Monday, November 16, 2009

Touched by a Vampire: Discovering the Hidden Messages in the Twilight Saga (Faith and Fangs Blog Tour)

Summary: People around the world are asking the same question, enraptured with Edward and Bella’s forbidden romance in the Twilight Saga, a four-book serial phenomenon written by Stephenie Meyer. The bestsellers tell the story of a regular girl’s relationship with a vampire who has chosen to follow his “good” side. But the Saga isn’t just another fantasy–it’s teaching girls about love, sex, and purpose. With 48 million copies in print and a succession of upcoming blockbuster films, now is the time to ask the important question: Can vampires teach us about God’s plan for love?

Touched by a Vampire is the first book to investigate the themes of the Twilight Saga from a Biblical perspective. Some Christian readers have praised moral principles illustrated in the story, such as premarital sexual abstinence, which align with Meyer’s Mormon beliefs. But ultimately, Beth Felker Jones examines whether the story’s redemptive qualities outshine its darkness.

Cautionary, thoughtful, and challenging, Touched by a Vampire is written for Twilight fans, parents, teachers, and pop culture enthusiasts. It includes an overview of the series for those unfamiliar with the storyline and a discussion guide for small groups.


My Thoughts:
My sixteen year old daughter read the Twilight series in a week. When the first movie came out, she and I went to see it together. We found it to be somewhat disappointing but it was enough to entice me to read the series myself. I enjoyed the books just as much as my daughter. There is something about an intense love story that appeals to most women, perhaps because we desire to love and be loved in the same way.

I was rather intrigued by the premise of this book and thought it would be an interesting read. Not having read the title closely, I assumed it was another of the "Finding God in..." type of books. That wasn't the case at all. Rather than looking at the spiritual applications one could make from the series, this book identifies and analyzes the themes of the series. This isn't a bad concept and could be helpful to those wanting to be more discerning about what they, their daughters, and/or their culture is reading.

The first themes mentioned are ones I would agree are most present and most in need of discussion- the premise of dangerous and obsessive love. While I thoroughly enjoyed the Twilight series, I mentioned in my original review that the issue here was not that it was a vampire story but that it was an intense romance. For this reason I recommended the books not be read by the younger teen crowd. The author here does a good job in bringing this theme to the surface and sharing the Biblical version of true love.


Unfortunately, I believe this would have made a better essay than a book. After the first couple obvious themes, it gets a little over analytical. This series IS fiction and those reading it understand it is fiction. While it is important to understand the themes of a story and the worldview of an author (as there is power in a story, I have no doubt about that), sometimes we can be too over critical and give readers too little credit. The latter chapters of Touched By A Vampire seem to do this, taking bits and pieces of the story and giving them meaning I don't believe they were meant to have.

I would recommend this book with reservations. While it does bring up some good discussion points, it goes a bit too far in my view and attributes themes and messages that I do not believe are there for the majority of readers. It was an interesting read for this Christian Twilight fan though, sometimes debating an opposite point with an author can be thought provoking as well!

*This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.*

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