x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Twilight, Twilight everywhere

The teen vampire Edward Cullen has made life much harder for teenage boys everywhere to measure up.

As a teenage girl, I have undoubtably been sucked into the latest craze to capture the hearts and minds of girls all over the world: Twilight. I first bought the book on a holiday in 2005 and was ensnared by the seductive yet dangerous description on the back: "About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him."

I soon became obsessed with the book and made several attempts at convincing my friends to read it. But my recommendations were ignored and Twilight was cast off as the "weird vampire book". Three years later, wherever you find a group of girls, you will undoubtably hear the name Edward Cullen. This fictional vampire has become a teenage boy's worst nightmare, possessing not only looks to kill, but a personality that makes any girl's heart melt. Competition with a fictional character may seem ludicrous, but as girls around the world complain that their boyfriends should be more like Edward, you begin to realise that no one can escape the influence of the flawless, marble-skinned, 17-year-old vampire.

This love story with a twist has rapidly become a cultural phenomenon, positioning the author Stephenie Meyer at number 26 on Forbes's list of the world's most powerful celebrities. According to Meyer, her books are "about life, not death" and "love, not lust". Fans of the books impatiently awaited the release of the first movie, wondering how the characters would translate onto the screen. As I entered the cinema, I was sceptical that a movie could convey the characters' emotions that were so vividly described in the book, and I was critical of the actor who played Edward, Robert Pattinson, who I felt looked wrong for the part.

I was not amazed by the film, but found that many parts stayed true to the book. And it was impossible not to be dazzled by Pattinson's smile. The film also encouraged many people who had not read the books to start, and I began to see people reading the Twilight series everywhere I went. It has become almost impossible for me to walk through the school corridors without seeing another student carrying a thick black book immediately recognisable as one belonging to the Twilight series.

There is something about the passionate-yet-forbidden relationship storyline that causes girls to fall in love with the book immediately. One of my friends has read the series five times. I think that I am not the only one to say: about three things I am absolutely positive. First, Edward is a vampire. Second, I wish there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood. And third, I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.