A Twilight Obsession

Lauren, the “younger teen”

2 days, 10 hours, 26 minutes, and 34 seconds until the day we’ve all been waiting for for…. or at least all the teenage girls crazed for Twilight… the premiere of the Twilight movie. The movie based on the first book in the Twilight saga opens on Friday. Most of the girls at my school are talking about it, at dance its pretty much all we talk about, the girls at dance say the girls at their schools can’t stop talking about it, and my one dance teacher, who’s in college, is just as excited as the 13 & 14-year-old girls. So I think it’s fair to say that just about every middle and high school girl is talking about it. One of my friends is even going to the midnight showing (which I am dying to go to, but my mom won’t let me) and going to school that morning. In the car to dance we exchange fun Twilight saying such as some (oh my Edward) and OCD (obsessive Cullen disorder), and there’s a ton more.

I’m guessing the obsession doesn’t stop in New Jersey since the 4 books are the top 4 young adult books in the country. So, Rach did you read them & are you obsessed, “Dad” are you daughters excited, too?

Brad, the “dad”

“Your daughters,” my mother-in-law once told me, “are built contrariwise.” I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes I think they go against the grain because they are strong, courageous and of an independent mind by their very nature. Other times I think they do it just to mess with me. I’m leaning towards the latter when it comes to Twilight. The Valkyrie read the first and didn’t much care for it – “too emo,” she said, “too whiney.” But that didn’t keep her from buying the next two books anyway. I’m not sure the Elf, at fourteen, got more than fifty pages into the first book before she made a disgusted (and slightly disgusting) sound and tossed it into the “ready for book sale” pile. Now, with all the fuss about the movie being made in the media, she openly snarls every time we pass a Twilight billboard. This makes for a great deal of snarling.

In one way, I’m rather relieved. The Elf had a minor flirtation with the whole “goth” thing a year or so ago, and it’s good to see she quickly grew bored with the notion, though she continues to suck up Lia Block and Rob Thurman urban fantasies with disturbing regularity. Lily, in college, now pretends to be a bit ‘above it all,’ but I know she’ll be second in line when the new Harry Potter hits early next summer. So resistant? Perhaps. Immune? Not so much.

Me? I’ll probably skip it until NetFlix. But it’s good to see that they don’t automatically get swept up in every “gotta have it” marketing wave that comes by. On the other hand, when the newest video game drops, SOMEbody in this house is going to be pleading with me until I crack like an egg. So maybe I should think of it not so much as a victory over mass marketing as merely a postponement.

Meanwhile, Rach – let me know how it is!

Rach, the “older teen”

I worked as a camp counselor this summer. The kids I had to deal with were a bunch of 13 and 14-year-old girls. And they worshiped it. I had never even heard of the books until the girls coerced me into reading the first one. I read two pages and realized that it’s more suited to younger teens. Or girls who are more, uh, influenced by sappy romance novels. So, no, I have not read them (besides the first two pages). And no, I will not be seeing the movie.

Book wise, the last Harry Potter ended my childhood reading tastes. I read all the books, I’ve seen the movies. On my 11th birthday, I waited for my letter. And now, I wait for the last two movies (or three, if they split the seventh one). I know that when the last one comes out, it will be a very bittersweet day. It will mark the end of a long and awesome series.

If I was still 13 and going through my goth stage once again (you couldn’t pay me to do that again), I can imagine myself pouring over the Twilight books. So, I have nothing against the books. In fact, I like when teens read, it takes them away from the television for while.

Mary, the “mom”

Wow! I guess I am a really immature 40-something. My daughter told me I might be interested in reading these books. I wasn’t all that excited about it but I figured “anything to improve communication”. And, somewhat to my surprise, I really enjoyed them. I had the same approach with Harry Potter way back when. These books may be in the Young Adult section, but I think they’re well written and very engaging. And, I’m not alone. Many of the moms I know are reading and enjoying these books right along with their daughters. I’ve also seen moms featured in the news sporting t-shirts and other symbols of their obsession with it. I’m definitely not going there. But, I do enjoy the books.

I think it’s great that these young teens are obsessed with books instead of some pop star, although I guess the obsession is with the characters and is being transferred to the actors,, hey, at least they’re reading!

And, by the way, none of the girls I know who are obsessed with this series are the least bit “goth”. I think it really has a much broader appeal, but maybe I’m just a sappy romantic.