Confession: I'm much older than 14, yet I still am looking forward to seeing Stephenie Meyer's young-adult vampire romance, "Twilight," come to the big screen on Friday.
|It's "Twilight" time.
The funny thing about me liking the books is that I'm not a romance reader -- or viewer. Never picked up Harlequins, never cared for most chick flicks, wasn't even more than an occasional watcher of "Sex and the City."
What's the appeal of the book, then? Well ... I'm not really sure. The main character, high-schooler Bella Swan, is fairly believable and sometimes funny, even if she's not your average teen (so beautiful that all the boys in her new school are crazy about her, so mature she cooks dinner for her single dad every night). And although she describes vampire beau Edward in glowing terms, he doesn't click for me as much as her wolfy buddy Jacob does (in other words, if I shopped at Hot Topic I'd wear a TEAM JACOB shirt).
But the intensity of their relationship reminds me of my own high-school days, when you felt physically sick if you didn't see the object of your affection every day, and seriously believed you would die if he asked another girl to prom. Some teen couples agonize that they can't be together because one or the other is going away to college, these two agonize that they can never be together because she's a mortal teenager and he's a vampire who's more than a century old.
I'm not going to claim that Meyer's book series is great literature. But the books are creative. There are rules for the vampires, rules and a whole weird world that's not unlike the Harry Potter world. In the second book, there's even an Italian coven of vampires, the Volturi, who enforce vampire law and kind of act as the race's royal family. When they showed up, it reminded me of when Harry Potter's Hogwarts school hosted the Triwizard Tournament and brought in two other wizarding schools to compete -- that sense of "hey, there's a bigger world out there for these characters to play in."
I'm on the third book of the series now, and am kind of dreading reading the fourth and final. I've read spoilers and seen the negative reviews for it, and it does sound like everything goes completely off the rails. But that's for later. For now, I'm having fun feeling 14 again.