Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stupid, Shiny Book I Can't Finish

So, it might be of note to admit to everyone that I am from Forks. A town that, until recently, was entirely unknown to everyone but loggers and hippies. A town now made famous by a woman who had never set foot on the Olympic Peninsula, but who wanted to write a book about vampires and werewolves traipsing around the darkest, rainiest and gloomiest corner of the United States.  And now here we are.
Twilight is everywhere. Twilight has entirely changed the face of my town. And, I hate to admit it, has kept businesses open and brought a boost to an economy that has long been struggling. Twilight may well be keeping our town alive during this recession. So, I hate to admit it...and I also hate jumping on bandwagons. I resist fads and frenzies and going with the flow. Up until a month ago, I would never have dreamed of actually reading Twilight. I would much rather remain ignorant and decipher what I could from the endless lines of giggling tweens and giddy twenty, thirty and forty-somethings who flock into our town by the hundreds, no thousands, every long weekend or chance they get to ooh and aah over the now condemned, original brick facade of the Forks High School, take their photo in front of the Welcome to Forks sign (no joke, the city paid to build stairs leading up to it) and take the black Twilight tour bus to La Push so they can collect sand. My husband counted (I never realized his attention to detail until this) 34 days in a row of driving into town and seeing at least one car parked on the side of the road next to the Forks sign. Incredible.
That being said - I opened Twilight for the first time about two months ago. I do realize and appreciate the pull of the teen fiction. Hey - I LOVE Harry Potter. I resisted that bandwagon too - for about 3 years. When I finally read the first one, I couldn't put it down. Every time the new one was set to come out, I geared up one to two months before by re-reading the entire series in preparation. I even stood in line at midnight at the Haagen supermarket, eight and a half months pregnant to buy the third Harry Potter book. I totally understand.
So - two months later, I am still halfway through Twilight. Part of me feels like I am just naturally prone to resisting something that has impacted my small town life this much. I could be purposely forcing myself to not be interested just to remain against the flow. I am well aware of this. But I truly just can't hang with the whole vampire thing. Or the werewolf thing either. I mean come on now. (Please disregard that I LOVE Harry Potter and I totally wish I could go to Hogwarts.)
I guess my only favorite part (line) so far (I do plan to force myself to finish) is "Stupid, shiny Volvo owner". (Yes, I saw the bumper sticker, too.) One, because I own a Volvo and it is SO not shiny. Two, because I like to mentally play with whether she meant that the Volvo was shiny and the owner was stupid or the owner of the Volvo was stupid and shiny. Especially when you find out that Edward is sparkly... sparkly, shiny.... pretty close right?
She also did a great job of depicting (at least, so far in my mind) the infatuation, young love phenomenon that most of us experienced when we were in middle school and high school. Remember when we realized that girls and boys were different and shortly after our hormones kicked in? How many of us did NOT write 'I heart so and so' fifty million times on our notebooks in shadowed, shiny bubble letters, only to have to scribble it out a month later when we had a new person to heart? Don't tell me you didn't.
Infatuation is a crazy thing, and reading what I have of Twilight has brought back to memory those feelings that I had about the boys I thought hung the moon. But so far, that is all I see. And I can't yet bring myself to be infatuated with the story. As I wade through the remaining chapters, I will keep you posted. Maybe it'll click. Maybe I'll quit picturing a shiny Volvo owner and get involved. Until then, think about it. Stupid? Shiny?

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