I've looked over the hundreds of emails for days now. I passed the entries around the office, mulled over the question myelf, and thought about whether or not I should purchase myself a shiny silver Volvo. There were a few entries that made me laugh and many more that made me think. A few brave folks even went to bat for Team Jacob. After much deliberation I've decided to leave it in the hands of the fans. After all, this series is all about the fans, right?
For the record, I appreciate those of you who didn't want to talk spoilers ... but I've read all the books. And Midnight Sun. So in future Twilight contests feel free to spoil away! I also gave a bit of extra credit to anyone who pointed out Jacob's terrible behavior in Eclispe. Coercing someone into kissing you by threatening death? C'mon, that's not love.
Lastly, thanks to everyone who participated. Entries poured in from all over the globe, and we have a few international entries represented here. Many of you out there are gifted writers, and everyone was extremely polite. I wish I had thousands of prizes to give out!
Here are the finalists... from one to ten. Vote in the poll at the bottom, voting ends Tuesday at Noon, PST. The top three will get something but only the the top vote getter will get the grand prize of:
Twilight Illustrated Movie Companion Book
Full Size One-Sheet Poster
Movie Soundtrack (Which we talked about here)
Comic-Con Limited Edition Set of Four Trading Cards
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart autographed press notes! (warning: they traveled around with me all day, so I don't think you can sell them on Ebay or anything).
Entry One -- from Nicole
Edward Cullen is capable of lifting cars with ease, yet he treats Bella with a baby's touch. His internal struggles with love and blood lust are admirable; surely kissing what could easily be your prey isn't an easy task. Safe. All Edward wishes is for Bella to be safe, even when it means torturing himself by leaving in an attempt to keep Bella safe from what he was, is and always will be. Edward Cullen is so selfless I sometimes question his value for self-preservation. However it is the only thing that he believes makes him to some degree, worthy of Bella's affection. Edward may be a god in every way but it is often he, whom worships Bella. With loyalty, patience, sacrifice-of-every-kind and…love.
Entry Two -- from Stephanie
There are many reasons why Edward is the better choice for Bella. I could go on and on about how magnificently beautiful and perfect Edward is, but the truth of the matter is he's flawed, yet is still the better choice for Bella. The difference is that Edward KNOWS he is flawed, whereas Jacob doesn't. Jacob, when it comes down to it, is too forward and, for lack of a better word, perverted at times. He forced Bella to kiss him in Eclipse and felt her up, even threatening to kill himself if she didn't make out with him. That is SICK. The most important reason Edward is better for Bella is, simply, that he was willing to leave her in order to save her. Edward tried to leave her because he felt he was a danger to her, and he DID leave her in New Moon. He loved her enough to let her go. He sacrificed the ONLY thing that made his life worth living, just to keep her safe. Jacob, on the other hand, could've hurt her just as badly, if not worse, as Sam Uley hurt Leah when he imprinted. Jacob, however, even with this knowledge, did nothing to prevent the same thing from happening to Bella. He was selfish. While Jacob is selfish, Edward is selfless. While Jacob endangers Bella, Edward keeps her safe. And most significantly, while Bella loves both Jacob AND Edward, she loves Edward MORE. It's as simple as that.
Entry Three -- from Louise
Edward will always be a better choice for Bella than Jacob because Bella doesn't need a stinky werewolf in her life, she needs a beautiful vampire who's saving her life by only existing. A vampire who makes her life better for every second. Edward will always love Bella unconditionally. No matter what happens, nothing can ever separate the two of them. Nothing is stronger than their love for each other.
Entry Four -- from Kim
What's best for you isn't always what you want, but that is not true in the case of Bella and Edward. Edward is the best choice for Bella because he has her best interests at heart, he puts her needs before his own, and he respects her. Many Team Jacob fans use the reason that Edward abandoned Bella as an argument for why Jacob is better than Edward, but this is not a valid reason because Edward cared enough about Bella's safety to leave her, even though it caused his excruciating pain. In Twilight, Edward says, "If leaving is the right thing to do, then I'll hurt myself to keep from hurting you, to keep you safe" and Bella's response is, "And you don't think I would do the same?" Therefore, meaning that in some part of her heart, Bella understood why Edward did what he did because she would have done the same. Edward puts Bella's desires (when they aren't life-endangering) ahead of his own and trusted her judgment enough to respect her decision to visit La Push and hang out with Jacob. As opposed to Jacob, Edward has never forced himself upon Bella or manipulated her with guilt. It was infuriating that Jacob would threaten to go and get himself killed because Bella did not want to kiss him/be with him. Most importantly, Edward is better than Jacob because Bella chose to be with him. The heart wants what it wants and Bella's heart wants Edward.
