Attitude: Take Care
This review was contributed by Stephen de la B
In Brief: First in a series. An adolescent middle-class girl from a broken home in USA falls in love with a vampire; combined with her natural fear is the vampire’s apprehension that his bloodlust might take over during the relationship. In fact he saves her life when she is attacked by another vampire with just that purpose!
Published in: 2006
Age Range: Young Teens+
Bella goes to live with her companionable dad – a policeman – in Washington State and attends ‘College’ where she meets and interacts with a swathe of contemporaries, boy and girl. Since we look at life through Bella’s eyes, we realise that she is bowled over by the good looks of Edward, who is part of a family of vampires attending college. As the relationship develops she discovers much about ‘good’ vampires; Edward seems to find Bella’s complete dependence her big point, but we soon become aware of his inner struggle to overcome his bloodlust and replace it by his love for Bella. There is much to suggest a big future for them together, but first Edward’s love and Bella’s dependence must be tried. This happens when Bella becomes the object of blood attraction on the part of a much more primitive vampire. The denouement is very exciting and, as is expected, Bella is saved by Edward … just !… It would seem, with Dad and Mum knowing nothing about it!
The reviewer is not sure whether the story can be seen as realistic although the large amount of verifiable material is well written and convincing; or as fantastical, where comment has to be very reserved. The writer has left many questions because of the fantasy: can a human and a vampire ever be married? Why is a 100- year old Vampire studying at college? And so on.
It is interesting that Bella’s parents know absolutely nothing about the drama of the story, vampires, pursuit, danger to her: this relationship is not open to the supervision of parents. Is this a good thing?
What I did find as very positive is Edward’s ‘ascetic’ struggle between a dominating violence and an idealised love. This must ring true for many adolescents!
The story is developed further in subsequent novels, about which I can make no judgement, not having read them.
It’s been almost a century since Edward’s been alone. Now he’s found you. You can’t see the changes that we see, we who have been with him so long. Do you think any of us want to look into his eyes for the next hundred years if he loses you.
Thursday 5th February 2015