Somehow, the literary phenomenon had escaped me. Much like Pinkberry or Kelis’ “Milkshake” song, “Twilight” managed to capture the hearts and minds of millions while I was obliviously living a life without it. Then in January I interviewed Miss Kristen Stewart at Sundance as part of my job, and much like any day at the “office,” we discussed upcoming projects she was excited about. MTV News ran a brief item on her remarks, and it broke the Movies Blog record for reader comments!
That night, I found myself in a Barnes & Noble, determined to track down this girly novel that Kristen had spoken so highly of, and a few thousand of her soon-to-be-closest friends seemed to equally adore. A half-hour went by as I stumbled from the “Fiction” section to “Fantasy,” from “Romance” to “Sci-Fi,” looking under the T’s for “Twilight” and the M’s for Stephenie Meyer. Being a guy, I’d be damned if I was going to ask for help from some dude in a green apron.
My cell phone rang, and the wife asked what I was doing. I had enough time to explain that B&N must not carry this obscure book, when I suddenly came around the corner to a wall of black covers with hands holding an apple, staring back at me. It was surrounded by books aimed towards tween girls. Above the shelving read the words “Young Adult.”
One side of my brain yelled, “That’s the book!” while the other screamed, “You’re a 33-year-old man in the YA section! You look like Michael Jackson! Grab the book and get outta there!”
As I cracked the novel that evening, my shame turned to shock. I was digging the book – a lot – and found myself immersed in Bella’s Forks experience. It was unlike any vampire story I’d ever read and was refreshing in its determination not to fall into the stereotypical traps of teen romance. “Twilight” was completely unlike the work of my favorite authors (Vonnegut, Bukowski, Palahniuk), yet Meyer’s prose was similarly filled with a clarity of vision, cleverness and knack for dark humor.
Now I’ve read all three books, visited the set to make sure Catherine Hardwicke is on the right path (she is), and love talking “Twilight” with all the fans who visit MTV.com and the Movies Blog regularly. Mike Welch stopped by the studio Tuesday, and he was cooler than the other side of the pillow. A Twilight Mom who knows I have a baby on the way even sent me a plaque that reads “Twilight Dad,” which hangs in my office with great pride. Thanks, Julie!
I am a male Twilighter. I am the creepy old adult who hangs around the Young Adult section. I re-make the book cover in my spare time (see photo). And like so many others, I look forward to someday remembering where I was the first time I ever got to see “Twilight” the movie.