I just escaped from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight zone. I devoured all four bestselling books–Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn–in two weeks, and now I’m left wondering what on earth I’m supposed to do with my newfound admiration of vampires. I can’t just pretend these feelings don’t exist. If Edward Cullen stepped out of my paperback copy of Twilight tonight and asked me if I was ready to leave my human life behind and become a vampire, I wouldn’t think twice. “Hell, yes!” I’d cry, laughing as I turned my back on the piles of laundry and action figures strewn all over my living room floor. It wouldn’t be easy to say goodbye to my husband and children, and strawberries and cake, but, for Edward Cullen, I’d do it–anything to become gorgeous, strong, lightning-fast, virtually indestructible, and immortal.
Think of all the time I’d have to read and write, and learn every language and take piano and singing lessons. I’d get used to drinking animal blood–no problem! I’d resist my cravings for human blood. I’d become the most accomplished vampire the world has ever known! I’d be just like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day! (By the way, the scene in Groundhog Day where Bill Murray is stuffing his face with all those donuts and waffles and pancakes and eggs and bacon is way, way funnier than anything that happens in any of the books in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. And, in case you don’t already know, Groundhog Day has nothing to do with vampires.)
I obviously have a problem. Edward belongs with Bella. He’ll never come to Kansas, offering me immortality. And Jacob, who is hotter (literally) and softer than Edward, is heart-bound to little Renesmee; he’ll never bother looking for another soul mate, even though I’d totally rock his werewolf world. Does it matter that I’m too old for Jacob? I’m too old for Edward, too. We’d look ridiculous shopping in Wal-Mart together. Maybe my wrinkles would go away the second I transformed into a vampire, and our 14-year age difference wouldn’t be so apparent, but I’d have all of eternity to feel insecure around the Cullens, all of whom were younger than me when their human lives ended. What a dilemma I face!
Oh, wait a second…The Cullens aren’t real. Vampires aren’t real. Werewolves aren’t real. Twilight is just a book. A very entertaining book that sucked me right in, regardless of the fact that I’m twice the age of its target teenage audience. I hate when that happens! Things that appeal to teenage girls aren’t supposed to appeal to me. I’m a boring, married, thirty-one-year-old mom who hates text-messaging and hip-hop music. Mortal humans who eat double-cheeseburgers disgust me. Can you imagine what I’d do if some pale, immortal dude started sucking on a lady’s neck right in front of me? Well, before I read the Twilight books, I would have fled the scene, and then called the cops as soon as I felt safe. But now that I know more about vampires, now that I want an Edward Cullen of my very own, I wouldn’t take off quite so fast. I’d pause to check out the vampire’s butt. I’d smell his hair. I’d reach over and touch his skin.
I have vampire-envy, and it’s all Stephenie Meyer’s fault. There. I admitted it, and I blamed someone else for my problem. Now, step two in my treatment is quite simple. Step two involves revisiting all the scenes in the Twilight series that made me say “What the f***?!” All the plot twists that made me doubt the infallibility of Stephenie Meyer. Of course, I’d give just about anything to be Stephenie Meyer right now. I want to be a bestselling novelist almost as much as I want to marry Edward Cullen. But bestselling novelists aren’t perfect. Bestselling novelists have terrible ideas sometimes. (Smart-ass, aspiring novelists have terrible ideas, too! Click here to read my one and only attempt at a satirical vampire romance.)
Here’s the first notable goof-up: Preposterous Twilight Moment Number One: Vampires playing baseball. That’s right. Wizards have quidditch, and vampires have baseball. I’ve heard that the baseball scene in the Twilight movie is awful, too, and I’m not surprised. (No, I haven’t seen the movie yet. The books left such a pleasant taste in my mouth–why ruin that with bad CG effects? I’m also not quite ready to accept the actor who played Cedric Diggory as Edward Cullen. The Edward Cullen of my imagination is…Sorry, lost my train of thought for a second there.) Why do the Cullens like playing baseball so much? Even Carlisle and Esme! Why does Bella want to watch them play? If anyone–human or vampire–asked me to come over and watch his/her family play baseball, I’d politely decline the invitation. Instead, why didn’t Edward ask Bella to go for a walk in the forest so they could make out? Making out is astronomically more appealing than baseball. They still could have had their run-in with James and Victoria and the other bad vampire–the one with the French name–who later gets torn apart by Jacob and his wolf buddies.
