Vampire sucks the attention of teens

Akshay Agrawal

The Edward Cullen epidemic spreads to students as the ‘Twilight’ series rises in popularity

Image

Stephenie Meyer’s new book series is an instant bestseller

Harry Potter has a rival. It’s not a werewolf, wizard, witch, mountain troll or even He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It’s a vampire.

This vampire, Edward Cullen, is the star character of Stephanie Meyer’s latest books, the “Twilight” series. The series consists of four books: “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn.” Although the first books came out in 2005, they have had a recent peak in popularity.
This rise in popularity can be seen on the MVHS campus. “Twilight” books peek out of students’ backpacks and are stacked with textbooks. The books have spread across the Internet as well, with nearly half the Facebook “bumper stickers” focused on the “heavenly” Edward Cullen.
This seems to be the mystery behind the “Twilight” books—how is one character so appealing? How can one character, a simple figment of the author’s imagination, deeply affect such a large audience?
“Edward Cullen is essentially the definition of a god,” senior Ashley Vernazza said. Vernazza, an avid “Twilight” reader, has even convinced some friends to read the series.
“I think Edward Cullen is so appealing because he is the ultimate badboy—he’s mysterious, and you can’t have him, which makes you want him more,” junior Jessica Gasperini said.
Gasperini is also a Harry Potter fan, but likes “Twilight” better because it is less confusing, and more of a romance.
Because of this “romance” factor, a common misconception about the “Twilight” books is that they’re just for girls. While boys may be a little more hesitant to admit liking them, most aren’t shy in saying they “heard” the books were “really good.”
The popularity of the books is spread predominantly by word of mouth—friend to friend.
“A lot of my friends read the books and love them,” junior Sana Chintamen said. “They’re trying to get me to read them too, but I haven’t started yet.”
It is rumored that some of the characters in the book have been “ripped” off some of J.K. Rowling’s characters from Harry Potter, but this can be left up to the interpretation of the reader.
A movie is scheduled for release based on the series, and ironically enough, Edward Cullen will be played by Robert Pattinson, who also plays Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter films.
Recently, Meyer’s fifth book, “Midnight Sun,” was illegally released on the internet. According to Stephenie Meyer on her website, she had shared the book with a few “trusted individuals for a good purpose,” but it was still leaked. Fans went wild, gobbling up every word online while waiting for the full edition to come out. But for now, it never will come out. With its now scheduled release date pushed out “indefinitely,” Meyer is too upset to continue writing the book in her “current frame of mind.”
It is not to say, however, that the series is well received by all MVHS students.
“I’m frustrated that so many people think ‘Twilight’ is the next Harry Potter. I don’t think its comparable,” senior Jessica Xu said. “It’s interesting and easy to read, but it’s not satisfying.”