Saturday, April 26, 2008

Done, but left wanting

I finally finished books 2 and 3 in the Twilight series. Apparently I'm a slow reader because so many of you said you finished the books in one long marathon session. It took me about a week for each book. At first I didn't want to rush through them, I wanted to savor each chapter and I was really enjoying this new indulgence. But after Dan threatened to take them away from me more than once and Lily raised her voice in exasperation, "Mommy, I'm trying to show you something! Stop reading!" I decided that I better finish them as quickly as possible. So on Thursday night I vowed to stay up into the night and finish Eclipse.

No matter how much I like a book it usually takes me several days to finish because every time I sit back to read I get sleepy. I love a good nap more than just about anything, so I didn't get too much daytime reading done. At night I would read awhile and though I was dying to know what happened next, I had to put the book down for the sake of my family the next morning. If any of you have been around me when I don't get enough sleep, you'll respect why I gave up at about midnight each night.

Now that it's done, I'm sad that I rushed through, especially the last part of Eclipse. Oh that was good stuff! I've been musing about why I loved these books so much. For one thing, have you ever read anything so sexy that didn't have any sex or real hanky-panky at all? It reminded me of pre-marriage days, when I would get all twitterpated about some boy. The excitement and anticipation was so intoxicating. Sure, you get the good stuff in marriage, but when was the last time you really got butterflies in your stomach?

Additionally, I think what really appealed to me was the slow development and evolution of the relationships. One thing that really annoys me about movies is there's rarely any relationship development. It's just not believable and it leaves me rolling my eyes. Now, a girl falling in love with a vegetarian vampire isn't exactly high on the reality scale, but at least the author made it intriguing to watch the relationship unfold.

I also liked the non-traditional view of vampires. The ability to coexist with humans in the daytime, the special "Cullen" diet, the sparkling skin in the sunshine (I can't wait to see how they depict that in the movie). I was also intrigued by all the Cullen's histories. It left me wondering what I would do with my time if I knew I would live indefinitely. I loved the theme of self-control and self-mastery throughout the books.

I have always loved "coming-of-age" books and this fit the bill perfectly. At times I worry that when my girls are teenagers it will be hard to remember and empathize with how it feels to be young, still growing in your understanding of the world and your maturity. Reading these books brought back the sharp feeling of angst that comes with that age, particularly of unrequited love. Maybe I'm alone on this, I know Jenn loathes Jacob Black, but I found myself identifying with him and wanting so much for him to find joy. I had a few one sided love affairs in my day (Lori & Sam, remember Jon Keller?) and I can still remember how I longed to have my feelings returned. One of the things that drew me to Dan was the fact that he adored me openly, and I just basked in his affection.

So now, let's speculate how Stephenie Meyer is going to wrap up the story in the 4th book. I predict that once Edward and Bella consummate their relationship, something about that act will make Edward human. I just can't see Bella really becoming a vampire and mortal enemy to Jacob. My sister Becky has some great ideas on her blog. Read her book review here. While I can't quite accept the idea of Bella leaving her human existence behind, I also can't imagine Edward becoming human and separating himself from the rest of the Cullens. They are so tightly bound, and Bella has become such an intricate part of the Cullen family that I can only picture them being a package deal. As for Jacob, the easy solution would be for him to imprint with someone, but I don't see Stephenie Meyer taking the easy way out to resolve Jacob's problems. I just hope he gets something great in the end.

Oh, how will we make it until August?! I've already scoured Stephenie Meyer's website and read the chapter written from Edward's point of view: Midnight Sun. And while I was pretty skeptical about the movie being any good because we all have such strong, individual ideas about what the characters look like and how the scenes played out, I have to admit that I'll be going on opening night after I saw this video. Who's with me?

17 comments:

The Queen Vee said...

