The Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyers has taken the tween world by storm. Almost every tween girl has read the series and fallen in love with the vampires and werewolves, and almost every tween boy has read it to know what the heck all those girls are raving about. So, what is it about these books that have made them such a success with this age group? Here are a few of the reasons:
1. It is relatable. Tween girls are living in a period of life when they are unsure of who they are, who they want to be, where they fit in, etc. The main character in the book, Bella has just moved to a new town, and has these same feelings. She meets and falls in love with a vampire, and struggles to determine how she can fit into his worlf. While tweens are not meeting vampires, they are facing the struggle of figuring out where they fit in, and how to be who they want to be while doing so. In addition, the girl in the story is the center of attention. Many of the boys at Bella’s school have a crush on her, ask her to dances, and two of the main character boys are in love with her. Every girl, tween age on up, wants to be the awkward, not perfect, and far from “cheerleader” type girl that has every boy falling in love with her. It is relatable, and girls want to relate to it. They want to see themselves as this character, and have things turn out well for them despite their weaknesses.
2. The book is fun. One of the reason this is such a phenomenon with tweens is that the books are fun. They have elements that are relatable, such as technology, and the modern world, but a fantasy aspect that helps kids escape reality and enjoy stories of mythical creatures and worlds. It is fascinating to consider the possibilities of these creatures living amongst us without our notice, and tweens have active imaginations. The Twilight saga is fuel for those imaginations.
3. The unattainable boy. Of course, one of the biggest reasons these stories took the world by storm is that they capture the very wish of most tweens, to be loved, to fit in, to find enjoyment, passion, and the rest, but most importantly, what tween girl doesn’t want the attentions of the unattainable boy? Edward is the broody, distant, attractive boy that every girl in the school has liked at one point or another, but is still aloof. For a tween girl who is just starting to understand the inklings of attraction, immersing herself in a story of the clumsy, new girl snagging his attention is romantic and the stuff dreams are made of.
Twilight sold over 40 million books because it tells the story that most tween girls want as their reality, maybe not with vampires and werewolves, but with fitting in, with boys fighting for their attention, and with a happy ending.