Breaking Dawn: From the eyes of a 30 something year old dad

breaking_dawn_cover_by_tranquilitysurreilFinally got to read Breaking Dawn. Here’s my three sentence review.

Starts slow. Waxes triumphant. Ends with a fizzle (kind of).

Yep. That’s about it. There are times in the book when I thought: This is the best book I have ever read. There are others when I thought, “That’s it?”

It doesn’t take anything away from what the book series really is, though…one of the most haunting yet addicting stories ever written.  As I was finishing the book, I started asking myself, what is it about this book, written for a supposed teenage girl audience, that enraptures a 30 something year old dad?

And when it all comes down to it, for me, I think it’s the contradictions of love.  Every guy wants that Bella, that girl who completes us, and yet, we’re vampires (or wolves) underneath the skin, struggling with the fight inside of us to no to ruin what we have. We’re constantly in a fight against who we are and who we want to be. When the Indie Girl and I got married, we used to laugh at people who were engaged who thought that being married would be like one long date.  Yeah, life happens, it gets complicated, and can be frustrating. But, I think that Twilight shows a life obtainable…a relationship that can really be happy. One that I am constantly working towards, despite the “monster” I can be.

Then again…it could just be that the idea of being a super strong vampire who lives forever and pretty much has all the money he could ever want is just REALLY cool. So, who knows.

Two More Notes before I close this (Spoilers):

1. At some point when you’re reading this book, and you read about the vivid romantic exploits  of a newly married couple on their honeymoon, you start wondering…”Wait, how many 12 year old girls did I see in line to buy this book in August, again?”  Yeah, the themes are too mature for pre-teen girls, I think. Book one was very easily pre-teen chick lit. But book 4? definitely aged at least 10 years. Which brought up another question in my mind: As an author, at what point do you decide to write for your audience and write in spite of your audience?

2. ***SPOILER**** I have to say that I was disappointed in the ending. I expected a fight. I really thought we’d see the Volturri taken down, and, a la another very popular book series, we’d see at least a few characters sacrificed. But in the end, it just fizzles. No one dies. The Cullens and the Volturri make amends and part their separate ways. At one point, I started thinking that Edward was the tragic character…that in the end, Bella would die, and he would be left with  Renesme as the memory of a love that was perfect…a love that could never be.

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Twilight Music

twilight_200806041504Anyone who has read the Twilight Book series by Stephenie Meyer knows that a major part of each book is the soundtracks Stephenie listens to while writing (Muse usually gets top billing). I have to admit, it’s been one of the draws of the books because the power of the music is written into each agonizing experience and woven into the haunting tapestries of the book series. If you’re like me, you may have been anticipating the soundtrack as much, if not more, than you anticipated the movie. Well, since I’m planning on taking the Indie Girl to see the movie for her birthday this week, I thought I’d get into the Twilight mood and listen to the soundtrack….and after a first glimpse, I have to admit, it’s not as powerful or even “twilight-worthy” as I was expecting.

First of all, letting Perry Farrell headline any soundtrack is probably a bad idea. But at least that song has the same feel of the songs listed in the books. But the rest of the CD isn’t all that spectacular, and I’m disappointed. It sounds more power punk than haunting. And where it diverges, it’s odd. Robert “Edward Cullen” Pattinson is trying to break into music now? And I never imagined Iron and Wine a goth-type outfit.

The only Muse appearance is Supermassive Blackhole, which isn’t as powerful as most of their toons. Come on guys, can’t you write a new song for the girl who has single-handedly converted a whole new market of raving pre-teen girls to the Muse nation? (Ok, maybe I answered my own question there)

I will admit, the high point is The Black Ghosts’ “Full Moon”. Fantastic piece.

But other pieces by Linkin Park, Mutemath, and Collective Soul (really, they’re still around?!) are more of the same, and don’t do anything for me.  I also don’t think Paramore is the greatest fit here, but the music isn’t that bad.

I wonder what Stephenie thinks about this selection?

BTW…reviews on Breaking Dawn (yes, finally) and the Twilight Movie are coming soon.

Revisiting an Invasion…(Review of The Host)

I recently launched into a new book….now, before I go on, I have to confess, I was never a book reader as a kid, but, after I got through all 7 Potter books, I said to myself, that was thousands of pages of reading…I have time for this kind of stuff!

So, back to the point. I’ve become quite a closet fan of Stephenie Meyer. Her Twilight series is adored by teenie bopper girls the world over…but, I have to say, I like her writing style (plus, most of her books have some foundation in some really great music. Check out her playlists..she often writes an entire book based on a Muse album, or some other great indie band). It’s riveting and thought-provoking. I just picked up her newest book, The Host, for my wife, the Indie girl.

My first reaction–it’s a new spin on an old theme. She’s basically re-wrote Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, the classic 50s movie, with an angle on romance and mystery. I have to say, I like it. It’s intriguing. She also personalizes the “snatchers” more, which makes the read even more invigorating…from the get go, she has you wondering which side you should really be on. Overall, I’d say it’s definitely worth picking up…Don’t be fooled by the copy-cat story premise, it’s got some deeper plot scenarios and, as usual, the most in-depth development of characters I have seen since Mark Twain.