August 7th, 2009
04:58 PM ET
Considering the popularity of "Twilight" and the phenomenon it has launched, it stands to reason that others would try to replicate it. Hence, the recent profusion of young adult novels that, for lack of a better term, I like to call “Twilight Wannabes.” If you’ve walked by any major bookstore in the last year, you’ve seen them in the window display...books with titles like "Vampire Academy "("Twilight" meets Harry Potter?) and "Blue Bloods" ("Twilight" meets "Gossip Girl"?). Their covers even look like "Twilight"–black with a single image of a flower or fruit.
I love Stephenie Meyer’s series, so I had studiously avoided the whole flock of what I considered her imitators. But when I heard that Disney bought the film rights to the latest Twilight wannabe – "Wings", by first-time author Aprilynne Pike – and had attached teen queen Miley Cyrus to star as the heroine Laurel, I decided that I had to give it a try. And to my surprise, I liked it. A lot. Probably more than the first "Twilight" novel (cue outraged gasps from Twi-hards everywhere).
In many ways, the story echoes that of "Twilight": a teenage girl moves to a new high school, only to become entangled in the conflict of two mythical species. This time, instead of the Cullen family of vampires and werewolves, the warring parties are trolls and faeries (I won’t spoil the faerie mythology except to say that it’s incredibly creative). Of course, Laurel quickly finds herself the center of a love triangle, caught between her reliable, human friend David, and the mysteriously sexy faerie Tamani. It’s easy to see why Disney snapped this one up. They’re targeting the "Twilight" audience, trying to do with faeries what Summit Entertainment – and HBO, and now the CW – have already done with vampires.
Which got me to wondering, will it work? Will Miley Cyrus and her costars be able to rival the famous onscreen chemistry between Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson? Miley, who’s made it clear that she wants to break out of the Hannah Montana mold, obviously believes so.
What do you think? Can faeries overthrow vampires and become the new phenomenon, or will the undead remain our favorite supernatural creatures?
–Katie McGee, CNN Entertainment Unit Intern
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