My friend Sonia has brought something awesome to my attention! Okay, I don’t know how many of you read/have read fanfiction, but there’s a common trope in the genre called a “high school AU,” or “high school alternate universe,” where the characters are transposed into high school students (assuming they aren’t already).

Example: “Junior Lizzy Bennet is sure that only her family is holding her back from total social success. How embarrassing to have a mother who teaches at your school and tries to set you up on blind dates, not to mention a freshman little sister who’ll date anything in trousers, including the older boys from the local army base! Then Charlie Bingley transfers to their school along with his two popular sisters and his friend Fitz Darcy, the richest, handsomest boy anyone at Meryton School has ever seen–and Fitz publicly snubs Elizabeth at the Homecoming dance!” &c., &c.

Someone (Ty Roth, to be exact) has written one for the Romantic poets!

High school junior John Keats was never a close friend of schoolmate and literary prodigy Gordon Byron. At his best and worst, Keats was a distant, envious admirer of Gordon’s talents, fame, and “player” lifestyle. That changes when their mutual friend, Shelly, mysteriously drowns. After stealing Shelly’s ashes, the boys set a course for the small Lake Erie Island where Shelly’s body had washed ashore and to where, according to Gordon, she wished to be returned. As they navigate obstacles and resist temptations during their odyssey, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly’s and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her premature end.

Shelley has been chosen to be genderswapped! I’m curious why the author picked him. I hope Keats and Byron have to learn to work together and discover that really, they’re not so different from each other, and that Byron also learns that it’s not nice to be a snob about Keats’s accent…

In other news about awesome things, I was at Barnes & Noble the other day and saw these in the YA section:

Twilight-inspired cover for Pride and Prejudice, with blown roses on a black background and the tagline "THE LOVE THAT STARTED IT ALL"
Twilight-inspired Jane Eyre cover with the tagline 'LOVE CONQUERS ALL'

Harper is putting them out, looks like. How great is that??? “THE LOVE THAT STARTED IT ALL”! Most of the blogs I’m pulling these images from (I’m having trouble finding official versions) seem to be mad about this, but I think it’s fantastic.

I am pretty sick of all this “Twilight is crap, Jane Eyre is what you should be reading, silly teenage girls,” stuff I see around. It’s snobby and anti-commercial-fiction and it sure isn’t making anyone want to read Jane Eyre. I think “If you liked Twilight, you would probably also like Jane Eyre” is not only less rude, it’s much more productive—and also true! Brooding, obsessive, and possibly dangerous men attracted to much younger ordinary-but-special women by a timeless soul-bond FTW!

(I’m not sure it will work as well for Jane Austen since it’s such a different kind of romance, but hey, I loved both Brontë and Austen as a teenager, so.)

What do you think? And have you seen other Twilight-inspired covers for classics running around? Link me!

2 thoughts on “LOVE CONQUERS ALL”

  1. Smart Bitches did a column on the “re-branding books to look like Twilight” phenomenon last year or maybe the year before. Then they had a contest where readers submitted their own Twilight-style makeovers, and there were some really great entries. When I have more time I’ll see if I can find that blog and send you the link.
    I’m baffled by the “Love is blind” tagline for Sense and Sensibility. What’s it referring to? Marianne’s blindness to Willoughby’s true nature?

    1. Oh cool, definitely link me if you find it! Yeah, I think it must be referring to Marianne. I mean, I’m not sure what “The Love Story That Started It All” is supposed to mean either. Started WHAT all? Other than the P&P movie/sequel/tie-in merchandise industry. (I mean yes, arguably it started the Regency Romance genre but I can’t imagine Twilight fans care about that too much.)

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