UPDATE, 12/19, 8a: I’m feeling better about my Twilight addiction all the time. Per People, December 17:
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I just read the first book, it’s ridiculous, it’s like crack cocaine. I read it for 10 hours straight until I finished it,” [Rosario] Dawson, who will appear in Parts Per Billion with Twilight’s vampire heartthrob Robert Pattinson, told People….
“I actually made a vow to myself not to buy the second, third and fourth book until Thursday, because that’s when I’ll be done with all this press, and I’ll be able to read over Christmas vacation.”
But, she adds, the addiction will cut into some quality family time. “My dad is going to hate me, because I spend zero time with him, reading these books,” she said….

[HT: proofreader Laura Loo]
UPDATE, 12/18, 9:30a: I just finished book 4! Whew! I’m free!
I quit reading fiction several years ago because I can’t put books down once I start. One can get away with reading several hours at a time when one is young, but not when one acquires a family, job, etc.
I previously blogged I saw the movie Twilight with daughter Daena a couple weeks ago. Here’s the trailer…

Then I did something I hadn’t done in a long time. I bought the book. The problem is the book is actually a series of 4 books. So you’ll note my blogging has been down the last week or so. That’s why. I finished book 3 last night.
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Friend Scott forwarded me several articles on the Twilight series. New to the obsession, I was unaware there were others like me. The books are categorized for young adults. Sheesh, what an embarrassment. But I read at Salon.com there are “Twilight moms,” so I feel a tad better.
Warning, plot spoilers ahead.
Here’s the plot, per Salon:

The series’ heroine, Bella Swan, a 16-year-old with divorced parents, goes to live with her father in the small town of Forks, WA (a real place, and now a destination for fans).

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At school, she observes four members of a fabulously good-looking and wealthy but standoffish family, the Cullens; later she finds herself seated next to Edward Cullen in biology lab and is rendered nearly speechless by his spectacular beauty. At first, he appears to loathe her, but after a protracted period of bewilderment and dithering she discovers the truth. Edward and his clan are vampires who have committed themselves to sparing human life; they call themselves “vegetarians.” The scent of Bella’s blood is excruciatingly appetizing to Edward, testing his ethical limits and eventually his emotional ones, too.
The pair fall in love, and the three books detail the ups and downs of this interspecies romance, which is complicated by Bella’s friendship with Jacob Black, a member of a pack of Native American werewolves who are the sworn enemies of all vampires.

Sounds bizarre, but the books are actually romance novels. And I’ve been trying to figure out the allure. Salon nailed part of it:

But Bella is not really the point of the Twilight series; she’s more of a place holder than a character. She is purposely made as featureless and ordinary as possible in order to render her a vacant, flexible skin into which the reader can insert herself and thereby vicariously enjoy Edward’s chilly charms….

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The characters, such as they are, are stripped down to a minimum, lacking the texture and idiosyncrasies of actual people. What this sloughing off permits is the return, again and again, to the delight of marveling at Edward’s beauty, being cherished in his impermeable arms, thrilling to his caresses and, above all, hearing him profess, over and over, his absolute, unfailing, exclusive, eternal and worshipful adoration….
The “underdog strange girl” who gets plucked from obscurity by “the best guy in school” is the 21st century’s version of the humble governess who captures the heart of the lord of the manor. The chief point of this story is that the couple aren’t equals, that his love rescues her from herself by elevating her to a class she could not otherwise join….

But the other component I think makes the series so attractive is the loyalty and indulgence of the Cullens family to Bella.
To skirt on the edge of blasphemy, with vampirism aside, I think Edward represents the yearning in every woman’s heart for the knight in shining armor that is only satisfied in the person of Jesus. Read the nonfiction book Captivated. And the yearning for the perfect adoring loyal family we all have will also only be completely satisfied only in heaven.
Another interesting storyline is there’s no sex until after marriage. Bella wants to, Edward refuses. This is often attributed to Edward’s fear he will lose control and physically hurt or kill Bella. But there’s another reason given in book 3. Edward was born during virtuous times in the early 1900s, and he maintains those sexual standards 100 years later. “[T]his is the one area in which I’m just as spotless as you are.” Edward says. “Can’t I leave one rule unbroken?”
And in a feminist way Edward identifies the “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” phenomenon. He wants to marry Bella, but Bella is afraid:

“So that’s it. You won’t sleep with me until we’re married.”…
“[Y]es, you’ve got it right.”
“I think you have an ulterior motive.”
His eyes widened innocently. “Another one?”
“You know this will speed things up,” I accused.
He tried not to smile. “There is only one thing I want to speed up, and the rest can wait forever… but for that, it’s true, your impatient human hormones are most powerful ally at this point.”

Leave it to me to find scriptural and pro-life angles in a vampire book. Can’t wait to finish book for and get back to normal, whatever that is.

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