Entry Five -- from Nita
It has been said that "When you are in Love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams." (Dr. Seuss). Nothing represents this concept more that Bella's love for Edward. Edward has always been there; rocking her back to sleep, singing to her when she wants to be hushed to sleep. Edwards love for Bella is grander than any other love in the world. That is because, it’s forbidden. Everything about their love is secret, and deliciously forbidden. Edward is a better choice, nay, necessity than Jacob because Jacob manipulates Bella. If he truly loved her, he would want her to make her own choices, pick him because she loves him. Not complicate things, and make her feel bad for it in the end. Basically, all I’m trying to say is that Edward was born to love Bella, and vice versa. They’re like two pieces that fit together perfectly, and need each other like the flowers need the sun, water, and love.
Entry Six -- from Danae
Edward is the obvious choice for Bella. With Bella's hatred for shopping Jacob would be all wrong. Since he's a young werewolf he hasn't exactly gotten his temper undercontrol. This causes a lot of torn clothing. That means that Bella would have to take Jacob shopping quite a bit.
Entry Seven -- from Anna
Where do I begin? I have always been a fan of Vampires from Dracula to Polidori's Count Ruthven. For starters Bella loved Edward first and love at first sight is in keeping with the Romeo and Juliet theme. Edward has chaste restraint while Jacob is a borderline rapist. Honestly, he almost sexually assaults Bella on several occasions. Edward has overcome his primal desire to drain Bella's delicious Freesia flavoured blood which is a large self sacrifice (for a vampire).They are both suicidal in their attachment to one another and would literally fade away and die if separated. Edward cannot read her mind and this complements their relationship quite nicely because it keeps things interesting between them. Edward is fiercely possessive and also a stalker which serves Bella well since she can barely take a step without breaking a bone and she smells very tasty to many vampires. His family adores her with the exception of Rosalie and five out of six is pretty decent. The Volturi know about her now so there is no turning back. Edward is a fantastic classically trained musician who reads real literature. The life experience of a 100+ plus year old boyfriend is quite alluring.
Entry Eight -- from Allison
Edward is the only choice for Bella because we have seen the pain being apart places on both of them, and I know how hard it is to live through that kind of pain. If one has never truly experienced heartache, than you can't explain what the pain is like. It is not a metaphor, your chest hurts. If you can find someone to hold you and wish all the pain away, someone that lets you breathe easy, someone who lets you be you no matter what... How can you not stay with them forever? Once you have experienced that pain, you do need a good drug, and why not let that drug be love?
Entry Nine -- from Jenny
Edward will always be a better choice for Bella because he shouldn’t be a choice at all. He is good-looking, powerful, and undead; he should never love a plain, clumsy, and human girl. But he does, and therein lies the reason why he will always be the better choice for Bella. Some of the greatest love stories are built upon this concept of love between individuals of unequal wealth, looks, talent, or social status—think Jane Eyre, Cinderella, Pretty in Pink, or Can’t Hardly Wait. The love between such seemingly mismatched couples is enhanced by the willingness of one person to overlook inequalities. Edward did this! He could have chosen a powerful, stunning vampire for his mate, but he chose Bella, instead. This sort of “sacrificial love” is further enhanced by the fact that Bella’s presence causes Edward great physical and emotional pain. And yet he is willing to endure that pain out of love for her. Jacob loves Bella easily and without pain; his love does not require such sacrifice. I‘m a firm believer in that old saying: no pain, no gain.
Entry Ten -- from Samantha
Jacob Black, (despite what he might think) does not care enough about Bella to really deserve her. He is so blinded by his desire, that whatever good or genuine intentions he may have had towards her, have warped into something almost malicious. I believe that as much as thinks he really loves Bella, he really just wants to keep her from Edward. It may be some subconscious form of avenging her. He is also selfish in his "love". Whereas Edward truly would back down should Bella choose Jacob, but Jacob (as he has proven throughout the series) would keep trying to win her over. He would refuse her rejection and persist, even at the expense of her happiness. Edward also works hard to keep his end of the rivalry civil, and almost polite to avoid hurting Bella. Again, Jacob does whatever he can to try to drive a wedge between the pair, stooping so low as to demand she kiss him. Knowing of Edward's ability, he deliberately directs painful thoughts Edward's way. The wolf shows no hesitation when it comes to playing dirty. In the end....or even in the middle I guess, Edward is just so much better for Bella.