I'm not into Vampire/Werewolf or the like either. If I want to read about fantasy creatures, I'd rather read about ones that don't kill thanks. And if I want to read a book with killing, I'd rather read about humans who kill. Don't know what it is.
It just seems like they've become MORE popular all of a sudden.
The only vampire series I could really get in to was Twilight. I am definitely not one to read vampire themed books... I am more into the girly love, nothing dark. I thought Twilight would be for all the teenagers and high schoolers, but after all my friends insisted that I read them, I gave it a shot. After the first 100 pages, I couldn't put it down, and of course I had to run out to the store to buy the rest.
I don't know that I could read any other vampire novels, because they aren't really my thing. I've seen the show, True Blood on TV, and couldn't watch more than five minutes of it. I think Twilight was so successful because it was about a vampire trying to live in the normal world... and a forbidden love between him and a human. (And for me, it was so violent like many of the others.)
It's nothing new. Stephanie Myers tapped into a vein of ready-made stories, the sort that we once told around the campfire as the flames crackled and the shadows danced. It's no different than the monster stories we told then, or the ones told by Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley.
These are stories that must be told, or at least tales we're dying to hear, no matter how great the skill of the teller. They don't have to be good, they have to be there, a framework for our cultural consciousness to hang the rest of our dreams upon. We fill in the gaps in the stories ourselves, paint over the bare patches of the narrative with our inner dialogue. These aren't really tales of vampires, they're tales of immortality, of our too too mortal fingers outstretched to reach toward the infinite. We want to believe that leaving behind fragile flesh for what we imagine would be the unending pleasures of endless life would be better than watching ourselves age. In that image was Dracula cast. And Dracula begat Lestat who begat Edward Cullen.
The whole thing ebbs and flows, just as we watched the rise of Louis and Lestat in Interview With a Vampire (who spawned their own pale imitations) likewise we will see the Twilight series drag others into imitation until the sales curve can no longer support their weight and it falls apart... only to rise again in ten or twenty years when the children of the Twilighters find their parent's dusty copies of New Moon and Queen of the Damned. A lucky author will tell the stories these children are looking for once they raise their eyes from the pages of what came before and it will begin again.
I don't want to blog in the comment section, so here's the rest if you're curious to read my full opinion. In short, even though I didn't like the Twilight novels I can see why others like them and why they are popular and don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for kids to read. Even if the relationship between Edward and Bella is unhealthy (and it sooooo is, not to mention a bit creepy in terms of relative ages) but I think almost all the girls I've spoken with understand that and see it as just part of the storyline. I'm not convinced that they're internalizing the relationship dynamic as much as people fear that they will. Purely anecdotal, but there you go.
I think it's because things go in phases. For example, about a year ago the only books that were featured everywhere were books about Anne Boleyn.... because a book was being created into a movie with popular actresses (Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman in The Other Boleyn Girl), not to mention the rising popularity of The Tudors. Vampires followed the same pattern. Twilight came out as a film and the True Blood series came out of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books. So who knows, maybe there will be a surge of space war books next if Star Trek, the movie turns out to be popular!