Friday, April 18, 2008
A sexy vampire, like members of the stone-cold, statuesque, beautiful Cullen family of the Twilight books.
Welcome to my latest obsession (and I do not use that word lightly, even given my general tendency to be a little bit obsessive-compulsive). Since Monday, I have read all three of these 600+ page books.
It started innocently enough; I was walking past the bookstore in the mall and the large display of the Stephenie Meyer books caught my eye. I purchased the first book in the series after a small conversation with myself; I figured that I should be aware of what my students have been reading, so this was as good a time as any to pick up the book. I got home, cracked open the book right before bedtime (thinking I would read a few chapters a night), and was up until 1:00 a.m., too engrossed to put the book down. I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m., got up on its first ring, and picked up the novel where I had left off, refusing to put it down until I was finished. Did I mention that I taught that day? :) Bleary-eyed and hungry for the next book, I headed to class. My obsession had begun.
Fast forward a couple of days, a return trip to the bookstore, and many hours spent reading (and in some cases, re-reading) the books, and here I am, as ravenous for the next book as a newborn vampire is for human blood.
My obsession has also expanded beyond the realm of the books themselves in this brief five-day period; I have since read countless articles about the book, the movie (yes, there is a movie coming out in December based on the first book), the author, and even the cast of actors hired to play the characters in the novel. My mind is still completely engrossed with the story, and with the two main characters (Bella and Edward).
To summarize the book (without giving anything away), the series is essentially about a teenage girl who moves to a small town to live with her dad, and falls in love with a very handsome "vegetarian" vampire who has a supernatural thirst for her blood in particular. He is also undeniably attracted to her, and they fall in love. However, there are complications for this couple in a world where other dangerous creatures vie for her love, her lover, her blood, and her soul. (Ugh...that sounded cheesy, but that was the only cryptic way I could write this so that I don't ruin the books for you).
Suffice to say, I feel like an idiot. At 30-something, I should know better than to be as fanatical about a fictional series as a teenage fan-girl. Did I mention that these books are written for teens? As well, these books aren't exactly high literature; they are riveting to read, but by no means are they crafted pieces of masterful writing. The descriptions are overly self-indulgent, and sometimes repetitive; the dialogue is sometimes as cheesy as a Harlequin romance. Is it any surprise, then, that the rational, adult part of my brain attempts to speak reason to the not-so-rational, obsessively juvenile side of my brain? I can't say that the adult side is gaining any ground, though. What is it about this angst-ridden, vampire love story plot line that has me so entranced?
I have a few theories. How about vicarious reliving of the adolescent experience? Possibly. As I approach my hormonal "peak," I can't help but wonder if Stephenie Meyer (who is only a few years older than I am) didn't write this out of her own horny frustration. :)
Read the books for yourself and tell me what you think. I haven't had this major a reaction since I read the Harry Potter books (not that I would compare the two series - Rowling is quite a masterful writer and she crafts her sentences flawlessly, and her books would take the prize over these ones on any day of the week), and I anticipate that the movies will be as frustrating and satisfying as the books. I fully anticipate swooning like a schoolgirl when I see this on the big screen; goodness knows I already swooned when I read the books' love scenes!
Off I go to stalk the Net for more on the Twilight books now...