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Breaking Dawn Release Party

The first wave of Twi-hards line up downstairs to buy their books.

The first wave of "Twi-hards" line up downstairs to buy their books.

Last night, the much-anticipated fourth and final book in Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, was released. Midnight parties were held at Barnes & Noble’s across the country, in the same vein as the Harry Potter release parties. As a recent but huge fan of the series, I was eager to get the book myself as soon as it came out, so I headed to the bookstore last night.

I have to say…Twilight is a very hard series to theme. The books aren’t traditional fantasy stuff… they’re set in modern day Washington state, and characters don’t wear capes, nor do the vampires have fangs. The theme of the party was a prom, which I think is a bit of a stretch, and attendees were encouraged to dress in prom-wear.

Many fans came dressed up, which surprised me. I saw everything from red and black gothic ball gowns, to classic prom gowns and cocktail dresses (some more appropriate for clubbing, I think, than a book release party….). Others came in Twilight-related t-shirts, declaring their love for Edward or Jacob and even, to my surprise, Jasper. There were a few, like me, who took a more abstract approach and wore casual clothes reflecting colors of the book covers.

In one area of the store, employees were helping people make prom sashes that they could decorate with whatever they wanted. Some people’s said simple things like “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob”, some quoted the book or urged others to “Date a Cullen”. A more honest sash admitted “I haven’t read these books.” In another area, you could get your picture taken under a prom-like arch, or make a pretty neat corsage thing. They were also, for some reason unknown to me, giving salsa dancing lessons, which as far as I know has nothing to do with the books, but people seemed to be enjoying it nonetheless. The Starbucks inside the store was serving Twilight-themed drinks and cakes (at least the sign said they were….the baristas were a little clueless, but that’s a much longer story), including “Plasma Punch”, which was really a strange but pretty tasty concoction of a blended strawberry lemonade with a pump of raspberry syrup.

I’m glad I went to get my book at midnight, but, I admit, I left the party feeling a bit underwhelmed. Everything felt a bit too last minute, disorganized, and thrown together. My expectations were high because the last book release party I attended was for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which was of course crazy and amazing, but at a different Barnes & Noble, so maybe that had something to do with it. Although I expected the event to be full of teenage girls, I did expect to see a few male Twilight fans. The few guys that were there, however, were either boyfriends, brothers or dads. While many have started comparing Twilight’s popularity to that of Harry Potter, last night showed that the material really doesn’t have much of appeal outside of its teenage-girl fanbase yet, and I doubt the upcoming film will change that. I think bookstores are eager to latch on to something as “the next Harry Potter”, but I don’t think anything will match Harry Potter’s success for a very very long time. It’s great to see people getting excited about books, though, especially people of that age group.
Upstairs, more fans lined up to buy their books. Almost all of them were teenage girls.

Upstairs, more fans lined up to buy their books. Almost all of them were teenage girls.

The books were kept under wraps and in sealed boxes behind the counter until midnight.

The books were kept under wraps and in sealed boxes behind the counter until midnight. Employees guarded the counter area.

Girls dressed in gothic ball gowns, cocktail dresses, and hand-made Twilight t-shirts, while others dressed casually. Here, one of my favorite dresses of the night (the red and black).

Girls dressed in gothic ball gowns, cocktail dresses, and hand-made Twilight t-shirts, while others dressed more casually. Here, one of my favorite dresses of the night (the red and black).

Outside of Barnes & Noble, a display of all the Stephanie Meyer books.

Outside of Barnes & Noble, a display of all the Stephanie Meyer books.

Buttons given out at the event.

Buttons given out at the event.

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