For the past several weeks many people I know have been
gushing about some vampire book. They do it purposefully; they are hooked on
the series and I'm sure there is some euphemism about how junkies love company
but I can't remember it (i.e., I have infected Tracey with my obsession. Mwa ha). My brain isn't functioning all so great because I've
been up until the crack of dawn reading the first two stupid books in that Twilight series.
I purposefully avoided it for several of reasons:
1. After watching a campy documentary about "real" vampires
and realizing that the people claiming to be such were really just
unattractive, delusional, video store employees I resolutely swore off any
2. The series is classified as Young Adult. It didn't stop
me with Harry Potter, but my reasoning was all "Well, that was a phenomenon, society can overlook one YA
series on my bookshelves. I am in my late twenties and am ignoring my birthday
next month; I don't need a book for the Miley Cyrus generation to remind me that
I am, we all are, literally rotting as I type and will one day die. Yeay!
3. Everyone was reading it. I am one of those people that
will go against the grain if for nothing than to prove to myself that I am not
easily swayed. It's a sickness. For example: If I am walking and music is
playing and I catch myself walking to the beat I will purposefully shuffle my
stride so as to walk out of sync with the beat. (Also because it reminds me too
much of Johnny Depp in that scene from "Blow" where he walks through the
airport in time with Ram Jam's "Black Betty.")
So there were all these reasons for me not to read it, even
though reading is the one thing I love to do more than anything else. I am very
picky about my books, to paraphrase Anton Ego, if the book isn't good I don't
go beyond the first paragraph. If it is, I have to devour it whole. Bookmarks
are almost irrelevant to me. I can't read a bit and put it down; the unresolved
plot drives me mad throughout the day and I literally go through the motions of
living until the sky is dark and I can curl up in the chair by the window and
But because all these people wouldn't shut up about it, and
because I know they have impeccable tastes, I drank the Kool Aid. AND LO, THE
KOOL AID WAS DIVINE.
I walked into Target, bought some laundry detergent,
tampons, Twilight, and Chef Boyardee
ravioli for the boys. While in the checkout I turned the book on its face and
put the tampon box on top just so the checker or people in line wouldn't be all
"Look at that woman buying a kids' book. She's going to read about unrequited
vampire love and reminisce about her fleeting youth." Not really, but I'm
dramatic and neurotic and in my head they said that.
I got home and hid the book on the uppermost bookshelf until
after the boys were in bed. Then I cracked it open and instantly loved the
conflict in the first sentence. I hate talking about a book unless I like it of my own will and
please, dear God, don't let this be an invitation for publicists to send me a
frillion more emails requesting me to look at their clients' books. I like
Stephanie Meyer's frankness in writing and she was expedient and wasted no
sentence on anything other than developing essential character traits and
progressing the plot. Loves it. And I
read and I read and Chris was all annoyed because DUDE, he had Tivo'd some UFC
and it's just not as entertaining if I'm mentally away, not rolling my eyes
every five minutes. I finished it early yesterday morning. I was ashamed, but I
feel no need to hide my love any longer.
Then I texted him like mad and demanded that he stop at
Target and pick up the next in the series on his way home.
"why can't u do it?" he texted back. (Sidenote: I can't
stand "u" in lieu of "you." I will always take the extra two minutes to locate
those letters on my Centro's tiny little keypad because I care.)
"Because they know I was there yesterday buying it and it
will be too sad." I wrote back.
"u are weird," was his reply.
I finished it sometime after midnight.
I know why the series is so successful: because there is
nothing better in life than love in its infancy. Everyone can identify with it.
And because the leading male character in the story is a pale goth boy, it
reminded me so much of Chris, who was, and still is, a pale goth boy. My
favorite couple in the history of ever (the Darcys excluded) has always been
Gomez and Morticia Adams. Basically, I am perpetually 13 years-old.
Get ready to gag: Reading this book made me think about those early days of my
and Chris's courtship. He was older (is
seven years older); his hair is jet black, his eyes are black and very intense.
He has an intimidating persona and I was immediately drawn to that when I first
met him. The way he would wrap his arm protectively around my waist if we were
in a club; the way he would drive us through the hills in his sports car on the
way back to my parents' house; it was seductive. I remember one time at a blues
festival in Memphis,
as we walked through a muddy field on makeshift sidewalks made of wood planks,
I excused myself as I tried to cut through a group of guys so as to avoid
walking through the ankle-deep mud all around me. One of them spit an obscenity
in my face and then suddenly the guy flew off the plank and landed in the mud
three feet away. I saw Chris's arms extended by my side and he stood there and glowered
at the guy as the guy's friends helped him up.
"GET THE HELL OUT OF HER WAY," Chris snarled. A sane person
would've been nervous but all I could think was "GAWD THAT'S SO HOT."
And just like that I was in love. While the feeling is
always there, it's sometimes buried underneath daily routines, making dinner,
bed head, paying bills, morning breath, yard work, et al. Words such as Meyer's
pierce into those earlier memories and pull them to the forefront of my mind.
So in many respects, if could be called a silly YA series,
if a critic wanted to be obtuse and elitist. And thus ends the weirdest unprovoked
(as in, no one asked) book review-slash-courtship-post I've ever written.