Monday, November 16, 2009

Faith and Fangs

"Touched by a Vampire: Discovering the Hidden Messages in the Twilight saga" by Beth Felker Jones is an enticing read. It chronicles the messages of Twilight from a Christian perspective. The issues of a nuclear family, love, self-esteem, gender roles, and more are discussed. Jones first gives the reader an overview of the plot (spoilers included) of the Twilight saga. Then, she dives into particular topics. Each time she does this, she recaps the part of the Twilight story that pertains to her point so those that haven't read the saga will not get lost in her arguments without perspective. Readers are interested as they learn that the protagonist in Twilight puts herself down, obsesses over a perfect boy, and leaves behind everything for her "soul mate." Jones talks about girls needing more positive role models and that idolizing perfect men will leave nothing but disappointment. While love is droned over, the pages fly by almost as if readers were reading Twilight. At the end, Jones recaps how Jesus is all one needs in life, and that, while finding a significant other is copacetic, it must not trump God. Jones mentions how the author of Twilight is Mormon and brings up many interesting points. There are discussion questions included, too. It would have been interesting to read about race or the economy in Twilight, but, as it stands, Jones' book is a page turner.

"Thirsty" by Tracey Bateman is a gripping novel. It is about an alcoholic woman of Indian descent who is supposed to be quite beautiful. When she is young, a vampire finds her after a party when she is intoxicated and has just been raped (there is no explicit detail of this). Seventeen years later, the vampire sees her again and is compelled to go to her. He has waited for her all those years. To him, she reminds him of his long lost love that he killed in a fit of rage when she would not marry him. The alcoholic woman has found her sobriety and goes to her hometown to live next door to her sister while her daughter visits for a week. She ends up talking with the vampire and interacting with him, but she does not know who he is to that extent--she does not remember. The vampire's admirer is a black magic woman that threatens to kill the alcoholic woman if he does not go to her. There is intense internal conflict. There is also tension between the woman and her ex-husband as he still loves her. Additionally, the woman reconnects with the man that raped her, and her daughter finds out who her real biological father is. There is much drama in the book, and the excitement heightens towards the end. As for the vampirism itself, that comes into play more towards the second half. This book is a great read for those that want to have the appeal of "Twilight" without any of the religious guilt attached to it. The characters and moral dilemmas in this book are more Christian. God could have been written about more often, but, in general, the themes and lessons are more Christian-friendly.

This book was provided by the Multnomah Publishing Company. Check out their books at

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