December 10, 2008

Thoughts on the Twilight saga, Part I

***Okay I'm just going to tell you NOW that I neither have the time nor the energy to research the HTML coding necessary to hide spoilers from this post. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Perhaps I will search it out at a later date, but for now, just stop reading RIGHT NOW if you don't want to have any of these books spoiled for you.***

Don't try to scroll down as far as you can before you see that I'm totally serious about the above disclaimer. Go. Go NOW.

Okay so in an earlier blog entry, I made mention that I was finally entering the Realm of the Twihards by finally giving in to reading the megahit young adult novel, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Now, the reason you haven't heard about it again since then is because, true to fashion, I became sucked in and had to read all four books before I could even think about posting my opinions, thoughts, and ramblings on the book.

Now, I'm not going to go into extreme detail about each of these books because frankly, I don't have the time, and I'm also not getting paid to do so. You'll either read the books or you won't, and I doubt my "reviews" will influence you in one way or the other. With that being said, I highly recommend reading at least the first book, even if you're totally not interested in them. Simply so that you won't feel like a complete noob when others around you are discussing this phenomenon.

Book 1 - Twilight:
I'm not gonna lie. I LOVED this book. Loved. Still love. Will continue to love. It took a chapter or two for the hook to really grab me by the jaw and pull, but it happened. I finished this book in one day, and it took staying up until 2am on a work night to accomplish this feat. The lack of sleep was worth it to me because I was completely sold. Team Edward -- right here.

Let me just pause for a moment and give you a little backstory on my fascination with vampires. It might aid in your understanding of the schoolgirl babblings you're about to be subject to with regards to Edward Cullen. When I was a freshman in college, my best friend **InsertFunnyBlogPseudonymHere** and I decided to start reading the Anne Rice "Vampire Chronicles," beginning with Interview with the Vampire. We would discuss the hotness of gorgeous undead men with alabaster skin pinning us up against a wall and -- oh my -- biting our necks. Yes, we chose to ignore the slight fact that it would probably leave us dead or undead (which is to say, immortal). It was our world and we lived in it; don't judge. We both have a thing for vampires. It's just the way of it.

So, back to the book. The character of Bella is almost obnoxiously Mary Sue with her Joan-of-Arc-Complex, her adorable klutziness, and the fact that even though she is completely oblivious to it and oh-so-plain, every boy in her new school wants to go out with her. However, I love her. I love how stubborn she is, and I love the way Meyers writes the feelings that Bella has for Edward Cullen. I could relate to it, honestly. I was able to recall with vivid feelings and colors how it felt to be that close to a gorgeous guy for the first time, the aching moments before a first kiss, the frustration of trying to know what he was thinking, etc.

Speaking of Edward, the resident angsty 100-year-old teenage vampire, I must say that I love him. I love him throughout all four books. I've gotten into discussions on a (non-Twilight related) message board that I frequent about the general consensus that Edward is "creepy" or "a stalker" or "is too protective and territorial of Bella." Um, dudes? He's a vampire. In what universe, fictional or otherwise, did you expect to read about a normal, healthy relationship between a teenager and a vampire? Just sayin'.

I love the way Stephenie Meyer writes the restraint used by both Bella and Edward to control their baser, primal urges. Several have acclaimed this book for its "message of abstinence," but I don't think it's so much a moral issues as an "Edward will crush her like an aluminum can if he lets himself lose control" issue. The moments leading up to these rare, passionate moments though are brilliant. Brilliant and HOT. So much so that while I was reading late one night, I almost woke up Operaboy.

Meyer has a lot of potential as an author, but I must be honest here and say that I think she should thank her lucky stars EVERY DAY that this book became the phenomenon that it did, and that she had a publisher who was willing to take a chance on her. She is not the Next Great Author by any means; she seems to ignore the basic plot structure (exposition, climax, denoument (sp?), you know all that stuff we learned in high school), and she can beat a dead horse like nobody's business (Edward Cullen is so beautiful. His skin is so perfect. His eyes smolder. His skin sparkles. Yes, we get it!!!). However, her story is written in such a way that even grown women I know have not been able to put this book down.

She certainly made a believer out of me. I love it. Even after reading all four books in the saga, I will still say that Twilight is my favorite.

Okay I have work to do, so stay tuned for Parts II, III, and IV.

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