November 18, 2009

Your A-Z guide to 'Twilight'

A rizona. We'll start out our list in the same place as the books: Arizona. The book begins with Bella leaving her mom and the sunny Southwest for her dad's hometown of Forks, Wash.

B ella. Bella Swan is the human half of "Twilight's" heart, and also the novels' narrator. She keeps to herself but quickly becomes the object of affection for many boys as the new girl at school. Played by Kristen Stewart in the movie franchise, Bella is also very accident-prone, stubborn and inquisitive, often getting into danger.

C ullens. The Cullen "family" is Washington's very own vampire coven (there are many around the world). While not related by blood, the Cullens are a close-knit group. Carlisle, the group's father figure, is a doctor from the 1600s who "turned" (as they call creating vampires) people who were suffering and on the brink of death: "son" Edward; Esme, now Carlisle's wife; and "daughter" Rosalie. Rosalie later turned Emmett, who had been mauled by a bear (they subsequently married). Teens Jasper and Alice, who met up with the family more recently, had been turned by other vampires (and also are in love). Because vampires stop aging after they are turned, the so-called teens, Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice and Jasper, are stuck eternally as high school students.

D eer. The Cullens are vampire "vegetarians," meaning they don't eat people. Instead, they hunt for wild game in the woods. Edward's meal of choice is deer. Many think Carlisle and his clan just want to bond during their recurring "camping trips," in which they'll feed in the surrounding parks for a few days before returning to society.

E dward. Ah, Edward Cullen. The boy to which all "Twilight" fans' boyfriends will be forever measured against. Edward, played in the movies by the swoon-worthy Robert Pattinson, is known for his sensitivity and protectiveness. He's always looking out for and helping Bella, putting her needs before his, or anyone else's. He has been waiting for her for more than 100 years, after all.

F orks, Wash. The majority of the action in the books takes place in Forks, Wash., a real town. Stephenie Meyer found it after doing a search for the rainiest place in the U.S. The rain was crucial because in the "Twilight" universe, vampires don't go out in sunlight. Which leads us to ...

G littering. Or maybe glistening. Or glowing. Whatever you want to call it, vampires' skin does it in the sunlight. Humans would be a bit suspicious of this, so the vampires skip school.

H umans. When not spending time with mythical creatures, Bella does have human friends at school. While popular boy Mike Newton crushes on Bella, friend Jessica crushes on Mike. There is also Eric (the nerdy one), Angela (the good friend) and Tyler (the funny, cocky one), among others. These characters ground the book, and along with Bella's dad, Charlie, give Bella an escape from her sometimes crazy life.

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