I was a junior in high school, just like Bella Swan herself, when Twilight fever found me. I stayed up all night reading Stephenie Meyer‘s hit 2005 novel, pulled into the narrative despite its obvious flaws: the controlling habits of Bella’s vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen, the absurd pace of their romance. My friends and I saw the movie in theaters together, shrieking with laughter at Edward’s glittering skin. But at home, alone with the book and its three sequels in hand, I admit it wasn’t so funny. Bored and fantasizing about the epic romances my life might yield, I yearned for the intensity of that odd pair even as I rolled my eyes at their drama and bristled at unrealistic plot jumps. It was so dumb, yet I craved it.

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