So I've had a new obsession lately. It's an obsession that came on quite suddenly and without much warning. I've been inexplicably captivated by Stephenie Meyer's first three novels: Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse.
As the story goes, I first heard about Twilight long ago... maybe two years ago? I heard all the hype and quickly dismissed the idea of ever reading the book. After all, what on earth was I (of all people) going to get out of a vampire story? I've never been into horror. I've never been into vampires or werewolves or other such monsters. Besides that, I haven't read any fiction in the past six years (with the exception of one book this year... or was it last?... entitled Midwives by Chris Bohaljian). I've always been too busy reading nonfiction to be bothered wasting my time on fiction (i.e., fake stories). I don't know where that came from really. I used to love fiction. I remember "way back when" reading many books by Robin Cook. They were medical mysteries and as such intrigued me. I did read one book by Stephen King. It was one of my all time favorites, actually. The Stand. I never would have read it were it not for the convincing of a coworker of mine, who swore I'd judged Mr. King harshly and had no idea that he could produce anything but graphic horror. Hmmm... that reminds me... I also read King's The Green Mile series. In fact, I read it when it was originally published in small books that were released, one a month, until the whole book had been released. It was torture all right... not physical torture... but emotional torture. The books were small enough to read in a day... and waiting for the next to come out each month nearly drove me crazy. But it was worth it. Oh... and although I haven't read The Shawshank Redemption, Mike really did get me to see that the movie is an absolute classic. Okay, okay... I apologize, Mr. King!
Back to the story at hand... so I had no intention of ever giving in to the Twilight hoopla out there in the big, bad world. But a couple of months ago, I felt something tugging at me. I had become too curious about what these books were all about. Why all the hoopla? Why all the magic? Why the massive fan base? What could be so good about one little story? Right before we left for Utah at the beginning of May, I began looking for it... but not very hard. In fact, I found a soft cover edition in a SeaTac airport bookstore and almost picked it up. The only thing that stopped me was simply not wanting to add anything more to my carry on luggage. Good thing, really. It would have killed my vacation in so many ways. Indeed, better that I never purchased it then. I also found it while traipsing around Utah, but again, I decided I could wait until I got home rather than carry one more thing around. As it was, we had to buy a new bag to bring home our treasures in.
Once I got home, I set aside the idea once more. But I kept coming back to it. One of the curious things about the book is that I had heard the author was LDS. That piqued my curiosity because anybody who publicly outs themselves as "Mormon" usually sticks to some sort of standard. Then, in the next week, all I seemed to see and hear was "Twilight this and twilight that". I could take it no longer. On a trip up to the Deseret bookstore in Bellevue a couple of weeks ago, I found it once again. I had it in my hand, along with a couple of other novels that looked good. I finally put the other novels back and held Twilight in my hands, resigned that that was the day I'd cave. The cute little blonde store clerk looked at me and coyly said, "You'll be hoooooked." She had no idea... oy!
So I started reading... and reading... and reading... I could hardly put the darned book down. It was a simple book with a captivating story. I was caught... hook, line, and sinker. I had finished one half of the book when I went to work last Saturday night (exactly one week ago). I was sorely disappointed when I got to work that night to learn that I'd be *stuck* in the nursery for a full 12-hour shift. Just me and one baby in a big, empty nursery for 12 hours. SIGH. Thankfully, I had Twilight to keep me company in the hours the baby slept. I easily finished the second half of the novel by the end of my shift.
When I got home, I felt an intense and desperate need to read the sequel. I was nearly dying inside to see how Bella and Edward's story played out. I was desperate enough to be reduced to a groveling beggar. I handed Mike a Borders 30% off coupon, along with the author's name and the name of the sequel, New Moon. I begged, saying, "I need you to go on an adventure for me today. I finished Twilight this morning and I absolutely must have New Moon. I have to have it. If I had it now, I'd start reading. Besides, if I'm going to be stuck in the nursery for another 12 hours tonight, I'll need a good novel to keep me company." To my delight, he agreed, and I went to bed.
When I woke up, my book was waiting for me. My eyes were still somewhat blurry from sleep but it didn't stop me from delving in. To my shock and surprise, he had also purchased for me Eclipse (the third book) as well as a completely unrelated novel by the same author, The Host. I was ecstatic. I began reading the second book that afternoon (Sunday) and had it finished by Monday night. The next day I picked up the third book and finished it yesterday. Now I'm left tormented. The story is completely HANGING and I have no closure. I'll have to wait until August 2nd to get my hands on the fourth book, Breaking Dawn. I am dying for its release. I have to know how the story continues (I won't say "ends" because I can't bear that it could possibly be over in just one more book).
In short, this is a love story about a human and a vampire. It sounds so cheesy. I saw an interview with Stephenie Meyer and even she says she hates it when someone asks, "What is your book about?" She said, "How do you sum up Twilight in 10 sentences or less without it sounding like a bad episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?" And she's right. It's impossible. Yes, it's a love story about a vampire and a human... but it is SO much more than that. I think there are so many facets to the appeal. The life lessons... the struggles... the triumphs... all these classical pulls in a very new novel. It's amazing! I have the feeling this series will be around for a very, very long time!
There is a movie coming out December 12. So I told Mike I already know how I want to spend my birthday... dinner and a movie! I've watched the movie trailer at least a couple dozen times. If you haven't read the book, it probably won't hold near the excitement as it does for someone who has. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kristen Stewart as Bella. I am not quite so sure about Robert Pattinson as Edward, but each time I see the trailer, he grows on me. Besides, Stephenie Meyer herself said that Robert Pattinson must've been inside her brain because he is the perfect Edward and has brought her character to life in a way she'd only hoped. The rest of the cast is PERFECT!
The other thing I really, REALLY liked about the series was how clean it was!! It was such a breath of fresh air. In fact, now that I think about it, I think one of the reasons that I have shied away from fiction in the past several years is that I was getting so tired of having to overlook expletive language and graphic sexual descriptions. This series is completely devoid of that! I loved that I could trust the author enough to just read without worrying about what I'd stumble on in the course of the story.
Okay... that's enough about my obsession for today. I'm sure I'll post more about it as I think about it. I'm going to reread the series once more before the fourth book comes out in August. I feel 15 again!
WA Children's Choice Picture Book Awards
5 months ago