I must say that I have been a little surprised by the effect Stephanie Meyer’s books have had on my students in the past years, books I do not think I will ever have the pleasure to read. Nor movies I will happily watch. After the big wave of the Titanic that practically pierced the heart of my students, now the dark black triumphs. The idea of the macabre is the main thread around which romantic stories are developed – as easy as that. Who else is Edward Cullen if not a “vampire”? And the unbelievably beautiful “Bella Swan” if not the potential victim of an obscure sect that needs blood to survive. On the well defined path of Dracula by Bram Stocker, who had the main idea in 1897, repeated ad nauseam, it seems that the gothic novel, horror fiction, and finally the vampire literature has found a new broad audience, seen the numerous books sold by the young author who also fantasizes on how she wrote the story, “sent to her in a dream” – or some sort of…
Anyhow, Emily’s writing is excellent, her English mother and German father have made of her a perfectly bilingual student, if not trilingual, seen that she attends an Italian school. Congratulations, and let’s hope that her next reading will be of a different genre!
(c) Anny Ballardini
Twilight – Breaking Dawn (part 1)
Bella Swan, an average teenager is in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen. There is only one problem, Jacob Black, her best friend and a wolf, loves her, too. He tries to convince Bella to end the relationship as he thinks she will be in so much danger, but she knows that Edward will always protect and save her. Their love story continues and Edward decides to marry 18-year-old Bella.
Bella is driving around in her new Mercedes Guardian, an engagement present from Edward, but she feels uncomfortable because everyone in town is staring at her. She cannot wait to marry Edward but one thing is missing, Jacob. He went missing after the announcement of their engagement.
The big day has arrived. Alice and Rosalie, Edward’s sisters, are getting her ready. Her father, Charlie, leads her down the aisle and she cannot wait to say, “I do” to her future husband. Everybody congratulates the couple and there is a surprise waiting for Bella. Jacob turns up and they dance together. He teases Bella that she is not going on a “real” honeymoon. When he finds out that she is planning to sleep with Edward, he loses his temper and Edward and Seth have to restrain him. Jacob runs into the woods and Seth follows him.
The wedding ends with Bella and Edward leaving Forks, but Bella does not know where they will go on their honeymoon, as Edward wanted to surprise her. They fly to Rio de Janeiro, spending a night there and then they take a boat to go to an island.
Edward and Bella spend their honeymoon on Esme Isle, an uninhabited island off the coast off Brazil. The island was a gift from Carlisle to Esme, Edward’s parents. Their first attempt at lovemaking leaves Bella with bruises and Edward with a guilty conscience, but she keeps pressing him, so they try again. Days later, Bella realizes that she is pregnant and that her baby bump is growing at an unnatural rate. While she feels protective of whatever is growing inside her, Edward wants to get rid of “the thing.” Bella secretly calls Rosalie for help. They return home to Forks immediately.
Jacob has returned to Forks, too, and he finds out that Bella and Edward have also returned from their honeymoon, but she is sick. He believes that it is because she has become a vampire. He presses Sam, the werewolf alpha, and the werewolves to attack the Cullens. Sam resists, so Jacob goes to attack the Cullens on his own, with a special aim for Edward.
When Jacob sees Bella, he can tell that she is in great pain and is shocked when he finds out that she is pregnant. Edward has a plan; he wants to save Bella but he needs Jacob’s help. The baby is killing her, but she will not let him abort it, and Rosalie acts as her bodyguard. Edward proposes an idea to Jacob that he gives Bella what she wants in the form of a baby from Jacob. Jacob protests, but is intrigued by the idea, so he agrees to offer “his services” to Bella. Edward promises that if Bella dies, Jacob is free to kill him.
Bella’s condition is getting worse and the baby’s accelerated growth causes Bella’s bones to break, but Edward discovers that he can hear the baby’s thoughts and that it loves Bella. Bella decides to name the baby Renesmee, if it is a girl. Edward is now taken with the baby too, and Jacob feels betrayed. He still believes the baby is a monster, slowly killing Bella.
Bella gives birth, but the baby breaks more of her bones and she loses massive amounts of blood. In order to save Bella’s life, Edward changes her into a vampire. Jacob wants to kill the baby, but upon seeing the little girl’s face, he falls in love with her.
Nobody knows if Bella will wake up even though Edward bit her. Everybody is keeping their fingers crossed. Jacob and the rest of the Cullens are waiting in the living room for news. Edward is sitting next to Bella’s body. He is in tears and he just wishes he could have saved her. In that moment, Bella opens her eyes. She looks beautiful. Her skin is pale, her eyes are red and she is so strong, a perfect vampire. Edward is over the moon, they are so happy to be together and they cannot wait to see their newborn baby and to begin a new chapter of their vampire life together.
Stephenie Meyer is a young American adult fiction writer and film producer, best known for her vampire romance series ‘Twilight’. The Twilight novels have gained worldwide recognition and sold over 100 million copies, with translations into 37 different languages. Meyer was the bestselling author in 2008 and 2009 in America, having sold over 29 million books in 2008, and 26.5 million books in 2009. Twilight was the best-selling book of 2008 in US bookstores.
Meyer says that the idea for Twilight came to her in a dream on June 2, 2003. The dream was about a human girl and a vampire who was in love with her but thirsted for her blood. Based on this dream, Meyer wrote the draft of what became Chapter 13 of the book. In a matter of three months she had transformed her dream into a complete novel, though she says that she never thought of publishing Twilight. Her sister read the novel and she persuaded Meyer to send it to literary agencies.
I only started watching and reading Twilight this year and I love it so much that I have seen the films at least 6 times. It is a beautiful love story that never ends. Edward would sacrifice his life for Bella no matter what. They love each other so much that nothing can stop them, which I believe makes the story so special.
The language of the book is not too difficult but I sometimes had to look a few words up in the dictionary. I read the book in a week because I just enjoyed reading it that I found it difficult to put it down.
(c) Emily Insam