I’m reading the first book in the series, and am quite impressed by the humour and the general refusal to be twee. But mostly I’m soppy and gooey over the lil’ teenage romance. The last time I’ve absolutely-HAD-TO-keep-reading-even-though-I-was-scared was Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. The story there was bewitching and complex and totally enthralled me. I sat up till 4am, in the middle of my bed, fearfully looking up every so often just waiting for Julián Carax to swoop in and attack me with knife or fire. The second I was done, I leapt up, dragged a mattress into my parents’ room and slept on the floor. Last night, in the middle of Twilight, I was curled in a ball, cuddling my best man, Apollo, close, with my back to the wall. Then I gave up and went to sleep to go the gym this morning. But I was reading all the way to work.

Of course I’m wondering why it’s having this effect on me. Kudos to Stephanie Meyer, but it really isn’t “dreamy prose” or scintillating or anything much more than teen litt with vampires. And one of those wildly hyperbolic love stories.

That’s just it, right there.
Hyperbolic love.
Teenage love.
Where the other person is your EVERYTHING – best friend, lover, soulmate; where all you need to be around each other; where you can’t imagine anything without them and every second apart is terrible agony; where other people are annoying distractions; where the only possible timeline is “forever”.

It’s a kind of love I have never experienced.

Compare this to adult love, cynical love, with your defences always up somewhere; with a back-up plan, and “let’s see how it goes”; with not letting the other person know how much they mean to you so you can be left with a shred of self-respect and another of dignity should anything go wrong… it’s a long list. And it has its advantages, I’m not denying that. But maybe the reason I am drawn to this book like Bella is to Edward is because I’m living vicariously: I’ll never have a shot at feeling that first hand.

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