Very nicely written Sue. I'm not sure how this will end. Right now Bella and Edward each bring to the table something the other person lacks or something the other person needs, they compliment each other. I think I just said the same thing twice. Anyway, If Edward becomes human or Bella becomes a vampire will they be the same people that they each love. Much of the attraction they have for each other comes from the fact that he's a vampire and she's human. Like Becky said, given that Edward is 100 years old one has to wonder why he loves a silly, dramatic, and self centered teenager. The big attraction, or at least the original hook for Edward is he can't read her mind. After a 100 years of being able to do that on everyone else Bella becomes a real stimulating attraction. Because of that it has given Edward opportunities to grow and give in ways he hasn't in his past. For Bella, having someone who wants to protect and take care of her is something she lacks from her own family life, course it doesn't hurt that Edward is drop dead gorgeous and can do things no human 17 year can do, plus he has really great cars and a fascinating family. I don't think that last sentence should be that long. I think one of the things I really like about these books is that Stephanie Meyer really has really pegged the teenage mentality and emotions down to a T. How it will end? I have no idea, but I hope satisfactorily.

Now, go to your library and check out her new book which will come out in May, called Host. It's written for adults. At my library you can put a hold on it even before it arrives. It will be interesting to see if she's a one series flash in the pan writer or if she can continue to grow and succeed in her writing.

For all you Twilight fans, google "Time Magazine article on Stephanie Meyer " came out this week. I thought it was really good.

Anonymous said...

Thank the goot lawd, she's done!

Josh and Jenn said...

I wouldn't necessarily say that I loathe Jacob, it's just that I hate to think of the pain it would cause Edward if she decided to be with Jacob. Now that I've cleared that up...
Do you find yourself constantly day dreaming about the books now? That's how I was. Not only day dreaming but dreaming at night too. It was all I could think about. Mostly fantasising that Edward was a real person (vampire or human) and was madly in love with me. I may have said too much. (shh, don't tell Josh)

Josh and Jenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh and Jenn said...

p.s. I have a love/hate relationship with the movie. It's safe to say that any movie made about a book fails in comparison. It always cuts out many details due to time and there are always little changes. I know the movie is not going to live up to what I have envisioned in my mind. And I'm sure they are going to leave out a lot of things that are in the book. However, the curiousity is killing me to see how they interpret the story and see the actors portayals of the characters. That being said, I will be with you on opening night. (and fully expect to be disappointed)

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

I'm with the Queen, I'm very curious to know if she's a one hit wonder or not. I'll be very interested in reading the Host.

If Meyer had the writing cajones of a JK Rowling, we could see the final demise of one of the three in the triangle - but I'm pretty sure only Rowling is able to pull off that much character killing and still have an adoring fan base. It would be interesting to see a final death out of Edward or something along those lines that would open up a coupling between Bella and Jacob. And it would give Edward and eternal "peace" - just spitballin' and I'm sure incurring the wrath of many an Edward loyalist.

Becky in Wyo said...

Try this youtube movie preview:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=gDVlQPpVUA8

Man, that mtv link is completely annoying. Try the same thing on youtube:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=sD6DFloIXyE

Spymommy said...

I'm with you, Sue, I feel like Meyer has got to find some way to give both parties (B & E) what they want (eachother completely), without completely anhilating what they currently have (humanity/vampirity). There's this little part of me that hopes she won't write Bella as the girl that abandons her earthly family for the coven - maybe that's just my idealist Mormon hope . . . there's this other part of me that thinks she'll write it the opposite, because that's just the crazy type of thing a lovesick teen will do - make a completely rash decision without really comprehending the complete consequence.

All I know is that I'm feeling very sad that a new series of books hasn't come along yet to capture my attention like Harry and the Vampires . . . ending two series in two years is not good for my devoted book loving mind.

Sue said...

OK, I fixed the video link to the youtube link. Thanks, Becky!

Shar, glad to see someone else is rooting for Jacob!

Sue said...

