Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The pre-pubescent teen in me speaks

Please pardon me while I turn into a teeny-bopper for the next seventy-eleven minutes. It’s going to be a little messy. I promise to clean up after myself.

I was gifted this amazing thing for Christmas:

Before you judge, you have to understand. Maybe you can’t understand. But I’m going to try to ‘splain. You see, when I started reading this book, this Twilight, I was skeptical. A year ago, one of my campers (I was a camp counselor for a summer, but that’s a whole different story, and one I will have to tell at a future date) was reading this book. She tried to explain it to me.

“It’s about vampires. And one falls in love with this human girl, who he wants to eat.”

Hmm. Not really my style, I thought.
It was the summer of the last Harry Potter book, and my attention wasn’t going to be swayed to some lesser form of Harry Potter’s magic. But as more and more people told me how addictive the books were, I couldn’t help but be curious. So, when I got the book for Christmas, I opened to the first page and began reading. At first I felt somewhat Meh? about the whole thing. But I spurred myself on, thinking that surely something was coming that would draw me in. And it did. And in two days, I was done with the book. Two days during which I still managed to make Christmas dinner, spend nearly every waking moment with family and actually contribute to conversation. But in those two days, I realized something.

I had never once gotten a recommendation to read this book from a boy. No, no. It’s true. This is a girl book. Chick lit of the highest order. It sets off a sea of butterflies in my tummy. It sends me over the moon with glee. It makes me remember what it’s like to be 17, reading into every word and action of that beautiful boy you think you’re falling in love with. For most of us, that beautiful boy turns out to be a jerk, and our dreams are dashed and the feeling never returns quite like it did back then. It’s for that reason that living vicariously through Bella as she falls deeper in love with a tragically beautiful and dangerous vampire makes us women all sigh contentedly.

I won’t mince words here: I don’t think these books are as good as Rowling’s. The writing is definitely nothing spectacular. The characters are not as well-developed. And the plot lines are sometimes….thin. But the age-old idea that you will inevitably fall in love with the “bad boy” and somehow make him good is mouthwateringly awesome. It’s that element that keeps the book in my hand for hours on end. It’s that element that prompted me to order the remaining two books from Amazon without hesitation.

So, not to sound like an episode of Reading Rainbow, but if you need something to perk you up about the world of men and boys, read it. Read it now. Don’t even look back. Give in to the need. And just try not to fall in love. I dare you.

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