A couple of years ago my daughter came home from university and we did our usual thing.
We settled ourselves together on my bed – me in the middle – The Daughter on one side – The Son on the other – and we watched a movie.
Dim I am at times…yes I admit it…at one stage she asked me if I knew what they were – and no I had not figured it out.
Please people…remember my age. I grew up with VAMPIRES that hid in coffins during the day. Think Bram Stoker’s Gary Oldman.
I saw that movie at a friend’s flat and crapped my way home with fear. I am not kidding. I had to make my way down creepy stairs, then drive home alone. Frankly, at home I didn’t feel too safe. Dad was nearing seventy – what help would he be? So it was around this time I developed my love of garlic. Luckily I had a crucifix handy. That night I dragged it out and lay in bed until the sun rose with it clasped in my hands on my chest. My Mum was Catholic.
Queen of the Damned,
even The Interview With A Vampire
all scary vampires.
Be reasonable – Tom Cruise did a damn fine job of making Lestat scary. And there was Brad Pitt.
Most miserable vampire in the world – but oh so cute and scary – yes he was.
So here we have a high school kid who is a vampire, who can get around in the daytime, is cute, and doesn’t want to kill people – he even shimmers. Different. But isn’t that what a good writer does ? Finds a NEW take on something.
Yes I have to admit – I liked the movie. Yep – I did. The first one at least.
So, fast forward – I have now read all, and I mean all the Twilight books. The Daughter has them. I have also read ‘The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner’, a novella of one of the characters from Eclipse. I am with Stephenie when she says she is sorry she killed Bree off so quickly. The novella on Bree’s short life was riveting.
And I have heard all to pros and cons – the lovers and the haters of Twilight.
So where am I? I have to admit – I’m a lover.
Okay, okay – stop pulling your hair out while I explain why.
Humankind is fascinated by vampires. Why? My personal opinion is because they like the fact that vampires are driven. They have to drink human blood. It’s not a desire, it’s a need. And that fascinates them. To HAVE to kill so that they can survive – the dilemma – the choices – heavy stuff. As people consumed with right and wrong choices, I think we love it when the choices are taken away and I think we revel a little in the evil of it all. Because we would never succumb to that now would we !!!
Back to Twilight.
Here we have the age old struggle. Good versus bad. Vampires trying to be good. Seven of them. Even the ones you don’t like that much (Rosalie is – well she is a bitch – I actually kinda love Rosalie) don’t kill people.
Before we go any further – something I have to say – Bella pisses me off. Whiny, whiny, whiny, What the hell does Edward see in her ???
But you have to go further. Yes. You do. Because there are some amazing characters if you do.
And now I shall explain…
- Jasper – How I wish Jasper had a book/movie/TV show of his own. This guy is fascinating. He was a major in the Confederate Army when he was changed. He went on to harness an army of newborn vampires for his lover. Eventually he found Alice, and joined the Cullen family. This guy is so tortured – and he tries to kill Bella (a plus if you ask me) that it is hard not to be fascinated with Jasper.
- Alice – oh Alice. In an interview I saw, Stephenie Meyer said she loved Alice. That she wished she had an Alice in her life. Me too. Alice is even more complicated than Jasper. Abandoned to a mental institution when human, she was turned when her life was in danger from a vampire. The same vampire that later tries to kill Bella. Do you not see it? Stephenie has provided a stairwell with so many floors in these stories.
- Aro – What a character to write. In the movie New Moon, Michael Sheen, well he makes Aro perfect. Aro is so many things. I guess that’s not surprising when you have lived for centuries. He’s completely insane in so many ways. This is someone who will kill anyone who threatens his way of life, but has a childish thrill at the smallest pleasures – completely nuts – completely fascinating.
- Victoria – dear demented Victoria. In case you really don’t know – in the first book Edward (the glittering, vegetarian, trying to be a good guy vampire) killed her mate James. I liked James – but that is another story. He was intent on killing Bella – are you seeing a pattern here? So Victoria wants revenge. Her reasoning – killing Bella does to Edward what Edward did to her when he killed James. She is lethal. She is focused. She is fabulous.
So yes – I liked the movie Twilight, which led me to the books which I loved. So far the jury is out on the rest of the movies. New Moon – not so great. Eclipse – darker, edgier, getting better.
The Twilight Tweenies are out there – screaming for either Edward or Jacob. They have made Stephenie a bucketload of cash. They have also made it cool to knock the series.
I don’t think that is entirely fair. Different strokes folks.
Stephenie took an old legend and turned it on its head. Bravo Stephenie !!! She created a raftload of interesting characters that she could quite readily milk forever, but she doesn’t. I admire her ability to find the new in the old, and make it interesting, make it relevant to this generation of readers.
She got kids to read. Isn’t that something? Whenever I go to our local library, out of curiosity I always check the young adult fiction section. Those books – I’ve never seen them ALL on the shelf at the same time. Somewhere out there some kid is reading them. I think that is fantastic.
So I am a fan – and I celebrate her success wholeheartedly. Because her success means many things to me. It showed me how a writer can find inspiration in anything. How that same writer can twist and change things to suit HER story. How that writer can get kids to be invested and love her characters no matter what the critics say.
Kids. Tweenies. Whatever you call them – these guys are the most critical of all critics. They pick up on the slightest error. They are unforgiving when you make a mistake. And they LOVE The Twilight series. So – Stephenie has to be doing something right.
I hope that when she drinks her morning coffee – she also sends out a “stuff you” to all the nay sayers.