimitri Belikov came from the mind of Richelle Mead and her Vampire Academy series. Dimitri is known as a ‘Russian god’ to readers – dedicated, loyal, and a fierce warrior, this six-foot-seven hero is sent to Portland to bring Princess Lissa and Rose Hathaway back to St. Vladimir’s Academy. Although first being described as anti-social, he captured females hearts and the film rights have been sold.
What’s up with 2012, you ask? Until Next Time is the angel/warrior team that reviewers, readers, and bloggers have been giving 5-star reviews to, quoting all over the internet and, very simply, making me beyond proud. And the cover - oh, that cover - has been put up as ‘Shelf Candy’ on many blogs around the internet. A smoking romance, trials, tribulations, history, and plot twists that don’t follow anything that has been seen before. And this is one romantic love triangle that you won’t figure out.
Although the fanged ones are still beloved, the conversation among this group turned to discovering some real angels out there who simply want to fight for the rest of us, proving that the ‘winged ones’ may just take the podium away from the ‘fanged ones‘ in 2012.
So from a boy wizard came fanged ones, an Overlander, a Shadowhunter, a stunning team named Matt & Emily who spark the internal fires, and more on the way! If you ask me, old Mr. Potter did a darn fine job!
Until Next Time, Everybody.