• Jilly loves the vamps
• Longest blog post ever
• My four favorite books of all time
Nope, I was not immune to the Twilight phenomenon. Here is my story.
It all started back in August. I was listing to one of my favorite podcasts, Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. This was the advertisement at the end of the podcast (no I didn’t type it, I copied it from the transcript):
Before you go, Twilight was the caller and coincidentally Twilight is also the book I’m reading this week. Are you surprised? It’s not Pride and Prejudice, but I believe it’s important to stay current with pop culture and the four books in the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer are some of the hottest things on the market right now. They know I’m Grammar Girl at the local bookstore here in Reno and they actually gave me a little grief for buying this book, so maybe the best thing about it being one the free options you can get when you sign up at Audible is that you can buy it online–privately! Audible has over 40,000 audiobooks and they have all four audiobooks in the saga from the first, Twilight, to the most recent, Breaking Dawn; so whether you’re just jumping onto the Stephanie Meyer bandwagon or you’re a devoted fan, they’ve got the right book for you. Visit audiblepodcast.com/gg to sign up for an account and get your free audiobook today. That’s audiblepodcast.com/gg.
Conveniently I subscribe to Audible.com and at the time had an abundance of credits that I wasn’t sure what to use on. Hmmm… Grammar Girl got teased, buy online privately, sounded like a guilty pleasure to me, and I’m all about guilty pleasures. I forgot I bought Twilight pretty much immediately after the download process was complete and went about the remainder of my summer in a non-audiobook/book sort of fashion.
Fast forward to September. Nick got me hooked on HBO’s True Blood; Season 1 had just started. It’s a show about vampires, based on the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris. The premise is that a synthetic blood substitute has been produced, allowing vampires to come “out of the coffin” and live among humans. It’s got sort of a political/prejudice undertone, and of course the main character falls in love with a vampire. I quickly learned that Brooding Vampire Bill *swoon* (played by British actor Stephen Moyer) floats my boat. I’d let him eat crackers in my bed… er, uh, drink my blood in this case. If you missed why I think that, let me give you a run down: 1) brooding, 2) vampire, 3) British.
This is one of those situations where I’m completely infatuated with the fictional character. Moyer in real life… meh. Similar to Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn, Orlando Bloom as the elf guy, Gerard Butler as the 300 guy, you get the picture. Great characters, but doesn’t quite translate so well into real life. Sorry boys.
Also, let me interject that I’ve never got into the vampire thing. My only other experience with vampires was in Interview With The Vampire, and since Christian Slater was not a vampire, I didn’t pay much attention to them. But after True Blood I see that they are rather sexy creatures. Mysterious and dangerous, but no real danger because, well, they don’t really exist after all. They are the perfect bad boy.
So, needless to say my obsessive nature took over. Every day I would come home from work and watch every episode of True Blood. Hour long episodes with no commercials start to add up after 6-8 weeks, so after a while it started taking me two days to run through the season. Near the end of October I started feeling like it was getting a little out of hand. Maybe I was going crazy, or maybe it was just the look Nick gave me when he’d find me in front of the TV with my eyes glazed over.
I had to get away from the vampire lore. ‘But what should I do with my newly found spare time? I know,’ I thought, ‘I can read one of my many recently purchased audiobooks!’ I flipped through my iPod and saw Twilight. ‘Ah yes, the one Grammar Girl recommended. That sounds good.’ I wish I could have seen the way my face shuttered when it began with a child’s voice saying, “This is Audible Kids.” Aw [censored]. A kids book? WTF? My momentary mantra was “Grammar Girl liked it, Grammar Girl liked it…”
The book started and it didn’t seem so bad. More of a young adult category than children’s, and I’m a young adult, right? Definitely not an old adult, so young it is. Harry Potter is a young adult book, and that’s a perfectly acceptable read. It’s not often that I start a book and have absolutely no idea what it’s about. At all. None whatsoever. So irritated would be an understatement when enter stage right a bunch of characters that are inhumanly beautiful with unusually pale skin that everyone deems as strange. Aw [censored]. WTF? I may have been new on the vamper bandwagon, but I knew one when I saw, er, read about one.
