Fantastic books that make real life a letdown

Kristine Gill

I knew I’d have a gap to fill this summer. Not because I broke up with the guy I was dating this time last year. Not because my puppy had to go live with my aunt and would no longer sleep with me or chew my various possessions. Not because I’d miss all of my high school friends who decided not to come home this summer. I knew I’d have a gap because I’d finished reading the entire “Harry Potter” series last summer.

Don’t worry. This isn’t a column about Harry and hippogriffs and Golden Snitches and Horcruxes and chocolate frogs. I’m not going to go on and on about why I’d marry Harry if it weren’t for Ginny and what our kids would look like and how brave he was for defeating the Dark Lord. I just want it to be understood that I loved the series and that rereading all six books and the seventh installment when it came out kept me very, very busy for a few weeks last summer.

I knew it would be too soon for me to reread the series this summer, so I tried to find another book. I picked up a novel I had tried to read senior year of high school and it only took me 50 pages to remember why I stopped reading it the first time. Then I caught wind of another series.

I read about the books in Stephenie Meyer’s series online. The first one is called “Twilight,” and it’s a story about a girl in high school who falls in love with a vampire. Yes, a vampire. I know that sounds ridiculous. I didn’t rush to the store the next day because I was dying to read about vampires. I rushed to the store because this book was getting rave reviews and because I was in the mood for a love story.

And that’s what I got. These two kids were already confessing their undying love for each other by page 300. It was a little ridiculous, but I loved it.

SPOILER ALERT: It’s not a good idea to fall in love with a vampire.

But this book has raised questions in my mind that go beyond the morality of sucking human blood. I’m upset with Miss Meyer and J.K. Rowling and all those authors who write fantastic novels that make real life a letdown. Because no matter how many times I reread Rowling’s series, I’m not going to get my long-overdue acceptance letter to Hogwarts. And it doesn’t matter how closely I pay attention to the description in Meyer’s series about the lifestyle of vampires because I’ll never be asked to disclose it.

So why do we invest so much in novels and movies and fantasy? Why can’t I put down my book and go out and do something? Why do I feel excited and simultaneously disappointed as I flip close to the last page in the story? I have no clue and no insight to provide.

But I want you to know, that while it’s horribly sad to close your paperback copy of “Twilight” for the last time, it’s also great to know that if a vampire showed up in your hometown, you could spot it for what it was and have a chance at a once-in-a-lifetime romance – assuming you both used the same definition of necking.

Kristine Gill is a junior newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her if you know of any real vampires at [email protected].