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. [pg 1]
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Little, Brown. 2005
Fantasy (YA); 498 pgs
Deeply sensuous and extraordinarily suspenseful, TWILIGHT captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite. Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.
For months now, my Harry-Potter-fanatic coworker has demanded I read Twilight. With the movie released this past month, she was threatening to never speak to me again. I couldn't help but to ask her if that would be such a bad thing. She was not amused. Well, maybe a little. She actually did try to ignore me the day she made that statement, but she eventually gave in. She's a talker and I'm too good of a listener.
I've had a copy of Twilight for awhile now--least you think it was all her influence and none of my own that made me curious to read this particular book. I was no doubt going to read it. I do like vampire fiction, after all. It was the when that was up in the air.
I began reading a stray copy of Twilight that was laying around the office one day a couple of weeks ago because the book I was reading proved not to be a book I should be reading while in such a public place as work. It was dredging up too many dark memories from my past, and I decided something lighter and less emotional was in order. Since I had planned to read Twilight next anyway, it seemed the most obvious choice. I did not expect it to suck me in so completely. I think all the negative reviews I had been reading lately had me skeptical that I would like the novel.
Because I cannot read while I am actually working, I read during my half hour lunch break and even took an afternoon break, something I never do, to continue. Since I had a copy of the book at home, I memorized the page number I left off on (page 80) before leaving the office and resumed reading my own book at home that evening. A few hours later, I had read all 498 pages.
Stephanie Meyer's Twilight swept me out of my world and straight into the one of her creation without any hesitation. I had not expected to be quite so blown away with the book, but there I was, totally immersed in Bella and Edward's story. I can understand why so many people loved this novel, this series. The author captured the essence of a teenager quite well with Bella and actually with Edward too even if technically he is not the age he pretends to be. They are both rather moody and curious. Their emotions are more intense and their feelings for each other border on obsession. I was drawn to both Bella and Edward. I thought Jacob was adorable; he reminded me more of a little brother than anything else.
That said, I also understand some of the minor complaints about the novel. Stephanie Meyer is an amazing story teller, but I wondered a couple of times if all the details and repetitive descriptions were necessary. That did not slow me down though or take away from my overall enjoyment of the novel, however.
A part of me was motivated to read the book when I did so that I would be ready for the movie when it came out. I actually had not intended to see it opening weekend, but my coworker, who tried to convince me to come with her to the midnight release, at least got my promise to try and see it before we met up again at work the following Monday. She hates having to keep her thoughts to herself, you see (and for the record, she's perfectly okay with me posting about her here on my blog. She even said I could use her name, which I won't).
I had a lot of misgivings about seeing the movie. The trailers did nothing for me and the reviews I had been reading were not very promising. My expectations going in, therefore, were low. I ended up enjoying the movie--in spite of or perhaps as a result of that fact. I loved the Oregon scenery--so green and all those beautiful trees! To live somewhere where it rains so frequently! Heaven, I say! The movie screenwriters took some liberties with switching up the story a little, adding elements to the plot which I thought were very effective in introducing characters early on and moving the story along. I thought the movie was well cast. The intensity between Bella and Edward carried over from the book to the movie, although bordered on the melodramatic at times (and yes, I know melodrama comes with being a teenager).
I would have loved to see more of the minor characters, but then, there really is only so much you can put into a movie. The special effects were a bit giggle worthy. There were some funny moments (intentional or not) and plenty of romantic ones. All said and done, unless you are a die hard Twilight fan, I think seeing the movie on DVD will be satisfactory enough. But even with my nitpicky complaints, I thought the movie accomplished what it set out to do, and I walked out of the theater satisfied. Both times.
As a side note: my husband liked the movie quite a bit. Maybe even more than I did in some respects. It's hard to say. Seeing the movie with a couple of girlfriends the second time (well, it was actually their third viewing and my second) was a real blast. My only regret was that I admitted to getting teary-eyed at one spot during my first viewing of the movie, and so, when watching it with my friends, they made a point of checking to see if I was okay when that same scene came up, tissues at the ready. Okay, so maybe you had to be there.