Bella Swan, the new girl in school, is brave — albeit clumsy — a misfit who smells like freesia and has the high school boys in a drooling tizzy. Especially Edward Cullen, who sits at a back table in the cafeteria with an impenetrable gang of equally attractive and socially inept friends and siblings. Bella is drawn to Edward, who runs hot and marble cold when he is near her … until finally he confesses that he can’t stay away from her.
True love ensues. The dangerous kind of true love, akin to falling in love with a mound of cheese curds. Nuzzling up to the greasy batter, maybe even licking a crumb, BUT NOT EATING IT! NO DON’T EAT IT! YOU LOVE THIS FOOD TOO MUCH FOR IT TO BE GONE! BUT IT SMELLS SO GOOOOOOOOD!
Edward, the male lead in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight is a vampire. His electric touch is like a cold stone; his skin is glitter in the sunlight. And his eyes, his eyes are:
black — coal black.
a strange ocher, darker than butterscotch, but with some golden tone.
light again today, a deep golden honey color.
bright only with humor.
If the desires of teenaged girls are mirrored in this book, it means that this gangly, giggly subset is looking for someone coveted, yet untapped by their prettier and more popular peers. A boy who recognizes you as different — whether it be your specific mix of pheromones, or your inability to play volleyball in gym without getting a concussion.
This was also the way things were in my version of 1994.
On the other hand, there is an alarming need for 24 hour contact and an open invitation to stalk. Edward watches Bella sleep. Edward watches Bella in the woods. Edward watches Bella almost get raped in an alley. Edward catches Bella when she faints in the hallway after Biology. [I’ve been seeing these restraining-orders-waiting-to-happen also in teen films from the mid-2000s. I blame technology.]
And on their first date-date, Bella brings up marriage.
I gave it a certain amount of leeway, since I am not its target audience, but took that leeway away when I overheard plenty of adult women cooing over Edward Cullen. I don’t think I am going to bite on this serial phenomenon. The storyline is pretty lifeless. I can tell you Bella’s class schedule, but I can’t tell you what she is wearing, interested in or if she has any talent. Edward Cullen is moody and domineering and prone to snacking on road kill. They spend a lot of time yapping about their love, while Edward flashes his teeth and reminds her that she is simply a biggie-sized soda fountain of blood that he could lap to death if the wind changed in a certain way. Not to mention that these vampires are conveniently different from other vampires found in fiction: they can be out in sunlight, they have a cross in their home … I don’t think Stephanie Meyer has the authority to change universal vampire truths.
I finished the chapter leading to the climax, yawned, closed the book and didn’t resume reading for eight hours. And speaking of climaxes, there are none. This is some seriously chaste young adult fiction.