25 Books Similar to Twilight

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner attended the 2011 Hand and Foot Cermemony in Grauman's Theater.

Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga blew up the paranormal scene. People went around declaring themselves “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” in reference to the saga’s love triangle.  When the books hit the big screen, people dressed up to attend. (One fan arrived at a theater wearing an ethical taxidermy wolf pelt.)

While Meyer’s interpretation of vampires and werewolves was not to every paranormal reader’s taste, the series opened publishing doors for other stories. Thus, we have rounded up a wide range for our “25 books like Twilight” for you to consider.

Picking a favorite from the list is tough. However, we do love what Silvia Moreno-Garcia is doing with the genre in Certain Dark Things. But there is plenty of other delicious titles to feast on, too.

Table of Contents

1. Crave Series

Crave

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  • Author: Tracy Wolff
  • Genre: Paranormal, YA, Romance
  • Awards: None found
  • First Book Published: 2020
  • Books: 6 – begins with Crave

In Crave, Grace is sent to an exclusive boarding school after her parents die in a car accident. But it doesn’t take long for mere mortal Grace to figure out she’s the odd one out in this new student body. But one vamp, Jaxon Vega, seems to have a connection with her that she can’t shake. Does she even want to?

Refreshingly, Tracy Wolff admits to being inspired by Twilight. And why not, when writer wisdom says there are only seven stories in the world, and we keep rewriting them. Being inspired by and being the same are not synonymous, thankfully.

2. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy

A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Book 1)

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  • Author: Libba Bray
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, YA, Paranormal
  • Awards: Iowa High School Book Award (2006)
  • First Book Published: 2003
  • Books: 3 – A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing

1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle is forced to leave India to live at a British boarding school after her mother’s suicide. Alone and grieving, Gemma doesn’t feel welcome. The fact she has visions that have the unfortunate habit of coming true isn’t helping matters. Adding to her woe, a man is watching her. And that’s just the beginning.

This fairy world smashing into Britain and India with a grieving teen creates a unique Gothic fantasy. It pushes genre boundaries, which is fabulous. However, the tale involves Gemma’s sexual awakening and exploration, so readers who prefer their books relatively chaste take heed.

3. Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things: A Novel

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  • Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
  • Awards: None found for this title
  • First Book Published: 2016
  • Books: 1

Mexico City is supposed to be free of vampires in a country dripping with them. But as corpses begin piling up, cops and crime bosses start to wonder if a certain native vampire is behind them. Atl, a descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, knows it is time to leave the city behind. But now she’s got a kid off the street tagging along. Will Mexico City release its grip before it’s too late?

This neo-noir tale celebrates vampires from a variety of myths and legends around the world. The result is a fast-paced, violent, bloody, and gritty tale with layers and complex characters. Also, there is a dog. A really good dog. You want to meet this dog.

4. Evernight Series

Evernight

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  • Author: Claudia Gray
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance
  • Awards: Nominated for many
  • First Book Published: 2008
  • Books: 5 – begins with Evernight

Bianca went from small-town life to a Gothic boarding school. She doesn’t fit in. But then there is Lucas. Lucas isn’t sure if the connection between them is safe for Bianca. But Bianca is willing to take the risk.

This is another series for readers who really want a Twilight read, rather than simply some Twilight flavor. Not that it doesn’t have its own significantly different twists. Oh yes, there are some key plot differences. But the young love and vampires are all there.

5. House of Sand and Secrets

House of Sand and Secrets

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  • Author: Cat Hellisen
  • Genre: High Fantasy, Paranormal
  • Awards: None found
  • First Book Published: 2013
  • Books: Sequel to When the Sea is Rising Red

Jannik and Felicita are trying to do their best in the unusual arranged marriage they’ve found themselves in. Felicita has “married down,” and Jannik, a vampire, is feeling used. The pair now live in MallenIve, where their family names won’t help them. But as corpses start showing up, Felicita’s power might be all the vampires have left to defend their names.

This is a vampire love story for grown-ups. Inside the gritty and dark plot addressing classism and the overlooked in society is a tender story of two people trying to make their marriage work. It is an incredibly realistic portrayal of what marriage is like after the honeymoon stage. This well-crafted novel has a compelling hard-edged beauty.

6. Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

By J.R. Ward: Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)

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  • Author: J.R. Ward
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
  • Awards: Goodreads (2010, 2011, 2013)
  • First Book Published: 2005
  • Books: 21 – begins with Dark Lover

Wrath, the only purebred vampire left, had his sights set on settling old scores. But his quest for vengeance has to be put on hold when a young woman is orphaned. Oblivious to her vampire heritage and what that means to her future, it is left to Wrath to educate her. But he never anticipated how she would make him feel.

