By: Katherine Krohn
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
Publication Date: October 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 27, 2010
Bella. Edward. Jacob. Perhaps those names ring a bell with many ‘tweens and teens who have gone wild over these characters in the “Twilight” saga. In 2003 Stephenie Meyer had a very poignant dream about Edward and Bella as they lay in a meadow. The dream was so vivid it did not leave her, even when she had awakened. There was a story about those two people that had to be told and she was going to tell it. When she started to write about them, they were simply “she” and “he,” but she knew exactly who they were. The girl was a normal teenager, but the boy “was a 107-year-old vampire, faced with the troublesome urge to drink the blood of this girl he loves.” Stephenie Meyer, a stay at home mom to three young boys, had a story to write and nothing could stop her once she began.
Her husband, Pancho, was annoyed and frustrated when a burst of creativity came over her. He said, “You never sleep, you don’t talk to me, I never get to use the computer. What are you doing?” She confided in her older sister, Emily, who was soon asking to read more of the story and when it wasn’t forthcoming wanted to know if Stephenie was alive . . . she thought it was that good! When the manuscript was finished her sister “wasn’t going to back down until Meyer took steps to seek out a publisher.” Creativity was one thing, but learning how to go about getting published was quite another. She received nine rejection letters before her book was accepted. Almost everyone who has read Stephenie’s books became “passionate about them” and Oprah noted “that Meyer has helped create a ‘culture of literacy’ in many middle and high schools.” But what about Stephenie herself? You’ll soon learn where she grew up, how many brothers and sisters she had, what her family life was like, and the fact that she “appreciated the strict way she was raised” in a close-knit Mormon family. She too, like many of her readers, was passionate about reading and was nicknamed “the reader” by her family. You’ll learn lots of very interesting facts about her, including when she “compared herself to the other kids, especially the popular girls, she sometimes felt like a misfit.” Are you interested in knowing whom she named the characters in the “Twilight saga” for? You’ll just have to read this book to find out!
This is a fascinating look at Stephenie Meyer, a “publishing phenomenon” who got a lot of young people reading. Most people have probably heard something about the saga, but even if they haven’t heard about it, they will totally enjoy learning about Stephenie’s life. This book does not attempt to portray the series in a totally positive light, but rather discusses several points of view from librarians, Amazon reviewers, and authors like Stephen King. Meyer’s honest and heartfelt take on the criticism was that “It’s a bit hard for me: I’m very thin-skinned.” This well-balanced book made it very appealing and quite interesting. The reader will learn everything from what she was like as a child right up to the music she listened to when she wrote the series and things like what her favorite TV shows are. The book has numerous full cover photographs, a fact that fans will appreciate. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, a timeline, source notes, a selected bibliography, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: If you are a fan of the Twilight saga and would like to know more about Stephenie Meyers, this book is a marvelous portrait of an extraordinary woman!