Books we love…Twilight Franchise

Over to Zvezdana from Chelsea Library for a review on a love story with a bite!

The love story with a bite: ‘Twilight’ – books and films!

Fifteen years ago, the first ‘Twilight’ book was published, followed by ‘New Moon’, ‘Eclipse’ and ‘Breaking Dawn’, telling a story of Romeo and Juliet with a vampiric twist.  Since its release ‘Twilight’ was sold over 165 million copies (numbers from 2020).

In 2015 Meyer published ‘Twilight Reimagined: Life and Death’. The story is a gender-swapped retelling of the first book, and she introduced Beau Swan and Edythe Cullen in place of Bella and Edward. The ending is different, as Meyer decided to give full closure to the story, avoiding any chance of sequels.

Last year ‘Twilight’ fans finally got long-time-promised book – ‘Midnight Sun’ -‘Twilight’ retold from Edward Cullen’s point of view. When the story was famously leaked in 2008, the project was paused for twelve years. 

What is the ‘Twilight’ story about?

The main character, seventeen-year-old Bella Swan, decided to stay for a while with her father in order not to be a burden to her happily newly remarried mother.  So, she is swapping sunny Phoenix for Forks, a small and constantly rainy town in Washington State. Naturally, the landscape looked completely different- Forks is “too green”, lush, mysterious, like in fairy tales. Anything is possible.

The story is told from Bella’s point of view. A pretty and shy, geeky, book-wormish type; self-conscious and timid; pale, slender but not sporty, “lacking the necessary hand-eye coordination to play sports without humiliating” herself; Bella did not fit in anywhere. So, she was more than anxious on her first day in the local high school. Surprisingly, many people – boys and girls – noticed her and she found this new situation quite intimidating.  

The focus of her attention was a group of five “devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful” boys and girls, the Cullen family, who kept to themselves. From the first moment Bella saw Edward Cullen, pale bronze-haired boy, in the school cafeteria, she fell in love with him. Her life thrillingly and dangerously swirled casting a spell on her (and the readers). The Cullens were vampires and Edward managed up to now, to keep his vampire identity secret. For him it was the first time in his mortal and immortal life that he fell in love with somebody.

Suddenly, we are following deeply romantic and extraordinary suspenseful story of two lovers who should not be together, whose love is wrong, forbidden, yet, they cannot imagine the life without the other one.

I cannot say that I was convinced by the idea of retelling the same story, yet, again. It sounded like KS2 writing task, something that Meyer’s assistants could easily supply. Suspicious, I gave it a chance, bought the book, read it and – I liked it. It I interesting to see how Bella and Edward are similar. From her perspective he is like dazzling god who does everything perfectly, while she questions her worthiness constantly. On the other hand, Edward is horrified that because of his selfish need not to lose Bella, he does not have the strength to leave her and let her have normal, human life. She deserves much more.

Edward Cullen and Bella Swan – Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart – in ‘Twilight’ (2008)

This is what the publisher, Little, Brown and Company, wrote about this book:

“When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love.”

‘Twilight’ movies, from Summit Entertainment, became even bigger hit than books. From ‘Twilight’ in 2008 to ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’, in 2012, the films were fantastically successful. (Budget for five films was around  $401 million; Box Office – around $3.346 billion)!  

Check Stephenie Meyer’s official website for information on books and films. The Movies – Stephenie Meyer

Personally, the first film, directed by Catherine Hardwicke is the best. It closely follows the book. The critical scene when Edward saved Bella’s life and stopped the van, is even better, more plausible, in film than how it was presented in the book.

Images are stills from Twilight

The crucial point was the perfect casting of Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. More than 5,000 boys auditioned for the role. Thanks to his portrait of Cedric Diggory in ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’, Pattinson was in a very good position to get the role.

Robert Pattinson in “Twilight.” Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate

“There are very few actors who can look both dangerous and beautiful at the same time, and even fewer who I can picture in my head as Edward,” Meyer wrote. Although she previously said that Henry Cavill was “the only actor”, she had ever seen, “who could come close to pulling off Edward Cullen”, she was “ecstatic” with the studio’s decision to cast Robert Pattinson. That role made him a global superstar.

 ‘Twilight’ is not the only 2000s novel franchise getting a 2020 restart. Prequels and sequels are very popular, from ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Batman’ to ‘Hunger Games’.

Both, Stewart and Pattinson moved from Twilight saga and have successful careers, but in readers’ and viewers’ eyes they will always be the embodiment of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, similarly, as Colin Firth will always be Mr Darcy regardless how many film awards he may win.

