With all the hype over Midnight Sun releasing in August, I started thinking about all the books that I read in an attempt to get over the massive hangover I had after reading the Twilight series.
While Twilight was not what “got me into reading” or even what got me into reading romance (I’d been a bit of a bookworm my entire life and I discovered my love of romance when I was in my early teens), I did develop a strong preference for paranormal romance after reading Twilight, so I sought out YA Paranormal Romances like it was my job.
In this search, I found books I loved (which I’ll list below) that both have and have not stood the test of time, some that I loved far more than Twilight, and I also discovered a few misses (sorry Sookie Stackhouse and The Mortal Instruments).
Here are the books that got me over my Twilight hangover waaaaaay back in the day:
The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
This YA series has good vampires that are called Moroi, their guardians that are called Dhampirs, and evil vampires called Strigoi. This follows the story of a Dhampir and a Moroi princess who are best friends going to a school for Dhampirs and Moroi. It has an epic forbidden romance and a heartbreaking love triangle.
I think this was likely a lot of people’s go-to after reading Twilight, and I loved it so much more than the Twilight series. In fact, I still adore this series. It’s a series I’ve probably reread the most out of all the books I’ve ever read. I actually recently reread this series along with my niece who read it for the first time in December!
The House of Night series by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
This is a YA series that follows witchy vampyres and a bunch of other paranormal beings. Similar to Vampire Academy, there is a school setting in this one as well. There are a ton of characters and more and more get introduced throughout the series. The romance is a little chaotic in this one.
Ohhh boy did my sisters and I devour this series after reading Twilight! I’m so tempted to reread it now that over a decade has past, just to see if it holds up to the test of time. This is one of those series that has a million books in it and I never did finish it. I got a little tired of the dialog and how somehow absolutely everyone fell in love with our main character and she definitely did not deserve it.
The Shifters series by Rachel Vincent
This is a new adult series that follows shapeshifting werecats. There are extremely strong family and friendship dynamics, and a lot of action and angst. The romance is a second-chance-type romance along with a pretty angsty love triangle.
I adore this series, it’s still one of my all-time favorites. The character growth that Faythe goes through is similar to Rose’s from Vampire Academy. I loved her entire family and her pride (it’s like a pack). The romance made my heart pound and there were so many gasp-worthy moments. I’ve reread this series so many times I’ve lost count.
The Vampire Diaries series by LJ Smith
This is a YA vampire series that also has other paranormal creatures (like witches). There is a love triangle between vampire brothers and a human girl.
To be fair, I only read the first few books in this series and then it got super weird. I did, however, adore the TV show, though I never finished that, either.
The Nightwalkers series by Jacquelyn Frank
This is an adult paranormal romance series that follows a whole cast of different nightwalkers, however, the main focus is on Demons, but not the red-with-horns type. These demons are beautiful and have elemental powers. They actually remind me more of fae. The romance is fated mates style and so epic.
This was my very first adult romance and whew, boy, I never looked back. I LOVE this series and I need to reread it soon. It’s super steamy and beautifully written. The spin-off of this series, Shadow Dwellers, is really good, too.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward
This is an adult paranormal romance series that follows a brotherhood of vampires that are protecting their kind from evil soulless slayers. This is another fated mates romance.
I never did finish this series because there are 8 million books in it and I just don’t think I could put up with the writing for that long, however, I did adore most of the books I read, particularly the third book in the series.
The Wicca Series by Cate Tiernan
This is a witchy YA paranormal romance series that follows a girl who discovers that she is a witch. I remember loving the romance in this one!
I have such fond memories of this series, but I’ve only read it once and I have no idea how well this series will age. I’m somewhat curious enough to reread, but also a little scared, too!
The Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson
This is an adult paranormal romcom about a girly girl woman who accidentally becomes a vampire and doesn’t realize it.
This series had me laughing out loud so many times while reading it. I love how it has all the elements on a good vampire romance but also pokes fun of the genre as well. To be fair, I don’t think I ever finished this series, but I did really like it back when I read it. I’m tempted to give it another try to see how it holds up over time.