Who *Hearts* Edward Cullen?

“At first I thought it was like, super girly. I so wasn’t into it, especially when I saw that it was a Teen People ‘Hot List’ pick—man. But I really wanted to finish it, so I just sat down and read like another 200 pages. And out of nowhere, I was like, aww man, this is really cute, and suddenly I’m getting all emotional… I think I might need a Kleenex or some shit. So the next day, I was like, fuck it, my girlfriend isn’t coming over until later, so I got those Kleenex and a bag of Oreos and settled in for some ‘me time.’ I finished the whole book. And the Oreos. And I’m like, vampires, humans, cool, cool. I really liked it. I told my friend, dude, if you like vampire books, check it out. Now I have to get the next one.”

—Anonymous rock star baby brother (sister) on Stephenie Meyers’ vampire love story, TWILIGHT

On Vampires

I did it again. Stayed up all night finishing a book and totally paid for it with burning, puffy eyes today (thankfully I didn’t have to stop at the liquor store again, or they might have offered me the senior citizen discount!).

You guys know me; when a book captures my attention enough to keep me reading till the sun comes up, it’s one of my top 5 favorite things in the world, after 1) Alex, 2) completing a challenging piece of writing, 3) burritos, and 4) tofu corndogs dipped in melted “cheese product.”

The 3-book TWILIGHT series by fellow Little, Brown writer Stephenie Meyer is #1 on the NYT children’s series book list, bumping Harry right out of the top slot. Yet, it’s taken me a while to pick it up because of the… well…


Second only to zombies on my stuff-of-nightmares production line, vampires completely freak me out. I don’t marinate myself in a garlic-infused bath of boiling holy water more than once a month or anything (I’m not crazy, you know), but still. The whole idea of drinking blood…

*throws up in mouth a little*

It’s all related to my fear of needles, refusal to eat meat, and that weird twitching I get at the very thought of closed spaces ever since I was ten and my brother locked me in my old wooden toy box by sitting on the lid and ignoring my near-death gasps for air (hello, Serpent and the Rainbow?). I hated all those “Blade” movies, and there are only two reasons I could even tolerate “Lost Boys” with my eyes open: 1) Jason, and 2) Kiefer.

But TWILIGHT and its sequels have been all the YA buzz, and Stephenie is totally my MySpace friend, so I bucked up and grabbed a copy on a Borders run a few weeks ago.

Edward fans out there, don’t kill me but… it was initially tough for me to dig in. There’s the whole vampire-aversion thing, of course, but it also felt a bit slow. The action was delayed, the narrator-slash-main character wasn’t grabbing me, and there were lots of adverbs and dialogue tags other than “said” (he sighed, she replied, they bemoaned, etc.), which as a general rule should be used like cream blush – sparingly if at all. By page 150, I wasn’t sure what all the buzz was about. I even asked Mischief Management, writer of YA fantasy herself, teacher of our nation’s troubled youth (who also may be vampires), and all around cool chick, if she’d read it. “I couldn’t get into it,” she said (she lamented hastily, she responded quickly, she quipped adamantly).

I got to work yesterday, about 200 of 500 pages in by the previous night’s count. And then… I found myself hopelessly thinking of Edward. All day yesterday, I couldn’t stop thinking of Edward. And Bella. And their intense, impossible love, delayed and withdrawn at first – like the action of the story. Despite my initial feelings, this book was completely affecting me.

Steph… girl!? Is this pure genius or a total happy accident? Does it come in pill form?

I can so relate to this story. We all can, right? Maybe we weren’t in love with any card-carrying vampires during the golden years of our youth, but hey – vampires, drug dealers, boys eight years older, what’s the difference (especially in the eyes of your overbearing dad, who was not above answering the door with his favorite gun wrapped in a cloth diaper as though he was magically cleaning it right at the moment your date was set to arrive)? Don’t you remember that agony? That I’m-not-hungry, I’ll-probably-die-of-heartache-anyway pain? Listening to The Cure? Writing bad poetry? Sigh.

Last night, before I fell asleep, I tore through TWILIGHT like an addict. I had to force myself to slow down, to stop reading ahead, to breath. My heart was pounding. I gasped once. Butterflies. Fear. There may have been crying involved, though I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of tears.

And I finished it.

Blood-sucking creepiness (and needles! There were needles!) aside, man this book was, uhm…

*looks both ways to ensure no one is listening*

…sexy as hell. And also…

*looks again*
*lowers voice to a conspiratory whisper*

…vampires are hot.

Despite my cardinal rule of no more than 10 unread books out from the library before purchasing something new, I must pick up NEW MOON and ECLIPSE, books 2 and 3, before the weekend, so I can stay up all night reading them to the detriment of all else.

Please don’t tell Alex. I’ll get sucked (pun intended) into a Blade movie marathon and I won’t be able to sleep ever again!