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Zoraida Córdova

Vampires Never Left: A History of Vampires in Young Adult Fiction

With the announcement of Stephenie Meyer’s forthcoming Midnight Sun, vampires are fresh on everyone’s mind. Meyer’s return to her world of sparkling vampires in Forks, Washington takes the YA classic Twilight and reimagines the love story from vampire Edward Cullen’s point of view.

Casual lovers of the genre might say that vampires are back! But to that I would say that vampires never left. Follow me through the journey of YA vampires.

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5 Young Adult SFF Spin-Offs to Keep on Your Radar

There are some worlds that beg to be revisited. Immersive fantasy invites you to stay within those pages. It hugs you, comforts you, and helps you forget about the here and now. But what happens after you’ve reread the same book dozens of times and you still want more? More characters and more journeys!

Luckily some authors can’t wait to these worlds, either. Here are five recent spin-offs of beloved YA series that you can pick up right now!

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Series: Five Books About…

The Price of Paradise in Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn melds folklore and reality in a debut novel that straddles genres the way its characters straddle identity.

On the surface, the Flores family is ordinary in many ways: A young couple hot for each other, three kids, living paycheck to paycheck. Malia and Augie Flores are just trying to survive and provide. They are an avatar of working class Native Hawaiian people, living on their ancestral lands but somehow still in the margins. But throughout the course of the novel, the Flores family becomes a legend. This is how a legend is born.

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Music, Lyrics, & Aliens in The Sound of Stars by Alecia Dow

The Sound of Stars is a charming sci-fi novel by Alechia Dow. Aliens have invaded Earth. They’re called the Ilori—a type of humanoid-android race that has decimated the world. Establishing colonies all over the planet, they keep humans under a rigid thumb by taking away the very things that make people human. Art, books, music, and most importantly, emotions. By removing these things, along with vaccinations and social conditioning, the Ilori have made sure that humans are docile and incapable of rebellions.

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5 Lovable YA Fantasy Couples

The best romances in fiction have to be earned. Whether you love reading about heroes saving the world, but who actually just want to profess their love, or you prefer sworn enemies that realize they’re actually meant to be, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing your OTP is finally canon.

So what makes for a good romance? Angst, attraction, fate? Yes, but there has to be more than that. Watching two (or three) characters reach a level emotional playing field and arrive at the same realization, that they are in love and want to be together, is a beautiful thing.

Here is a list of five YA fantasies featuring unforgettable couples I love to love.

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Kiersten White’s Slayer Duology Is a Welcome Return to the Buffyverse

If the Apocalypse comes, text me.

Okay, so that’s not the exact line, but as beepers have become a relic of the past, it’s hard not to wonder what a Millennial slayer would be like. Buffy fans are lucky enough that the world of slayers is back. With New York Times Bestselling author Kiersten White at the helm, Slayer and Chosen are not about the Sunnydale you remember.

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Moon Magic & Andean History in Isabel Ibañez’s Woven in Moonlight

Isabel Ibañez kicks off the year as one of the first authors to debut in the New Roaring Twenties. If the rest of the debuts are this promising, then we’re going to have a very good year. Woven in Moonlight draws inspiration from Bolivian politics and history to create a fantastical world. In fact, YA fantasy hasn’t seen a world like the Kingdom of Inkasisa. Full disclosure: As someone born and partially raised in Ecuador, I’ve been waiting my whole life to read a book that takes the Andean history of the Spanish and Inca, and transforms it in a fantastical setting.   

Woven in Moonlight follows Ximena Rojas, the decoy Condesa of the secondary world of Inkasisa that has been upturned by revolution. Ximena is an Illustrian, the former ruling class, who are now relegated to living in a fortified keep. Ximena has had to pretend to be someone else for a decade. Ten years of being Condesa Catalina, the last living royal. Ximena’s longing for her own identity is clear, as is her fierce loyalty to the real Condesa and her Illustrian people. She fumbles as a decoy ruler quite a bit, usually by being unable to say the things people want to hear. It’s refreshing to see her faults and the promise of her strength as a character. Her only solace is her brand of magic. All people of Inkasisa possess traces of magic—reading the stars, tremors, healing, etc. Some, like Ximena can pull moonlight and weave it like wool to create tapestries.

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Falling in Love at the Ends of the Universe: Five Shippable YA SFF Books

“I love you.”

“I know.”

Iconic words for an iconic couple who fell in love in a galaxy far, far away. Han Solo and Princess Leia are, as they say, goals. No matter what their ending, in that moment there are several things happening: They’ve been betrayed, the bad guys are surrounding them, he’s about to get frozen in carbonite, but they take this moment to say these words. Star Wars is about light and darkness, rebellion and revenge, but for me Star Wars has always been about hope and love. It isn’t just the romantic parts—the scenes where Anakin and Padmé sneak off time to be together or agonizing moments between star-crossed lovers Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree. It’s also the love of found family and friendship and charming droids. These are the things that make these narratives so relatable and universal.

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Series: Five Books About…

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