Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Story Time . . . ESCAPING THE VAMPIRE by Kimberly Powers

I found it somewhat ironic that while I was reading (and loving) the firs two TWILIGHT books, I got a Christian book in the mail to review called Escaping the Vampire. I had agreed to review this book before I'd cracked the cover of Twilight, but now that I had a more vested interest, I was terribly afraid that this was going to be one of those books that says, "Yes, this thing is popular, but don't let your teens read it!" If that was the case, I was fully prepared to fight tooth and nail.

It didn't look promising when I opened this non-fiction book up and saw that her introduction was that she was watching the movie, not reading the book. (I hadn't yet seen the movie, though I just did the other night.) Especially since the first question the author asks is answered right away in the book. I was already groaning, but I kept flipping through. And with each page, my groan eased, turned into a sigh, and then a nod. This wasn't an "answer book." By which I mean, "The Christian answer to the Twilight series." It didn't condemn. Instead, it examined the appeal the Twilight books have, pinpointed the things that young girls dream about, and expounded on how Jesus meets and exceeds every single one of them. I got no beef with that, LOL.

The author, Kimberly Powers, is a well-established speaker to teen girls, so in a lot of ways this book is just an expansion of the ministry she already has. She takes those qualities of Edward Cullen from Twilight that has girls going ga-ga and goes through a step-by-step study of why we want it, where we often look for it, and how we're generally disappointed. In a way it struck me as an argument I'd heard before concerning romance novels in general--not that we shouldn't read them, but that we need to understand the appeal and recognize where reality and fiction diverge. Powers does a great job of examining that, of encouraging her readers to ask questions of themselves, to try to understand their own thoughts, feelings, and motivations, and then to extent their realizations outward.

What the book comes down to is a really good analogy. That, just like in Twilight, we are all somewhat awkward girls who want to belong, want to be loved. And just like in Twilight, there is evil out there hunting us--Satan, whom she calls the Ultimate Vampire. But, just like in Twilight, an immortal hero waits to rescue us. One who is stronger than us, without our frailties and limitations, one who would sacrifice himself for us and love us unconditionally. Jesus.

This strikes me more as a book that parents would pick up for their daughters than that teens would pick up themselves, but the truths within are well set up and presented. It appeals to what they already love instead off attacking it, and takes a frank and fresh approach to an age-old dilemma.

(As mentioned above, I received this book as a free review copy.)

4 comments:

  1. The real question is: Are you Camp Edward or Camp Jacob, Ro? :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, it's like this. I like Edward. I understand him, he's a great guy, all that. But Jacob is so CUTE. I love his genuineness, his attitude, the way he accepts Bella as is. So, though I know I'm setting myself up for diappointment, I gotta say Camp Jacob.

    As if you didn't know that already! =)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, I don't think we've had a discussion in which you declared yourself.

    Does Escaping The Vampire talk about Jacob at all?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I haven't read the entire thing yet, but not in the first half. Then again, she seemed to be basing it only on TWILIGHT, and he's not much in it.

    I guess I hadn't put a stamp on my forehead yet, LOL. Consider us cohorts.

    ReplyDelete