I gave in and read the “Twilight Saga”

I was trying to avoid this.  Really, I was.  I am usually a big supporter of self published and small press authors.  I try to avoid anything on the best sellers list.  But discovering new genres over the past few years has brought me to this point, namely romance and paranormal romance.

Also due to a very profound “vampire aversion” developed in high school, I have ardently tried to avoid anything vampire in order to prevent flashbacks.  But after reading zombies, werewolves and witchcraft books, starting to read vampire books was inevitable.

Actually, a self published author of zombie books asked me to read her vampire series.  So I blame her completely.

I was able to download the entire “Twilight Saga” via my local library.  I read it all in four days.  I think that’s over 2000 pages.  It helps that I’ve been in bed most of the time due to my health.

I wasn’t in high school when this entire phenomenon went down about 10 years ago.  I vaguely knew about the movies, the books etc just from not living under a rock.  But I had never seen the movies.

I was very surprised that these were good books.  And I don’t know why.

Sometimes I read these paranormal romance books and they are just awful.  I usually don’t blog about those ones.  They are sappy, way too superficial, and cliche.  So it was very refreshing to read these books and realize that there are much, much deeper themes than a vampire love story.

Aside from the romance, there is the issue of female self confidence, a hint of “race relations” and the undercurrent of the definition of family.

The writing is fantastic.  Absolutely fantastic.  When a writer can move me to tears, I am greatly impressed.  Last night I was finishing “Breaking Dawn”, and the entire thing with Renesemee and the final climax of the book had me sobbing.  I actually went to hold my daughter for a bit while she was sleeping. Stephanie Meyers struck the motherhood chord and describes it so completely, I was speechless.

I do see the other themes, i.e. the “no sex before marriage”, but I really don’t see the abortion debate.  I see it more as a pro-choice debate than anything else.  Even though her baby could (and did) kill her, Bella couldn’t stand the thought of destroying anything that she and Edward created.  Even though I created a baby with a man who didn’t love me (I thought he did at the time), I can’t ever imagine not having my daughter.  She is my entire world.  If you are interested reading more about her, check out my other blog .

I am also impressed with the depth of the characters.  You absolutely KNOW these characters, inside and out.  Their motivations, their desires, their points of view.  Even the secondary characters are brilliantly fleshed out and made real. Many of the paranormal romance books do not go to these levels of description.

And I can see how these books greatly influenced the entire genre of paranormal romance (and now erotic romance) after they were published.  Throughout the book, I found elements that following books “borrowed”.  I can’t count how many werewolf and vampire books have used very similar elements.  Except for the sparkles.

I knew that “Fifty Shades of Grey” was originally a fan fiction based on “Twilight”.  I was intrigued to see how an all powerful, strikingly beautiful man with a BDSM fetish could possibly be inspired by a teenage vampire story.  But it’s all there.  Just in different contexts.  The big difference being that it is completely X rated.

So now on to the movies.  And while I’m on a “very successful books turned into movies” kick, I may read Harry Potter.

Don’t judge me 🙂



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