I suppose I could write about the New Year, given that it’s the last day of the Old Year, but ugh, I don’t know. I’m not really a good enough writer to make my own personal hopes and dreams that entertaining, so I suppose all I can say is this: I found 2010 and 2011 to challenging years, and 2012 came at me as a lovely respite from that. My brother once theorized that life is made up of three main components: family, career and social, and at no point would all three things be 100% satisfying. I’ve been watching these three elements ebb and flow for me for the past few years, and while I agree that not all three are 100% satisfying, for right now, I’m doing ok. The things that matter are where they need to be. In 2012, I feel settled and happy. I’m right where I should be and I’m with the person I should be with. That’s a lovely thing, and at the risk of being greedy, I wish for more of the same in 2013.
(Perhaps I could also wish for the ability to not end a sentence with a preposition? Nah)
Anyway. What I *really* want to talk about is Justin Cronin’s The Passage and follow up novel The Twelve. Good LORD, these two books. I have never, not once, worked so hard for a book to be satisfying, which is ridiculous; my main feeling about books is that if you don’t enjoy them you should just give up, because hello: this is an optional exercise, there’s no teacher giving you a grade, you decide what to do with your free time, etc., but MAN, I couldn’t stop with this story – I wanted to KNOW, I had to UNDERSTAND – but damn if the act of getting there didn’t feel like work.
Is that praise? I can’t tell. It must be; I read the damn things, and I keep thinking about the story, and I tell other people to read them.
Somewhat related but not really: I saw the final Twilight movie with La Stepdaughter a few weeks ago, and, ok, ok, yes: I got teary. But hear me out! I had not cared to see the movie; the second half of the final book was my least favorite part of the whole series, so I was not particularly interested in seeing an entire movie devoted to it, but Sammy wanted to go and when a 15 year old wants to voluntarily spend time with you? You go. And you guys, it was great. It was so great. Way back in 2008, Samantha begrudgingly lent me the Twilight book to read (seriously: begrudgingly: she LOVED that book. She re-read it at every opportunity. I think I only was able to pry it out of her hands because New Moon had come out), and oh. I loved it. Yes, yes, I KNOW, but for as much effort as The Passage was to read, Twilight was the exact opposite. It effortlessly entertained me, and I loved it. I loved reading it, I loved talking to Sammy about it, I loved getting to read the subsequent books. I loved watching my stepdaughter fall head over heels in love with a story; she was consumed by it, she wanted to read it all the time, not pausing for dinner or car rides or conversation. Do you know how wonderful it is to scold a child: “Put your book down and come to dinner!”? As a lifelong reader and book nerd, I could not possibly have had higher hopes for Samantha, that she love to read and love a story as much I do and have.
And the Twilight series went on for YEARS, you guys. So many years of sharing books and seeing the movies and watching her grow up into an amazing almost 16 year old, a smart as hell woman whose reviews on Goodreads are delightful and who has serious opinions about the latest Tana French novel and who constantly asks me for a good book to read. So when the credits for Breaking Dawn Part 2 came across, and they gave a montage of all the actors for all five movies, yes, fine: I teared up. Those characters have been a part of my life since 2008, a period of time when I became a stepmother and a wife and a member of our great little family and I found myself thinking back to how much things have changed and how much fun we’ve had and how lucky I am to have gotten to share this story with her.
I’ve been made fun of more times than I can count for how fiercely I have loved the Twilight series, but oh, you guys. How could I not love it? An 11 year old girl fell in love with a story and I fell in love with her, and here we are, years later, and man. I am so damn lucky.