Having finished A Song of Ice and Fire, a brilliant medieval series with a touch of fantasy, I find myself restless. Back in elementary school, middle school and high school I would devour books, my hunger a near-insatiable entity that usually lingered around the sci-fi/fantasy section of the library. I didn’t have a whole lot of people to talk to books about or glean recommendations from, and I was introduced to great authors like R.A. Salvatore and J.K. Rowling often by happenstance, but once I picked up the scent of something delectable I would quickly consume everything and anything I could get my hands on.
For a long time my mother and the people she knew had been the biggest contributor to my literary travels, and for good reason: book smarts come from reading books, and so they were all in favor of finding more books that interested me so that I would continue to read and absorb and think and learn. They weren’t deliberately meant to push the boundaries of my vocabulary, but the genres I gravitated towards: fantasy, science fiction, horror; they naturally had strong writing styles that facilitated their strong tones.
While the romance section was always located next to the sci-fi/fantasy section, I always felt awkward about approaching it, not to mention deterred by the over-the-top book covers. And so I’ve never read a romance novel, though I’ve always been curious. The closest I’ve come has been in Mr. Gern’s AP English class, where he read a couple pages of a romance novel out loud in order to illustrate the use of some symbolism that eludes my recollection. It probably got lost in the giggling that ensued when our normally calm, soft-spoken teacher started talking about the taut muscles that rippled across our protagonist’s chest.
So it is with some apprehension that I start reading Twilight. I know it has a following, I know it has a movie, I know that it would give me conversation material with girls, and I know that it wouldn’t be this popular without a good reason…but that doesn’t mean I’ll like it. LazyTown has a following, but I’m not going to watch it unless there’s a very good reason.
But I keep hearing about it, and it’s impossible for me to isolate myself and just ignore it. At the PCSC we started up some idle chatter on one side of the room, and somehow the female customer brings Twilight the movie into the conversation. No one admits to having seen it but the two consultants who have girlfriends, who use their significant others as excuses. One didn’t find the movie very interesting; the other was of the same notion up until the end, where someone’s head gets ripped off. He felt that the movie could have been substantially improved if there were more decapitations.
The rest of us start asking questions about facets of the Twilight universe, like the ability to read minds, and eventually one of us just caves in and details the plot of the movie. Yadda yadda emo vampire, yadda yadda vegetarians, yadda yadda female human gets bitten and will die from the contact. Male vampire love interest sinks his teeth into her to try to draw out the poisonous vampire blood, but finds the contact ecstatic and has to be yanked away by others. A pause while we digest, but I’m not digesting. I see it hanging in the air there, and I make eye contact with everyone to see if anyone else sees it too. No one. I can’t leave it alone, so I pipe in, “So the moral of the story is…pull out?”
So it is with some apprehension that I start reading Twilight.