Stephenie Meyer’s series is written for teenagers and is essentially about fitting in and peer groups but it’s so much more.
Touted as the new JK Rowling and with the first movie coming out on November 21st, this series mixes high-school with the supernatural.
Bella moves to Forks in Washington state to live with her dad, the local police chief. A town where it continually rains. On her first day she notices some extraordinaryly beautiful students, students who appear aloof or maybe shunned by the rest of the student body.
One of them Edward seems to perversly adverse to her. Glaring at her. Trying to be assigned to another class.
Apart from the mysterious Cullens, moving to Forks also gives Bella the chance to re-establish old links to a childhood friend, Jacob, who lives on a nearby Indian reservation.
I’m not sure if Forks is a real place. If so, I’m sure it was not chosen for the weather alone. The whole series is about making choices – choosing which fork in the road to take. Does she align herself with Edward and risk eternal death – or is that life – or does she fall for Jacob’s charms despite his somewhat bestial nature.
The other thing that Stephenie does in her novels is relate each one to a famous love story. For Twilight it’s Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. For both characters it’s all about pride getting in the way of their relationship – not to mention the prejudice shown more it must be said by the extra characters.
In New Moon the story line follows the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet with Jacob cast as Paris, the man Juliet might have settled for had Romeo decided not to pursue her.
And in Eclipse it’s the story of Wuthering Heights.
There’s nothing subtle about these comparisons, Bella is continually referring to the books as she compares her life to the heroines in these classics.
Normally this would annoy me – it’s a bit too obvious – but in this case – teenage fiction – I don’t mind it so much.
I wonder if Stephenie hopes as I do, that kids reading her books might also be interested to read P&P or Wuthering Heights – I know I’m tempted to pick them up again.
I loved this series. I really enjoyed the whole vampire/werewolf fantasy element but more than that I just enjoyed a good story told well.
If your kids bring this series home, don’t be put off by their weighty nature, see if you can sneak a read after they’ve gone to bed.
My daughter – Dippity – is totally obsessed. She and I are Jacob fans… if you’ve read the series who do you prefer? Edward or Jacob?