Is Stephenie Meyer the Author of the Decade?

Stephenie Meyer

Read Street, the book blog of the Baltimore Sun, has declared 2000-2009 the decade of Stephenie Meyer. Their reasoning for this bold declaration is that:

Meyer’s novel “Twilight,” released in October of 2005, hit the top of the bestseller lists and has hardly budged since — while being joined by others in the series.

In the comment section the author clarifies:

I’m not saying she’s the best author if the decade, but her emergence is one of the biggest trends since 2000. There’s no doubt about that.

It’s true, vampire books have been a huge trend in the past few years and Stephenie Meyer’s success has spread to other authors like L. J. Smith and Charlaine Harris. On the other hand, while recent years have been all about vampires, I would argue that J. K. Rowling dominated most of the decade. The first Harry Potter book was published in the US in 1998 and the final one in 2007, and the series has sold more than 400 million copies. In fact, the New York Times created a new bestseller list for children’s books in 2000 because Harry Potter was monopolizing its fiction bestseller list.

Another reason I think that this decade belongs to J. K. Rowling is that her success paved the way for Stephenie Meyer. The Harry Potter books sparked a renewed interest in reading among a generation of kids raised on DVDs and videogames. Through the popularity of Harry Potter, these kids became used to 700 page books and midnight release parties. The crossover appeal of the series also introduced adults to the idea that not all YA fiction is just for kids. I think all these trends influenced the success of Twilight.

Since we’re talking about book trends of this decade, I feel like I need to mention Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code. Since The Da Vinci Code debuted in 2003, his books have also spent a lot of time on the bestseller lists. His success has prompted lots of thriller-writing imitators as well as entire books that interpret the theories presented in The Da Vinci Code. Thanks to Dan Brown, conspiracy theory thrillers rooted in historical fact became one of the biggest trends of the decade.

So who do you think is the author of the decade? Stephenie Meyer? J. K. Rowling? Dan Brown? Someone I missed? Leave your comments below!

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