So you’ve found a lady you’re looking to impress, and she likes “The Twilight Saga.” You read my last guide to “Twilight: Original Recipe” and think you’re all set to go and you can speak comfortably about loving the glitteriest vampire the Northwest ever did see.  Sorry to break it to you, dude, but there are three more books (four more movies) so you’re not done. Never fear, Mel has got this:


Not so quick synopsis: Remember Bella and Edward? He’s a vampire, she’s a plain but magnetic girl and they’re in love? Well, they’re still dating, but now Bella is 18, and freaking out that she’s turned into a cougar since Edward is eternally 17. He’s like, “No, for real, I love the older ladies” to which she responds, “Oh, it’s no big deal, I don’t really care about my looks or my age despite being in a society that values youth and beauty and unreasonable weight above all else in a woman.”  Hahaha JK, what she REALLY does is pout about it and try to get him to turn her into a vampire, because when you’re 18 and have been dating someone for six months, it is totally the time to settle down with them FOR ETERNITY. Also she is terrified to grow old. Aunt Mel says: Girl, wait till you turn 30 and lose all value to society.

Back to “Twilight”: Everything is cool because Edward and his family of vampires (who, side note, are all dating each other Fleetwood Mac style, despite posing as adoptive brothers and sisters to all the vampire muggles) throw her a birthday party. It’s all fun and games until Bella (who, remember, is incredibly clumsy) gets a paper cut unwrapping a gift which is really, really bad in a room full of vampires. One of the sexy vampire brothers Jasper attacks her because he is the youngest vampire-wise and thus less able to control his THIRST FOR HUMAN BLOOD WHICH CONSTANT DRINKING OF DEER BLOOD DOES LITTLE TO QUENCH.  He and Edward rumble, and Bella is not hurt, and still not bitten by a vampire, which would have made this series mercifully shorter.

Edward decides he has to break up with Bella, because it’s not her, it’s him and his affiliation with a pack of blood drinking porcelain dolls. He and his family disappear, and Bella falls into a deep depression (indicated in the book by several pages with simply the name of the month on them, which is the best writing in the entire series) until her dad is finally like, “Please get up out of that chair and take a shower.”

Bella derps all over the place being derpy until she sees some guys cliff-diving and derpily remembers the time Edward came and saved her when her life was in danger. So instead of sleeping with his best friend or cutting all her hair off to get his attention, she decides to repeatedly put herself in harm’s way. She asks Jacob, the Native American kid who showed up in the first book/movie to give some exposition about the vampires in the area, to help her make her boyfriend jealous   put her life at risk  learn how to ride a dirt bike. Jacob is newly totally jacked (right down to those sex muscles men and P!nk have at their hipfronts) but Bella is still all, “Waaah, I miss my scrawny vampire.” Regardless, he teaches her to ride a dirt bike until she has a vision of Edward telling her to be careful which causes her to wipe out (way to be counterproductive, Edward). Important:  Jacob responds to this by sprinting over and tearing his own shirt off because sex muscles.

Jacob backs off for a while but Bella comes trolling around because she needs male approval from someone, somewhere, and everyone is thinking “Bella, why aren’t you working on your relationship with your father and how your parents’ divorce is dictating how much you need to win back all the men who leave you?” But Jacob admits that he’s been avoiding her because he is going through some changes, as 16-year-old boys are wont to do. HOWEVER. In his case, it’s not just hair-down-there and all the accessories that come with it, it is that he and his friends are giant CGI werewolves. They have been distracted protecting the area from a bloodthirsty vampire who wants to kill Bella. Not the one that previously tried to kill Bella in this book/movie  (remember James?) but a totally other one. They are being poor man’s direwolves because there is a vampire named Victoria who has it out for Bella because Victoria loved James. So Bella is stuck cliff diving on her own. YOU’RE MAKING GREAT CHOICES, BELLA.

Meanwhile,  back at the ranch. Edward thinks Bella died jumping off the cliff because–just stick with me on this one his adoptive vampire sister Alice’s vampire power is seeing the future–but sometimes it’s subjective because of free will and whatever the opposite of manifest destiny is. Anyhoo, she saw Bella jumping off the cliff in her brainbox so naturally she tells Edward that Bella died. Edward is depressed now and decides he’s going to like totally die without Bella, which is super hard for a vampire to do, but he’s going to make it happen by pissing off the Volturi, a weird Roman sect of super powerful vampires. And he is going to do that by going topless into a crowded square right above Volturi headquarters, exposing his sparkly ta-tas[ref]Side note: in the movies, Rob Pattinson’s pecs are famously drawn on his torso by makeup artists[/ref] to the world and proving the existence of vampires. Oh, and vampires can kill other vampires.

Alice goes to get Bella and tells her what’s up and they run across the globe with the Cullens’ endless money to stop Edward. They do eventually stop Edward, but the Volturi take them all to vampire jail anyway, and when they see Bella, they’re all, “Well, this human girl still knows vampires exist, so we have to kill her.” Alice convinces them not to by showing them a vision of what a powerful vampire Bella will become, so the Volturi are like, “Cool, we won’t kill her if she becomes a vampire.”  They all go back home and even though Edward and Bella make up and switch their Facebook status back to “In a Relationship,” he does not want her to become a vampire. They do what anyone would do, and put it to a family vote, and the family decides to vamp Bella.  Edward says sure, okay, he’ll make her a vampire. But only if she marries him. Dun dun DUN.

Wow your friends: I have nothing.  There is literally no subtext in this book.

Lady boner points: Talk about the objectification of the female body vs. the objectification of the male body, i.e. Jacob in particular. Is this pandering to women? Does society not give women enough leeway for craving visual stimulation as it gives men?

Super lady boner points:  Show off your own sex muscles.  (There are tutorials on YouTube that can show you how in several simple steps with some common make-up tools, you can draw on abdominal muscles a la R-Patz. Have an arts and crafts night and experiment.)

If you’ve made it this far to impress a girl with your knowledge of “Twilight,” I applaud your commitment. You’re totally sensitive like an Edward, but loyal like a Jacob. I hope she knows what a keeper you are.