This is not YA, so anyone uncomfortable with explicit sex should run away. However, those looking for a fun, steamy-vamp tale of undead handsomeness will find it in this series. There is also plenty of (non-sheets) action, as there is an evil Lessing Society dedicated to eradicating these don’t-drink-human-blood-vampires.  

7. African Immortals

My Soul to Keep (African Immortals series, 1)

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  • Author: Tananarive Due
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
  • Awards: Numerous nominations
  • First Book Published: 1997
  • Books: 4 – My Soul to Keep

Jessica marries David because she loves him. But she’s horrified when her love confesses that he and some other members of an Ethiopian sect traded their humanity in exchange for immortality. Now the sect wants David to leave his wife and child in Miami. But David wants Jessica to give up her soul so they can live together. Neither option appeals.  

This series has been compared to Anne Rice’s high acclaimed and well-loved Interview with a Vampire. However, there are no vampires in this tale. But it is a paranormal saga with a great scope, twists, and beautiful writing. For readers that enjoy depth and horror to their urban fantasy.

8. The Selection Series

The Selection

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  • Author: Kiera Cass
  • Genre: Dystopia, Romance, YA
  • Awards: Nominated for various Goodread Awards
  • First Book Published: 2012
  • Books: 6 – begins with The Selection

The Selection is a way out for thirty-five girls. This is a chance to be a part of the world of riches and win the heart of Prince Maxon. America Singer doesn’t want to be there, however. It means being apart from secret love, who is a caste below, and living in a palace constantly under threat.

This series is a dystopian that mixes Cinderella, The Bachelor, and America’s Got Talent. It is light fair for readers that want happy escapism and love triangles.

9. Vampire Academy Series

Vampire Academy

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  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance
  • Awards: Goodreads (2010)
  • First Book Published: 2007
  • Books: 6 – begins with Vampire Academy

Lissa Dragomir and her best friend and protector, Rose Hathaway, have been on the run for two years. They’ve been hiding from the Strigoi, the vampires with everlasting life who want to alter Lissa. Lissa is a mortal vampire of royalty and magic. But the pair are captured and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy. Now Lissa is in more danger than ever before.

This series brings a new slant to the vampire world, which has a class system that even impacts who gets to have children. Fans enjoyed how the narrative balances the action and the romances. But the best is Rose, a downright badass.

10. Sorority Sisters Trilogy

Better Off Red: Vampire Sorority Sisters Book 1

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  • Author: Rebekah Weatherspoon
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Erotica
  • Awards: None found
  • First Book Published: 2001
  • Books: 3 – Better Off Red, Blacker Than Blue, Soul to Keep

Ginger Carmichael is a college freshman and has a perfect GPA. But despite not liking cliques, she finds herself drawn to Alpha Beta Omega. But it isn’t until initiation that she realizes her pledge is actually a pact to serve six demons in erotic ways. Unexpectedly, Ginger finds herself falling in love with the immortal queen, and she has no idea how she’ll keep this secret from her family.

This is not YA, but for readers looking for a series of paranormal f/f flames of passion. Also, while the first book is focused more on demons, the vampires are around and play a much more front and center role in the second two books, especially Soul to Keep. Fans love this trilogy.

11. Blue Bloods Series

Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods Novel Book 1)

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  • Author: Melissa de la Cruz
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance
  • Awards: Not for this series
  • First Book Published: 2006
  • Books: 7 – begins with Blue Bloods

When the Mayflower set forth, it carried more than Pilgrims. Hiding between the devoted flock were vampires. Once in the New World, the immortals quickly rose to power, becoming the blue bloods of high society. Their true identities have always been a secret, but now it is starting to leak at a certain New York City private school. Schuyler, a student, is starting to crave raw food inexplicably.

Socialite teenage vamp angst with angels is here, with a strong Gossip Girl vibe. Fans who want a bit of YA paranormal candy love it.

12. Slayer Series

Slayer (1)

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  • Author: Kiersten White
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
  • Awards: Not for this title
  • First Book Published: 2019
  • Books: 2 – Slayer, Chosen

Twin sisters Nina and Artemis are Slayers at Watcher’s Academy. However, Nina prefers the gentler side of her craft, being a healer and acting as the school medic. Until tragedy strikes, leaving Nina the newest Chosen One.