I almost turned it off. Almost, but didn’t. I was actually enjoying the
kid young adult book. The odd thing was that parts of the story seemed vaguely familiar. And then there was the pivotal moment that Edward saved Bella from the van by stopping it with his hand. My first thought was ‘wait a minute, I know that part,’ but then it changed to ‘wait a minute, I’ve seen that part.’ Then I was thoroughly confused, because after running a quick inventory catalog in my head of the movies I’ve seen, I still couldn’t place it.
I conferred with Nick (since he seems to watch every movie that I’ve ever wanted to see on his lunch break leaving me to watch them alone or not at all), running the scene by him. He informed me we saw a preview for that movie a few months back. Ah yes, it was all coming back to me. In a classic Google Fail moment (I’m embarrassed to say), I typed something like “stops van with hand leaves imprint movie” or something ridiculous like that. No character names or, this would be a far stretch, “twilight movie” because surprise, surprise, the name of the movie was Twilight. I watched the trailer and immediately remembered it was one of those movies that I saw a preview for and wanted to remember it, but completely forgot about it once the feature presentation started (forgetfulness is one of my most endearing qualities, just ask me).
Well, after realizing that little tidbit I was sure excited. Not only was I enjoying the book, but I would get to experience it in action in just a little over three weeks. Not only that, but the trailer was just enough visual aid to make a nice mental picture of the characters, because there’s nothing worse than watching a movie and having the characters completely opposite of what was pictured in your head. The actors playing Edward and Bella were surprisingly similar to what I was already picturing in my head. Maybe because they fit the description so perfectly, or maybe because subconsciously I remembered what they looked like. Anyway, I hoped I could finish it in time to see it on opening weekend (11/21).
That proved to be no hard task. I finished the book in a little over two days. Quite a feat considering I’ve struggled with audiobooks in the past. Brooding Vampire Bill, move over because Brooding Vampire Edward *swoon* (played by British actor Robert Pattinson) is in town. I had another obsessive character infatuation on my hands. I’d let him drink my… well, since these vampires are venomous, I think I’ll stick with letting him eat crackers in my bed. In case you missed why, I will give you the cliff notes: 1) brooding, 2) vampire, 3) British. There seems to be a pattern here. Christian Slater move over, because brooding vampires are everywhere.
I was having lots of fun with all the last minute teaser trailers and similar internet videos that were being released at that point of time. They were tiding me over quite nicely. I watched some videos with the Twilight cast, fully expecting some disappointment at seeing Pattinson out of character, but that just didn’t happen. He is even more dreamy as himself *swoon* than as Edward. He can eat crackers in my bed too. Christian Slater move over, because you’re just the wrong nationality.
Wow, three more weeks until the movie premiered. What was I to do? Read the other three books in the series of course. Twilight was nice, it was a sweet love story, with the whole getting-to-know-you sort of theme to it. I think one of the most appealing parts about it is that the book is written in first person narrative, so the reader experiences internal dialog not as Edward and Bella, but Edward and me.
New Moon made me cry. I discovered crying is an easier opportunity with an audiobook. With a real book the tears get in the way of reading so you have to stop, but an audiobook is like a movie and just keeps on being sad, even though balling while driving probably isn’t the safest idea. Don’t worry, it all worked out in the end for Team Edward.
Eclipse made me angry. I’m glad I was in my car at the time because I was yelling at the radio. I actually had to pause and go back a minute because I missed part of the book. Book rage while driving probably isn’t the greatest idea either. However, Eclipse ended up being my favorite of the series.
Breaking Dawn was the final book. I’m part of the 50% of the Twilight fan population that liked it. It was a bit darker and a tad more mature than the previous books, which was a nice change. Everything I hoped would happen before the series ended happened and I w