Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, March 10, 2008

Having tasted Twilight,Stephenie Meyer's The Host becomes more inviting

This weekend,I celebrated the departure of a particularly nasty cold by finishing up Twilight,the first volume of YA author Stephenie Meyer's vampire romance saga. The torn between two worlds teen love story has been gathering a steady following not only amongst the intended targeted audience but to many adult readers as well.

As a Buffy fan,I'm no stranger to the joys of rediscovering the joys and woes of adolescence via supernatural fantasy but it did take me awhile to finally pick this book up. There have been plenty of vampire/witch/fairy themed tales aimed at the adult market with varying themes of humor and pathos blended in to occupy my time and indulge my tastes for bloodsucking bad boys. However,a few of them have become rather routine(*cough*Laurell K. Hamilton*cough*)and overly raunchy lately,so I decided to see what all of the fuss was about with Twilight.

The leading lady of this story is Isabella,aka Bella,Swan who at age 17,decides to stay with her father Charlie,a small town sheriff,while her mother settles upon where she and her new husband will be living,in their hometown of Forks,Washington.

Bella doesn't expect much from either her dad or Forks but winds up getting more than she bargained for after meeting Edward Cullen,a mysterious young man who is a member of an even more mysterious family that has settled down in the area for the last couple of years and keeps mostly to themselves.

At first,Edward seems to hate Bella on sight and she's willing to return the favor but soon enough,the attraction that both feel towards each other is too hard to resist. Bella also gets a clue that Edward is more than he seems when he is almost magically able to save her from the path of a crashing truck in the high school parking lot.

Edward eventually revels his secret;he and the Cullens are vampires who prefer not to feed on human blood. Instead,they hunt down wild animals to quench their thirst and live as peacefully as they can with humans. Sunlight doesn't harm them,it makes their skin glow upon direct contact(which is why they chose to live in the North,where there's less chance of being exposed as unnatural).

Edwards fears that his suppressed bloodlust will rise up to harm Bella but she's only afraid of not being part of his life at all. The real dangers of mixing with the vampire world come from an not totally unexpected visit from three strangers who don't share the Cullen family's philosophy regarding live and let live when it comes to humans.

Just recently on Project Runway,Michael Kors claimed that one of the outfits created for a challenge had "the mojo". Well,Stephenie Meyer certainly has her share of the word mojo and then some. From page one,you're hooked onto Bella's narrative and are willing to follow her where ever she goes. The relationship that develops between her and Edward never feels like a gothic soap opera;it is both charmingly old fashioned and bizarrely believable all at once.

A film version of Twilight is in the works,which is wisely cast with newcomers(Edward Cullen is being played by Robert Pattinson,best known as the doomed Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Kristen Stewart is Bella Swan,whose latest role was in Into The Wild)and should do very well in theaters in my humble opinion.

One of the strengths of Twilight is the sheer sincerity that comes across from the author towards the characters and the situations that they're in. Meyer treats her creations with respect. for both them and the reader,which makes getting into the story that much more enjoyable:

Another reason that I wanted to read Twilight was to see what her writing was really like before I tackled her new novel,The Host. It's a sci-fi book meant for an adult audience but no doubt her younger fans will be just as eager to get their hands on it along with the next installment of the Twilight series,Breaking Dawn(due out this August).

The Host is an Invasion of the Body Snatchers type of tale,told from the viewpoint of the alien invader who becomes more connected to her human host than it was prepared to. This fan made video does a very good job of explaining the plot and if this book does get the big screen treatment,Hollywood might want to check this clip out for a few good casting decisions:

The Host will be on sale May 6,and if you're not into vampires but want to try something new and exciting in the fantasy realm,I urge you to keep this book in mind. I plan to review The Host(and do a preview for it with my May/June book picks)this spring and it's one of the more fun challenges that I have before me.

So,yes,it's official-I am a Stephenie Meyer fan. Time to play catch-up with the other two books in the series(the copy of Twilight I read was borrowed from Booksfree and with any luck,they have New Moon and Eclipse on their lending library list)and fortunately for me,I have The Host on hand to keep me mentally sated. Funny how such an ancient topic as vampires can pump fresh blood and imaginative life for both the younger and older fans of the genre to bring them together.


Robin Brande said...

YAY! I hoped you'd like it! And you'll love The Host--I got to read an early copy, and whoo-ee!

You're right about Stephenie--she's very humble, very down-to-earth--it's great to see someone like her succeed in such a big way. It's easy to see why so many millions of girls (and women--and men?) are just ga-ga over the series. It's so scary and exciting and romantic. Sigh.

Glad you finally read it!

lady t said...

Thanks,Robin-I'm happy to join you and other Stephenie Meyer fans in the swoon and sway of these books:)