Fans of Buffy the Vampire love this two-book series. White keeps to cannon, returning fans to Slayerverse. They adore Nina and are delighted to see that White kept the humor of the original. However, some readers who have never watched the TV series enjoyed these books too. But be warned, White does not info dump the past, so there will not be a primer ready to catch readers up.

13. Sunshine

Sunshine

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  • Author: Robin McKinley
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
  • Awards: Mythopoeic (2004)
  • First Book Published: 2003
  • Books: 1

Sunshine knew that there were places you should never tread. But it is had been safe out by the lake for years, and Sunshine wanted some space to think. But the Vampires found her anyway.

This post-apocalyptic story starts with action and tension. Yes, a romance lingers in the background, but it is not the main plot. However, there is one sex scene. Nor are these vampires sexy but evil creatures that should be feared. A dark, haunting tale.

14. Fledgling

Fledgling: A Novel

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  • Author: Octavia E. Butler
  • Genre: Paranormal
  • Awards: Numerous nominations
  • First Book Published: 2005
  • Books: 1

A young amnesia girl learns she’s a fifty-three-year-old vampire that has been genetically modified. But she can’t remember her past. She embarks on a quest to discover who she was and who is out to destroy her.

Butler explores what it means to be human in this unique tale. Also, she, like Anne Rice, demonstrates some of the more troubling aspects of vampire myths. However, Butler’s story is nothing like Rice’s. Butler deliberately makes readers uncomfortable. It is a layered tale that gives readers much to think about and discuss.  

15. Night Rebel Series

Shades of Wicked: A Night Rebel Novel

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  • Author: Jeanie Frost
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
  • Awards: None found
  • First Book Published: 2018
  • Books: 3 – Shades of Wicked, Wicked Bite, Wicked All Night

Ian is the master vampire that loves to be bad. Not evil just loves to bend the rules and have fun, sleeping with every man or woman­­––or all at once––who is happy to play. But he’s loyal, and his devotion to those he cares about might cost him his soul. Much to his astonishment, it isn’t his friends coming to his aid but the ultimate law-enforcing vamp Veritas. Sparks fly.

Night Rebel is a spin-off series and is part of Frost’s Night Huntress Universe, which began in 2007. While it is fun to read the original books and learn about Ian’s delightfully wicked past, it is not a must to enjoy the beloved bad boy vamp’s trilogy. This is a tale full of paranormal adventure and action, including the naked kind.

16. Drake Chronicles Series

Hearts at Stake (The Drake Chronicles Book 1)

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  • Author: Alyxandra Harvey
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance
  • Awards: None found
  • First Book Published: 2009
  • Books: 6 – begins with Hearts at Stake (US title) / My Love Lies Bleeding (UK title)

Lucy knew her neighbors were different. But despite the whole vampire thing, Solange is her best friend. So when the vampire queen has Solange kidnapped, Lucy doesn’t hesitate to help Lucy’s brother Nicholas find his sister.

Romance is all over this tale. Lucky and Nicholas find predictable sparks, but Solange has her own twist. Readers found the books in this series badass, fast-paced, and funny.

17. Guild Hunter Series

Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter Book 1)

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  • Author: Nalini Singh
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
  • Awards: Numerous nominations
  • First Book Published: 2009
  • Books: 14 – begins with Angels’ Blood

Elena Deveraux, the acclaimed vampire hunter, has been hired by the lethal and handsome Archangel Raphael. She cannot fail, but the job is unlike any other. More worrying, like a moth to a flame, she is finding herself drawn to Raphael. She has no idea how she is going to survive any of this.

Yes, the “fall in love with a guy that might be the death of me” isn’t romantic. But that is what Singh is pointing out. An ancient and powerful creature will not see humans as equal. This is the often unspoken dark undertone in paranormal romances.  This actually applies to many human relationships, too. Nonetheless, despite the razor-edge allegory, these are fast, fun, action-packed reads.

18. Midnight Breed Series

Kiss of Midnight: A Midnight Breed Novel (The Midnight Breed Series Book 1)

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  • Author: Lara Adrian
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
  • Awards: Nominated for two Goodreads
  • First Book Published: 2007
  • Books: 18 – begins with Kiss of Midnight

Gabrielle Maxwell knows he watches her as she dances, and she likes it. He is her fantasy, unlike the violent murder she stumbles across outside the club. Lucan Thorne, a vampire, had no intention of interacting with the attractive human woman. It causes complications. But now she’s been targeted by rogue vampires, and he knows she won’t survive if he doesn’t intervene.

Fans of hot and steamy paranormal romances love this series. Readers adore Lucan and liked Gabrielle’s intelligence. The books are in the same realm as J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. But it does have plenty of unique touches, including its vampire lore.

