I have a confession to make. I'm old enough to have a fifteen year-old daughter, and I'm in love with Edward Cullen (sigh), Stephanie Meyer's hero in the Twilight Saga. For all of you rolling your eyes and thinking I must be delusional, this post is for you.
Normally, young adult novels are not something I would choose to read, nor is science-fiction, fantasy, or anything else I can't close my eyes and see really, really happening. In fact, regardless of popularity, I wouldn't have read these if it hadn't been for my daughter--who usually limits her reading to the instructions on the back of a Hamburger Helper box--pushing, prodding, and begging. Hoping to encourage her reading habits, I gave in. (Okay, I wanted her to hush about it, too.)
For me, this was a big concession. Despite knowing the shelves at Barnes and Noble wouldn't be overflowing with vampire tales if someone wasn't reading them, I felt like I was being led to the guillotine, like I was being forced to fall in line with what big publishing (and my daughter) was telling me I had to read. I mean, vampires? Please!!! (Sorry, Edward. You know I love you.)
Even now, as I make a stand to defend Edward (be still my beating heart!) and Meyer, I have to admit, I laughed to the point of hyperventilation through most of the first book. (Mind reading, foretelling the future, mood control, Emmit fighting with a bear?) And yes, part of the second one, too. (Getting a paper cut and looking up to see "six suddenly ravenous vampires"?) But shortly after that, just as I'm starting to catch my breath, Meyer sneaks Jacob in, creating a love triangle. This is where my facination skyrockets, because under the weirdness (not you Edward, never you!) is now something tangible, romance and competition. Suddenly, I'm no longer laughing, but silently rooting for Edward. (my hero!)
So, can you imagine my shock (GASP!) when my daughter announces she's for Jacob? Even before Taylor Lautner lands the part in the movie?! What could she possibly be thinking? When I made the mistake of asking her that question, I was forced to endure a seemingly never ending list of "Jacob" attributes. Of course, I promptly responded with a sterling "Edward" review of my own.
I think, by now, you can see where I'm going with this. My daughter and I have had a LOT of fun with these characters. We still have fun with them.
That, people, no matter how you look at it, is entertainment.
And isn't THAT the point? I know that's my goal as a writer. When I can take the reader away from the hum-drum of their everyday life for a while, and entice them to really care about the fate of my characters, I feel like I have succeeded. To all you Stephanie Meyer critics out there, I have to say, so what if you don't think her writing is all it should be. As far as I'm concerned, she has done her job and done it well.
That's why I'm so facinated with Edward and his creator. And I bet you thought it was just because he's HOT!