Mar 21 2011 6:00pm

The 100-Year-Old Virgin: Twilight’s Edward & Bella

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in TwilightWhat 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.

Twilight by Stephenie MeyerBella 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.

Edward and BellaBella 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

Twitter @CharliMacs

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A.J. Wilson
1. AJWilson
Ah when I read the first one, I had to read 'em all ... I'm one of those need to know what happens and has no patients kind of chics. Pretty damn good writing, and like you, I'm not a YA fan, but this one was very nostalgic.
Donna Cummings
2. Donna Cummings
I felt like I was pretty late to the Twilight party, and when I read the first book I had that same breathless first-love feeling you described--where you're afraid to say goodbye because things won't be the same the next time you see them. LOL I stayed up til 3 a.m. reading for the same reason. I just couldn't say goodbye.
Stephanie Treanor
3. Streanor
Well written! My thoughts exactly.. yes it does have the element of the ridiculous in it but we are talking about teenagers... moody/irrational/impulsive.

Team Jacob all the way! Something about a cold dead guy just creeps me out.. maybe its just me ;)
Donna Watson
4. Donna Watson
Read the book after constant ear bashing from tweenage daughter, and couldn't have put my thoughts on it any better than Charli. However, have not had the urge, nor inclination, to read the rest of the novels (although have been forced to watch ALL the movies and find them totally boring!!).
I'd rather stick to Black Dagger Bros., Sookie & Co and Kresley Coles Demons! Far more adult, lol.
Donna Watson
5. SillyJaime @ Jaime 2.0
I'm definitely a sucker for the books. I read them right before I watched the first movie, because my older sister (I'm 27, she's 32) told me about them. I'm actually a huge fan of YA novels. I've read all of Sarah Dessen's books to date, she has a new one coming out in May that I'm super-psyched for. Another fantastic YA author is Suzanne Collins with her Hunger Games trilogy.

Also if I started making out with my husband after reading one of the Twilight books he would be seriously weirded out.
Megan Frampton
6. MFrampton
So even though we're all adults, @AJWilson, @DonnaCummings, @STreanor, @Donna Watson and @SillyJaime, we all--to varying degrees, at least, enjoy the books.

Whew! So glad I'm not alone in loving them. The feelings they invoked for me were similar to how I felt reading Jane Eyre, back in the day. All angst and unexpressed emotion.

(And I'm Team Edward, if I had to choose, because who doesn't love sparkles?!?)
Donna Watson
7. Taragel
Wow. Refreshing to read a post about Twilight these days that doesn't bash the series--and Stephenie Meyer--to kingdom come. I think you did a great job summing up what makes this series work. Meyer does a great job world-building Forks and its environs too. It's a very vivid place that takes on its own character. (I'm Team Jacob too, because warmth + muscles trumps cold + sparkly here.)
Donna Watson
8. B-Ren
I read all 4 books. I didn't like the first movie when I saw it so when the second one came out, I wasn't to excited to see it but some friends took me and I loved it. That's when they told me to read the books and I was sucked right in. I am Team Edward. I love the early 1900's romance he brings (if that makes sense).
Hannah Conrad
9. Hannah Conrad
I was talked into reading these books by my younger sister, and i fell in love right away. @B-Ren .... the first movie didnt follow the book as well as the rist have, but it was still nice to see the book come to life.

I love this series, and have read it around 5 times each, and each time i still have a hard time putting the books down. its a very well written series, and i hope that stephanie finishes midnight sun. I read the part of the book she posted, and i loved it so mch more than twilight, because it tells more than one story because edward hears everyone elses thoughts.
all in all i love the amount of passion that is in the books without being explicit, i would never have thought it could be done.

I am team emmet, his personality reminds me most of my husband!
Donna Watson
10. Elicia
My husband was my high school sweetheart... First and hopefully my Last love!!!
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