On and off, I have belonged to various book clubs: The Literary Guild, Book-of-the-Month, Doubleday, Rhapsody, Black Expressions and Harlequin. I enrolled my oldest daughter in her first book club when she was less than a year old. My mother began reading books to me when I was four months old. I began reading to all three of my daughters in utero. Therefore, when Zoey came to me in late 2007 and asked for a book called Twilight being offered through Children's Book-of-the-Month, I read the summary and...groaned. Vampires. I couldn't understand her growing fascination for all things paranormal. Her reading tastes were proving very different than mine. Which was great. But vampires? Werewolves? Ghosts?
Let me pause here and say I love all of the above as long as I can add romance at the end. Romances with vampires, werewolves and ghosts is a great big go. Otherwise, I'm a NOTORIOUS chicken. Beetlejuice stretched it for me. We stayed overnight at a Natchez, MS bed and breakfast for a booksigning. The b&b was an old house. Beautiful. But old. Added to that were the paintings of the 19th century family who owned the home. I swore their eyes followed me. You might not believe in the paranormal, but to each his own. ;-) I do. At the time, Zoey wasn't yet three. She and I slept in the bed closest to the door while my mom slept in the bed on the other side of the room. I was so bad, I refused to go to the bathroom, alone, in the middle of the night. Yep, I woke up my momma to come with me. HOWEVER, she was well aware if someone decided to pay a nostalgic, apparition-y visit to their home while I was there, if she hadn't reached the car by the time I did, she'd have to find another way home.
So here were we, eight years later, and Zoey wanted me to order a book about a coven of vampires and the human girl who enters their lives. I hate to admit, but, until then, I was clueless. After I read the summary, I was still clueless. I bought the book, though.
She devoured it.
Once she finished the book, she kept after me to read it. "Mommie, I know you're going to love it. You have to read it."
I peeked at the first page...and grimaced. It was in first person, until then an immediate deal-breaker for me. I set the book aside. After a few days of "I know you're going to love it if you read it", I gave in and decided I'd stick with it until the bitter end, even if my eyeballs exploded. She'd promised me it was "chicken-proof" and it was more romance than anything else.
I read Twilight and fell in love with it. I thought it would take me a week, or four, to read. I finished it in a day. Although I enjoyed the book, I didn't want to see the movie. I didn't want what I liked about the novel ruined in a screen adaptation. After a Tween worthy badgering, I brought Zoey to see the movie.
And fell in love with it. Out of the five movies, Twilight ended up being the only one, I didn't see on opening day. Twilight was also the only one Zoey and I went to the movies EIGHT times to watch. No, Twilight was the only movie I ever spent money on to watch eight times at a movie theater.
Since the Twilight books, I've read other recommendations by Zoey. Most recently, Andrea Cramer's Nightshade Series. They always were bonding experiences for us. But the Twilight Series were something special. Watching the final movie in the series was a bittersweet experience for me. It was the ending of an era, a poignant reminder of everything ending sooner or later. There will be no more countdowns to the next movie. No more logistical planning to arrive at the theater early enough to ensure you get into the first movie of the day but not too early where you have a long wait.
It was the ending of an era in another way, too. Zoey and I saw the movie with four thousand miles between us.
The end of one era always ushers in the beginning of a new one: Fifty Shades of Gray here I come.