Ok. I’m a lit-fic chick. Love it.

twilightminicoverYears ago, I devoured everything from Danielle Steele to Wilbur Smith and Bryce Courtney. But for many, many years, I’ve had mostly lit-fic curled up with me on the sofa or the bed or in GJ’s coffee shop at Indro (where they know me by name, coffee size and sugar preference – that’s raw, if you please) and think Tim Winton to be the greatest writer of all time (ok, maybe that’s not exactly true but the sentiment says a lot about just how much I admire the man). With that said, it’s a strange turn of events to be writing my first book blog about a book that’s about as far from what I would normaly read as one can get. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Earlier this year, someone in the industry said to me,

You have to read Twilight, it’s just so damn good.’

And I replied,

See, I just don’t do vampires. Not interested.

She nodded. Smiled. Said no more.

It’s perhaps one of those “see something five times and you’ll buy it” things. But whatever the reason, a week ago I knew I wanted to read it. I saw it on the bookstore shelf. I bought it. I read it. In one day. I’m so glad I did.

Sure it’s a vampire story. Sure it’s about young adults. Sure it’s romance. But…

I wanted to believe every word of it. The pace of the writing, the development of character and the central tensions created by the attraction between a human and a vampire, drew me into the experience of being so totally connected to another being, that nothing else mattered. I remembered what it was like to love that badly. 

Yesterday I spoke to a young woman who thought the romance was just a little too ’emo’. A bit over the top to be falling that badly over someone. I’m the nearly forty something writer (offering a quick disclaimer about my usual reading habits) saying,

No, surely a part of you wants to love that bad. Or at least dream it’s possible?

There’s a lot of literary hoopla swaggered back and forth about the virtues of lit-fic vs popular fiction, and I think sometimes the distinction is made to generally between genres rather than between books that serve their genres well. A great lit-fic is divine. So, too, is a great popular fiction.  Books of every genre have to bring their readers into the heart of their worlds in a way that makes it impossible to say, ‘I don’t believe’. That’s what we want, us readers. To believe.

  Tim Winton makes me believe in solitude and grief and nature. David Sedaris makes me believe in, well, preposterously funny situations. Stephanie Meyer makes me believe it is possible to love that badly, that desperately. She makes me believe in vampires.

Passion and lust and hunger are terrifying human emotions. It’s easy to think we can live rational, safe and sensible lives. She makes me believe we can’t.

She made me buy the next book in the series.


6 Responses to “Twilight”

  1. Now, you’ve made me want to read it, Belinda – when I’d decided, because of all the hoopla, not to succumb!

  2. btw, I’ve just subscribed your blog up to mine via that up that Google reader – it’s so easy.

  3. I’m going to have to give it a go, Belinda. based on your recommendation. We seem to love the same books. I’m reluctant, though. Are you sure it’s that good?? Maybe I can borrow your copy and, if I love it, go and buy my own?!

  4. belindajeffrey Says:

    You’d be welcome to borrow my copy. I can drop it around to you sometime. It’s certainly not a read ‘for the love of words’ but for the love of a good, tense love story. That’s what won me over.

  5. Heya – Anthony bought Twilight out of curiosity… I got to it before him and devoured it in less than a day. He went out and bought the rest, and I spent the rest of the weekend sick in bed reading! I loved it too!!

  6. I loved the series and could put them down. The love story is so intoxicating. I even had a tear in my eye at the end 🙂

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