It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from Ann Martin, who wrote the beloved Babysitter’s Club series about an eclectic group of girlfriends from artsy Claudia to bossy Kristy to laid-back Dawn (our fave). They were normal girls, just like us, who had normal crushes on boys and normal after-school gigs like babysitting (versus being a hot vampire’s girlfriend). Now that Twilight fever has swept the world and made creator Stephanie Meyer a bona-fide rock star, Martin is resurrecting the BSC books for a new generation of young girls. In an interview with The Daily Beast, she suggests a desire to bring YA books back to solid ground after the hijacking by vamps and Serena van Der Woodsen and zombies and such:
“It’s fun to read about vampires or the richest girl on the Upper West Side, but who can you really relate to?” she says. “The issues are things like friendship and school, family problems, that kind of thing. … Those are timeless.”
Well said, Ann. We love the idea of a return to normalcy, where life-and-death problems are not literal but relatable to a real-life girls’ world, sans broomsticks and prophecies and viral sex tapes. Still, the genius of Twilight is that it offers readers an otherwordly escape from reality while dealing with timeless and universal issues: young love, infatuation, jealousy, family drama, friendship breakups. The life-and-death part raises the stakes: Bella is so obsessed with Edward, she would actually die for him. She would also transfer colleges.
Post Twilight, will new readers accept the BSC? Should Claudia have a double life as a sexy vampire? Can we ever truly return to “normal”? We’re not so sure.