On the Twilight series

My Boyfriend Sparkles

By Anne Ursu

Each night I ask the stars above Why must I be a teenager in love?

–Dion and the Belmonts

Bella Swan thinks of her relationship with the vampire Edward Cullen in great sweeping terms–Romeo and Juliet, Catherine and Heathcliff. And their story certainly has echoes of those iconic lovers; they are star-crossed, ardent, destined for each other, eternal, doomed. But as extraordinary as their relationship is, it is also quite ordinary, and familiar. The overwhelming intensity of their romance makes sense because Bella and Edward are teenagers, and never is the rhetoric of star-crossed love and eternity so plausible as at that time in life. And while Edward isn’t exactly human, their relationship is very much so, and its course closely follows familiar tropes of teen love, for better or for worse. Bella Swan’s relationship with Edward Cullen is immortal, dangerous, forbidden, impassioned, allconsuming–in short, exactly like first love.

I Was Nothing Before I Met Him

As typical a first relationship as this one is, Stephenie Meyer portrays Bella as a very untypical teenager. Bella is somehow apart from the experience of adolescence–she can’t seem to relate to her peers and to her parents she is more caretaker than daughter. And once in Forks, she’s a complete alien. When she meets Edward, Bella is totally unmoored and miserable, living in a town she hates with a father she barely knows, having to adjust to a new high school where she can’t seem to operate on the same wavelength as the other students,  …

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