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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Hold of Mesmerizing Books

Last week, I was captive to Stephenie Meyer's mesmerizing YA novels, Twilight and New Moon. Now I've never been much into vampire stories or the goth scene. But after reading Twilight and New Moon, I am ready to shed my suburban threads to become a fiesty goth girl obsessed with mysterious, dark Edward Cullen. I kid you not.

Twilight and New Moon had me in a total fog. I was consumed with my fixation of Edward Cullen and wonderment on why I was so entranced by these books. Perhaps it was the continual references to Shakespeare's tragic Romeo and Juliet and the sober realization that Bella and Edward are the ultimate of star crossed lovers. Forget this balcony scene from the 1968 movie, Romeo and Juliet; if you want tragic, Bella's and Edward's love story is Tragic with a capital T.

And talk about character development. Bella and Edward are simply sublime. Who ever thought I'd be rooting to have Bella turn into a vampire just to be with Edward?

Maybe it's the lack of exciting adventure in my life, that made me want to escape into the edge of the seat adventures that were so crazily believable, I was left wanting to read more. There were no freakish "I'm scared to be in the dark by myself" moments while reading the books. Just intense interest in what was going to happen next.

And perhaps I was lured into a hopeful mindset since Bella and Edward's love story is a passionate clean romance, with no sex or foul words. I love how Stephenie Meyer's created this passionate love story especially for teens, with tantalizing sensuality and lushness, yet with no foul words or sexual behavior except for the exceptional magnetic kisses. Talk about refreshing.

I have read so many wonderful books in my lifetime. Yet, I have only a short list of memorable books that just have me mesmerized, haunting me with its story, days after reading the book. These books are not necessarily quick reads, like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. But they all contain a certain something that resonates within me, begging me to savor the words and Be In The Story. I am left heady for days, trying to recapture the feeling I had while reading the books, to put that energy into my writing.

And those talented authors who bring into existence a trilogy or series of mesmerizing books, each book a splendid, sumptuous feast for the eyes? I am in awe. Needless to say, I make it a point to reread these special books, time and time again, to study them further and discover what it is that creates that mesmerizing hold over me.

What books have claimed your absolute being?


Robin Brande said...

I felt exactly the same way about those two books when I read them last month. In a fog for sure. They were so incredibly romantic--but you're right, a clean romance--and so moody and so . . . just dreamy.

Glad to hear I'm not the only fully adult woman who reacted that way.

zee said...

I think we're all looking for that person that would die/sacrifice for us. That is what captivates the female reader in these books. This person is willing to do whateve it takes to keep her safe. And there doesn't seem to be anything about Bella that should draw him to her. She is not particularly beautiful/smart. Yet Edward continues to protect her.

AMY said...

I've already requested Twilight and New Moon from my local library. To answer your wonderfully worded question, the book that "claims my absolute being", each time I read it, is David James Duncan's The Brothers K. Writing that dances, characters that could be my own siblings, and a story both timeless and particular.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Stephenie Meyers' books are guilty pleasures for me. There are all sorts of criticisms about the books, and I think, "Yeah, I totally see your point and even agree," but still, they have gestalt. In fact, the books totally swept my gestalt off its feet.

Other books that consumed me:

The Golden Compass
The Hollow Kingdom
American Gods (& Anansi Boys)
Sea of Trolls
House of Mirth (though it depressed me)
Cold Sassy Tree

daphne grab said...

i LOVE the Stephenie meyer books too and can;t wait for the third. i agree with Alkelda- i see all the crit and how it's true, yet the stories totally captivate me.

other books that have claimed my being in the past few months:
-sonya sones books- i read all three in a weekend because i totally fell in love with them- she is amazing

HipWriterMama said...

These books were just spellbinding. I don't remember books like this when I was a teenager.

- - - -

Oh yeah, the total hero who has a bit of bad boy in him. What's not to love? Yum.

- - - -

I'm almost done with The Golden Compass. I actually started it at the same time as Twilight, but I'll give you one guess which book won.

On further reflection, I shouldn't have started reading these books at the same time. Which I continually do. The Golden Compass is riveting. And so is Twilight. But in different ways. These spellbinding books need their own special time with no other books to get in the way. Lesson learned.

- - - -

I was thinking The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky when I read your choice, The Brothers K. Upon a bit of research, I find there are some references to The Brothers Karamazov.

Oh boy, I'm intrigued. I love The Brothers Karamazov, so I took your word for this and reserved The Brothers K at the library.

- - - -

Daphne, I haven't read any of Sonya Sones' books yet. I reserved her books at the library due to your wonderful recommendation.

Jen Robinson said...

I'm totally with you about the Stephenie Meyer books, Vivian. I didn't read the first one as quickly because I listened to it on MP3. But I'll tell you, listening to the audio really pulls you in - takes the fog to an even deeper level.

Let's see... Other mesmerizing books. Pride and Prejudice is like that for me, even now, having read it 10 times. And the first Harry Potter book completely pulled me in. I'm sure that there are others, but it's late, and I can't think of which ones to name right now...

HipWriterMama said...

I never even thought about listening to Twilight... What a great idea! I think I must search for the audio version if its going to pull me in even more.

On second thought, maybe I should wait until Eclipse comes out first before I set myself up for Zombie Land.