Friday, June 5, 2009

Twilight Falls

Of few things am I as certain as this fact:

Are you writing a teen novel series which will incorporate mythical, magical elements? If so, LET ME KNOW SO I CAN GET IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR THIS TIME!

Y'all know where this is going. Yesterday, I stopped fighting fate and borrowed a copy of "Twilight" from the library. And as Kiddo happily crawled back and forth between the couch and the sliding patio doors on her own personal track, I tore through the book in three hours flat.

Then obsessively Wikipedia-ed and Googled everything I could about "Twilight," Edward, and, ok, a little bit about Bella.

This is the second time this has happened.

In the spring of 2006, though I had successfully dissed, resisted, and mocked the Harry Potter Mania, I had been through all of the interesting-looking New Fiction at the library, and finally decided to give it a chance. So I shamefacedly went over to the Young Adult section after looking up the author and took home "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

It might have rained that afternoon, it might have blizzarded, Conor Oberst might have been playing a free show at the park a few blocks away from me (and yes, he was), but I was LOCKED DOWN, LOCKED UP TIGHT on the couch in my living room, ENRAPTURED by the book. (For the record, I am totally a Snape girl, and I just like Harry's adventures. But my daydreams are not about little Harry Potter. Digression.)

The next day (no, really, the next day), I marched back to the library and checked out as many of the following books as they had. I plowed through all of them during the following weeks, trying to make Vee see how FASCINATING and AMAZING these storylines were so that I would have someone to talk through my THEORIES with! And as I was reading the books, fortunately I was able to ALSO RENT THE MOVIES! Like BASICALLY THE BEST THING EVER!

I was shocked at myself, since I am sooooooo NOT a fantasy/magical reality person. No, really. Like SO not into that sort of storyline. When I was younger, I was violently afraid of "Alice in Wonderland" and I got really, really uncomfortable whenever TV shows or movies would have things occur that didn't make sense in the corporal world. I had a very difficult time understanding alternate realities/the concept of space, and so I avoided them. On reflection, I think that's why I hate scary movies/ghost stories so much--they're all predicated on things "appearing" or beings existing which DO NOT BELONG in regular space and time.

So WHY WAS I SO ENAMORED WITH HARRY POTTER, a series of books about A BOY WHO WENT TO WIZARD SCHOOL and was permeated with magical flying things and spells and beings that should not exist?

I think the key word here is: wizard SCHOOL. THE BOY IS BASICALLY AT A PREP BOARDING SCHOOL, which has been one of my pet fantasies/favorites subjects to read about ever since I was in seventh grade and sending away dreamily for boarding school information so that I could rappell through the woods in my blazer and matching skirt like the girl in the videocassette sent by the Madeira School.

"Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld? Basically like SOMEONE SAW INSIDE MY MIND AND WROTE A BOOK BASED ON MY FANTASIES. "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" by Marisha Pessl? Keep it coming! Combine that with A REPLICANT OF "The Worst Witch," definitively one of my favorite movies of all time, where Fairuza Balk goes to Witch School and then Tim Curry, as the Grand Wizard, shows up and sings the most amazing song recorded in history, and you've got Harry Potter. And you've got my obsession.

You can throw all of the usual wet blankets on the series. IT'S WRITTEN FOR YOUNG ADULTS, and so IT READS LIKE IT! No, it's not THE MOST AMAZING WRITING OF THE CENTURY. Do you think I care? Do you think it stopped me from waiting in line at midnight on July 20/21, 2007 for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

Or do you think that it stopped me from literally reading until 3am that night, then getting up at 9am and reading nonstop until noon, sobbing at parts, and when I emerged into the bright sunlight, almost speechless, being astonished that the world was still going about its normal cycle?

So here I am, with "Twilight," reliving my immersion into a pop culture mania I thought I was beyond and I definitely thought I was too old for. It's no Harry Potter, but I can read about a vampire teen with gorgeously-mussed-hair in love against his will basically any day. Can we get a little closer to TEEN ME?

I just hope the "honeymoon scene" in "Breaking Dawn" is as good as it should be. DON'T MAKE ME WAIT THROUGH FOUR BOOKS FOR NOTHING!


Piper Jacquelyn said...

Okay, it's kinda frightening, but everything you said about these books is how I felt myself. Even down to Prep. Wow. Anyway - they are all worth the tiny bit of self-loathing you begin to feel when you pick up your first copy. BUT, that feeling quickly dissolves as you realize you love Edward Cullen & don't care who knows it.

I think if we stay away from the 'I Heart Edward' tee-shirts, we're okay.

LiLu said...

(Quietly) It's okay. I love both of them too.

Just please don't tell anyone...