I sat down tonight to finally get caught up on my reading. And by "reading," I, of course, mean my favorite blogs. Blogs that have gone sadly neglected in my Reader. My poor Reader. It's bulging at the seams.
Except, after staring at my computer screen for several minutes, sidetracked, I realized that there was a different type of reading that was keeping me preoccupied.
So, this post, despite the response I'm certain to get, has to be written. I need to remember this, need to remember these feelings. And I have no idea where any of my partially-used-and-forgotten diaries are. (Like I'd use them if I did.)
Here goes (she said with a sigh).
Last week, a coworker started reading Twilight. (I can hear you groaning, don't think I can't.) I was, naturally, excited for her. I'm clearly an obsessed fan and wish the whole world would read and fall in love with the stories and characters as I have.
When she asked me to reread along with her, I shrugged and thought why the hell not? It didn't matter that I was already in the middle of a novel that I was finding more and more interesting. I could finish it later. And it didn't matter that I was sleep deprived and still adjusting to a new schedule. Who needs sleep? It was one book, one I've read before. It would be easy. And, since I already knew the story, I could quickly skim parts here and there. I'd just refresh my memory.
She asked on Thursday. On Saturday, I was still debating reading it at all. As I laid down to nap (God, I needed a nap), I glanced over at the books sitting on my dresser, just a few feet away. And suddenly the thought of browsing through Twilight was irresistible. I’d spend a few minutes relaxing with a few of my favorite chapters.
It didn’t go quite as planned.
I was completely sucked in. Just as much as, if not more than, the first time. I couldn’t put it down. I reread the entire book, page by page, over the next two days. I brought it to work to read on my lunch breaks. I stayed up late when I should have been sleeping because JUST A FEW MORE PAGES.
And when it ended, I immediately began rereading New Moon. This one I knew I would get through quickly. Surely I wouldn’t be interested in reading every little detail of the one book in the entire series that was missing it's greatest character.
And page by heart-wrenching page, I read. I was utterly captivated by the turmoil and the heartache, the love and romance.
I finished New Moon earlier today, but I forced myself to come up for air before I'd allow myself to begin Eclipse. I spent time with my sister. We made brownies. I hugged and kissed my husband when he arrived home from work.
And, throughout it all, my thoughts were elsewhere. I can't sufficiently explain the emotional pull these books have on me. All I can say is it's there. The thought of the series ending causes an ache in my chest. And I've already read it! It's completely irrational, but true nonetheless.
What's ironic (at least to me) is that I'd be the first person to say that the writing isn't great. The characters? Flawed. The storyline? Completely unrealistic. And don't get me started on that abomination they call a movie.
I'm IN LOVE with it all. The characters, the love story... I've been ruined for life. I would never have thought that it could get better, but I've been surprised to find that I'm even more involved the second time around. Maybe because I know what to expect and I'm able to focus more on the emotion than on trying to follow the storyline. Or maybe I'm just nuts. Maybe someone should come by and take these books away from me before my husband has me committed.
He should definitely have me committed.
As someone who loves to read, who loves to be pulled into a great story with characters that are wonderful and lovable, it's fantastic. I couldn't ask for more. However, there's a part of me that wonders if getting quite so emotionally attached to fictional characters (Vampires?? Seriously?!) is healthy.
Maybe I would have been less affected if it had ended with just one book. But would I have enjoyed Twilight on it's own? There's a Costco sticker still stuck to the top right corner of my copy of Twilight that provides the price and category of the book. "Juvenile," it says. And it is. It's clearly written for a younger crowd and there are parts where I frown and wish I could have had a hand in editing. It doesn't prevent me from becoming completely engrossed in this seemingly ill-fated love story.
And then, in New Moon, the one I assumed I'd like the least, my emotions are taken for a ride that leaves me staggering. It's heartbreaking.
As I contemplate reading the next and last two books of the series (again, for a second time), I’m both excited and weary. I want to dive head first back into the lives and relationship of these two characters I love and yet, at the same time, I’m not sure if my emotions can handle it.
I hesitate to say these books have changed my life… mostly because I know you’re all, at any moment, going to start backing slowly away, never to be heard from again... but also because there’s no tangible evidence of such a statement. These books haven’t put me on a different path, they haven’t changed my dreams or goals, they haven’t changed any behaviors. It’s just a feeling I have. A feeling that I’ll never be quite the same person again.
Although, I don't think I was ever quite the same person after I read my first romance novel when I was fourteen-years-old after stealing Johanna Lindsey's The Magic of You from my older sister.
(On a side note, may I just add that I've never been so tempted to close comments as I was while writing this post. So, just this one time... if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.)