Breaking Dawn Part Two, the final movie in the Twilight series, is out this week, and the eldest of the four books, the one that hath wrought all that came after, is now going on 7 years old. My, how they grow up fast! So, what has the equally maligned and adored—yet, either way, incredibly successful—series left us? And what might be next in terms of hyper-popular Y.A., the stuff of which movies will be made?
A "shame-read" confession: I've read each and every book in the four-part Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Some, more than once. And even though I know I'm not intellectually "supposed to"—the writing gets the same criticism dealt E.L. James' more recent blockbuster series, Fifty Shades of Grey, i.e, "not very good"—I enjoyed them. Years ago I was given the first three books in the series by a friend and started them on a flight to L.A., during which I finished the first and realized I'd brought the third instead of second in the series with me. So I went and bought book two when my plane landed, and finished that one before I returned to New York. I am not a Twi-hard, I am not!, but, there was something about those books. They had me feeling like a teenager again, wanting to find out what was next badly enough that I shelled out for the hardcover of a book I already had at home so as not to have to wait, and then stayed up all night reading it. I could acknowledge that they weren't, you know, "high quality fiction." That didn't mean I wanted to put them down, though. Maybe I wanted to read them more because of that. They are not threatening, they are easy, they are fun, they transport us to strange, often ridiculous "teen" worlds in which we have, like it or not, some emotional connection. They're what Y.A. for Grownups should be, at least, at a base level.