What would you say if your 12-year-old daughter wanted to read a book about a 16-year-old girl dating a 100-year-old virgin? What the what?
Or she wanted to read a highly popular series where there is blood, murder, love triangles, sneaking boys in at night, and getting married at eighteen. Exsqueeze me?
Still not sure what I am talking about?
Do you suffer from amnesia, have you been on assignment for National Geographic in the Antarctic, or are you a member of an Amish religious sect? No? Then you have no excuse not to know this supercouple. Like them or not, they have their place amongst the great romantic couples of literature.
Bella Swan and Edward Cullen of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight.
I am late to every party. Literally and in terms of pop culture. I don’t run out and buy what’s popular. I wait. Wait for everyone to have been there and done that. I bought my first pair of FUGGS (Fake Uggs) just this year. I still hate them because everyone is still wearing them.
My most recent late arrival: I just read Twilight.
Now, I’ve seen the movies. Erm, hello? Did you read that I have a 12-year-old daughter? She’s a Twi-hard. A tweenlight. On team Edward and super bummed about reading the last book, cause it’s the end. Ohhh the angst within and outside all that pasty high school angst.
I’d never read YA before. Well, not since graduating high school. I must say the book pleasantly surprised me.
You didn’t feel all that weird, sullen eyeballing that’s in the movie. The movie reminded me of that '80s Obsession commercial.
But we’re talking about the book.
At 400 plus pages it was a very fast read. When I got to the part where they play baseball and meet the bad vamps, I couldn’t believe I’d read that far.
Bella and Edward are teens. Well, Edward is really 100 but became a vamp at age 17. He’d never been in love until he met Bella. Kind of sweet and kind of creepy. Bella is the new girl in school, awkward and clumsy. Like most of us at that age.
Meyer really captures that teenage self doubt, over analyzing, and incessant pining. Both Edward and Bella try to navigate through their feelings for each other amidst the backdrop of the hardest years growing up, high school. Edward’s feelings are far more complicated. He wants to eat and kiss Bella at the same time. Maybe not, Bella wants to kiss and slap Edward at the same time.
In the novel, how Bella learns of Edward’s dietary needs is literally blurted out by Jacob. That for me was too easy. But how Bella tells Edward she knows he’s a bloodsucker, in the car, I thought a better portrayal. In the movie you have that forest scene with all the staring and drama.
As a teen whose boyfriend had a car, the best talks happen while driving. When you don’t have to look right at each other. When you just say what you need to while being distracted by the road. Very true to life.
I also loved how Bella had felt Edward’s cool touch very early on. They were very touchy feely. She relished in his cadaver-like skin and it was sweet. Their rendezvous on the hill was very romantic, how he sparkled for her the first time. In that scene they kiss and it reminded me of those first moments alone with a boy you really liked. Trying to control yourself. If not, you’ll burn in hell like Sister Saint Joan of Arc said you would.
The book, not the movie, read like that chapter of your life, that teenage first love. Where you fell helpless and unable to catch yourself, your breath, or your senses. You did what you had to do to be with that person, damn the consequences. You’d also do whatever it takes to save the person; even risk your own life and immortality.
Bella and Edward barely kiss or even make out. Not formulaic for Romance standards. But they tug at something old and new at the same time. Falling in love for the first time and the last time.
This first book in a series of four ends with a bloody battle and the promise never to leave one another. I may not read the next one any time soon, but I am glad I read the first. Like I said, I don’t read or write YA, but it was fun to go down memory lane and relive those feelings. It had me making out with the hubby, old school style, on the couch like back in the day.
He is my high school sweetheart. He was my first and last love. And it still feels the same to kiss him, like the first time.
Bella and Edward, really Stephenie Meyer, reminded me of that and I cannot thank them enough. Not go make out with your significant other like its junior year all over again.
BTW, I am Team Jacob—I like my boy toys with a little color and muscle mass. Besides, my tweener is Team Edward, and I can’t crush on her man.
Chemistry: a HA-CHA out of a full Ha-cha-cha. The Angst dampens the spark, plus they are underage. Can’t be a full ha-cha-cha when you can’t vote yet.
Tension: 3 out of 3 Sullen Eye Stares
Conclusion: 1 out of 3 sighs. It ends at prom. You never sigh about prom.
Charli Mac, Aspiring Author, Mother, Wife & Part-Time Clown