We’ll Always Have Page 187, Edward

by Vee ( I know right? She’s back with a sweet goodbye to her beloved Twilight franchise.)

There’s a new break up that has the paparazzi abuzz…the much followed relationship that started in 2008 between The Twilight Movie Saga and millions of women all around the world has ended.  Spokespeople for both camps tell us that they’ve parted ways amicably and wish each other all things wonderful.  They promise to remain friends via DVD and BluRay sales and rentals.

I’m not gonna lie.  For me, it wasn’t always the perfect relationship but as I look back on it, with everything said and done, I will cherish our time together with love, scent of stale popcorn and all.

I remember sitting in the movie theater, as excited as a girl on her first date, to see the Twilight movie on November 21, 2008.  If this had been a first date for realsies I would have said the “dinner conversation” Edward provided left much to be desired, but boy was he a good kisser.  I think all sins were forgiven – cough…Bella’s ceaseless lip biting…cough…and wait, did Edward just say he read that guy’s mind and he’s thinking about HIS CAT?!…cough – the very moment they had their first kiss.  Oh.  My.

Ok, ok, ok, so I think it’s only right that we rewind just a little bit to touch on how we first met, these books and I.  Metaphorically speaking it was through a blind date set up by my homie, and yours, Tee.  True story.  I refused but finally for reasons I don’t remember – perhaps Tee just broke me down – I relented.  And it was as if a clever suitor was wooing me with his delicious, toe curling words.  Who isn’t a sucker for a dude that says stuff like:

You are my life now.”

Be safe.” (Written in free hand calligraphy, no less.)

And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.”  (Ha, ha!  Just kidding…that was kinda cheesy, but I was so lost in the romantical saga that I was too far gone to care.)

My fervor for the written story was how I forgave New Moon the movie for making vampires brittle like a piece of frail marble (ick, that was so weird), or how Eclipse never quite captured the deliciously smug Edward handling Jacob after Jacob kisses Bella.  (Jacob: “May the best man win.” Edward: “That sounds about right…pup.”)

Of course, throughout the release of all the movies, I continued to be distraught by Bella’s lip biting and weird choking noises to express distress.  Did she swallow a piece of an apple that was too big?  Maybe her allergies while in Forks were killing her?  No one could explain it to me.  Add to my concerns the pained face Edward made (and the grunting noises?!?!) when he kissed Bella.  I worried, wondering if the good was enough to outweigh the “other” stuff.  P.S.  I totally KNOW he’s “supposed to be in pain”, but still…my own pain was starting to get uncomfortable.

BUT, it is only fair that we do touch on the good, is it not?  (Indulge me.)

Um, there was that one part in New Moon where Bella jumps into a very shirtless Edward’s arms and saves him from the sun’s rays and what they might reveal.

Page 187, as I will forever call that scene, when Edward shows Bella how he, um, remodeled his bedroom in Eclipse.  And though it was never quite as good in the movie as it was in my head, it was, uh, pretty good.

Of course, then came Breaking Dawn Part One, and I saw a true glimmer of hope that the series just might end on the up and up.  I present to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury exhibit A: the headboard scene.  Need I say more?

I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the characters beyond Bella and Edward that I enjoyed in this relationship.  They were like your boyfriend’s friends and/or family that you really, really like hanging out with maybe a little more than you will admit you like hanging out with him.  Charlie – no wait that goes more like this: Chaaaaaaaarlie, Jessica, Mike, Alice, Carlisle, Emmett.  Let’s K.I.T. you guys…love ya.

And so, with some trepidation, much like my first date back in 2008, I arrived at the movie theater to witness the last interpretation of the book series that made me sigh as I turned pages on late nights in my living room.  I know that’s a lot of pressure to put on anyone, so I once again resigned myself to focus on the parts I really loved in Breaking Dawn Part Two, hoping to blur out the parts I didn’t.

