As with anything, I always recommend beginning at the beginning. However, in case you don't want to peruse my entries from the beginning (& hey, it's your loss), here's a quickie for you.

I basically like Twilight. I appreciate it for what it is, and recognize it's shortcomings. If you're a crazed Twi-fanatic, consider yourself warned.

Kristen Stewart is on my shortlist of favorite actors, and Robert Pattinson is not only gorgeous, he's talented too.

The cast in general blows my mind. Not for their acting skills (which are super sweet), but the fact that they are all so normal seeming. And they get along. No cat fights, no set drama. I'd love to see a remake of The Breakfast club with this cast, where they act as themselves. someone make that happen k thanks.

Stephenie Meyer, as a stay-at-home mom of multiple kids, wrote a book. She's kinda my hero. I want to do what she's done.

All opinions and thoughts are welcome here, so please feel free to speak your mind. :)

PS-I tend to go off on tangents like no one's business, and occasionally stray from what I really wanted to say. I'm also too impatient to go back and re-read what I've written to make sure it sounds right. I apologize for any ramblings, incoherence, and other minor transgressions I might make.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How Twilight Swallowed Me Whole

Up until two weeks ago, I was completely oblivious to anything having to do with Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, or the mania that follows both. Well, to be honest, I wasn't completely oblivious...I rented "Penelope" about a month ago, and I watched the trailer speed by in fast forward as I hurried to watch the movie. As the mother of a two year old and a nine month old, I have no time for anything extra most days, and that includes movie trailers. Once I got to the main feature, I thought nothing else of it.

Until I went to the store to look for some new books...

I was wandering very slowly down the book aisle, just skimming the covers, mostly just enjoying the fact that I an hour free from dealing with my adorable little monsters, when a set of novels stood out to me. I stopped to look closer, and I saw for the first time the Twilight series; complete, side by side, and strangely compelling.

It's not a strange thing for a book to compel me. I'm an avid reader, usually choosing to spend any spare moment I have with a book in hand. All books are compelling to me; the chance to lose myself in another world is something I cannot pass up. Reading is my favorite form of escapism. Book series are a personal favorite of mine, simply because I do not want to story to end. Ever.

What made these books different, what made the compulsion strange, was their location on the book shelf. They were in the Young Adult section, a place I'd moved on from years before I myself was a young adult. A section I'd ignored entirely, with the sole exception of the "Harry Potter" books, since my days of required high school reading.

I stopped to look closer at them, to try and decipher what it was that made me want to pick one up and scan the jacket. It was, of course, the covers; the different red and white objects in stark relief to the otherwise solid black covers. And the simple, evocative titles. The word twilight alone conjures up all sorts of wonderful, escapist fantasies. It's a word that at once evokes the promise of romance, mystery, drama, and wonder; all things that make up my favorite kind of book.

I stood there for another moment, indecisive, and then picked up the first one for a closer look. The two white hands holding the red apple, a seeming reference to the garden encounter with the forbidden fruit, told me that there was a delicious sin somewhere in the pages beneath them. I thought for a second if there were any sins worth reading about that could still be qualified as "Young Adult". But I couldn't resist opening it to read the front and back jacket, and the opening quotation. Seeing that it was a reference from the book of Genesis only confirmed the good and evil theory, but gave me no reference to its nature. I scanned the chapter names, which all seemed fairly harmless, and decided that since I already had it open and in my hands, it couldn't hurt to read the preface.

I suppose the difference in a young adult and an older adult is showcased in my reaction. The words of "hunter" and "death" are all well and good, but I've read many, many books that have dealt with both, some great and some not so much. The word that decided me was the name of the town.


Forks? Really? I laughed out loud and then look around to make sure no one was watching me. Confirming my solitude, I laughed again. How could anything interesting happen in a town named Forks? How could death and hunters and immanent doom befall anyone or anything in a place that instantly brought to mind other pieces of silverware?

(I have to state here that my reaction is strongly based in my personality. While I appreciate that a fork in the road could foreshadow a big decision or a turning point in a great tale, that was not the first thing on my mind. Eating is one of my top five favorite past times. It's right up there with a great book on my personal enjoyment scale. Seriously.)

After another quickly stifled giggle I finished the preface and read the first page. The town of Forks was quickly described as a place that I could see as the setting of a wonderful story, so I closed the book before I could read anymore and decide I didn't like it.

That day I bought both "Twilight" and "New Moon", because I figured if I like the first one then I wouldn't want to wait til I got another free hour to go out and get the second. And, if I didn't like the first, well...no harm, I could just take them to my local thrift store in the hopes that someone else could enjoy them.

I stayed up that night, well morning actually, since it was 3:30 am, just to finish "Twilight".

Needless to say I wasn't about to take those books to anyone else. I was hooked. I was becoming a Twilighter.

Over the next three days, I begged my husband to get the other two books for me on his way home from work, and I finished all four of them. This may not sound quite as amazing to you as does to me, because you're forgetting that I have two small children who take up all of my time from six thirty in the morning until eight thirty at night, and various hours of the night depending on when the baby wakes up to nurse.

I was like a woman possessed. Or obsessed. I literally did not sleep that weekend for more than three hours a night. All day long I would think about Bella and Edward, and their plight, and I would wonder what was next. I found myself cutting bath time five minutes short-just to be five minutes closer to finishing the story of Jasper fighting newborn vampires, and finding Alice. I woke up wondering whether Jake would ever taste requited love, and if I would ever be able to completely love him again the way I did when he was a harmless school boy, not a shapechanging string around Bella's heart. I could not pull myself away from the world of Forks, and it's pale-skinned inhabitants.

When I finished "Breaking Dawn", at 2:00 am no less, I couldn't shut the book. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the Cullen family and the world I'd shared with them over the last few days. I decided I should re-read the last few chapter again just to be sure I hadn't skipped something vital. When I'm reading something particularly addicting, I'm torn between taking it all in as quickly as possible, and dragging it out to make it last. Sometimes in my haste to get to the end of the story I don't quite take in every detail that I possibly could.

So I read the last few chapters of "Breaking Dawn" that night. Still wrapped up in the world of Forks, I went to bed telling myself I'd get online the next day and see what else I could read to prolong the magic. I was hopeful that there would be a few interviews with Stephenie Meyer that would maybe satisfy my blood-lust, (haha, terrible pun, I know), for the Twilight world.

Boy was I surprised by the world of fanaticism I stumbled into.

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