‘New Moon’ a worthy chapter in my ‘Twilight’-obsessed drooling

So after devouring all four books in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series two summers ago and having quite the Edward Cullen-obsessed weekend this time last year, I figured “New Moon” would produce plenty more for me to gawk and cry and pant over this year. Yeah, and I was totally right. Because though I still pledge my loyalty to Edward for all his awkward, well-meaning devotion to Bella, Jacob Black? Dude stepped up to the plate. And became really, really ridiculously good looking.

No one needs a summary of the film, so I’ll skip all that nonsense and get to the good stuff: “New Moon” was well acted, gorgeous to watch and, most importantly, way more entertaining than the actual novel! Of all the book in the series, New Moon was the most painful for me to get through . . . maybe because I’ve had my heart broken, too, but probably more because it was droning and long. I felt your pain, Bella, for reals, but at some point you have to pick yourself up, stop diving off cliffs and just get on with your life.

But the Bella in this “New Moon”? Sassier. Still codependent and clearly unhealthily obsessed with Edward, for sure, but just . . . better. Kristen Stewart didn’t irk my last nerve nearly the way she did in “Twilight,” when I’d just about wanted to pop out of my seat in the theater and punch her rapidly blinking, constantly stuttering face.

I was sincerely worried that the lack of Edward in the movie would leave me bored to tears, because that’s just about what happened while reading the book. Every few pages or so, I’d start skimming frantically ahead to see when our undead lover boy was going to emerge on the scene — or if he was going to come back. Because as much as Bella loved and missed him, desperately wanted to see him? I was just as anxious — and couldn’t take much more of her misery or toying with Jake’s emotions.

My sister, Mom and I went to the 9:45 a.m. showing at our local theater — a time I thought (very, very naively) would be deserted. I mean, who goes to the movies before 10 a.m. on a weekend? Why do they even have movies before 10 a.m. on a weekend? Well, we showed up twenty minutes before the film started and still scrambled to find seats. Make a note on your mental scorecard ’cause it doesn’t happen often, but I was wrong.

Plenty of husbands, fathers and boyfriends were around, and let me say this: are you ladies feeling all right? The very last place I would want my significant other to hang out with me is at movie where Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner remain shirtless for extended periods of time! Grown women in our theater gasped when Taylor first stripped off his T-shirt. Adult women. And how am I supposed to enjoy all the delicious eye candy while holding some other guy’s hand, his eyes analyzing mine to see if I’m really buying into all this romantic stuff (hint: I am)? Dude, you’re no Edward. Just go home and watch a football game or something. I don’t need your constant sarcastic comments in my ear, totally ruining my serious reverie and reminding me that the likelihood I’ll meet someone as kind, perfect, intelligent and devoted to me as one of these fictional characters is, um, zero.

(Rants like this might be why I’m single, I should note. Or maybe it’s just because the tools I’ve dated in the past just don’t know a good thing when they hear her talking about Twilight. Hard to say, hard to say . . . Wait, it’s the latter.)

So all in all, “New Moon” was an epic win in my book! Plenty of action, suspense, romantic tension, family dynamics, cool scenery, bad guys (and girls), scenes in the Italian countryside . . . fantastic. My only gripe? The whole experience has left me with a serious tender spot for one Jacob Black, a character I’d never really paid any mind in the past. I’m still on Team Edward, but I can’t promise my alliance won’t shift if more images like the one above keep infiltrating my computer. And, you know, Jacob’s not all brooding and stalkery — unlike my boy Edward. Though I’ll keep running with the vampires . . . for now.

Edward Cullen reaches out to me. And you.

Edward Cullen reaches out to you

Edward Cullen reaches out to you

How many times did I watch “Twilight” on DVD this weekend? One. I know — I’m proud of me, too! And so is my Edward Cullen action figure!

It was about to be a big ol’ zero on the viewing schedule until I convinced my sister to sit down with me around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night. We’d spent a long few hours working on her internship applications and, considering I’d actually been in possession of the movie for more than 12 hours at that point, I was getting antsy. After all the e-mails were sent out and Kate’s future was yet to be decided (don’t worry, baby sis, they’re going to love you!), we got our golden retriever to settle down long enough to enjoy a little “Twilight” goodness.

