Archive for September 1st, 2007

Twilight Series

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

I should first warn you that this title is in the young adult (YA) genre. I have actually found a lot of really great fiction by venturing into the YA section of the bookstore; The House of the Scorpion and the His Dark Materials Trilogy to name a couple. It is ironic that this isn’t the way I discovered Twilight by Stephenie Meyers. On one of our (many) stops at the local Barnes and Noble, I was perusing the fiction/literature aisles and a striking black cover with a bright red apple caught my eye. The cover indicated it was a vampire story. It was also the only one of its kind on that shelf and I was actually in the “B” section, so although it was apparent that it was in the wrong aisle, at that point I had no idea it was indeed a YA book. Being that the story is told first person by a 17 year old girl I quickly suspected its YA roots, but I ended up really enjoying the story. I have subsequently read the next two in the series (Eclipse was just released in August 2007). This series lacks the adult themes and undertones that weave themselves throughout Harry Potter, His Dark Materials and the like, and because of this it is definitely a lighter read. The Twilight series is a little like a low calorie yet indulgent dessert; you know there isn’t a lot of nutritional value there, but that doesn’t stop you from getting seconds! I probably would have loved this series if I were a young adult too. It’s a sweet (and clean – the author is Mormon) Romeo and Juliet style love story with a supernatural twist. The only real theme I can decipher is if you love something let it go. Noble, but lacking depth. If you are in the mood for a sweet, fast read, I would recommend picking this one up.

Thoughts on The Deathly Hallows (spoiler alert!)

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

If you haven’t read Harry Potter yet, stop reading this entry, go to amazon.com, and buy book 1. How JK Rowling created the world of Harry Potter I will never understand, but I am grateful she did! The series is a must read, but I had a few thoughts on book 7. Overall, it was a good end to a fantastic series. I am almost hesitant to say anything negative about it, but one section of the book didn’t resonate well with me. Near the end, where Harry realizes his fate and walks to face his death, I was getting prepared to dig out the tissues, and almost did, until Harry wakes up in some strange form of purgatory, at which point my reaction was closer to “huh?”. That scene didn’t fit. It felt contrived and squeezed into the story. A more natural ending to me would have been for Harry to sacrifice himself, and the audience left to hope that the rest of the HP crew can finish Voldemort off without Harry. That would have been a more adult ending, frustrating and tough to swallow, but closer to being “right”. Harry ultimately living to finish off Voldemort and raise a nice neat little family with Ginny seemed to me the rated G ending, the version that would satiate Rowling’s young readers with a happily ever after ending. I have to admit, normally I am the first person to appreciate a Disney ending, but for some reason it just didn’t sit right this time. A tragic ending would have been deeply moving, and somehow more poetic than the ending we got. JKR – I don’t know if the editors got to the story, or if this was the ending you had intended all along, and ultimately I suppose it doesn’t matter. I still enjoyed every rich chapter of every sizable tome, and would and perhaps will read them all again some day.