I first heard about the Twilight series several years ago on NPR, yes, National Public Radio. They were doing a report on the popularity of the series among thirty and forty-something women who were stealing the book from their daughters and reading it on the sly.
I hadn’t heard of the series before the report, and didn’t hear about it again for months until several friends got hooked on the series. When I say hooked, I mean addicted. It was like methanphetimine in book form. These friends quickly went from addicts to pushers. “Read it, read it,” they urged, longing to share their slightly embarrassing fetish with another unwitting thirty-something.
I’m not one for young adult fiction (or YA, as it is often called). I admire J.K. Rowling as a Goddess, however, I picked up and quickly put down the first Harry Potter book. Rowling is a good writer, but I couldn’t get into the book. In fact, even when I was 15, I was a bit of a book snob, more likely to read what I believed to be “real” literature – books by Wharton, Forster, and Austin.
Finally, one of my addict-friends, a 35 year-old with a Masters Degree in Engineering, convinced me to take home the first book in Stephenie Meyer’s four book series. Interested in finding out what all the hype was about, and intrigued by the book’s setting, my home state of Washington, I curled up with“Twilight” on a lazy Saturday morning. I made it halfway through chapter two before putting it down.
“Stephenie Meyer can’t write,” I reported back to my friend, a phrase I repeated to every friend who chided me for not reading the book.
Although I am disgusted when a mediocre writer makes as much money as Stephenie Meyer surely has, I am also impressed. She has created a worldwide, incredibly active and dedicated fan base. Many of these fans are highly intelligent, highly educated women, women I would never suspect of being raging fans of a series featuring vampires and werewolves.
Stephenie Meyer is not a literary genius, and I stick by my assertion that the series will not go down in history as a literary classic, however, after a year of listening to my girlfriends rave about these books and being scolded for making my claims without having read more than two chapters, I am taking on “Twilight.”
But beware, I’m not doing it quietly. I am going to read and blog my way through the first book. After every three to five chapters, I am going to write an honest report of my progress. I will file these posts under the “Twilight” category on the right hand side of this page.
Will a full reading of “Twilight” win me over and leave me begging for more? Will I suddenly have a craving for blood and a desire for a life-size cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson? I highly doubt it, but this should be fun.