Believe it or not, I’ve just finished reading Twilight. No, I wouldn’t recommend it for book club or put it on your list of must-reads, but I wanted to see what on earth has made this series so unbelievably popular. Even the boys at Bishops are reading them, and they very seldom read books with a female main character (I can say a few rude words about that, but won’t).
Reading Twilight, I was immediately thrown back to being a fourteen or fifteen-year-old in the throws of first love. Do you remember being in love for the first time? It was agony and ecstacy all in one. The physicality of it – sweating palms, racing heart, trembling legs and then that aching heart when you couldn’t see him. The very seriousness of that relationship – it was all a matter of life and death whether he phoned or not, whether he smiled at you at the right time or not, whether he walked out the room when you expected him to; for god’s sake, even whether he raised his left eyebrow or not. Everything was fraught with meaning.
Twilight brought it all back for me. Belle falls crashingly in love with just the boy she shouldn’t. He seems to hate her at first, although already you know that he is in love with her as well. And of course he is the best-looking boy in the school. He has to be – it wouldn’t make much of a story if he were an Archie lookalike.
Even though I can relate to those agonising moments of first love, I didn’t fall for a vampire. Although I probably would have, knowing me. I always went for the dangerous ones. Belle falls deeply in love with Edward (whoever has heard of a vampire called Edward – wrong name, I think) and of course there’s trouble.
There were many elements of the book that irritated me – for example, Belle seems to take the whole vampire thing totally in her stride, so much so that she suggests Edward should “take” her and make her into a vampire. I mean, come on, how stupid is that. Rather just have plain bonking sex and stay the same.
Sexual repression vibrates through the whole book; in fact, it has been touted as a good advertisement for abstaining from sex before marriage. The author is, after all, a Mormon. A bloody rich Mormon by now.
I don’t think I need to read any of the others, now that I know what the fuss is all about. And, you know, if I were thirteen or fourteen again, I would have devoured these books. I caught a glimpse of the movie on TV the other day, and yes, Edward is ghoulishly delicious. All ivory skin and dark bags under the eyes, rippling six pack. Strange hair, though.
If your daughter (and dare I say, your sons) hasn’t read Twilight yet, give it to her; I think it’s a great, well-written gripping book for a teenager.