A New Dawn: Your Favourite Authors on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series, edited by Ellen Hopkins - A New Dawn invites readers to join some of their favourite YA authors as they look at the phenomenal Twilight series with fresh eyes. Edited by bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, it is packed with the debates readers engage in with their friends: Should Bella have chosen Edward or Jacob? This collection also goes further to compare the Quileute werewolves with Native American wolf myths, the Twilight series with Shakespeare. With contributions from Megan McCafferty, Cassandra Clare and many more, this is a clever, fresh perspective on the popular series. From Amazon UK
I don't normally review non-fiction, but seeing as it's full of essays by YA writers, talking about a YA novel, I thought a review made sense.
Back in 2008, I took a course at uni called Young Adult Fictions. It was pretty much English Lit, but for YA fictions (which included movies, TV, etc, but mostly books). It was in this class that I first read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Not only did I fall in love with that book, but YA in general. I picked up New Moon. Then I picked up Eclipse. And when I wasn't reading other books for my class, I started them again. And again. I just loved them. As you can guess, I ended up writing my essay on the series. In the same year, A New Dawn was originally published - I say originally because it was an exclusive for Borders. In America. Which meant I couldn't buy it, even though it would have been FANTASTIC for my essay. A few weeks ago I discovered that the book had been re-released in this form when on the Smart Pop's website. Finally I could buy it! Although I enjoyed reading the series, I enjoyed having to look at the books analytically for my essay, which made this book a must buy for me.
It's just so good! It's so interesting to see what other people got from a book you've read, and the different topics that can be - and have been - discussed. There are essays that discuss whether or not Edward is a sociopath, using the seven official criteria used to diagnose Antisocial Personality Disorder, why girls fall for the bad guy, comparisons to the classics mentioned in the books. There are two really fun essays I want to mention in particular.
Dear Aunt Charlotte is an essay by Cassandra Clare, where she acts as agony aunt and replies to a "fangirl's letter" asking who is the better choice for Bella, Edward or Jacob. She answers by looking at the vampires and werewolves in movies over several decades. Then there's The Great Debate by Rachel Caine where she discusses the argument that vampire-themed fiction represents thinly veiled sexuality and violence - ergo, vampire fiction, specifically the Twilight series, which has brought vampire-themed young adult fiction to the forefront, is not suitable for young adults. What's brilliant about this essay is that she writes it as a transcript to a TV programme called The Great Debate, where two professors of literature argue against two fangirl bloggers - and she writes with the brilliant skill of capturing the teen voice like she does in her Morganville Vampires series. Not only is it detailed with theories on both sides, it's also very funny!
There are also brilliant essays that look into Native American wolf myths, and compare the Quileute beliefs and wolves to them, one that looks into the history of vampires in literature, and another that explores real life Forks. There is a wealth of interesting things to read for both those who are fans of the series, and those who like reading with their analytical hat on.
However, being someone who has read the books numerous times, I did spot a few errors, like the reason behind why Edward feels he's lost his soul, and confusing the meadow for where they play baseball. They're not overly major errors, but they are there, and there are around five, if not more. This may bug some hardcore fans, but it doesn't change or effect the points the authors are trying to make.
A really interesting read, one I would really recommend. The authors that contribute to this unauthorised anthology are Ellen Hopkins (editor), Susan Vaught, Megan Mc/cafferty, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Anne Ursu, Linda Gerba, Ellen Steiber, K. A. Nuzum, Cara Lockwood, Cassandra Clare, James A. Owen, Robin Brande, Janette Rallison and Rachel Caine.
Published: 29th September 2009
Publisher: Smart Pop
Buy on Amazon US