Our friend Stacey (see link under Links for Stacey's Blog) happened to read a book and post a review of it on her blog, which I frequent. She has a daughter with port-wine stain, as well.
The book is called Twilight, which, at current, is the 1st of a series with 3 books so far released. I got it as a gift from "Santa" at the FCC Christmas party last night. What can I say? I'll use any excuse to get a book. :) I started reading it about 9 pm, and finished by 3:30 am. With only a 15 minute break in there for cereal. It's a 500 page book. And I read the 30 or so page preview of the next book, New Moon.
The basic synopsis sounds really lame. Girl moves to the middle of nowhere and falls in love with a vampire. Sounds cheesy, huh? Not. I love vampire novels to begin with. But this one is excellently written. I would put it up there with that of Anne Rice and Laurel K. Hamilton, and that is saying something, my friends.
The above picture is me with my book, sadly exposed the digital "film" is. But therein lies the downside of close shots while using a flash on a person who can give the vampires in the book a run for their money. Not that there was enough light to remove the flash and get a decent picture. But hey. My goal in life, at this moment, is to get one, if not both, of the sequels, which are sadly still in hardback only. And I have no patience for saving money on books I want.
The Amazon. com review:
"Softly he brushed my cheek, then held my face between his marble hands. 'Be very still,' he whispered, as if I wasn't already frozen. Slowly, never moving his eyes from mine, he leaned toward me. Then abruptly, but very gently, he rested his cold cheek against the hollow at the base of my throat."
As Shakespeare knew, love burns high when thwarted by obstacles. In Twilight, an exquisite fantasy by Stephenie Meyer, readers discover a pair of lovers who are supremely star-crossed. Bella adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love. But Edward is having a hard time controlling the blood lust she arouses in him, because--he's a vampire. At any moment, the intensity of their passion could drive him to kill her, and he agonizes over the danger. But, Bella would rather be dead than part from Edward, so she risks her life to stay near him, and the novel burns with the erotic tension of their dangerous and necessarily chaste relationship.
Meyer has achieved quite a feat by making this scenario completely human and believable. She begins with a familiar YA premise (the new kid in school), and lulls us into thinking this will be just another realistic young adult novel. Bella has come to the small town of Forks on the gloomy Olympic Peninsula to be with her father. At school, she wonders about a group of five remarkably beautiful teens, who sit together in the cafeteria but never eat. As she grows to know, and then love, Edward, she learns their secret. They are all rescued vampires, part of a family headed by saintly Carlisle, who has inspired them to renounce human prey. For Edward's sake they welcome Bella, but when a roving group of tracker vampires fixates on her, the family is drawn into a desperate pursuit to protect the fragile human in their midst. The precision and delicacy of Meyer's writing lifts this wonderful novel beyond the limitations of the horror genre to a place among the best of YA fiction. (Ages 12 and up) --Patty CampbellFrom School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–Headstrong, sun-loving, 17-year-old Bella declines her mom's invitation to move to Florida, and instead reluctantly opts to move to her dad's cabin in the dreary, rainy town of Forks, WA. She becomes intrigued with Edward Cullen, a distant, stylish, and disarmingly handsome senior, who is also a vampire. When he reveals that his specific clan hunts wildlife instead of humans, Bella deduces that she is safe from his blood-sucking instincts and therefore free to fall hopelessly in love with him. The feeling is mutual, and the resulting volatile romance smolders as they attempt to hide Edward's identity from her family and the rest of the school. Meyer adds an eerie new twist to the mismatched, star-crossed lovers theme: predator falls for prey, human falls for vampire. This tension strips away any pretense readers may have about the everyday teen romance novel, and kissing, touching, and talking take on an entirely new meaning when one small mistake could be life-threatening. Bella and Edward's struggle to make their relationship work becomes a struggle for survival, especially when vampires from an outside clan infiltrate the Cullen territory and head straight for her. As a result, the novel's danger-factor skyrockets as the excitement of secret love and hushed affection morphs into a terrifying race to stay alive. Realistic, subtle, succinct, and easy to follow, Twilight will have readers dying to sink their teeth into it.–Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library
From the back of the book:
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.
Now if that doesn't draw you in, I don't know what can. I want my own Edward, you'll see why if you read the book. He's just that kind of guy. But all the good ones are in books and anime, aren't they? LOL.
Now, more reviews- from the back of the book.
A New York Times Editor's Choice
An Amazon "Best Book of the Decade...so far"
A Teen People "HOT LIST" pick
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
"Propelled by suspense and romance in equal parts, [this story] will keep readers madly flipping the pages of Meyer's tantalizing debut."- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The novel's danger-factor skyrockets as the excitement of secret love and hushed affection morphs into a terrifying race to stay alive...Twilight will have readers dying to sink their teeth into it."- School Library Journal (starred review)
"In the tradition of Anne Rice...this dark romance is gripping."- Booklist (starred review)
Pictures from the FCC Christmas party will most likely be updated tomorrow (or late today, whatever you want to call it- Sunday).