Reminder Assistant Editor
The frigid northeast winters can be long and arduous or rather inviting for those of us who wish to curl up to a good book in an overstuffed chair by the fireplace.
This winter, I've barely been able to take my eyes off the pages of one particular series: the "Twilight" saga by Stephenie Meyer. I'm not one to get caught up in all the recent hype generated by the release and box office success of the film but I couldn't stifle my curiosity. I had to see for myself what all the fuss is about.
Over the course of the past few weeks, I've feverishly read through the four-part "Twilight" series, unable to rip myself away as if I were addicted to its pages.
What you must understand is that "Twilight" is not some Anne Rice novel with bloodthirsty vampires; it's a tale of one teenage girl, Isabella "Bella" Swan, struggling to harness her identity while her world gets turned on its head by the "vegetarian" vampire Edward Cullen. If you're looking for a stunt-driven adventure filled with gory vampire slayings, try "Queen of the Damned." If you're a sap for a problematical love story you've come to the right place.
This is the kind of love story that says, "To hell with the consequences. I love you and the only thing I know for sure is that I want to be with you so we'll figure out the rest later. P.S. I hope you can control yourself enough not to suck out all my blood."
I highly suggest reading "Twilight" before going to see the film. As is usually the case, the book is filled with subplots too dense for a two-hour movie.
The first book begins with Bella's reintroduction to Forks, Wash. She's chosen to move to this rainy Podunk to stay with her father, the chief of police, so her mother can follow her new professional baseball player husband to Florida. Bella is awkward like most teenage girls, unsure of herself and totally lacking in self-confidence. She believes herself to be ordinary and cannot comprehend how her breathtakingly handsome classmate Edward Cullen could be so fascinated with her.
It is important to note that Meyer's vampires are much unlike those in "Dracula" or other vampire novels. Edward and his family the sire and father figure Dr. Carlisle Cullen, his wife Esme and four "brothers" and "sisters" choose to suppress their thirst by feeding on the blood of animals, not humans. Unlike other vampire tales, they cannot sleep, nor are they nocturnal; the Cullens can go outside during cloudy days the sun illuminates their bodies as if diamonds were encrusted in their skin therefore exposing their drastic differences with humans which make up the majority of the weather patterns in Forks.
"Twilight" takes readers within the complicated walls of a Romeo and Juliet type of love affair, where a love so powerful threatens to expose the Cullens' true identities or kill the one person Edward has waited nearly a century for. The relationship becomes even more complicated when a vindictive vampire named James makes it his life's work to kill Bella.
By the end of the book we learn that self-sacrifice and love can conquer most anything, even the lonely abyss of immortality.
The second book, "New Moon," will infuriate and surprise you as the majority of the novel takes place without Edward. "New Moon" illustrates the colossal power of love so inescapable that it links Bella and Edward beyond their ability to cast one another aside in an effort to ensure their safety.
Prompted by the box office success of "Twilight," studio executives have already ordered the script for "New Moon" and plan on releasing the film in theaters later this year.
"New Moon" also foreshadows a war between vampires and werewolves. During Edward's self-imposed exile from Forks he breaks up with Bella and convinces her that he no longer loves her for her own protection Bella develops a close friendship with a werewolf, Jacob. The love triangle is evident and will prove problematic in "Eclipse," the third book.
I refrain from going into further detail as I do not wish to spoil your affection for the series or your interest in the fourth book, "Breaking Dawn."
I will say, however, that this series has captured my imagination, reinvigorated my lust for the written word and my quest for love. Bella has shown me that an "ordinary" girl can possess the tenacity to take on the world and become extraordinary. And Edward illustrates the honorable, self-sacrificing gentleman every woman could only hope for, if they don't already have him in their lives.
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