Revisiting Twilight

MY TWILIGHT READING GUIDE

twilight newmoon eclipse breaking dawn

January 3, 2009

What? Another Twilight post? You might be asking. I know. I’m obsessed. I’d like to apologize. But I won’t. I think I need to find myself a Twilight book club. :)

I said that I was going to re-read Eclipse after reading Breaking Dawn. But after I finished the whole Twilight Series, I thought I’d start at the very beginning, Twilight, the first book in the series. This is actually my third time reading Twilight. ‘Cause you see, I read Twilight, then New Moon, and I wanted so much to read the next book which is Eclipse, but it has not been released in paperback yet. I thought that maybe since Twilight the movie was going to be released in the theatres soon and since it would be Christmas soon, maybe Eclipse would be released in paperback at the same time as Twilight the movie or maybe in time for Christmas. So I thought I’d wait and in the meantime I re-read Twilight and New Moon while waiting. But the movie was released and I watched it and no Eclipse in paperback yet, so I went ahead and bought the hard cover. No regrets though. 25% off, by the way, at HMV. I also bought Breaking Dawn, 40% off at Superstore. But so much for the long introduction. :)

After reading the whole Twilight series, it’s nice to go back to how it all started. It gives you a whole new perspective, a different experience, because now you know how the seemingly trivial things will play a big part later on. And you pay attention to the little hints that the author will throw here and there.

To those who haven’t heard about Twilight, or maybe have heard about all the hype but wondering what the story is really all about, here’s the scoop. There’s this 17-year old girl Bella who moves in with his dad in the cloudy town of Forks. She meets and falls in love with this inhumanly beautiful 17-year old boy who turns out to be a vampire. This Adonis-like boy is Edward Cullen and his family is different from the other vampires because they are “vegetarians.” They don’t drink human blood, only animal blood. It was a choice they made because they don’t want to be monsters. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t get to lust for human blood. They abstain but it takes a lot of self-control. Especially on Edward’s part because Bella’s smell is so appealling to him. Bella is like his brand of heroin. But he falls in love with Bella, too and he has to control himself everytime he’s around her, so as not to kill her.

I think one of the reasons why readers love Twilight is because it is told in the first person, in Bella’s point of view. It’s a hit to teen-agers and young adults because it tells about Bella’s experience of first love. She describes the feelings and emotions very vividly. And since it’s told in the first person, it’s a very honest narrative. I am in my forties and I love it, too. Because I find it exciting to go back to the memories of that first love, the unfamiliar feelings, the tingling sensation of just thinking about him and missing him when you don’t see him for even one day, the electricity that you feel in his closeness and the excitement of that first kiss.

In the book, Bella is described as the one who took care of her mother before she re-married. And when Bella comes to live with her dad, she’s also taking care of him, doing groceries, cooking for him and doing laundry. That’s why I was kind of disappointed that in the movie, they were seen eating in the diner a lot. This would also probably appease (or maybe not) the Twilighters (Twilight fans) who hate Bella for being so needy. As I was explaining in a previous post, she probably got tired of looking after someone, that when she met Edward who likes taking care of her, she seemed “too needy” for the attention of a man. But she’s capable of fending for herself. On page 475, she said, “I can’t take care of them forever. I have my own life to live.”

Spoilers Alert:

Here are just some of the hints that I mentioned earlier:

(Page 14) I stuffed everything in my bag, slung the strap over my shoulder, and sucked in a huge breath. I can do this, I lied to myself feebly. No one was going to bite me. I finally exhaled and stepped out of the truck.

Bite me – in reference to vampires who bite their victims. There were a few of references in Twilight where Edward would put his face in the hollow of Bella’s throat. It was just all for suspense. Because Edward never really bit Bella. Even when he finally changed her in Breaking Dawn, the final book.

(Page 100) “I smelled the blood,” I said, wrinkling my nose. Lee wasn’t sick from watching other people, like me.
“People can’t smell blood,” he contradicted.
“Well, I can — that’s what makes me sick. It smells like rust . . . and salt.”

I found it interesting that for a non-vampire, Bella was sensitive to the smell of blood. It was a hint that she would become a vampire. This was also another thing that was lacking in the movie. I think that chapter when Bella fainted from the smell of blood should have been included.

In the Chapter titled Phenomenon, Edward saved Bella from Tyler’s van that lost control in the icy parking lot of the school. This is when Bella realized that Edward could move really fast and had extraordinary strength.

In the book, Bella didn’t meet Jacob Black until the sixth chapter, Scary Stories. It was from Jacob’s story that Bella heard about the cold ones, the blood drinkers, the vampires. And after searching on the internet about vampires, she put the pieces together and suspected that Edward was a vampire. In her research, she came across the Danag, a Filipino vampire who sucked her own wound when she cut her finger, enjoyed the taste and drained her body completely of blood. The Danag was also mentioned in Breaking Dawn.

Bella had a nightmare after that day at the beach, when Edward turned into a vampire with fangs, and Jacob turned into a werewolf. That was a hint. But I was still surprised to learn that Jacob can turn into a werewolf when I read New Moon. I was glad that I haven’t read any spoilers about that.

After Edward saved Bella from the group of men in Port Angeles, she found out that he could read minds and when she told him about her theory that Edward was a vampire, he didn’t deny it.

(Page 304) “I’m new at this; you’re resurrecting the human in me, and everything feels stronger because it’s fresh.”

Edward was Bella’s first love and Bella was also Edward’s first. When Bella got curious if vampires ‘do it’ and she asked Edward if he was attracted to her in ‘that’ way at all, he said, “I may not be a human, but I am a man.”

Edward told Bella that it would be impossible for them to ‘do it’ because she was so fragile as compared to him and he was so incredibly strong that he could lose control and crush her just like that. But they tried to ‘do it’ in Breaking Dawn before he changed her.

(Page 473) “I’ll be the first to admit that I have no experience with relationships,” I said. “But it just seems logical … a man and a woman have to be somewhat equal … as in, one of them can’t always be swooping in and saving the other one. They have to save each other equally.”

So you see, she didn’t really like the idea that it was always Edward who was doing all the saving. She wanted to be equal with him. This is what she told him when he wanted to know why she wanted to be a vampire. To be equal with him, and also to be with him forever.

There’s also a few references to twilight in the book. It was twilight when Bella was walking in the forest when she realized that Edward was a vampire. It was twilight when Edward was explaining to Bella how it is the safest time of day for them and also the saddest.

And it was twilight when the book ended.

“Twilight, again,” he murmured. “Another ending. No matter how perfect the day is, it always has to end.”

“So ready for this to be the end,” he murmured, almost to himself, “for this to be the twilight of your life, though your life has barely started. You’re ready to give up everything.”

“It’s not the end, it’s the beginning,” I disagreed under my breath.

“I brought you to the prom,” he said slowly, finally answering my question, “because I don’t want you to miss anything. I don’t want my presence to take anything away from you, if I can help it. I want you to be human… “

And that is why Edward didn’t want to change Bella. Change meaning to turn her into a vampire.

MY TWILIGHT READING GUIDE

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