I think this Cracked.com summary of Twilight (10x shorter, 100x more honest) summarises what is wrong with youth fiction today (Yes it’s a cranky old-timer post from a 20-something).
It looks set to be Harry Potter all over again. Yes JK Rowling you killed children’s fantasy. Eragon ruined dragons. And now Twilight is set to ruin vampires.
Unseemly rant kept at bay under the fold.
The problem is people are taking “Fantasy” the wrong way.
“Fantasy” is not an excuse to run away to dreamland where everything turns out perfect and dandy.
Your heroes are flimsy parodies. There shoud be legal limits on how perfect your character should be. They should not be “if only everyone had just realised how awesome I really was” plus give me magic powers. And yet these characters become extremely popular because intellectually-retarded or not, it strikes a chord with most children, and quite a few adults.
A socially awkward abuse victim who has a giant facial disfiguration and has been shut away from the oustide world for a good 12 years suddenly he finds out he has magical powers. He is whisked away to wonderful land where he is rich, popular and rather good at sports. While there he saves the world from an omnipotent genocidal maniac. THE END
Sorry for faulting a book that deals with goblins, unicorns, giant spiders, and a the parasitic zombie-head of Hitler for being unrealistic. But. Come on.
Better plot development and characterisation is found in this fantastic children’s fantasy I remember from my childhood.