Somehow I didn't really hear about the popularity of this series until recently. The third book, Eclipse, just came out and suddenly my curiosity was piqued and I decided to check them out. All I knew was that it was some kind of young adult vampire romance, and given my penchant for fantasy and Buffy and teen stuff, the only thing surprising was how long it took me to get turned onto it all.
Warning: There are spoilers below!
So I've read the first two in the series: Twilight and New Moon. And you know, I really understand why it's so popular. It's more Anne Rice than Buffy in terms of tone, but the books are really well paced and actually just really exciting, definitely page-turners. Meyer has created a lot of her own mythologies, not following a lot of the conventional vampire things that people are used to, which makes it interesting. And she's has really set herself up to have plenty more stories to tell. I just finished New Moon today, and I'm now dying to read Eclipse...I might have to hole up in the bookstore this weekend to start it.
But you know, oddly enough, even though the series is billed as a vampire love saga, I'm still not really sure about Bella and Edward. Now I'm a big time shipper...I even ship minor background couples. But something about Bella and Edward just doesn't click with me. Maybe I'm just not romantic enough or something? I mean, okay, I can kind of see it from Edward's side, as he has some extra senses that have drawn Bella to him. But on Bella's side...don't get me wrong, obviously I love my intense, brooding romantic heroes, but I just don't see what it is about Edward that makes Bella so willing, no, insistent that she wants to be made into a vampire so she can be with him FOREVER. Like immortal forever. As the series progresses, that desire becomes a bit more reasonable I suppose, but by the end of the first book, I just didn't understand how she could possibly want that life for herself with absolutely no reservations. And honestly, this is as much a problem with Bella as it is with Edward. I've been known to have trouble relating to female lead characters, but I really really do not get Bella at all. I know she's not supposed to be a normal teenager but yeah, I don't know. I think her character really needs some more development.
Anyway, in light of all that, I was actually pretty pleasantly surprised to see that the second book, New Moon, wasn't much about Bella and Edward at all. Edward doesn't appear until nearly the very end, as the book focuses on Bella's relationship with someone else: Jacob. I don't really know what the general consensus is out there among fans, but I really like Jacob. I definitely like him more than Edward. Forgive me for making this really bad comparison, but I kind of feel like this little love triangle is like that terrible movie Here on Earth with Leelee Sobieski and Chris Klein and Josh Hartnett. During the whole movie, I knew that I was supposed to want Leelee Sobieski with Chris Klein, that Josh Hartnett didn't have a chance at all, but instead I just couldn't stop feeling sorry for Josh Hartnett and was wishing that he would somehow get the girl in the end. It didn't happen. I feel pretty much the same here. I don't see how Bella could possibly end up with Jacob over Edward, but I still find myself wanting that anyway.
Although, Meyer has definitely set up Jacob to be Edward's rival. They're natural enemies, with Edward as a vampire and Jacob as a werewolf. Edward is literally cold to the touch, while Jacob's blood runs hotter than humans. And while Edward and Bella definitely have some kind of supernatural connection, Jacob and Bella's relationship grew more naturally. I don't know. I feel like Jacob has some sort of tragic death or something coming his way and that makes me a bit sad...
But definitely go read this series. And tell if I'm crazy in not liking Edward all that much...