Thursday, May 15, 2008

Interview with a vampire novel-reading maniac

I was sitting in bed on Sunday morning, drinking a cup of coffee and catching up on a stack of Time magazines when I came across an article about a young adult author named Stephenie Meyer.

Meyer, a Brigham Young graduate, mom of three young children and well-behaved Mormon, writes vampire novels - pretty sexy vampire novels, according to the article.

"Hmm," I thought. "Sexy young-adult vampire novels? I may have to check this out."

Later that day at Borders, I remembered the article and searched out Meyer's books. I didn't have to search far - they were displayed on their own table at the very front of the store, and I realized I had seen the striking covers (black backgrounds with one central contrasting image) before.

I picked up Twilight, the first book in the series (three have been published so far; the fourth and final is due in bookstores August 22) and the only one so far to have been released in paperback. It was $9.99 and I had a 30% off coupon (thanks, Borders rewards!) so I figured even if I didn't like it that much it wasn't too high a price to satisfy my curiosity.

What I was NOT expecting was to devour it much like I did volumes five, six and seven of Harry Potter (coincidentally, it was Eclipse - the third book in the series - that knocked the seventh Harry Potter out of the number-one spot on the best-seller list).

I haven't read something that I literally could not stop reading since I read Water for Elephants last August. I could not put it down. Noe had to tear it out of my hands and force me into the car to go to the driving range.

This book is insanely readable. Yes, it's about high school students, and yes, it is also about vampires, but shallow it's not. And it is sexy, but not in a gratuitous, Anne Rice-way (which is really more erotica than sexiness).

Basically, what you've got is Bella, a 17-year old outcast from Phoenix who moves to the tiny town of Forks, WA to live with her father. Forks is one of the rainiest, dreariest places in the United States. On her first day of school, she notices the Cullen family, a group of freakishly good-looking (if somewhat pale) siblings who seem to keep to themselves. When Edward Cullen is assigned as her lab partner in biology, things start to get a little weird. The first day they meet, he won't even look in her direction. He sits completely tense at the edge of his chair with his hands gripping the lab table. By the end of the week, he wants to know everything about her.

It is slowly revealed that Edward is a vampire. However, Edward and his family have made the (unusual) decision to go "vegetarian" - they live off animals rather than humans. Because of this, they are able to mingle somewhat normally with the townfolk. A few caveats, however: 1) They can't go in the sunlight without drawing immense amounts of attention to themselves (they sparkle), which is why they live in Forks; 2)They have to go "camping" every other weekend or so to hunt big game and quench their thirst; and 3) They are the sworn enemies of the local Indian tribe (for reasons revealed slowly over the first two books).

There's one other problem: although Edward is immensely attracted to Bella, the smell of her blood drives him insane. Like, wants-to-drink-it insane. It's really quite the paradox.

I realize how cheesy and stupid this sounds as I type it out, but I am telling you, these books are weirdly and incredibly readable. I blew through all three in a weekend, which now means I am stuck waiting until August 22 to find out how things turn out. I may even be a real geek and pre-order it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go read some Ayn Rand so I can feel like an intelligent and well-read 26 year old again.


Amanda Lester said...

Now I feel like I need to run out and read these books...

BTW - Atlas Shrugged is my favorite book of all time:)

Amy W. said...

You don't need to buy them; I can lend them to you...and I love The Fountainhead most :)

Jennifer said...

You should make a must read books/series list

Katie Launer-Felty said...

I also heard that their making Twilight into a movie (; and speaking of Harry Potter, Edward Cullen is played by the same actor that played Cedric Diggory. Sadly, I know this about the movie, but have not read the book.

Katie Launer-Felty said...

By the way, can I borrow the books when Amanda's done?