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What's the word, teens?

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By Becky Cassell, Editor

We're going to find out why so many teenagers are reading the Twilight saga.

At Sunday's meeting of the CKNJ Bookmarks reading group, we discussed our last book choice, a set of two novellas, "Dinner With a Perfect Stranger" and "A Day With a Perfect Stranger." The books were an easy read, first-person accounts of two young skeptics who encounter Jesus, and his answers to their most challenging and most personal life questions.

Some of us liked the books, and others didn't.

But that's what's so great about having a local reading group. We don't all have to enjoy all of the books to have a discussion about them.

For our next choice, we decided we'd read Stephenie Meyer's book "Twilight" to see what all the hype is about. Teens and adults everywhere, it seems, are reading the books - and enjoying them.

Of course, I get to cheat a little here because I've already read the series. But it certainly won't be a hardship to read it again.

I will say that the movie has nothing on the book. So if you've seen the movie, I promise it won't spoil the book for you.

My 16-year-old son finally talked me into reading the first book, two months after he finished the series. And I - honestly - could hardly put it down. I was disappointed when I had to wait for one of his friends to finish the second one before I could start it.

So, the Bookmarks decided that if millions of teens were reading it, we'd read it, too.

The Amazon.com book review:

"Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

"Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, 'Twilight' captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires."

A 16-year-old's review

from Meyers' Web site:

"'Twilight' caught my interest so much, I couldn't stand to put it down once I started. I read this book in one sitting and didn't finish until 5 a.m., but it was worth every minute. It's the love story between a vampire and a human, and the love feels so real, it's hard to imagine it's just a book.

"The main character, Bella Swan, is instantly likeable, and it's impossible not to empathize with the new couple as their relationship starts to bud. The vampire, Edward Cullen, is captivating with his extraordinary beauty, ancient genteelness and ability to read minds. But just when the tension eases and it seems like things are going to work out for them (and that's a hard thing to come by, considering their separate diets), disaster strikes.

"The book was so much more than I expected; the love feels so real, and at its heart, it's more a love story between two beings than anything else. This was a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable book - I recommend it completely."

Want to join us?

If you enjoy a good book and would like the chance to talk to others who are reading the same book, we'd love to have you join us.

With help from the Taylor County Public Library and the Taylor County Extension Office, the group meets once every three months. There is no membership or mandatory attendance, it's just a group of people getting together to talk about books.

Elaine Munday, librarian at Taylor County Public Library, says she will obtain several copies of the group's book selections. We also hope that those who buy the books will read them and pass them on to a friend, which will allow even more people to join in the fun.

If you're interested in joining us and want to be added to our newsletter, just drop me an e-mail at editor@cknj.com.

Our next meeting is at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 19 at the Extension Office. I hope to see you there.