Now, I’ll be honest here. I’m a huge fan of the franchise, have read all the books obsessively and gotten my fan-girl bit on, hosted the Breaking Dawn event out at our bookstore (with more than 500 screaming girls — oh, yeah!) and have all sorts of merchandise. You know, definitely obsessive-like. As soon as the DVD date was announced, I hastily scribbled it all down in my little pocket calendar and waited and waited.

And then I finally saw it again — this weekend, after my one brief, but wonderful viewing in November.

And I laughed. A lot.

edward_classDon’t get me wrong — I really enjoyed it. I was entertained. But  the facial expressions — especially Edward/Rob Pattinson’s “OMG what is that smell?!” face when Bella first walks into his science class! I was cracking up. I mean, he was physically repulsed — and if a guy pulled a face like that after I’d tactfully taken a seat next to him on my first day at a new school, I’d look over and punch him in the arm. Or the nose.

So I still loved the movie, but it was just campy. That’s the best word I can use to describe the whole thing. I was so caught up in not physically gasping in the theater the first time I saw it, I overlooked many facets of the movie that would . . . well . . . make me cringe under any other circumstances. Just melodrama and angst. And make-up — so much make-up!

twilight_dvd_coverSo I ask myself again, What is the appeal of the books/characters/films for me? The love story? The teenage angst? I’m almost 24, so I don’t think it’s fair that I should still identify heavily with teenage love stories. But I do. Oh, I do! It’s fun and ridiculous and just awesome. I have an English Lit degree and can sit there and chat Shakespeare and Austen with the best of ’em, but that didn’t quell any desire to rub my hands together in unabashed excitement when the opening credits of the film began to roll. I freaking love “Twilight”! (And I am, in fact, listening to the soundtrack on my iPod as I type this.)

And since I’m discussing this now, I might as well go ahead and share some links to the epic time-sucks that keep me from, you know, editing a novel or querying my books or eating dinner or something. I’ve been laughing out loud — and probably embarrassing myself — while reading the endlessly hilarious quips and adventures of the ladies at Letters to Twilight and Letters to Rob. But I’m going to go back to very seriously not doing constant Google Image Searches on Rob Pattinson. No. I won’t.

Edward the ‘ming’ reader

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It takes a pretty great boyfriend to willingly purchase an Edward Cullen action figure for his girlfriend — and hey, I found that one guy! Despite the fact that the back of the box proclaims Edward to be a “ming” reader (does Corporate America have spellcheck?!), Edward will have a place of honor on my desk. With my Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger action figures. Yeah, I have a totally mature, sophisticated desk!

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Easily distracted

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I’m going to have to change my desktop picture — I feel as though I’m not getting anything done! And when I take pictures of pictures of pictures of my desktop, I’m not sure I’m really contributing much to society, either . . .

Twilight weekend wrap-up

I know, I know. write meg! is quickly turning into some sort of makeshift homage to all things Twilight lately! Please just humor me a little bit longer — I can’t get all the madness out of my head!

Yes, I had to stop in front of Hot Topic. Notice the Cullen crest on the left, too?

Yes, I had to stop in front of Hot Topic. Notice the Cullen crest on the left, too?

My sister and I went to see the movie Saturday morning, as planned — and I absolutely loved it! It was pretty much everything I was hoping for, and I didn’t feel disappointed at all concerning the way things played out. Interestingly enough, Bella and Charlie’s house looked just as I expected it would — and so did the Cullen homestead. And so on, and so forth. I thought the imagery was pretty dead-on, and it “evoked” all of the feelings I’d hoped it would. Rob Pattinson was indeed an excellent choice to play Edward! And though Kristen Stewart was a bit of a surprisingly casting choice for me, I thought she was a great Bella. Overall, excellent! Loved the music, too. I downloaded the soundtrack and have it on replay on my iPod. At least I can remember the film fondly when I’m stuck at my desk!

Concerning the classic “does the film do justice to the book” argument, I thought it closely followed the novel. Out of necessity a few things had to be changed around — placed in a different, but still logical, order — and I know a certain scene was added to help move the plot forward. But none of these switches bothered me at all. It was all pretty much just as I pictured it would be!

And it had a prom scene. Yes, this makes my inner 13-year-old squeal with glee!

