One thing which I enjoy doing is reading, an occupational hazard I revile in. Enjoying most books which I read, however from time to time there are stand outs. A character, a story or even just a place somewhere behind the covers which I can identify with. Something hidden away which resonates within each of us and ultimately takes us on a journey regardless of the genre.
Earlier this year this happened with a series of books which grabbed me by surprise. Not since the Harry Potter series have I enjoyed reading a series of novels so much.
I guess by now, unless you've been under a rock, you would have heard of Twilight, either the book series or at the very least the movie. Those of you who haven't read the novels may be wondering what all the fuss is about, these are just novels aimed at young adults aren't they?
Well I must confess from the outset I am a huge fan, it's not just "I have read all the books and seen the movie", no sorry nothing as mediocre as that. I must be an addict, yes I have all the books, including the Directors Cut, yes I am bursting at the seams to see
So what is the attraction? Its popularity has not been seen since the long awaited Harry Potter books and movies.
Stephanie Meyers seems to have touched fans on many levels as she wove this tale. From the clumsy, self sacrificing heroine, who falls for the handsome and broody vampire hero, to the love triangle and mortal dangers which face her throughout the four books.
Twilight is becoming a global phenomenon which has the potential to challenge Harry Potter.
"I'd never given much thought to how I would die--though I'd had reason enough in the last few months--but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this."
Isabella Swan is a 17-year-old girl who moves from a thriving city in the sun living with her mother and step father to a damp small country town to live with her father. The story documents all the teenage angst of a girl in her late teens, throughout showing a maturity and depth of character.
It’s wrong. It’s not safe. I’m dangerous, Bella — please, grasp that.
By huge contrast our hero is handsome, oozing old world charm inherent in those hailing from a good family in Edwardian times. Edward is confident, intelligent, brooding. He is full of a loneliness only evident in those consumed with self loathing for who they have become. Processing a skill which allows him to read the minds of those around, he has seen the very best and the most horrendous things possible in our world and his. Surprisingly his most valuable character trait is compassion which he learnt from his vampire family. He is highly moraled, deeply conflicted with a strong sense of duty and what is right.
We’re usually very good at what we do. Sometimes we make mistakes. Me, for example, allowing myself to be alone with you.
Throughout the series an under current of sexual tension is intense, Edwards being the one who saying no, brings about a set of ethics and morals I found refreshing.
And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…
Twilight the first book is a true love story. Two miss match people fall in love, you could be forgiven for thinking it a modern Romeo and Juliet story and in some ways it is. However as you read it is not the battles of family bias which Bella and Edward must fight. The battles which our love struck couple must endure are Edwards loathing of what he is, his need to be loved and acceptance of it and Bella's need to prove herself in becoming an independent strong young woman grappling with everything life throws at her whilst being the holder of secrets and balancing her overwhelming love for a man who could at any moment kill her. There is of course the blood thirsty vampires intent on killing her, however I found this aspect, although gripping , secondary to the evolving love story. The depth of her love for him and his for her is evident in the lengths they will go to in order to protect, save and spare the other. These are emphasised as we read on to book 2
It will be as if I’d never existed.
New Moon has far darker and tragic beginnings and although I am not giving away the plot here (you will have to read it) it is evident from the onset that there are dangers faced by both parties and to those around them. Within its pages are written Bella's darkest moments, depression, love, trust, faith, ethics, tolerance and understanding, suicide and repercussions, effect and consequence.
Edward's desire to do what is right and what is best to keep Bella safe, both in her world and in his, leads them both on a journey which is heart breaking and thrilling. Like our world, the world of the Vampire has laws too and its own way of dealing with those who challenge them.
"Even more, I had never meant to love him. One thing I truly knew - knew it in the pit of my stomach, in the center of my bones, knew it from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, knew it deep in my empty chest - was how love gave someone the power to break you. I'd been broken beyond repair."
Although the story's main characters are enemies - Human, Vampire and from
A young person reading these books would see them for what they are, a great read, an intense love story between two people who couldn't be more different if from different planets. But the entanglement of emotions woven through the story, the moral and ethical moments faced by both our main characters and the effect on those they care about, serves to lift these books from the realm of vampire love story to something far more deserving of our attention.
My heart hasn’t beat in almost ninety years, but this was different. It was like my heart was gone—like I was hollow. Like I’d left everything that was inside me here with you.
If you love romance novels with a bit of the supernatural, then you will enjoy Twilight and crave the rest of the series.