To my utter delight I can report that my last date with this movie series was divine.  Not only was the story what I’d hope it would look like on the silver screen, but as the girl turned vampire — gasp — gone were Bella’s annoying quirks!  Not one cacophonous sound coming from her throat, if there was any lip biting, I didn’t see it.  And (BONUS!), with Bella’s scrummy, yummy, human scent a thing of the past, kissy faces for Edward no longer included the look of a man smelling rotten egg; this was replaced by a really H-O-T vampire in love with his new bride, getting steamy and all bothered.

And then all-a-sudden (WARNING: DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE…TRUST ME JUST SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH…OK, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED…)…as I was saying, all-a-sudden, Carlisle’s head gets chopped off!  SAY whaaaaaaat?!?!  I know.  All sort of insanity ensues, to the point where I thought this was Melissa Rosenberg having a last, cruel laugh at my expense.  (She is and will forevermore be the byotch-who-stole-my-pads for the butchering of the first movie!)

So in the midst of insanity, just when I was about to cry and run out of the theater, sweet relief, they brought things back to what they were meant to be.  I’ve spoiled things enough already for those of you that didn’t heed my warning, so I won’t reveal what I mean by that…cuz it’s pretty fly.  Once sanity IS restored, the movie keeps the end rather true to the book in a most satisfying way.

I felt peace, happiness, a little breatheless from that crazay thing there at the end – but in a good way – and an all around sense of kumbaya.  Best break up everrrrrr.  And now, with a renewed sense of love  for my Twilight movies I can move on with my life.  I think I can actually watch Bella bite that lip knowing that perhaps, just maybe KStew decided that was going to be a character trait of pre-vampire Bella.  Edward and I will always have Breaking Dawn Part Two (and page 187), and we really do wish the best for each other as we move on with our lives.

Which is good since, now older and wiser maybe a little more mature even, I’m considering accepting a first date from this new guy who’s been giving me a bit of the stink eye for some time now.  Name’s Christian Grey, and word around town is he’s kinda dark and broody, filthy rich, knows how to play a mean piano sonata, loves to do the clever banter thing.  Wait a minute…

Mondays (um, Wednesdays) Bite: The Big Finale

As you know, Vee’s computer has been a bit of a crankypants, turning our final Mondays Bite post into a Wednesdays Bite.  So without further ado, here are her final answers to the questions posted by the awesome Ginger at GReads.

Chapters 21-24 & Epilogue

1.   In chapter 21 James calls Bella telling her he has her mother and the only way he won’t kill her is if Bella comes alone. What would you do in that situation? Come alone or tell Alice and Jasper?

I am a HUGE coward…so I probably wouldn’t have even made it as far as Bellla has already made it down this story line.  Had I made it through I would have fo’ SHO’ have told Alice and Jasper about this.  I also wouldn’t have assumed that all ballet studios looked the same.  For really?  Ugh.  That just irritated me, but alas, how could the story line continue had she not been a little dense about this, right?  It’s like when the girl in the horror film decides it’s a good idea to “walk down the stairs”…we yell at the TV, but yet, it always just happens.

2.   Was everyone else as shocked as I was when I first found out about the Alice/James situation? Do you think this adds to the story line or was it not needed? Why do you think they choose not to include these details in the movie?

I was shocked, it completely piqued my interest, and I almost wished Meyers had more details to share on Alice’s history…especially after I read the histories of the others in Eclipse.  I won’t even talk about how I felt about that being left out of the movie because I’ll combust.  I’ll just say, in as calm a voice as I can…wish it had been there.

3.   Edward had to do something extremely difficult in order to save Bella from becoming a vampire. Have you ever had a similar situation in your life where you had to push your will power to its limits?

Most boring answer ever: no, I never have.

4.   Bella and Edward get into the “to change Bella or not to change Bella” argument in the hospital. If you were Bella, would you want to become a vampire? Why or why not?

If I were in Bella’s situation, feeling the passionate love, and knowing – somehow – that this was my only soul mate and that I was as awkward in my regular human form as I was, I’d tot’s go for being a vampire.