19. The Beautiful Series

The Beautiful (The Beautiful Quartet)

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  • Author: Renée Ahdieh
  • Genre: Historical fiction, Paranormal, YA, Romance
  • Awards: Not for this series
  • First Book Published: 2019
  • Books: 3 with another in progress – begins with The Beautiful

1872, seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau flees from Paris to New Orleans, where the dead are in charge. She finds refuge in a convent and loves the city’s vibe. But she’s soon entangled with the La Cour des Lions, a key player in New Orleans’ underworld. But their leader, Sébastien, is irresistible.

This is a thriller, mystery, and saucy romance all rolled into one. This gothic take of a paranormal tale is rapidly gaining devoted fans.

20. The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series

Shiver

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  • Author: Maggie Stiefvater
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance
  • Awards: Numerous Goodreads nominations
  • First Book Published: 2009
  • Books: 3 – Shiver, Linger, Forever

Each winter, Grace sees the wolves roaming the woods surrounding her house. Each summer, they are gone. Until the day when she encounters yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity leaves her breathless. But could he really be…?

Team Jacob, we have not forgotten you. Sam, our young man of fur and tail, makes readers’ hearts go awwww. The tale has a soft, sweet, wintery aesthetic. An atmospheric read with lots of food. (So much food.)

21. The Immortals Series

Evermore (The Immortals, 1)

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  • Author: Alyson Noël
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance
  • Awards: Goodreads nomination
  • First Book Published: 2009
  • Books: 6 – begins with Evermore

After a tragic accident, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom has lost her family and can now see people’s auras, hear other’s thoughts, and with a touch see another’s life story. Thus, she avoids making friends at her new high school. But everything changes when she meets handsome Damen. His magic is so intense the noises in her head go silent.

The angsty teen paranormal romance is fully present with this series. While the tale is sweet, there is some humor. This is not a pale shadow of Twilight, but there is enough cross-over flavor to make fans happy.
 

22. The Gilda Stories

The Gilda Stories: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition

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  • Author: Jewelle Gomez
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, LGBTQI+
  • Awards: Lambda (1991 – for both fiction and fantasy)
  • First Book Published: 1991
  • Books: 1

Gilda escapes slavery as a little girl. A vampire gives her refuge and care. Eventually, Gilda asks to be turned. Now her guardian teaches her the way of vampires. The first rule: when taking blood, leave something of value in return. Thus, Gilda begins her odyssey through the decades as a vampire.

This is an epic lesbian tale of healing from trauma (because slavery is trauma), learning to trust, building a found family, and how to survive in a greedy world without adding to the greed. No, this isn’t Twilight. But for readers craving a thought-provoking paranormal read with depth and beauty, this is for you.

23. Daughter of Smoke & Bone Series

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

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  • Author: Laini Taylor
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
  • Awards: Numerous nominations
  • First Book Published: 2011
  • Books: 3 – Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

A slit in the sky lets winged strangers through. Scorched handprints begin appearing on doorways across the globe. In Prague, an art student named Karou finds herself caught in the middle of a war. But she, with her natural bright blue hair, is also a mystery. Not all answers, however, are easy to hear.

Demons and angels are known for their conflict, but neither side is fully good or bad in this series. All of which leaves two fractions open to a Romeo & Juliet type tale. A unique paranormal read that’s won itself a wealth of fans.

24. Kat Redding Series

To Walk the Night (Kat Redding)

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  • Author: E.S. Moore
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
  • Awards: None found
  • First Book Published: 2012
  • Books: 5 – begins with To Walk the Night

Kat Redding is known as Lady Death. Forced against her will to become a vampire while her brother Ethan was brutally turned into a hybrid of werewolf and vampire. They live to protect humans from the same fate. He crafts her weapons, and she does the killing.

Kat is a badass. This series has mystery, action, humor, and some hot moments. Fans love it for being different from the majority of paranormal tales.

25. A Small Charred Face

A Small Charred Face

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  • Author: Kazuki Sakuraba
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal
  • Awards: None found for this title, has won for others
  • First Book Published: 2017
  • Books: 1

Bamboo are from China and look like people. But they prefer the night and drink human lifeblood to stay alive. Each century, they grow flowers with white blooms. One day a Bamboo saves a boy named Kyo. A friendship emerges. This is dangerous and against the Bamboo rules.

This is very different from most Western takes on vampire lore. The structure is also one more often encountered in literature. Because this dreamy and evocative proves that genre can be literature. Of course, the prose is probably better in its original language. Nonetheless, this is a great read for paranormal readers craving originality.

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