I get a lot of people whom I refer to as “civilians” ask me what you are. “What’s this Twilight thing about?” they say. Seems like a simple enough question, right? But I’d say it’s isn’t so simple. How do you even begin to explain the intricacies and the idiosyncrasies and the “holy crow’s?” With this new series I aim to explain Twilight to beginners and give your fans an easier way to share their love of all things sparkly vampires and the humans they love.
And with that I get you the first installment in Twilight 101: Twilight (the book)
You may know this as that book with the apple on the cover that made grown women go crazy, your wife disappear for hours on end, your internet bill surge and teens declare sides in the Team Edward vs Team Jacob war that will play out over the following 3 books and subsequent films. Or you may know it as that mega Times best seller than spawned major block buster movies. Or you may know it as that book with the sprarkly vampires. But what’s this book REALLY about? I’m here to share…
Bella, the stumbling accident-prone mousey girl from Phoenix, Arizona moves to Forks, Washington to live with her Dad (coincidentally the town’s Police Chief) because her absentee Mom has married a stud minor league baseball player she met after a spring training game at a TGIFridays and now wants to travel the farm league circuit with him to glamorous places like: Jacksonville, Florida. So Bella takes the hint and moves in with dear, old oblivious Dad: Charlie. Then hijinks ensue. Thinking she’s doomed to live a deary, boring life in Forks, Bella is surprised to find herself the talk of the high school from the nerds to the jocks. But being a girl Bella isn’t interested in safe, boring people who are interested in HER. She can only think about the mysterious boy from biology class and his weird adoptive yet not related beautiful siblings who oddly enough never go to school on sunny days. But never mind the underlying danger… everything about him draws HER in!
So who are these people you ask…
Bella and her school friends and unintended (heh) suitors make up the majority of the sleepy and oblivious unsuspecting town. They include school heartthrob Mike Newton whom Bella describes as a golden retriever and whom mostly reminds us of a Jonas Brother with blond hair or Kirk Cameron AFTER he found Jesus. Pretty much the guy no girl with Daria-like tendencies would want to go out with. In a million-gabillion years. Then there are the girlfriends like Angela. Pretty much that sweet girl who was nice to everyone and befriended the new girl even when she was the flavor of the week who stole all the boys from the girls who has put in hard time. Then we have the “Mean Girls…” Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory, who combined are essentially the Regina George of Forks High School to Bella’s Cady Heron. These are the bitches who could be your best friend or worst enemy depending on the day.
These aren’t your Grandma’s traditional vamps or your Anne Rice vamps or your bodice ripping (we wish) vamps. The Cullen family are the Brady Bunch of the Stephenie Meyer vampire world. Sure, they have their dark and tortured pasts but they’ve given all that up in exchange for a few years in rainy weather towns surviving on, what they refer to as, “a vegetarian diet.” Meaning they don’t take a little sip from humans anymore. They hunt down animals and make a bloody mary cocktail that will last them a few weeks, thus making it easier to sit through their 2394294th time as a high schooler. Monotonous you say? Why, yes. Yes it is. And that’s where we find out sparkly protagonist, Edward when he first encounters Bella in Biology class. And barely able to control himself runs out of class to save her and himself and not to mention the 30 other kids in the class from certain death. But of course like a typical dude, Edward is taken by the new girl just as much as Bella, being a total girl is intrigued and pissed off by the mysterious boy. And as they say the rest is history.
Like I said these aren’t your typical vampires, Stephenie Meyer has given her vamps all kinds of special characteristics that set them apart and leave her readers with difficult situations like trying to explain to a vampire lover or even a regular dude why vampires sparkle. And yes, they do sparkle. Why? well who really knows other than it’s a plot device used to differentiate them in the sunlight instead of bursting into flames in like old school vamps. Rather these guys look more like a diamonte choker from the Joan Collins for QVS jewelry collection in the sun.
They also have special powers: mind reading, mood altering, future telling, extreme sexiness and the ability to ‘glower’ at a moments notice. They also appear to have super human control over sexual temptation because there’s enough tension in this book it leaves the Twimoms (we’ll cover them eventually) and the tweens quivering (ew) for years. You wanna know why girls disappeared into their rooms for days on end reading these books? THAT is your answer. That sweet, delicious tension. And his name is Edward Cullen.
- “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb” – THE Twilight quote. Suitable for Etsy crafts, regrettable tattoos and quoting to your resigned boyfriend
- “About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-and I didn’t know how potent that part might be-that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him..” – Teaching teens and grown ups alike the word “irrevocable”
- “You are exactly my brand of heroin” – Stephenie Meyer’s pro-drug PSA. High Schoolers need more excuses to think up new and exciting non-traditional drugs. A hit of your girlfriends blood? Why not!
- “Holy Crow” – aka OHHHH SSSHHHEEEEETTT!
Follow the cut for more on the villians, the conflict and some business time
A trio of “nomadic” vampires who wonder the pacific northwest looking for a good time and find the Cullens playing America’s favorite past time in the rain. Don’t ask, just say why not? Of course our dear, sweet, forever hormonal teenage Edward’s protectiveness of the very human Bella sets off James, one of the nomads and thus begins (hundreds of pages in) our major conflict. James being a regular ol vampire likes to hunt or “track” humans and what better game than to tick off the hippie, peace loving Cullens than by trying to kill Bella? Just a regular ‘ol Saturday night, right? WRONG. The Cullens and Bella FREAK OUT. Like board up the house, fake your own death, move to Alaska, send your bitchy sister and mom out into the woods with your girlfriends clothes to throw off the tracker FREAK OUT. Of course as any good teen drama would have it, our dear couple must split up. Bella simply won’t leave her Dad unguarded but what about her mom getting it on with her new piece all the way in Phoenix? Yup, time to split up! With Bella in Phoenix and Edward in Forks, of course James finds Bella and ALMOST, ALMOST kills her. But as all bad/good villains do, he spends about 5 minutes too long explaining to our dear damsel in distress EXACTLY WHY and HOW he must kill her. So of course in that time, Edward saves the day and all is well.
Cue the prom scene and an awkward encounter with Bella’s 15 year old childhood pal, Jacob. Yup, we’re gonna have to wait and see what happens there. Could it be something to do with that full moon outside? Or the fact huge wild bears are killing people in the surrounding forest???? But what about those werewolves you ask? And that overly muscled kid with his shirt off? Stop getting ahead of yourself, young Padawan learner. That’s what Twilight 101: New Moon (the book) is for. Trust me, the wait is worth it!
Until next time,
PS And NO Edward won’t turn you into a vampire, so stop asking!
I don’t know about you but thinking about all that made me want to go reread Twilight! Not to mention the book and movie are starting to blend together! NOOOOOO!!! Noooo spider monkey NOOO!!!
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