Preposterous Twilight Moment Number Two:New Moon. Not the entire novel, but a good majority of it. Without Edward around, nothing is the same. Jacob is a great character; I like him a lot more than some of my younger co-workers who have also read all the Twilight books. I’d never say I got bored with Jacob. But it was SO OBVIOUS he was one of the wolves. Bella should have figured it out the second I did. I know she was horribly depressed over Edward leaving her, but still. The heavy-handed foreshadowing was impossible to ignore. And the goodbye kiss between Jacob and Bella–one of the best moments in Eclipse–should have occurred in New Moon. How many times did Jacob almost kiss Bella? Far too many. That hot kiss should have been on Bella’s mind every time she considered her future with Edward “Stone-Cold Lips” Cullen in Eclipse.
Preposterous Twilight Moment Number Three: Edward turns into an overprotective jerk in Eclipse. Was he trying to drive Bella into Jacob’s hairy arms? The overprotective-jerk phase was so short-lived, most young women have probably forgotten about Edward’s ugly side…but not me. (Just kidding. You don’t have any ugly sides, do you, Edward? Whenever a potential character flaw starts to surface, you turn on the old Edward Cullen charm, and make us all swoon. I still don’t know how you resisted when Bella tried to seduce you, though. Maybe you’re a little too good! Then again, your marriage proposal kinda sucked. I rolled my eyes and made retching noises when I read it. Sorry.)
Preposterous Twilight Moment Number Four: Bella never even comes close to attacking a human after she’s a vampire in Breaking Dawn. Come on! She transitions into vampire life effortlessly–she’s gorgeous, graceful beyond belief, has amazing superpowers, and can have wild sex with Edward all night long. Where’s the sacrifice?! Where’s the temptation to kill humans? Bella is far more interesting as a vulnerable human interacting with deadly vampires. Her goody-two-shoes vampire act annoys me.
Preposterous Twilight Moment Number Five: Bella singlehandedly scares away the Volturi! I was so primed for a violent, bloody fight for vampire independence at the end of Breaking Dawn. And what did I get instead? A battle of wits! BOO! HISS! I wanted to watch the Cullens and all of their awesome, powerful vampire friends and werewolf allies using their skills to destroy the Volturi. I wanted to hear the immortal flesh tear! “Finish off those crusty Volturi bastards! Don’t let them get away!” I screamed, but Bella and Edward ignored me, as usual. Fine, then. Go stroll into the sunset, hand-in-hand, if you must. Who cares that your enemies are still alive and well, still plotting to kill you two foolish lovebirds and your daughter and her future werewolf lover. Yeah, live happily ever after with that dark knowledge looming over you, why don’tcha!
Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series is far from perfect, as you can see, but I would still recommend all four of these books to women, young and old, who need a healthy dose of vampire romance. The first book, Twilight, is the best of the bunch, but you can’t stop there. You want to read about Bella and Edward’s wedding, and about their honeymoon, right?! Of course you do!
My vampire-envy is all but gone. There’s really no point in becoming a vampire if I can’t be with Twilight‘s Edward Cullen. I guess I’ll remain human for now. I do like my human husband and children…most of the time. I don’t need to learn how to play the piano like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I don’t need eternity. It only takes a few minutes to enjoy a nice piece of cake and a cool glass of milk–and that’s something that Edward and Bella Cullen never get to do. Ha! They’re off hunting mountain lions right now, praying the Volturi don’t come back to cut them into pieces and burn them. Why was I ever jealous of them? Stupid vampires.
Meyer, Stephenie. Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4). Little, Brown Young Readers, 2008.
Meyer, Stephenie. Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3). Little, Brown Young Readers, 2007.
Meyer, Stephenie. New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2). Little, Brown Young Readers, 2008.
Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1). Little, Brown Young Readers, 2006.