Saturday, May 24, 2008
I know how surprising this might seem coming from me. I am not the intended audience for this book, and for this series of books. But the truth is, my friends in the BookMooch community, kept harping about the author, Stephanie Meyer and about the books, that I had to bite (forgive the pun) and take the plunge. So, here I am telling you how I felt about the first book at least.
Bella is a high school girl who returns to Forks, Washington to live with her father, while her mother travels with her new husband who is a minor league baseball player. That is the hook to get you in. Forks is a drab and dreary place (as you'd expect for a setting in Washington State). Bella receives a lot of attention at her new school, not the least of which is because her father is a police officer, and of course she's a stranger. But similarly she's attracted to a boy called Edward who together with his siblings attend the same high school as Bella. In a strange accident, Edward saves Bella's life in the school parking lot. This makes Edward even more desirable for Bella, but at every turn, Edward shuns hers.
As the cover of the Book depicts, Edward appears to be "the forbidden fruit", just as the apple in the Garden of Eden was for Adam and Eve. Is Bella's and Edward's love meant to be or is it forbidden? Of course, millions of people and fans have read these books, so I will not go into a long exposition here. At this point everyone knows that what the "Forbidden Fruit" really is, is "the fact that Edward is a Vampire" aged over 100 years old. And for Bella to "love him" is not only impossible BUT dangerous and it could cause her, her life.
Still, in a book that very capably explores the teenager's psyche with ample exposition (some would say over-long), Bella croons for Edward and manages to snare enough of his attention and mine. You can find more engrossing reviews elsewhere on the web. There was even a review I read somewhere from a gentleman who argued that the books where written by Stephanie Meyer for the teenage boy's heart, rather than for the teenage girl's heart. Whether there is a romantic in you or not, I believe the author capably captures something in these books, and this is why the books have such a cult following - and now the movies of course. Are they great literature? Are these books the logical successor to the Harry Potter books? I personally don't think that, but again, I qualify this statement, by reminding everyone, that I was not the intended audience, and I understood more of the teenage heart poured into the books than I thought possible. So great effort all around.