I just put The Host and Breaking Dawn on hold at the library. I'm position #857 and #971, respectively, in the queue. It's going to be a long wait. Whoever buys it, can I have first dibbs on borrowing your copy when you're done?

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

Sam, I've just read the 3 Fablehaven books and really liked them. I started the Leven Thumps series and petered out around book 3 (I'm not sure I finished it), same with Charlie Bone. But I also like the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Riordan. Obviously these are all classified as Juvenile Fiction - but you mentioned series books specifically and that's what came to mind. Plus sometimes I really like an easy, fun, yet intelligently written story. I read about every piece of Juv Fiction I come across in anticipation of the eldest getting ahold of it after the Golden Compass debacle.

Becky in Wyo said...

You gotta remember, J.K. Rowling didn't kill her her fav three either: Ron, Hermione, and Harry were left standing at the end of the book. But it's possible some of the other characters in Stephenie's Twilight series could see the end, too. With vampires around, somebody's bound to die sooner or later, and not just the bad guys. So, who's the "fifth member of the away team"? Sorry, couldn't resist that one.

And I think there's something to be said for Bella's appeal in being able to surprise Edward when no one else can. Thinking about it in those terms is making their relationship make more sense.

Also looking forward to the movie. I'm bummed I won't be able to see it with all the chicks in our family, but I'll be thinking of you. And I guess we'll all be writing fast and furious on our blogs when it first comes out. I think that means we're all going to have to see it opening weekend, or we're going to ruin the surprises for each other.

Becky in Wyo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky in Wyo said...

Sorry, I had to edit my comments just a little, thus the deletion (See my p.s. below). But here's most of it again. I've been watching videos/reading articles on the Twilight movie over the last few days, so now I'll need a distraction for the next eight months. Hmmm... having a newborn to take care of will probably cover that. But seriously, watching little video bits about the movie reminds me of what a different experience reading a book, and watching a movie can be. I've read all the Harry Potter books, and seen all the movies so far, and to me, they're just two different things. Who I picture the characters to be are completely different than who I feel they are in the movies. I'm okay with that. A book and a movie are just different experiences. I don't need them to be the same.

So, about the Twilight series: experiencing the movies will be different than reading the books, and that's a good thing. Books are long, drawn-out experiences. Movies are a non-stop thrill ride by comparison. Each emotion and scene are just one big burst of flavor after another. The movie should make sense unto itself, it doesn't have to mesh completely with the book. Just some of the basic themes and characters should be present in both, and don't worry if the details don't match up exactly. From what I've seen already, the movie is acquiring it's own identity, and I think I'm really going to enjoy that.

What I think is interesting about a book-to-movie conversion, is when the writers/director introduce scenes and ideas that are not in the book, but which blend really well with the existing plot-line. You have a limited number of words to be spoken in a movie, and some things can be explained faster, and more powerfully with visuals in a movie, than could be accomplished with just words. Books and movies are just different mediums, each with their own strengths and weaknesses as story-telling vehicles. You have to give up some things, and accept some new things, when you make a book into a movie. Not every time that happens is a movie successful, but I'm prepared to like what they do with Twilight.

P.S. Some of the videos I found on YouTube are just clips pieced together from the actors' other movies, and don't have anything to do with Twilight, so I'm not sure what is legitimate, and what isn't. I could have jumped the gun on my youtube links before. But the one you have Sue, looks okay, because mtv has the same one on their site.

Sara said...

Oh, I'll be camping out for tickets with at least half of our neighborhood ladies' Book Club. We'll save you a spot!

Becky in Wyo said...

I may need therapy, because I am still obsessing about these books and the forthcoming movie. I spent a day or two digging up clips about it, and reading things on Stephenie Meyer's website. Then I thought, "What am I doing? I'm too old to be drooling over all this like a teenager!" I quit looking at stuff, but I still think about it.

Becky in Wyo said...

Okay, I think this trailer is the real deal, since it was linked from Stephenie Meyer's website:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=33429578