When I was a girl dreaming about what my first (and only) boyfriend would be like, I imagined him larger than life. He was good looking, intelligent, witty and hopelessly and completely in love with me. I’d be endlessly fascinated by him and long to be with him when I wasn’t. Not because I didn’t have a life or outside interests, but because of something inexplicably more.

This boy I loved was dangerous and unpredictable–someone of mystery. He wasn’t evil, just slightly…tormented by the fact that he and I shouldn’t be together. The reasons why we shouldn’t be together varied: he was an alien from another planet; he was a ghost; he was an assassin sent to kill me; he had a crippled leg and didn’t believe he was lovable; his mother killed my older brother in a drunk driving accident and our families were enemies; he was actually from the year 3005; he had cancer and was going to die.

Whatever it was I made up to keep us apart, it was never enough to trump the all-consuming, powerful attraction and passion we felt for each other. (Yes, I know how corny that reads.) I had a lot of fun putting us through hell so the eventual capitulation would be all the more sweet, because that’s the key for me. In my fantasies, there had to be an element of hellish danger. I wanted it all. Excitement. Attraction. Mystery. Obsession. And one big gallomping roadblock. Reality didn’t make the cut. Who cared about realism? I faced reality just getting out of bed.

Why am I sharing this?

Because a book written by Stephanie Meyer has resurrected those feelings. The book is called Twilight and is about a teen-aged girl, Bella, who falls in love with a vampire, Edward. The story is told in first person narrative, which isn’t my favorite point of view, but after the first page or so, I didn’t notice.

As I walked down the aisle to introduce myself to the teacher and get my slip signed, I was watching him surreptitiously. Just as I passed, he suddenly went rigid in his seat. He stared at me, meeting my eyes with the strangest expression on his face–it was hostile, furious.

Through Bella’s narrative, I feel how emotionally torn Edward is for feeling the way he does about her. He is attracted to her smell–to her blood–and to her personally, and finds the two desires impossible to reconcile.

Their romance, their ill-advised attraction that grows into love, is the driving force of Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. Sure, she’s seventeen and he’s 104 years old (but will be seventeen forever), and although they’re both aware they can’t stay together, they can’t not be together. Edward’s entire being shrinks from the thought of taking away Bella’s mortality, but she can’t envision her life without losing it. And thus begins the push-and-pull of a romance that for me is the ultimate escapism.

Danger-fueled obsession. I eat it up and crave thirds.

This isn’t Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This isn’t Angel, The Black Dagger Brotherhood or Anita Blake. This is Twilight, a different kind of vampire-human romance story that comes with a conscience and sweet, gentle passion, the kind that squeezes my heart and isn’t letting go. Bella and Edward’s slow-burning love, the danger and torment it creates from all angles, is one of the most compelling stories I’ve read.

I love Meyer’s fast-paced writing, her thorough characterizations, and her well-thought out plots. I love her imagination. This is exactly the fantastical stuff my dreams were, and are again, made of.

How popular is this series? The movie comes out in December, and there are rumors that there is a second movie coming.

The last story, Breaking Dawn, comes out August 2. Guess what I’ll be doing that day?

And! Stephanie Meyer is writing a companion book to Twilight told from Edward’s point of view. It will be called Midnight Sun.

Her scent hit me like a wrecking ball, like a battering ram. There was no image violent enough to encapsulate the force of what happened to me in that moment.

In that instant, I was nothing close to the human I’d once been; no trace of the shreds of humanity I’d managed to cloak myself in remained. I was a predator. She was my prey. There was nothing else in the world but that truth.

Remember Bella’s thoughts about his hostile, violent stare? This is what Edward was thinking at the time. He came thisclose to killing her. Stephanie Meyer knows how to deliver what I, her reader, wants to know.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this strongly about a series. Thank you, Stephanie Meyer. Your beautiful characters rock.

13 Replies to “Twilight”

  1. *breathes slowly*

    My little sisters have just gotten hooked on this series. As in, they bought and read the books in one week.

    They a bullying me into reading them. I am reluctant to do so because of the hype. Nothing lives up to it. Not the bible, not the Da Vinci Code, not Eragon, not Harry Potter. I do not want that same disappointment I felt after reading those books.

    Despite this, I will read them, probably some time this summer, at the very least before I see the movie (which I think looks fabulous. Plus, hot men and a great looking girl. I think I can suffer through any dialogue if I get to stare at them for an hour or two.) This review makes it (I know I’ll egret saying this) appetising. and damnit, I’m curious! (Yes, despite the massive spoilers that my sister tell me.)

    Good post, Andi. ^-^

  2. Eden, my guess is that this series is “hyped” because the story is about teenagers. Meyer didn’t intentionally write a YA novel, it just happened that way.

    Both the love interests in the books are the stuff most girls dream about. If you’re a teenaged girl, you’re going to squeal a lot. ;-P

    But I’m 40 and yet I’m in love with the characters. With Edward especially. I want my own Edward…

    I think you’ll like Bella, the character in the book.

  3. *snortgiggle*

    I’m in Eden’s corner, actually. Not just because of the hype, but because of the whole YA angle. I think it might throw me off.

    And I just generally resist hopping on bandwagons. It’s the rebel in me. Heh.

    Still, it was an amazing review, Andi – and anything that has moved you so deeply to share these thoughts makes me go . . . *hmmmm*

  4. Hee.

    I don’t know about conversion-ism, but if I’ve done a wee part to nudge the unlikely in a certain direction, it’s the least I (we) can expect.

    We love what we love. We feel what we feel. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

  5. Here in Utah, where Ms. Meyer is from, the hype is more like a pandemic!!! I can go from patient room to patient room and find copies of her books in every one of them. And these are women who have just given birth, mind you, they should be sleeping, not reading!!
    My own night time clerk has read the series seven times already now! And I thought my Anita Blake addiction was excessive!
    I made it to page 68 of the first book and found myself bored, ‘what? No sex, smex or any kind of hints of same yet??? Where’s the good stuff?”
    I stopped reading but have promised myself to get to them right after Kushiel’s Dart series. That many people can’t be all wrong. And now I have your recommendation too. Thanks for the review.

  6. Ohmigosh, page 68, Evey? You definitely have to read on–to give yourself a chance to see how Edward and Bella are together once he makes up his mind that he can’t stay away from her.

    I love smex just as much as the next girl, but you know what? I haven’t yet found the lack of it in the books to be a deterrent. I was weaned on romance novels and this is definitely a romance story, even though one of the love interests is only 17.

    * Andi licks the screen *

  7. The no sex part doesn’t bother me. It’s somewhat refreshing, actually, after being buried under a pile of hawt paranormals. As long as there’s tension, that’s cool with me.

    But I have a feeling I might balk at some of it. Of course, that’s all based on assumptions, so I shouldn’t. But right off the top, I think ‘if he’s a teenage vamp, what’s he gonna do when she gets older and he still looks 16?’

    I’m not into the pretty seventeen year old boys. I likes me a big brawny man. Lately, one with a southern drawl… o.O

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