If you’ve watched Netflix’s new sci-fi LGBTQ+ teen romance, First Kill, you might be shocked to learn it’s an adaptation of a short story. So much happens in the eight-episode season that it’s hard to imagine so many twists and turns fitting into just a 34-page narrative. Author V.E. Schwab, who sometimes writes under the name Victoria Schwab, published the short story in September 2020 and an announcement of the adaptation with actor Emma Roberts as executive producer came just a month later. Here’s everything to know about First Kill, the short story, including where to find it and deets on Schwab’s other writing.
In First Kill, teenagers Juliette and Calliope meet and fall in love despite their differences. Juliette comes from an ancient lineage of vampires and Calliope hails from a family of trained monster hunters who want nothing more than to kill every last vampire on Earth. True to its name, the show has a lot of firsts, some more gruesome than others. Both Juliette and Cal, as everyone calls her, have their first kills, they share their first kiss, and they experience their first love. It’s a classic melodramatic teen romance with a gory twist.
When Schwab published this story just two years ago, it was in a set of multiple short stories about monsters called Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite curated by YA fantasy authors Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker. Reviewers on GoodReads (basically the Rotten Tomatoes of books) overwhelmingly said they loved the story, but needed it to be a full length book. If you want to see if they’re right, you’ll need to buy or borrow the full story collection which is available at most booksellers.
First Kill may be Schwab’s first foray into adapting her work for the screen, but there are plenty more projects on the horizon for her. Her most popular book is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, which you might recognize even if you haven’t read it because of its constellation-inspired book cover. In the first year after its release, it sold more than a million copies. Now, it’s being adapted as a movie for eOne, directed by Augustine Frizzell, who also helmed the pilot episode of Euphoria.
And if you love the adaptation of First Kill, you’re in luck; there’s even more Schwab stories coming to screens soon. Her books Shades of Magic and City of Ghosts are also getting the Hollywood treatment — the former is becoming a TV show with Sony and the latter a feature film with Searchlight Pictures. So if you’re thirsty for more vampires, monsters, and romantic drama after reading and watching First Kill, sink your teeth into Schwab’s other soon-to-be-adapted stories.