It’s hard to let go of the Boy Who Lived and the seven books that told his wonderful, adventurous and magical tale. And while most of us are devastated by the fact that the release of the sixth Harry Potter movie has been postponed to summer 2009, there are some who’ve been waiting for Twilight to hit the big screens in November this year. Stephenie Meyer’s fantasy romance fiction for young adults is all the rage among Delhi’s teen readers and if you’re wondering who Meyer is and what Twilight is about, you’re just in time to catch on to one of the most popular teenage reading trends that hit the Capital this year.
Published in 2005, Twilight is the first book of Meyer’s series that introduces 17-year-old Isabella “Bella” Swan who finds her life in danger when she falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen. Although Meyer’s prose leaves much to be desired, with everyone being “special” or “scintillating”, what has caught the imagination of most young female readers is essentially the love story of Bella and er, the “incandescent” vampire.
There are four books in the series and the last, Breaking Dawn, hit stores on August 14 and has arguably been the single most anticipated young adult novel this year. “Meyer has positioned the series for the teenage girl, a step above the Meg Cabot reader. The recent phenomenon of monster mythology has been combined well with love to target the young adult girl. Also, there is a method in the storytelling as is evident in the last page where Meyer lists out the bloodlines or generations of vampires,” says Swati Roy of popular bookstore Eureka at Alakananda. Roy had over 30 pre-sale bookings but sold more from the walk-ins. Oxford Bookstore too, has a special display for the Twilight series and a trip to the store will confirm how popular Meyer is.
Bestselling chick-lit author Advaita Kala chanced upon the book when a Canadian intern in her office raved about it. “I think these books are an international rage because of the allure of the vampire in the western world. When I was in college in the US, we had a huge wave of vampire movies, Anne Rice books and just Goth in general,” says Kala. “Meyer’s style is easy to read and descriptive without being too verbose. For its intended audience it has the right blend of language and brevity,” she adds.
Across schools and even colleges in the city, Meyer has slowly but steadily gained brownie points. “I am a huge Potter fan but that is more of an adventure book. The Twilight series is a supernatural romance drama and at the same time, the lead couple are exercising restraint and that adds to the passion in the book,” says Neha Malhotra, a Class 12 student at Army Public School, Noida. It’s true, the first two books seem calculatedly chaste, while in the third, titled Eclipse, Bella wants to become a vampire and is engaged to Edward, who does not want to consummate their love before marriage. And if your interest is piqued and you want to find out what happens next, get your copy of Breaking Dawn.