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Archive for August, 2008

The latest book by Stephenie Meyer is out, complete with midnight release parties at Barnes and Noble and Borders. Having just come out of the cave of writing a dissertation, I am immersing myself in the latest in adolescent literature.

The first of the four books in the vampire love series is “Twilight“. The plots are compelling and move forward at a quick pace, making it a “quick read”, perhaps part of its appeal. But more so, there must be something deeper luring in so many readers. All four books quickly made the bestseller list.

As a reader, I find myself stepping into the text (to borrow from Judith Langer) and completely immersed the entire time–there is very little “stepping out” to analyze. Maybe it’s identifying with the themes that transcend the typical adolescent-centered novel with its focus on “human” topics and a focus on the mystique of the supernatural. I still can’t quite put my finger on the massive appeal.

So….as a researcher it would be an interesting research study to examine teenage fans’ intertextual and multimedia extensions of the text into the online domain. For example, how are teens discussing the book online, such as here? What are the demographics of its readership? How does this genre differ from traditional adolescent horror/romance?

I remember reading all of Lois Duncan’s novels, which interestingly mix horror and romance, most notably in the made-into-movie I Know What you Did Last Summer. Meyer doesn’t dwell in the gore or horror and Bella seems to have a post-feminisit cast to her–she’s self-aware yet she is vulnerable to her romantic attatchments to Edward.That bothers me a little. She sinks into a deep despair when Edward abandons her in New Moon. Is that necessarily an example of coping with loss that young girls should follow?

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