Author: Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown and Company, 2005
Last year during the holiday season, I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping at B&N and overheard a woman asking the clerk for suggestions on something to get a 12 year-old girl. I was a little surprised at the clerk's suggestion of this series, because I thought it was for older girls. But as the clerk so correctly pointed out: "Pre-teen girls don't like to read about people their own age, they like to read about people who are a little older."
It got me to thinking about my niece. At the time, "J" was eleven and pretty much a non-reader. She never got into Harry Potter like her brother did: basically if he likes it, she hates it, and that's just their relationship. "J" needed to find her own thing. I decided it was my duty as an Aunt to help her find it. So I, like the customer who had asked the clerk for a suggestion, bought the first book in the series - Twilight.
I presented "J" with the book early, three or four days before Christmas. She took it reluctantly and promised to give it a try. Next thing I knew, she disappeared to her bedroom, and she stayed away for most of the next 24 hours. When she emerged, she said: "This book is awesome!!! I can't wait to read the next one!!!" Clearly this was not the same child. Aliens kidnapped my real niece in the middle of the night and replaced her with . . . a reader. My Mom was so impressed, she went to B&N on Christmas Eve and bought the other two available books in the series. And guess what "J" got for Christmas?
I finally bought my own copy of Twilight last Spring, and brought it with me to Vienna, thinking that I'd read it while I was over here. The time finally came this weekend. I made the mistake of starting around 11PM on Saturday night. I got so into it, I was up until 3AM. So, warning number one: this book has the same effect on 44 year-old women as it does on 11 year- old girls.
The plot is simple enough: high school girl moves to a new town, meets a boy who is a little different, falls in love despite what makes him different, they struggle with what people think; then an enemy comes to town and tries to ruin everything, so we get the conflict element. Really what we have here is a sort of modern gothic romance. And I will keep it at that, except to say . . . no pun intended but it sucks you in. So don't start reading this book unless you've got time to keep reading not just Twilight but the whole series. I've already ordered the second book from Amazon.
Rating: 4.25 stars, even better than I expected. Just wish I'd thought of it myself. :-)