5.   Twilight ends with everyone going to the prom. Did you go to your prom? Was your experience similar to Bella’s? Feel free to include pictures!!

Ha, ha…no, no, no…no pics for me.  But I did go to my prom, and, as I’ve shared before, I went to an all girl school.  Due to my lack of access to the other gender, a friend of mine fixed me up with her neighbor and man, did I wish that we’d met before.  Moral to the story: NEVER get fixed up on a blind date for the prom.  Bella’s prom night was 20 million times better than mine!

EXTRA: So, it’s over…Final thoughts?

Twilight is a delicious read!!

Mondays Bite: Chapters 16-20

by Vee

OMG, party people, so we are more than half way through this read through and, um, ya’ll, this is just killin’ me.  Bella just broke Charlie’s heart, and I knew it was coming, I DID, and yet I cringed and my chest got a little tight and, ack!  Sniffle, I love me some Charlie, I don’t like it when he gets all hurt in the ticker.  Though that is my least fav part of this book, it’s also nice to go back through it.  And, speaking of getting a little broken-hearted, next week will be the last of these re-reads, and then what do I do?  Sigh.  Ah well, for now, we’ll continue enjoying the fun.  Thanks, as ever to Ginger at GReads.  And check out this week’s host, The Reading Housewives of Indiana!

Now for some seriously good questions (well done Yani of The Secret Life of an Avid Reader)!

1. {SERIOUS question} If you where in Carlisle position, do you think you would have been able to fight off your vampiric urges? Would you ever bring someone into that life, as he did with Edward and Esme?

Ahhhhhh!  Too. Hard. To. Answer.  Yeesh, you made me, like, stop and use my brain wrinkles on this one.

Hmmm…I think had I been Carlisle’s age when this happened to him I may have given in into temptation, but if I was who I am now, I would definitely be able to.  And, as I am one who savors and needs others around her, I also think I would do the same when it came to Edward and Esme, and in the same way.  It would have to be someone who was already a goner, otherwise it wouldn’t be much better than eating someone for lunch, would it?

2. {FUN question} We are introduced to Edward’s playful side in these chapters, before he gets all manic about the new vampires, I think we have a better picture of who he is. If you had to describe him in 5 words, what would they be? Good and Bad qualities, whatever you like!

Intense.  Intelligent.  Artistic.  Observant.  Delicious.  Er, I mean, Dashing.

3. {LONG question} While re-reading I have been taking notes: observations that I have come across re-reading and comparisons to the movie. One of my notes deals with page 383, in which Edward screams at Alice there is no other option. The first time around I didn’t get that he meant the future that Alice saw for Bella as a vampire (because we obviously hadn’t gotten to that part), but now that I know the whole story I see that is what he meant… Has this happened to you? Do you have any examples of things that are clearer now or things that you have realized while re-reading?

I think your own observation on Alice and Edward’s exchange stands out for me too.  That’s probably the major thing in this section of the book.

4. {PERSONAL question} We haven’t talked about this yet, but I think the idea of your human gifts amplifying in your vampire life is interesting (Jasper’s control of emotions, Edward’s mind reading), what do you think your gifts would be?

Oooooh, good question!  Ok, let’s see…I think I’ve got this crazy “good/bad intentions” radar and I sense a lot of times when people are coming from a good place.  Much of the time I’m right.  Sooooo…I don’t know what you’d call that super power but that would be mine.  I’d like to be called an “Intents-Radar-Ninja”, please.

Oh, here’s a P.S. on this answer…I was talking to a girlfriend of mine about this and she said I am a swesome ninja mom and I’d be like an Esme (except, I’m hoping, a bit more multi-faceted).  Dude, I totally forgot that, I AM a ninja mom, not that I go around beating up people to protect my kids or that I am just THAT amazing as a mom, but I passionately, happily, fervently love being a mom, not just to my kids but to anyone who will allow me to mother them.  It’s my calling in life, and perhaps part of my Intents-Radar-Ninja self is actually just a part of being a Ninja Mom…so let’s scratch the above and please call me Super Ninja Mom in the future, thank you.

