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Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have several Twilight-obsessed friends, so I finally knuckled under and started to read the first book. It's good, I like Bella's "voice" and it's definitely pulling me in - I want to know what happens. But I've read much more compelling books.

One friend, to explain her obsession, said "it's like a soap opera" and she meant that in a good way, but it made me less interested - that's not really what I like in an entertainment, almost the opposite. I'm just curious about it, but not fascinated. Now that I'm reading the first book, I find myself wondering about the casting and such. But it's not like I can't put it down. Another friend recently read the entire series (4 books) in a week. I guess it really strikes a chord with some people.

New Moon (the 2nd film in the series) comes out on video this week. I haven't seen any of the movies, so I can't really judge, but it's hard to get excited about a teen flick when there is so much else out there. I'm certainly not paying a babysitter to watch that, though I know several adults that adore the movies.

Vampires have been a dependable genre for many years - Laura was obsessed with The Hunger - the movie with Susan Sarandon and David Bowie as vampires. I saw it and it was o.k. I guess I'm just not that tweaked by the whole idea. I watched a couple episodes of True Blood, which was weird and sexy and not bad, but it was super violent and the S&M sex is really off-putting to me. So I gave up on that.

It's not that I wish I was as caught up in this as others, but it does leave one feeling a bit flat - like listening to people talk about American Idol when I just couldn't care less. I want to feel passionate and I want to speak passionately, I'm just not passionate about this.


After a couple nights staying up way too late, I finished the first book. Fun. When I read something as hyped as this, I don't expect much, so I was pleasantly surprised. I don't think her writing is bad or overly florid. Just a solid book for what it is.

And I can definitely see the appeal - all that destiny, destiny, destiny (Stephenie Meyer cites Jane Eyre as a major influence, as well as Pride and Prejudice, and the parallels are quite apparent). Edward's been alone for a HUNDRED YEARS, plus, the supposedly dorky girl is the object of this god's affection. Pretty obvious why it's so popular. I actually thought the author included some nice touches. Some of the ideas about vampires were fresh - the sparkly skin, the venomous bite. Clever. And I loved the baseball game, that was great (what do gods do for entertainment anyway??) The story didn't follow quite the arc I expected - I didn't know the high school milieu was abandoned so early on. But it kept my attention, and it certainly eradicated my skepticism.

Not sure if I need to read all the books. It's still teen fiction, even if it's good teen fiction. I am intrigued by how Edward and Bella's devotion could possibly be challenged. I've heard about "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" but that seems almost impossible, at least at the end of this book. So solving that mystery might make it worth it. Plus, where the author is going with Bella being sickened by the smell of blood - that was never explained and it's rather interesting.

I definitely need to see the movie. I wondered all through the book about the casting and how certain scenes would be portrayed (or eliminated). So that's next on the agenda for sure.

One more note, on the role modeling. I certainly approve of a popular entertainment that doesn't portray all teens as sexually active. That's refreshing and a good thing. On the other hand, the series has gotten a lot of criticism because Bella is such an old fashioned heroine - supposedly all she does is love Edward, her character doesn't exist for any other purpose. I can't really agree - at least at the end of the first book, she addresses their unequal status quite explicitly, and she asserts herself and her preferences quite regularly. But I guess I can't really judge until I've read the other three books.


It's funny to go back and read my half-hearted words, because somewhere between seeing the first movie and reading the second book, I got totally hooked, and now my neutrality seems so laughable.



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