I like Twilight. So sue me.

Two summers ago, I happened upon a novel. Whisperings of this novel had reached me through the Internet, and I was curious. These whisperings put this novel on par with Harry Potter – I immediately considered them blasphemous. I purchased the book on a whim at my local Borders to see what these rumors were talking about. The book was a thick paperback entitled Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.

I think I read it in a day.

Now, I don’t think I have to tell you what this book was about. But, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, I’ll humor you. This book is about vampires. Specifically, a vampire named Edward. He’s gorgeous, says all the right things, and generally makes me want to puke. It’s also about a really naïve high school girl named Bella who falls in love with Edward. I usually want to punch Bella in the face. Oh, and the series goes on to include werewolves, and one very sexy one named Jacob. (For the record, I am, and always was, Team Jacob.)

Despite these criticisms to the main characters, within two weeks, I had devoured the remaining three books in the series, entitled New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.

I told my roommate (at the time) and best friend, Hilary, about this book. Hilary didn’t read Harry Potter. Hilary likes Quentin Tarantino films and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Hilary generally doesn’t like things like Twilight. She laughed at me as I obsessed over my “young adult fiction novels” and when I tried to get her to read Twilight, she laughed even harder. She’s too cool for me. Turns out, what Hilary generally doesn’t like, she actually doesn’t like.

Well, after reading Breaking Dawn, I was really mad at Stephanie Meyer. (I won’t spoil the ending for you, in case you ever make it that far in the book/film quartet.) And though I had plans to see Twilight (the film) at midnight on opening night, it never happened. My sister, who read and enjoyed all the books after I recommended them (unlike Hilary), said the film wasn’t very good. So I never saw it.

Until one day, I was at Meijer (huge grocery store in Michigan), and they were showing the film, promoting the DVD’s sale. I immediately wanted to see it. So Hilary and I borrowed the DVD from a friend and spent a night in, eating Hot Tamales and ice cream and laughing at what a horrible actor Kristen Stewart (as Bella) is.

The thing is, despite all the laughing and criticizing and hating of the main characters, I loved the film. Who the hell knows why.

Since I’m spending a year abroad, I made Hilary promise not to see New Moon, the second film, without me (it hit theaters in November 2009). Insisting she would have no desire to see it without me, she dutifully waited one month for my return over Christmas break to see it. Our other best friend, Amy, came along, though she had never read the books or seen the first film, (I whispered the storyline to her throughout).

Though we were not the only people in the theater, we laughed obnoxiously the entire time, especially when Robert Pattinson, wind blowing back his vampire hair, sauntered on-screen to epic rock music and when Kristen Stewart was spectacularly bad (which was often).

After that, I bought the first film on DVD and have watched it many times since returning to Europe. Its entertainment at it’s finest, people. And this is not even getting into the insane media frenzy that revolves around the three lead actors, (Are Kristen and Rob dating?!; the whole Taylor/Taylor thing; will any of the films include a cross-species threesome?! – oh, wait, I think I just made that one up.).

I like Twilight. So sue me. (But don’t call me a Twihard.)

Have you ever read any of the Twilight books? Seen the films? What do you think about it all?


Are the “Classics” Called Classics for a Reason?

When I was back in Michigan over Christmas break, I hung out a lot with my friend, Andrew. He’s one of the most interesting people I know and our conversation always flows easily. Well-read and intelligent, there is a lot that I can learn from him.

In high school, we took the same “British Literature” class. Back in the day, reading the assigned literature and paying attention in class wasn’t exactly my forte. During one of our hangouts, Andrew asked me if I remembered reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Of course I didn’t. When I went home that night, I was surprised to find it still sitting in my meager book collection, lining my bookcase, collecting dust.

So I brought the book back to Europe with me. This past week, while riding the train to Budapest, I started it. Remember when reading “The Classics” in school was a chore, and a collective groan went through the entire room when mentioned? No more! I am pleasantly surprised with how much I’m enjoying it. Now, I’m not a very fast reader, but I’m getting through this novel rather quickly, and I want to know how it ends (I usually get bored in the middle of novels, such as The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which I have yet to finish).

This book is making me rethink the classics. Beyond Pride and Prejudice, which I read because I saw the most recent film adaptation, I haven’t given them a chance. Perhaps this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

What other “classics” out there are a must read? Let me know in the comments.