If you would like to borrow books or films from the Twilight franchise or other works by Stephenie Meyer, have a look at our catalogue!


The Brompton Blog March 2013

Brompton Library
Brompton Library

Hello blog-fans and library enthusiasts. We hope you are well despite the recent return of the wintry conditions which seem to be the causing mass outbreaks of cold and sniffles across the capital. Fear not! Our library is well stocked with health and wellbeing books that can help you to beat these seasonal maladies.

In addition to the usual events and classes taking place at Brompton Library we have had some additional activities and recommendations that you may find interesting while our resident culture aficionado and reading group leader, Katie Collis talks about one of her favourite authors.

World Book Day at Brompton Library

World Book Day logo
World Book Day logo

Thursday 7 March was World Book Day and it started at  Brompton Library with storytime at 10am. We read ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ by Julia Donaldson and sang songs and read out other stories and rhymes.

What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson
What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson

I had put up posters in the library and I wondered whether any children would be dressing up. Then a little girl came dressed in a ladybird costume. I printed off some photos of authors and made them into masks.

The day carried on with a class visit at 2pm from a local school. I wondered if the author masks looked scary but the children laughed and some of them could match the author’s names to the faces.

Elisabeth with her author masks
Elisabeth with her author masks

Helen East was our visiting storyteller; she entertained us all very well and made the children promise to retell the story to help them remember it.

A lot of children visit Brompton Library after school; they played with the masks and told me whether they had done anything for World Book Day at school and what they were planning to buy with their World Book Day voucher. There’s more  information about this day on the World Book Day website.

Elisabeth Brown
Elisabeth Brown

Elisabeth Brown

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Calling all film buffs!

This month we have a selection of foreign language films in the library. Included are such gems as the Hebrew/Israeli film Waltz with Bashir, a stunning animation about a man trying to understand his nightmares and experiences as a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon war, and Perspolis, (also a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi), a modern cult classic telling the experiences of the author struggling with her Iranian identity in Europe. Please see the display by the entrance for these and other great films you may love but have yet to discover! All titles have English subtitles.

DVDs on display at Brompton Library
DVDs on display at Brompton Library

In addition to these world cinema titles we also have a great selection of new films to borrow. This includes Argo, Ben Affleck’s latest thriller which scooped three Oscars at this year’s award ceremony including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Picture. There’s a complete list of this year’s winners on the Oscars website.

Other less high-brow new release films on offer include Skyfall the latest James Bond adventure and Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 2. In addition to these titles here are some DVD recommendations that are available within the RBKC library service:

Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson’s latest quirky comedy features a fantastic cast including Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand and Edward Norton.

Beasts of the Southern Wild: A beautiful and poignant realist-fantasy featuring a stunning performance from Quvenzhane Wallis the nine year old girl who is the youngest person ever to be nominated for an academy award.

Christian Stevens
Christian Stevens

Christian Stevens

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Katie’s Corner

Authors we love: David Sedaris

David Sedaris
David Sedaris

Like the road trips that I alluded to last month with my husband whilst listening to audio books, the same author keeps popping into my mind – David Sedaris. I first came across this chap on Radio 4, his beguiling voice entertaining the audience with stories of his family, his childhood and his meanderings. Born in New York he had a very unconventional childhood and his writings did not provoke the interest of many until he was asked to host a radio show in Chicago. Once regular essays of his started appearing in the press the New York Times established him as a ‘minor icon’ and he started publishing his books. His 8th book, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls is coming out in April.

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

What I like about Sedaris is that he is entirely unsentimental but he writes and speaks in a way that cannot fail to touch you, he sums up relationships with his partner, parents and siblings which are hilarious and thought-provoking. Of them in particular he writes:

We were not a hugging people. In terms of emotional comfort it was our belief that no amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well made cocktail.

We have a number of his books in our collection so check him out! A teensy little taster of Sedaris can also be heard currently on Radio 4’s Ramblings with Clare Balding. That can be found on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Katie Collis

Senior Customer Services Assistant

A London Quiz

A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks
A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks

Want to test your knowledge about London? To celebrate our involvement with the Cityread London campaign, library staff have put together a quiz sheet that highlights the locations which appear in A Week in December  by Sebastian Faulks (this year’s Cityread London title).

You can collect a copy of the quiz from us and our other libraries – there aren’t any prizes but we hope you enjoy testing yourself!

There’s  more information about the campaign on Cityread London’s website and we’ve lots of events happening in our libraries during April 2013 too- full details on our Cityread London webpage.