I started reading the "Twilight" books 3 weeks ago. And became obsessed with them in, oh, 1 minute. To the point where I picked reading over sleep and read the first one straight through, with only one break to drive to Barnes and Noble to buy the second one. A co-worker lent me the last two, and so I still need to buy those (in hard back- in case anyone is reading and wants an idea for my Christmas present. hint-hint to my mom, dad or sister.)
They're not actually great books. And they're written for teenagers, but there's something in them that sucks you in. I felt vindicated when I came home from work to find Leslie on the couch reading, and having her admit she had been sucked in too.
Books- Mortal falls in love with a Vampire- and vice versa. She's 17. He's 17 plus 90 years. A little creepy when you think about it really. He sneaks in to her room to watch her sleep without her knowing about it, for months. Creepy. But since vampires don't sleep (at least in this vampire world) I guess they have to fill their time somehow. The thing is, you don't realize how creepy any of this is while you're reading because you're just thinking, "well they're in love." Its not until you step back and go, "wait a minute- he shouldn't be doing that" that it dawns on you.
The pacing of the books is weird too. 400 pages of exposition, lots of low level plot, then for about 50 pages you get intense, real, action plot, and then another 50 pages of wrap up. This formula holds true for the first 3. Then the pacing of 4 is even more messed up. BUT YOU DON'T CARE. You're too obsessed to care.
Movie- I went last night and it was one of the funniest experiences ever. The excitement level was about the same as Harry Potter opening nights. Maybe a little bit more- because it was the first one. But you throw in that everyone is in LOVE with Cedward. (Robert Pattison or Pattinson- I'm not sure- I just call him Cedward- Cedric Diggory + Edward Cullen.) The age range was probably 10-50? Definitely more on the 13 side. People wearing t-shirts with quotes from the movie. "Your scent is like a drug." I was in line next to a 31 year old teacher who had started reading the books to at least figure out what her kids were obsessed with, and she got sucked in too.
Anyway, girls screamed through the entire movie. Shrieked is more like it. Every time Jacob came on the screen the audience would scream. Edward's first appearance- more screaming. Eric- screaming. Mike Newton- more screaming. Emmett, screaming. Jasper- more screaming. The bad guy James- even more screaming. For anyone who isn't going to laugh it off- I would definitely recommend waiting a little while before seeing the movie. My friend who came with me and I just laughed it off. I'm sure if I were 13, I probably would have been one of the ones screaming.
The movie fixed the problems I had with the pacing. But I didn't agree with all of the casting. Bella and Edward were perfect. Her friends at school were all made different ethnicities- which I don't remember from the book. Jacob was perfect (I just wanted to give him a haircut.) Carlisle was off looking- it could have been the makeup. Esme was perfect. Rosalie was not nearly pretty enough. (She's supposed to be absolutely gorgeous in the books- this girl was not.) Emmett was perfect. Jasper needed to do something different with his hair, but otherwise was okay. And Alice- I hope they tweak her look a little before the next movie.
Which brings me to a problem they're going to have. They said if this one makes $150 million (and it totally will.) They'll make the next one. Problem- the 9 vampires aren't supposed to age. And the books take place over a period of 2 years, so Bella isn't really supposed to age either. They better make them fast.
So, In conclusion...
Books are good for what they are. And if you're even slightly interested- give them a shot- but be prepared to devote a couple days to them.
Movie- quality is better than the book I think- and again- if you're interested- give it a shot. It won't be two hours of your life you wish you could have back. And- you can follow even if you haven't read the books. One of my friends got to go to the premiere Monday night- and she liked it, not even having read the books.