Lately, I've not been able to pull myself out of books long enough to post anything, and it apparently hasn't gone unnoticed. So, I'll let you into my little world as of late.
As few may know, my silent pleasure is a monthly book club I enjoy with a handful of girlfriends. Ever since I was a kid, the only child in a single-parent home, I've enriched my mind with tale after tale, textbooks and guides, and enough Nancy Drew to create a CSI, only to entertain myself when companionship was unavailable. As an adult, I've valued the variety my book club has challenged me with....long, confusing midevil novels...crushing love stories....adversity....but this month was different. This month's book took me to an entirely new level of books that I'd never known. Sure, I've laughed, cried, shuddered, and had moments of reflection with many of the books I've enjoyed in my life, but never so deeply within my being as this.
My Buffy loving friend, Stephenie, picked "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer - a young adult novel about a girl strangely drawn by her heart to a mysterious classmate she can't describe. This highschool Junior finds herself falling madly in love with the most dangerous suitor....a vampire. Becoming closer and closer to him, Bella endangers her own existence as her handsome Edwards fights his natural urges to taste that which makes her human...her warm, sweet blood.
Of course, I can't write a teaser like that you'd find inside the jacket cover, but what's most intriguing is the way it comes alive all around you. I began the 500 page book last Saturday, unable to put it down as Jay napped for 4 hours. The way she described touch was none like I've ever read. As a very tactile person, I relished in the ability to feel the stone cold skin on Edwards face, felt leaves on my skin, I could sense the pounding force against my rib cage as Bella's heart raced. I found my world altered and I couldn't put it down. By Sunday night I'd feverishly devoured every last word, and was thirsting for more. I didn't sleep that night, as my brain ran wildly with anticipation of what would happen next in the series.
I thought I'd remembered my friend saying it was part of a series, so I dashed off to the computer frantically to find out. To my surprise, 2 more books were available with the final book due in August of this year, so I searched which stores carried both that I could obtain fastest. By lunch on Monday, I had torn through the local Borders Store and rushed to the cashier with my prize in hand. I returned to work with enough time to read a chapter of "New Moon" before my lunch break was over. I sped home at the end of the day, yearning to rejoin my new friends in their world. I read and read, I giggled and gasped, as book two continued to fuel my obsession. In parts of pain, I found myself sobbing almost uncontrollably, feeling their loss and agony. Poor Jay had to deal with the "I could never live without you" speech that night, and it took everything in me not to call my parents professing my love and admiration for them, too. By Tuesday night, I had eaten yet another full plate of my vampire love story, but still wasn't full.
In some effort to maintain any level of self control, I banned myself from book 3 "Eclipse" until the weekend. By Thursday afternoon, I couldn't help but open to the first chapter. I had cleaned the house and prepared dinner in an attempt to keep myself occupied until Jay got home, but worked just a little too quickly - allowing myself 2 hours of reading before he arrived. This book, this story, and these characters have been all-consuming. The way Stephenie Meyer has written them is simply captivating like nothing I have ever read. I've never felt my emotions parallel with that in a book before. There were different chapters along the way that actually elevated my heart rate....and I am not saying just a beat or two more a minute....I'm talking over 150 bpm without any exaggeration!
Between Thursday and today, I have forced myself to read slower in some attempt to prolong my existence in their world, a way to make the wait for the final book shorter. I tried to taste every meal (not the blood), to feel the rain on my skin, hear the wind as it coursed through my empty living room. I digested every last word so not to miss an ounce of foreshadowing or emotion. Then, as Jay quietly slept beside me today, I turned the last page and silently laid it beside me. Satisfied, joyful, and content, with a strangely peaceful resolve to wait anxiously for the rest of the tale. Part of me wishes it were already out, but I know what a joy it will be this summer to pick it up and come back to this story I've loved so much.
I know I said it was a young adult novel, but it's worth every moment. As an adult, I feel like I better understand the emotions and the thoughts the characters portray, having experienced pain and love like they were going through. I was a pretty late bloomer in life, so I honestly don't think I would have truly invited it into the greatest depths of my being as I had. Everyone in my book club has expressed similar passion for it....we've even picked up 3 new members last week ...all of who were currently reading one of the books, or had just finished all 3 themselves. Honestly, check it out. Read the teasers. Take your allowance to the local bookstore and join the obsession. You'll not regret it.