I never understood the Harry Potter phenomenon. I tried to read the books. I curled up on the couch with my hot tea and my cozy blanket, all ready to leave the Muggle world and emerge myself in the mystical. The Harry Potter series had been around for a few years, but I was still a Potter Virgin. I hadn't had the time to read them, but when I did, I just knew I would love them.
I didn't. I hated them. I made it halfway through the first book, skipped to the second, was bored stiff, and then just gave up.
After that, I tried watching the movies. I listened to critics on television discuss the amazing story lines, the breathtaking special effects. I was certain that, regardless of my feelings for the books, I would enjoy the movies.
I didn't. I hated them. I watched the first one, tried to watch the second, and never even finished it.
When I tell people this, they have been known to wonder aloud about what may be wrong with me. Apparently, I am lacking some important Harry Potter gene. Don't get me wrong, I think J.K. Rowling is probably one of the most creative novelists of our time, but I just don't like the material. I could care less about some stupid school of wizardry. The characters annoy me, and Harry is the biggest dork ever, but not in a way that makes me love him. More in a way that makes me want to kick his ass.
With this said, despite my disgust with wizardry, there is something in the supernatural genre that I adore, love, and cherish. Vampires. Yes, that's right. Vampires.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved vampires. I find them to be about the most fascinating creatures in the literary world. I've read dozens of books and articles and essays on Vlad the Impaler, taken an entire semester on Bram Stoker, and spent endless hours perusing vampire material both in the library and on the Web. I know all the legends and stories, the superstitions and curses. I know how you're supposed to find them, lure them, and kill them. I am a connoisseur of vampires.
In case you are curious, I do not believe vampires actually exist, nor do I believe that I am one. I saw a documentary on vampires once and learned that there are actually thousands of people in America alone who believe that they are the undead. They sleep in coffins, drink blood, stay out of the sunshine-- you know, the whole vampire kit and caboodle. I don't do any of those things. (Well, except stay out of the sunshine. But that is less because I am afraid of turning to ashes and more because I am of Irish descent and get burned very easily.) I am just terribly interested in the macabre, and specifically, vampires.
Imagine my delight when I heard that there was a new series of vampire books by a previously unknown author named Stephenie Meyer. These books, The Twilight Series, are geared towards the Young Adults of the world, but have become wildly popular with all age groups. It took me a while to get around to reading them (vampire obsession aside, I do have two babies to raise) but now I have been SUCKED IN (no pun intended). Even with my extremely limited recreational reading time, I read TWILIGHT in two evenings. Although it reads quickly, it is not a small book--about 500 pages. As soon as I completed the last page, I immediately began reading its sequel, NEW MOON. I had to drag myself away from NEW MOON last night around 1am so that I could get some sleep and be ready to deal with my children this morning.
It's not often that I get to wallow in my weirdness, but Meyer's novels have provided me the catalyst to do just that. I can celebrate my love of the undead without even standing out in a crowd--it seems like everyone is reading the Twilight series these days, and they are found in every bookstore and superstore. So for all you vampire lovers in the world, go out and pick up TWILIGHT. Curl up with your red wine and your turtlenecks (just in case) and enjoy. Who knows when another good vampire series might come around.