5. {SURVEY question} We are coming to the end of the book, what has been your opinion on this re-read? First, when was the last time you read it? Second, do you feel you like it more, the same, or less this time around?

It had been over 2 years since my last re-read.  When I do re-read this series, I like to do it when the weather turns cool.  It’s definitely the kind of book I like to go through when I need some cozy time with just myself so I can delight in something that’s 100% fun, 0% about making me grow as a human.  I know that sounds like an insult, but honest to goodness it’s not.  What I mean is that this is a form of escape for me and I love it.  I always say that I could never love this book more than I did the second time I read it.  The first time it was a major “wham bam thank you m’am”, and I’d like to apologize to the virgin book I took advantage of.  I just NEEDED to get to the bottom of this story, ahhhhhhh!  It was like Vee-catnip.  The second time around it wasn’t about finding out the facts, it was about savoring the information and noticing all the things I skimmed through in my quest for more, more, more.  So I suppose what I am saying is, the first time I read it like a man (this whole book as my virgin bride comparison is getting kinda gross, sorry), the second time I read it like me.  This time around I am enjoying it because I hadn’t done it in a while and it was a little like coming home.  🙂

And before we bid each other adieu til’ next week’s re-read, I do wish to leave you with my favorite quote of these chapters, as this is such a delicious quote it cannot go unshared:

“He leaned over to kiss the top of my head, and then groaned.  I looked at him, puzzled.

‘You smell so good in the rain,’ he explained.

‘In a good way, or in a bad way?’ I asked cautiously.

He sighed.  ‘Both, always both.’”

WHA?!??!  This is a little sick (on account of the “bad way” being that he wants to eat her as an after school snack and all) but this line KIIIIIIIILLS me every time.  Le. Sigh.

Mondays That Bite: Twilight Read Along Chapters 6-10

by Vee

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s Monday, and that can only mean one thing: I get to indulge once again in some Twilight talk.  OMG.  For those of you who missed the gushing, I am still tote’s sending my love to Ginger at GReads for starting the fun.

The questions below came to us from Lisa at Lisa is Busy Nerding.  I had tons of fun answering them (thanks Lisa!), and hope YA Crushers have their own ideas to add as well.  And now, without further ado, week two of the funnest thing ever: the Twilight Read Along.  (Yay!)

1.  Because we have to talk about it sometime – are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?  Does that impact how you re-read the book?

Um, Team Edward.  Moo.  A totally emotional decision, and I won’t even bother stating my case.  I just be lovin’ me some Edward.  (And Jacob is a smelly dog.  Sorry,  I just had to get one dig in…)

Re-reading the books I had a totally different experience than when I read the books the first time .  This was true with all characters, including Jacob.  The first time I read them I wanted to go as fast as I could through the story because I felt so much in suspense, wanting to get to the bottom of all these mysteries.  The second time around I was able to digest the characters and much to my chagrin, I was able to see Jacob with less disdain when re-reading the first book because I felt he did do a lot that, I must admit, redeemed himself for me when we arrived at the series’ conclusion.  (She says in a begrudging tone.)

2. Bella spends a lot of her time by herself in her room when she’s not at school.  What do you think this says about her as a character?  Can you relate to her introverted nature?

I think the picture of Bella that Stephenie Meyers is trying to paint is of someone who isn’t necessarily the stereotypical teen girl.  It would take someone beyond the standard stereotype to catch the eye of someone who has seen them all.  Evidently Edward agrees.  The fact that Bella is an introvert who decides what is right for herself, despite what others might consider cool, foreshadows what’s to come and the decisions she makes in future books, which aren’t based on what most of us might choose but what she feels is right for her.  The convictions are strong in that young Padwan.  (Sorry, I’ve been having Star Wars marathons with my kids this summer…)

Do I relate?  Yeee-eh-uh.  As someone who was 100% non-sporty (let’s just say the klutz factor got in the way of my Olympic gold medal plans), not to mention kinda shy, being in my room reading was a favorite pastime.  Books saved me (remember my answer to question #1 last week?).  I could escape in books.  Books were my best conversation starters (and still are, actually).  Books rock the house.  As does hanging out alone, having quiet time with just you and your book in your room.  Yay books!