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went out in celebration of our second anniversary and made a few stops along the way at Arundel Mills. Like this location in FYE, where Edward just, um, happened to be standing?

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And I couldn’t walk by the poster without posing again:

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And I’m very excited to hear the book and film’s sequel, New Moon, will have its own film in the future! I guess after raking in $70.6 million in three days, the company isn’t too afraid to shell out the dough for a follow-up. Loving it!

Musing Mondays: OMG Twilight!

musing_mondays This week’s Musing Mondays question from its new home at Just One More Page:

How do you feel about wide-spread reading phenomenons — Harry Potter, for instance, or the more current Twilight Saga? Are these books so widely read for a reason, or merely fads or crazes? Do you feel compelled to read — or NOT to read — these books because everyone else is?

Well, how incredibly topical is this?! Especially since I’m still riding ridiculously high from my Twilight-filled weekend (much more to come on that later, either to your joy or dismay).

I’ll be the first one to tell you I don’t usually jump in with the hype. Even when practically everyone I knew was reading the Harry Potter series — including my dad and sister — I stubbornly refused to read them, even though I never stopped hearing good things about them. My only rationale was that I didn’t “like” that type of book, and I thought, stupidly, they were just for children. I actually read the entire series last summer — books one through seven, all in a row — beginning around April and ending last September, after Deathly Hallows came out. I initially started reading them as we were gearing up for the midnight release party of book seven last July at my bookstore job; I wanted to be excited like everyone else was. And once I started reading them, pushing straight through, I loved it. I felt silly that I’d put it off for so long.

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The same is (mostly) true of Twilight — I’d heard customers buzzing about the series randomly over the past few years, but never paid much attention. I don’t typically read anything with a science fiction / fantasy / mystery slant, and all anyone had to do was say the word “vampire” and I was out. But as we got ready for the midnight release of Breaking Dawn in August — and I found myself as mistress of ceremonies once again — I wanted to be excited about the release and be able to discuss the books with customers. So I bought Twilight around June, hunkered down with all three books and read and read and read. Then, of course, I got to wait around for the fourth and final book with everyone else — although I waited considerably less time. And I loooooved them (OMG EDWARD CULLEN! lol lol), despite the fact that I wasn’t necessarily in the targeted “age bracket” anymore. (And for the record, I have several good friends in their forties and fifties who have read and adored the series, too!)

To some extent, I guess these books are “fads” — just in the way that popular things can only stay popular for so long. I don’t believe the Twilight Saga has the staying power that the Harry Potter franchise does, mostly because Twilighters are a certain demographic (women) and Harry Potter appeals more to both genders. Plus, they’re just much better written with much more dynamic, interesting plots (sorry, Stephenie Meyer). But Twilight had a dramatic pull for me — something absolutely compelled me to read like the wind, dying to figure out the fate of, basically, two star-crossed lovers. There’s an emotional element to them that surprised me. I know many people don’t agree, but that’s what’s great about art — we all draw from it what we want to draw. And though the books can only fly off the shelves for so long before something new breaks in and draws the attention away, readers will continue to discover these book series long after we’ve stopped hearing about them daily.

Books, books, books — a meme

Q. Which books do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

For a while, the Harry Potter series would be at the top of this list — for some reason, I just really, really refused to get into them. But I’ve come around since then. Now, I would say any sort of graphic novel, though I did let my boyfriend talk me into reading Maus — and yes, I liked it.

Q. If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

To humor my inner 14-year-old, I’ll definitely have to say we’re heading off for an evening dinner on a gorgeous yacht — and I’ve gotta have Edward Cullen from Twilight on my arm! This is assuming I’m 17 — and not 23 — again. Because I guess we would look sort of awkward together. I’ll bring along Jennifer Weiner’s Cannie Shapiro from Good in Bed and Certain Girls to share girl-talk with Edward is getting me a sparkling beverage, and Cornelia Brown from Love Walked In and Belong to Me can come hang out with us after Edward retreats for the evening so we can relive every precious detail of his unexpected, romantic wedding proposal.

Q. You are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

I’ll gnab For Whom The Bell Tolls by Hemingway. Haven’t ever even tried it, but my sister groans at the mere mention of the novel.

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