, Salem, MA


November 20, 2008

Spotlight on 'Twilight'

Girls, moms anxious for film version of first book in romance-vampire series

Teenage girls from around the North Shore — and their mothers — are counting the hours until midnight tonight, when the film version of the book "Twilight" opens in theaters. Some will show up to school, and work, sleepy-eyed tomorrow; others will wait until the weekend to see the film, based on the first in a series of four novels by best-selling author Stephenie Meyer. Rest assured, most fans will have seen the film before week's end.

Karen Hackney, a mother from Marblehead, recently bought tickets online for herself and her two daughters. They'll see the movie Sunday at AMC Loews at Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers.

"Twilight" is the story of forbidden romance between two teenagers — Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), an immortal vampire, and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a "different" girl in small, rainy Forks, Wash. The two face many obstacles: Friends and family disapprove of their true love; Edward must resist his primal urge to drink Bella's blood; and he has to protect her from other, blood-thirsty vampires.

One would think that a book about vampires with violent themes would not be appropriate for teens, but local parents and educators agree the book is full of positive themes, such as abstinence, religion, chivalry, politeness and selflessness.

"('Twilight') is the first book (we've read) that's so true to life, and it's helped us discuss things that are central to their own lives," said Hackney, about her two daughters, Anne, 13, a seventh-grader at Veterans Middle School, and Laura, 15, a sophomore at Marblehead High School.

Laura read the "Twilight" series first, her mom said. When "Twilight" appeared on Anne's summer reading list this year, Karen Hackney took an interest. Originally concerned the book would have too much graphic adult content for young Anne, Hackney picked it up in August, while her daughters were visiting relatives. She liked it so much, she read all four novels in a week, bonding with Laura and Anne over the phone for an hour to an hour and a half a night.

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