August 26, 2007

Vampire romance novels

Lust for lifeSomewhere inside the adult female reader lurks a 12-year-old girl breathless at the idea of romance and mystified by the rules of sexual engagement, the one who (in my case) stayed up three nights straight devouring "Gone With the Wind." Although Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series of vampire romance novels is aimed at young adults ages 12 and up, I'm certain there are a lot of older women reading them too.The Indian connection:It's churlish to complain about clunky plotting and a tendency to throw in any idea that occurred to the author when she can make a reader's heart race so effectively. "New Moon," which is the second in the series, is the least satisfying, but, as with the Harry Potter books, having favorites doesn't mean you can skip the lesser installments. There is humor--the most feared gang of vampire enforcers is based in Italy (there's a vampire Mafia!), prompting one vampire to say, ominously, "No one wants a visit from Italy." And what would a romance be without another boy, a dark one to offer counterpoint to the golden one? Bella discovers the truth about her boyfriend's monstrous nature from her childhood friend, Jacob, the son of a local Indian tribe whose legends cast its members as wolfish protectors against vampires. Jacob offers the possibility of normal human life for Bella, although as a part-time werewolf who bursts out of his clothing when he loses his temper, his claim to human normalcy is tenuous. Bella's struggle to choose between Edward and Jacob all comes to a head in "Eclipse."

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