Bella and Edward: 'Twlight' series odd couple is a hit with teen-age girls
By TERRY MATHEWS, News-Telegram Arts Editor
Sept. 23, 2008 - I first heard of Stephenie Meyer, the Mormon housewife-turned best-selling author, a few months after her first book, "Twilight," was released in 2006.
I didn't get interested in the series until I judged the Miss Mount Vernon pageant this summer and almost every contestant listed the books as their favorite and got all glassy-eyed when asked about them.
Meyer has tapped into a new reading fan base - teen-age girls, and with good reason.
The plot of 'Twilight' was born from a dream. An article from Entertainment Weekly explains the turn of events.
"On June 2, 2003, Meyer had a dream about a human girl meeting a vampire in the woods. The next morning the English-major grad from Brigham Young University got up, started writing for the first time in her life, and just three months later finished a 500-page book about a regular girl named Bella and her gorgeous vampire boyfriend, Edward."
"Twilight" spent nearly 50 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers' list. The book and its three sequels have spent a total of more than 140 weeks on the list. The big screen version of the first book opens nationwide on Nov. 21.
Meyer's plans for a fifth book, "Midnight Sun," were put on hold after a draft was posted on the Internet.
Meyer's success does not rely on her journeyman-style writing talents. While she lacks the gifts of Hemingway, Faulkner or Fitzgerald, she has a keen awareness of teen-age angst and she knows how it feels to be an outsider trying to fit in.
Paperback - Sept. 6, 2006
$10.99. 544 pp.
We meet Isabella Swan who moves from sunny Arizona to dreary Forks, Wash. to live with her father, Charlie.
'Bella' does her best to fit in at her new school and makes friends with some of the popular kids. However, the Cullen kids grab her attention, especially Edward.
"I vividly remember the flat black color of his eyes, the color was striking against the background of his pale skin and his auburn hair," Bella says, smitten. It gets worse as the days pass.
She begins to dream about him and, soon, they are a couple.
Bella's new love and his "family" are a different breed of vampire. They've sworn off killing humans for their blood, living instead off the blood of animals.
It doesn't take long for Bella to figure out Edward's secret. The teen-ager's realization that the object of her affection is an immortal does not come off as strange as it sounds.
The first book ends as Edward saves Bella from vicious vampires who hunt her down after an altercation in the deep forest.
Paperback - May 31, 2008
$10.99. 608 pp.
In order to protect Bella, Edward breaks up with her, telling her that he and his family are leaving the Pacific Northwest and that she cannot come with them.
"Bella, I'm not human," Edward says. "I've let this go on too long."
In her despair, Bella turns to childhood old friend Jacob Black, a Native American with secrets of his own.
A new danger emerges, bringing Edward back to once again rescue Bella from certain death.
Hardback - Aug. 7, 2007
$19.99. 640 pp.
Bella is about to graduate from high school and is looking forward to her life as a vampire. She's decided to join Edward and the others in his "family" after she receives her diploma.
Meanwhile, the city of Seattle is plagued by a series of killings; killings that are ultimately linked to a group of "newborn" vampires, creating a new danger for the Cullens and Bella, who becomes a target.
Bella has to make a heartbreaking choice between her love for Jacob Black, her childhood friend who has become a werewolf, and her passion for Edward, who as a vampire is a sworn enemy of the Jacob's werewolf clan.
Hardback - Aug. 2, 2008
$22.99. 768 pp.
"Breaking Dawn" was my favorite in the "Twilight" series. After reading the first three books, I didn't have to take much of a leap to accept the marriage between teen-age mortal Bella Swan (The irony of her last name - an animal with a long neck - did not escape me.) and Edward Cullen, the gorgeous vampire.
At Edward's insistence, the relationship remains chaste until their wedding night. On their honeymoon, Bella becomes pregnant. The pregnancy accelerates, creating grave physical danger for the young mother, and delaying the couple's plans for Bella to become a full-fledged vampire.
Bella finally tells her father about her life with Edward. She forges a truce between her new family and that of the werewolves. She finds new maturity and a deep and abiding love with Edward. After the birth of a beautiful daughter, Bella truly comes into her own, moving seamlessly into the vampire lifestyle and becoming a most powerful, protective and unifying force when evil threatens everything she holds dear.