3. Probably my favorite chapter of the entire book, chapter eight brings us dress shopping, nearly getting assaulted, and then wraps up nicely with a quaint dinner and confession time.  In this we see the blend of typical teenage existence starting to get tainted by the paranormal world.  If given the choice right then, would you push to know more about the paranormal, or bury your head in the sand and live the teenage dream?

Push to know more.  Push to know more!!!!!  Ahhhhhhh!  Sevehn.


4. Already, it’s pretty clear that Bella is falling for Edward.  Is this happening too quickly to be plausible, or is it totally reasonable to you? What about Edward do you find to be swoonworthy at this point?

Unlike the person who plays him in real life, Edward is well spoken and thoughtful in what he says.  And – ok, let’s review – words are the way to Vee’s heart.  Also, if there’s mushroom ravioli involved: I. Am. Yours.  But I digress.  Chemistry, as it relates to love, can be a pretty tricky thing.  So it’s not entirely that implausible that she’s already giving him some stink eye.  Lez see…he’s evidently super hot, he can talk real good, and he does swoony gentlemanly things that guys his age, sadly, don’t always know to do.  (Offers her his delicious-smelling-jacket?  Hulloh?  Oh, and also, he pays for dinner.  And it was mushroom ravioli…did I mention that?)

5. Jessica has to forcibly remove all of the details on what’s going on from Bella, but through that we learn more about how she’s feeling and how she’s falling for Edward already.  If you were in Jessica’s shoes, what would you say to Bella?

“Bella, that is some hot piece of…”, oh wait…that’s not a proper answer.  If I were me, but in Jessica’s shoes, knowing only the little that Jessica knows about Edward, I’d say: “Bella, this dude is a little too dark and broody (though admittedly really fuh-huh-hine) so just tread lightly and look alive!  No dark, hidden corners with him for a while, ‘kay?”  Because in the real world, where he’s actually walking down the halls of school, I would think it was a little scary.  Dark, broody, never talking to anyone???  Hmmm…  But still, he’s Edward so I wouldn’t completely discourage it, either. I’d just ask that she be a ninja about it and watch out, because I don’t know who he really is, right?!!?!

For a list of next week’s questions, be sure to visit  Jasmine and Jacinda at The Reading Housewives of Indiana and check back with us on Monday when we discuss chapters 11-15 (it’s meadow time, party people)!

Even the photo stills of the scene in the Port Angeles restaurant make me sad (I really don't think the screenwriter - or the director - did it justice in the movie - yes more whining), so the only thing I could bear to include this week, was a photo of mushroom ravioli. Sigh.

Mondays Bite: Twilight Re-Read Along

Cover of the little known book Twilight. Heard of it?

Whether you love it or hate it, most everyone has read Twilight, the sparkly vamp themed love story penned by the then unknown housewife, Stephenie Meyers.

We are definitely not a part of the Twi-haters camp here— in fact Vee is known to be just a teensy bit crazy when it comes to professing her all-out love for this series.  And though I have some criticisms (and make fun of the characters ALOT), I also totally love these books because they’re fun and enjoyable and because I refuse to over-analyze them like all the other naysayers.

However you feel, there’s no denying that Twilight has opened the floodgates to the world of YA for many young adult fans and without these books, there just might not have been some of the great YA books we have today.  Twilight has gotten people back into reading and showed the world that YA is a genre with a huge, limitless market.

So why all the Twilight talk? Because we’re participating in a re-read hosted by Ginger at GReads! Now, we’re not getting all crazy and like, putting up posters of Edward Cullen or anything, but we are totally excited to read it again and discuss it with our book peeps.  Each week we’ll read 5 chapters and discuss five predetermined questions until the book is finished (again).  Check back with us every Monday to see our progress!

This week: Chapters 1-5