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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  • Eric

    I am sorry but I am going to have to give this to Stephenie Meyer. While Rowling ruled most of the decade, Meyer with her vampires trumped her in a big way towards the end.

    This year, Harry is going to go against Edward at the Box Office so I guess we will find out who comes out the victor.

    • Lily

      Eric: Harry Potter beat everything expect Avatar. POTTER ERA ISN’T OVER YET!

      We Harry Potter fans have a promise that keeps us together: “WE WILL NOT LET THIS DIE!” (the HP fandom)

  • David

    Spot on Kristen, as soon as I read the heading I thought NO it is J.K Rowling. I know its personel choice but I feel the Harry Potter series was a better written series with more action and twists. Not that i’m knocking Meyer, just I think the decade definately belongs to Rowling.

    Good shout on Dan Brown too, I have not read his most recent piece but the others before that were exceptional.

    For Fantasy junkies like myself, Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind need a shout out, although most of their work was published in the 90’s.

  • Lily

    Hands down, J.K. Rowling owns the decade. I mean whoever puts “Twilight” as their favourite book of all time clearly hasn’t read a lot of books and has no taste whatsoever. I’m sorry. I have read the Twilight books and though they are quite funny because the dialoge is lame, they are lame at almost all the points. Sorry, but Stephenie Meyer has NO ability to write action scenes AT ALL! I think that’s why she skipped the fight between the Volturi and the Cullens in “Breaking Dawn.” Before Twilight, the author hadn’t even written any stories. Not even a short one-shot.

    J.K. Rowling is truly the author of the decade, though HP fans won’t challange this because WE know that different people have different opinions.

    Eric: Harry Potter beat everything expect Avatar. POTTER ERA ISN’T OVER YET!

    We Harry Potter fans have a promise that keeps us together: “WE WILL NOT LET THIS DIE!” (the HP fandom)

  • PATZ

    okay… i don’t think she’s the writer of the decade. for one thing, i don’t like the way she writes. The plot is too easy. I like books that make me think along the way. I’m not biased. There are books I like better than Harry Potter, but I like how JK uses a plot within a plot which makes reading more interesting than it actually is.