Book Reviews

By Fiona McAllister

With compelling characters and storyline, no wonder Twilight Fever struck so many. But beyond the surface, we need to be careful about the messages we take from Stephenie Meyer's books about dealing with love and life.

Sometimes, relationships like Bella and Edward's can be so intoxicating that you just can't get enough of each other, and like them you want to spend every possible moment together. To a certain point this is okay, but when does it become unhealthy? Edward can be overbearing and extremely jealous of anyone being with Bella. Bella's whole identity becomes built upon her relationship with Edward, to the exclusion of almost anyone and anything else. Having a great relationship with your boyfriend of course includes doing fun things and spending time together, but you also need to make sure you have a healthy balance of time spent with friends, family, school (or work) and interests.

Since having a relationship end is very upsetting, you need to have healthy coping mechanisms. Bella does not. She goes practically catatonic for 3 months after Edward dumps her, and then engages in extremely and increasingly risky behavior, like taking a thrill ride on a motorbike with a complete stranger, and jumping off a cliff into the ocean, simply to have the hallucination of hearing Edward's voice. A relationship cannot be so all consuming that if it ends you having nothing left. Healthy coping includes things like talking with your friends, parents, or someone else who is close to you for support; taking time for yourself like going on walks or riding a bike because exercising can really help get those endorphins (the feel good hormone) going in your brain; and most importantly praying for strength and healing.

Bella and Edward also spend time together in ways before they are married that could lead down a risky moral path. Edward sneaks into Bella's room and goes to sleep with her in her bed behind her father's back. They also spend time making out to the point where Bella practically begs Edward to have sex with her, and only his resistance stops this from happening. Although possible to not have sex doing these activities, it is very unlikely. Keep yourself from the heartache by saving these interactions for your husband. Give your boyfriend hugs, warm hand holding, and goodnight kisses after a date.

Of most importance, is to take a look at how Edward and Bella build their relationship. It is based on physical attraction, belief of how the other person is too perfect for them, and unhealthy behaviour. Edward keeps the truth from Bella in order to "protect" her and they have an obsessive compulsion to spend time with each other. Bella even describes her relationship with Edward by saying that he is like a drug to her, and she is addicted. That will only take you so far in the real world.

On the other hand, Bella and Jacob build their relationship entirely differently. It is based upon common interests, friendship, loyalty, and of course physical attraction too. Bella has a comfortable companionship with Jacob. She describes him as her personal sunshine, and best friend, but most importantly Jacob is always upfront and honest with Bella. For lasting relationships to develop, both partners need to have shared interests, be comfortable with each other, have open an honest communication, friendship and mutual respect.

So ultimately? Go ahead and read the Twilight Saga; but carefully observe how Bella builds and works in her relationships with both Edward and Jacob, and think about which style is realistically going to bring a lasting and happy relationship.

Fiona McAllister is a young, married mom who is addicted to style and fashion. She also loves kids, exercising, dancing, and dating her husband. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology, with a focus in fashion and family. She writes freelance and lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


By Jen

Now what? What's next for me? After graduating from high school and as a young adult you face so many choices. It can be hard to figure out what's right for you.

The academic world would have you strive for a degree that will lead to a fulfilling, well-paying full-time career. Our religious world stresses getting married and becoming a stay-at-home mom. In an ideal world you might see yourself becoming rich, famous or both. The "real" world may force you to get a job right away and think more realistically about your goals.

What about your dreams? What will your future be? Will you serve a full-time mission? Have a family? A career? Especially at this time in your life, the Lord's help is crucial in the decision making process.

That's why I'm so excited to tell you about a book I just read. It's called Where Do I Go from Here?: Finding Your Personal Mission as a Young Adult Woman. Brigham Young once said “There is neither man nor woman in this church who is not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live.” Yes, you have a personal mission! You were put in your place in life to do things only you can do. Now is the time to figure out what that mission is so it can be your guide map as you begin making the decisions that will shape your life.

Your potential is much more than you can imagine, and Heavenly Father wants you to realize that potential. What you envision as your most perfect, fun and happy future is based upon a limited earthly view. If you could see your true potential, what will be your future if you let the Lord guide you, it would probably dwarf your current hopes and dreams. Where Do I Go from Here? is an awesome, inspiring book written just for LDS young adult women. It leads you down a path of personal discovery to help you figure out what your mission is. Taking into consideration your gifts, talents and unique interests, you'll determine how you, personally, can make a difference in the world.