Let’s just get this out of the way at the beginning, folks. Twilight. Yes, the vampires sparkle. No, I’m not really a fan of that interpretation. Yes, vampires should definitely get reduced to a pile of ash in the sun, a la Anne Rice. But you have to admit, sparkly skin would be pretty sweet, am I right?

But I’m all seriousness, I am an openly admitted Twi-Hard. Although, the fandom has decreased significantly over the years, the Twilight Saga will always have a special spot in my book heart. And the reason might not be what you expect.

Stephanie Meyer came into my life in 2008, around when all the publicity got super intense for the movie debut. I had seen a few of my friends talking about the books on MySpace (wow, that makes me feel old!), and I figured I should check it out to see what all the fuss was about. And after finishing the first book, I felt the fuss was well deserved.

It wasn’t that the plot was super original (young, innocent girl falls for cute, broody guy; cute, broody guy turns out to be a vampire; young, innocent girl doesn’t care; cute, broody guy sucks the blood of young, innocent girl; they decide theirs is a love of the ages); or that the characters were deep and full of ennui (young, innocent girl and cute, broody guy kind of sums it up); but it was what the books meant to me at that point in my life – the possibility and potential for happiness.

In 2008 I was going through radiation treatment for cancer. I was 21 and feeling that life had really screwed me over big time. Books have always been my way to escape, but Twilight offered me more than just an escape. It offered me a chance to feel something other than pain and frustration. And as I made my way through the series, even with the typical love triangle and the cheesy explanation for the werewolves and vampires not immediately slaughtering each either (because they’re not werewolves, they’re magical shapeshifters, duh!), I fell in love with the (mostly) simple story of a girl fighting for the life she wanted to live. And it helped. It helped me face each day and think to myself, “you can do this, it’s not the end, there’s so much more to come”.

Naysayers can go on with their naysaying and reject my unwavering stand behind Twilight and its simple love story, but you won’t ever convince me that it’s not worthy of being a fan of. We all find different reasons to love a book, and this series will always be special to me.

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