Thursday, August 20, 2009

The one that’ll make me laugh and roll my eyes in a few years. (I hope.)

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.)


  1. I love you and I hope you still have that copy of The Magic of You. I understand. I tried to explain it to Brandon once: Books are a movie in your head and the emotions seem to be much stronger. I love reading. Unfortunately, I do not get to read many books for pleasure. Someday I will get to again.

  2. This is one of the reasons why I love your blog. I can totally relate to you!I think this is one of the best things about reading. My real life is not dramatic, it's not a wild roller coaster ride. It's more of a quiet, calm ride. And I like it that way. Reading books that totally suck me in let me slip into a different world for a while. It's not a world I would want to live in in real life, but it's a great place to visit. I think as long as it's not having consequences in your real life, it's all good!

  3. -->I'm an avid reader and haven't touch the Twilight series yet. I'm worried that at this point knowing how much everyone loves it I'll be left with disappointment. Should I try it anyway?

  4. You are absolutely right: it's not written well, it's completely unrealistic and the characters are slightly nuts.But that's why we love it, right? Because it's complete fantasy! A fantasy where the normal, clumsy girl meets the tall, dark and handsome (vampire) prince and have wild adventures. Together. What girl wouldn't love that??

  5. T, I still have the book. It still remains one of my favorites. ;) (But thank God they don't put Fabio on the covers anymore. Ugh.) Gayle, that is so well said. That's exactly why I love to read. It's so great to spend some time in another world for a little bit. And you're absolutely right- it's not a world I'd want for myself but it sure is fun to visit!Deb, (sigh) this is a tough one for me to answer. My coworker finished Twilight in about a day. She was sucked in. But when I asked her how she liked it, she wasn't all that impressed. There's no urgent need for her to continue the series although she says she plans to "someday." And she says it's probably because she went in having such high expectations. I, of course, want to tell you to READ IT! NOW!!! WOMAN, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! but that's just me and we're all aware of how nuts I am. Then again, I went into the series without having very high expectations, so I was doomed to become obsessed. I'd say read it, if for nothing more than it's a fun read.Amanda, exactly right. That's all I can say. Totally, exactly, right. Sigh. Edward Cullen has ruined me for life.

  6. OHHHHHHHHHh Twilight. OHHHHHHHH Edward or Jacob, however you are so inclined. My middle progeny MADE me read this book. She forced it into my hands and then couldn't get it back from me when she wanted to read it. The bad thing was, I read Twilight when I was out of town and then had no way to get New Moon until I got back into town. It was a long few days I can tell you.

  7. It's cool when a book, whether it's good or bad, changes the way you look at the world. I have a handful that I keep next to our bed that I'll just open at random at night and read a couple of pages.The whole story comes flooding back and it's amazing how much more you read into it.Sometimes I think that's why we read- to find the very few worth hanging onto and rereading over and over.

  8. I agree with/can relate to everything you've written here! I have a very unhealthy obcession with this series and haven't read them a 2nd time because I don't think I can let something consume my life like that again. I remember right after I had finished the 4th book, I went on a trip to Aruba with my boyfriend. It was right after the movie came out so EVERYONE in all the airports and hotels was reading the books. I was so JEALOUS of them all, because they were just starting! And it was all over for me. Maybe I should read them again...Have you read Midnight Sun??

  9. Debbie, that is so funny. I initially borrowed Twilight and New Moon from my sister. When I realized she had let another friend borrow Breaking Dawn, I went out and bought it. I had only just started New Moon, but I couldn't risk getting to the fourth book and not having it available. Eventually, I bought them all. There was no way I was not going to own them and have them available whenever the urge to reread struck.Rory, there are a few books that I'd put into the "reread" category. I don't think they impacted me as much as this series, but then again, I think the reason this one had such an impact is because there's just so much to read, so much to get involved in. We're talking four rather long books here. But there are a few others and you're right. As soon as you open it and begin rereading them, it all comes flooding back. And it's an awesome feeling.Deanna, I haven't read Midnight Sun. I came so close to reading it a couple nights ago and the only thing that stopped me was that I couldn't get it opened on my computer. I wanted to wait for the book to come out, but God knows when/if that's going to happen. Stephenie Meyer, if you ever come across this blog... damn it, woman- GET THAT BOOK OUT! You're killing me here!

  10. I don't see a problem babe, seriously. I went back and read them all. You know how long it took me? 1 week. I've gotten into another series of books (totally unrelated) and in 1 week on on book #11. So you getting swallowed up by the Twilight series again? Not so strange. BTW, I really think you should read those first 6 chapters from Edwards perspective. Seriously, you're going to fall in love with Edwards perspective.

  11. Okay, while not quite swept away by the Twilight series...yet (easy girl, I said yet), I have had books that have had that effect on me. I've recommended them to others only to have them say "Um, I guess it was pretty good." I think it's all about timing. The right book at the right time --and you never forget it.Enjoy yourself.

  12. Michelle, I'm dying to read what's available of Midnight Sun. I'll probably cave in as soon as I can get my computer to cooperate.small town small times, thank you. I think I will. ;)

  13. I have several series by several authors that have the same power over me. I did enjoy and reread the Twilight series. I will probably come back to them again. Rereading a book is more fun than seeing any movie for the second time (and often for the first time- movies these days!). Once you know what is going to happen, you can go back and read the details, the emotions, and in some cases catch the well written prose that every writer wishes he/she could write. I've reread some series so many times I have lost count, and yet, from time to time find a new nuance I'd missed all those times. So I don't think you're crazy for rereading and getting sucked into the Twilight series. Been there done that.

  14. i adore twilight, ain't no shame in my game. i got my best friend and a few online foodie peeps to read this series and you know what, i'll pimp it to whomever. i'm currently reading another vampire series, Mercedes Thompson by Patricia Briggs. better writing (i still <3 smeyers) and it'll suck you in. series is not yet done tho...

  15. I know you wrote this post a while ago, but I couldn't put my obsession into words and you nailed it. I'm forwarding this post to my husband. :) He also thinks I'm nuts.