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Friday, August 28, 2009

Twilight by Stina

by Stephanie Meyer

ISBN-10: 0316015849

Twilight - the year's most recent craze that started a phenomenon sweeping the world over finally caught up with me a couple of months ago. While I'm not normally into fantasy, I am always a sucker for romance. Still, they generally lose me when things start morphing into the other side of reality and I move onto the more juicy realism of James Patterson or Kathy Reichs. But there is something about the Twilight saga that just draws you in...and it is so easy to be swept away and to lose yourself in the fantasy, the romance and the sheer magic that makes this book, and those that follow, unputdownable.

The story begins with Bella, from whose perspective the tale is written, moving to the small town of Forks in Washington State - where it is perpetually cold and rainy almost year round - to live with her father who is the local Police Chief. As a teenager she enrols in the local Forks High School where she instantly attracts male attention, most of which she's oblivious to much of the time. Forming friendships on her first day helps her to ease into the comfortable familiarity in which she loses herself.

Then she meets Edward Cullen. Something about him draws her to him and despite their first encounter in Biology class, she finds she cannot keep away from him. His indifference and rudeness does nothing to deter her, in fact she seeks him out with the intention of giving him a piece of her mind, and yet each day at every opportunity she finds herself searching the crowds for his face with the hope she'll see him once again. When she does the first thing she notices is his eyes - they are no longer the deep black they were that first day, but a pure liquid gold. So beautiful she finds herself melting in them almost losing her resolve to confront him. But then she discovers his eyes aren't the only thing different about him. When she takes her seat beside him in Biology he smiles and her heart flutters, then she almost faints when he speaks to her - when on their first encounter he almost growled at her.

She'd seen the Cullens at lunch on her first day and had noticed their exquisite beauty then, but wondered why they always sat at the far end of the cafeteria, their meals always untouched. Asking her friends about them they sniffed "Oh that's the Cullens. They don't talk to anyone". But Bella found them captivating, particularly Edward. Maybe that was why she was so taken aback by his rudeness that first day and then his turnaround a week later when he finally returned to school. She had never seen anyone so beautiful and within those first few moments of laying eyes on him she was completely captivated. Even though she thought him rude and distasteful that first day, she found she couldn't stop thinking about him. He even haunted her dreams...and continued to do so despite his hot and cold attitude toward her.

Edward was never far away - whether it be in dreams or reality. Bella is notorious for her clumsiness and aversion to trouble. So when one her classmates hits black ice in the school's parking lot and comes barrelling toward her, she doesn't have time to see her life flash before her - Edward, who had been on the other side of the lot beside his car, suddenly was at her side and the truck stops in its tracks just inches from her. Speechless she can only look at him before being carted off to hospital for a check-up. It was then she knew that Edward was different, though in what way she didn't know. She just knew there was something about him...and she was determined to find out. All Edward would tell her was that their being friends was not a good idea, which she found utterly confusing. One minute he said they couldn't be friends and the next he couldn't keep away from her. And his eyes always had that deep searching look as if he were trying to peer into her soul and tell her something that words could not convey. And despite the confusion she felt whenever she was around him, she also found him captivating as well as confusing - and even when he wasn't there he dominated her thoughts and she found she couldn't stop thinking about him.

There were other boys in Bella's life, most of whom vied for her attention and/or affections. A day at the beach brought Jacob to her and they became best friends. It was this visit with Jacob that brought up legends and myths which began to piece together for her the puzzle that was Edward. Upon returning home, she googled what Jacob had told her for further information, puzzling over what she discovered. It wasn't until she found herself in a potentially dangerous situation one night, when Edward appeared out of nowhere in his high-speed Volvo to come to her rescue, that the pieces suddenly fell into place. She wasn't afraid, though he didn't understand why because he thought himself extremely dangerous company for her to keep. Yet if he was so dangerous why is it he was always there? Because he found he couldn't keep away from her, he told her. And because of her perpetual clumsiness she always needed rescuing from whatever situation she found herself in - something which he joked was becoming a full-time occupation for him.

It was this encounter that was the turning point in their relationship. Bella gained a new understanding of the boy who captivated her every waking moment and haunted her every dream, and Edward gave into emotion to "break all the rules". He no longer cared because he could not live without Bella nor she without him.

Edward brought her into his world and she found herself learning about each of the Cullens and what brought them here - and how. Alice and Esme welcomed her with open arms as did Carlisle and Emmett. Jasper, though a little hesitant, followed suit. Only Rosalie sniffed and refused to accept her, claiming "she" was a danger to them now being privy to their secret. But this did not deter Edward nor Bella. Nothing could keep them apart for they were two halves of the same soul. In Edward Bella found herself, and in Bella Edward finally found his reason for being.

But their relationship is not welcomed by all with Jacob's father continually frowned on their "fraternisation", his words conveying veiled warnings whenever they spoke. He even dupes Jacob into paying Bella a visit at her Prom with a final warning, which isn't delivered with the fervour in which it is meant, and Jake laughs it off. They share a dance together before Edward cuts back in and they lose themselves together in each other's arms once again. Edward dazzles Bella in every way that she dreams about being with him forever. He says "I will stay with you - isn't that enough?" She says "I love you more than anything else in the world combined - isn't that enough?" to which he responds, "Yes it is enough - enough for forever."

However Edward blames himself when Bella is inadvertently placed in danger when three Nomads cross their paths one night. One of them takes in her scent and sets his sights on her and Edward immediately reads the danger and breaks up the gathering. A plan is set in motion to move Bella out of harm's way, with Jasper and Alice accompanying her to safety while Edward seeks out the danger in the hope he will stop it. But their plans are thwarted and Bella is lured into danger, where she faces death and the realisation she may never see Edward again. Can Edward save her in time?

© Christina aka Stina
28th August, 2009

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