Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Vanish is second in the Firelight series. It’s the story of Jacinda and her twin sister Tamra, who are draki–they can turn into dragons. In the first book, Firelight, they left their clan and its isolated village and tried to integrate into a normal high school. Jacinda, the narrator, hates living away from the clan, but she falls in love with Will, who turns out to belong to a family of dragon hunters. At the end of Firelight, Jacinda and Will are separated and she returns to the clan village.
Most of Vanish takes place in the clan village, which is a pretty messed up place. The evil leader, Severin, runs it like a dictator. The girls are only valued for their unique abilities to contribute to the tribe and for their potential as breeders. Since there are so few draki, making babies is important. Jacinda is a fire-breather, and Tamra is a shader, capable of hiding the village from the outside world, so they’re pretty much the most eligible bachelorettes around. Severin’s son Cassian is a mostly nice guy who’s always had a thing for Jacinda, but who Tamra likes or loves. Cassian’s cousin Corbin is a creepy stalking possessive freak who keeps talking about how he’ll get whichever of the twins Cassian doesn’t take. This character is kind of over-the-top villainous, there only as a catalyst for action. Most of the book is about Jacinda planning escapes so that she can be with Will again.
The Firelight series seems to be a pretty transparent Twilight copycat, with dragons and dragon hunters instead of vampires. Jacinda is the one with the supernatural traits, but the male hunter/female prey relationship that is found in the Twilight books is preserved and played for all it’s worth. Jacinda has reason to fear Will, but she learns to trust him because he goes against his family to be with her. I think I would say that this series is better for girls than Twilight because Jacinda has more of a core self than Bella Swan. Both Bella and Jacinda fight to stand by their man, but that’s not the only thing Jacinda fights for. Her draki nature is important to her, and she’s determined to be true to that. Her supernatural power gives her a confidence and a fighting ability that Bella lacks. When she’s mistreated, she recognizes it. She refuses to be manipulated.
The structure of both series is similar too. The first book is about the couple falling in love. They are separated for the second book, and a romantic rival steps in. This book sets up a love triangle with Jacinda, Cassian, and Will (it might be considered a quadrilateral if you add Tamra). Will is her choice, but while she was separated from him, a bond grew with Cassian, both with and without Jacinda’s choice and consent. This bond will be the main source of conflict in the next book, Hidden, which comes out in September. If it follows the Twilight pattern, the love triangle will be resolved in this volume. I wonder if this resolution will involve sex. In Twilight it was an engagement. Sophie Jordan’s other novels are bodice-rippers, judging by the covers, so she may not be squeamish about writing sex.