Yes, of course I’d heard of it earlier than that. I had a friend on LiveJournal who was beyond obsessed, and occasionally posted some fab fan art of the lovely Emily Browning as Bella, and if it weren’t for that, I may honestly never have read the book. (Proof that I am a sucker for a pretty face, if nothing else!) And then admittedly, the cover is gorgeous. Actually, several of the international Twilight covers are gorgeous, as you’ll see a few sampled in this post.
I was trepidatious at best. There was so much hype about these books (or so I thought, I should have waited a few months. Sigh) that I was almost positive that they couldn’t live up to it. But admittedly, by the time I got to Port Angeles (that’s chapter 8, if your memory is fuzzy) I was so hooked I was breathing it in. This was about the point where I fell for Edward. I think it’s his extremely violent attitude towards the men who follow Bella down the street leering at her—which really is the worst possible reason to fall for a character, but sometimes it happens, yes/yes?
Before this, I have to admit I’d been squinting at the book a little bit, and trying to make it look less like Roswell in my head (I’m not the only person who’s made this comparison). But Edward was such a… passionate gentleman, I guess you could say, which is really why anyone has ever fallen for him. He’s exactly the conundrum women look for and can’t find, an extremely passionate person who’s also extremely polite. As Anne Shirley puts it, someone who could be wicked… but wasn’t. I was just as eager to learn about Edward as Bella was. I even—embarrassingly, now—rolled my eyes whenever that kid Jacob came around, because oh my gosh, I want Edward, thanks. (This was not to last. Well, for the most part the Edward-love stuck around, but it was often far outstripped by my love for Jacob Black… but that’s another book. Or three.)
I admit, this obsessive love lasted straight through the second and third book, but as many have discovered (or I guess don’t need to discover now that it’s so huge), it was very difficult for me to put my infatuation into words. Hard to admit, blatantly, that I had even read anything as ridiculous as a book about a vampire that sparkles in the sun. I didn’t want to talk about it out loud. (Though I did, without hesitation, force Isabelle to read them with me—she actually finished the series—through Eclipse—long before I did). I realized later that there is very little defendable about the books (there really is something ghastly about a girl who basically wants to die for her first boyfriend) but it’s something I push away when I’m actually reading the book – because then I just exist in that tiny little world of Forks, and I admit… I sort of like it there.
I’d go into how NOT Emily Browning Kristen Stewart is in the movie, or how when I get through the end of the books, my brain literally hurts when I think about Bella and her decisions, not to mention the fact that Stephanie Meyer sort of sets up “Love” and “Freedom of Choice” as direct opposites in the series… I’d even go into my frustrations as a Harry Potter fan when the two series are compared… but this is about Twilight, the novel. A novel I’m sort of tempted to go and restart, right now. Because whatever else I have to say about Stephenie Meyers’ books the fact is, they bring me back. Time and time again.
So Twilight, the first novel in the series, that simple girl meets vampire book, gets an A from me.