I could blog about the hot week ahead here in Phoenix (nary a sub-110 degree high temp in sight), but that's not very exciting... or new (for us!)... so I'll just play catch-up again on my book posts.
This next one is kind of an odd choice -- the first of a series of books (I believe the fourth -- and last -- of the series comes out later this year) -- as it is a book that is very popular (think Harry Potter) with teenage girls. But since many of the things I, and many a gay man, like often overlap this particular gender and age group -- I figured what the heck! Also, if I have a reading guilty pleasure it's vampires (ok, I have many reading guilty pleasures and vampires are one of them!)... and in taking a book on vacation, I was looking for something that could likely survive been unopened for days upon end...
... so thus ends all my rationalizations for giving Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, the first book in the aptly titled "young adult" Twilight series, a try. In the book we meet high-schooler Bella who decides to leave the hot and sunny confines of Phoenix (Meyer lives in the Phoenix area), to try out life with her dad in the Pacific Northwest. Upon arriving to her new small-town school, she quickly is faced with a quite strange family of outcasts - with one of its members, the dashing Edward particularly attracted (and repulsed) to the new arrival. Long story short, Edward and company are immortals -- and love, angst, and danger ensue.
From what I read, Meyer did not intend to this to necessarily be a "young adult" novel... and just because a book is centered a bunch of high schoolers (even centuries old ones!), I would think that doesn't automatically put it into the "young adult" section of the bookstore. But, after reading just the first few chapters, I can kind of see why it initially ended up there... as it struck me (almost immediately) to be quite simply written (or perhaps, IMHO, "simplistic" would be a better word). And while vampires tend to have these sexually-charged overtones, the romance portions of the novel are actually quite chaste (Meyer being a Mormon, might have something to do with that).
Likewise, I often didn't find Bella to be terribly realistic... more like an overly ideal teenager, more than happy to cook dinner for her divorced dad and not be terribly concerned or afraid of her new object of affection... I guess that doesn't sound too bad, but something still struck me as not terribly realistic (plus the dialogue I found to be a bit stilted)... but again, we're talking vampires here -- so some suspension of belief or "reality" seems to be in order.
That said, it is an entertaining book and a quick read. I opened it up only a few times during our trip and, even with all those missed days, still managed to average nearly 25 pages a day on it (and more like 40-50 pages at a pop on those days that I did read it). I can see why it has gained a Harry Potter-ish sort of phenomenon gained a following with a larger and older audience ... and while not terribly impressed with it from a literary standpoint (not that I was expecting it to), if it gets more people reading ... or excited about reading... well, that's great! So, not quite sure I'll continue on with the series -- but if I am looking for something light and quick and easy... well, never say never.
As noted in my last book post, the reading challenge took the expected vacation time hit (again, while some folks only read on vacations (think beach), vacations are pretty much times when I do not)... but again, under normal, at-home conditions I likely would have made up some ground while reading this one.
2008 1-2-3-4-5 Reading Challenge: + 498 Pages (Total: 4,489 pages - Finished: 5/28/2008)
-652 pages behind pace for the year (-179 change in pace since last book).