'Twilight': Scenes from the 'Breaking Dawn' release party
In the name of bringing you hard news (and all things "Twilight"), I spent my Friday night at the Borders bookstore on La Cienega to take in the scene at one of the many "Breaking Dawn" release parties going on across the country.
By now, you've heard of Stephenie Meyer, her vampire romance book "Twilight" and the growing hysteria surrounding the upcoming movie starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.
Previously, only the "Harry Potter" series had inspired these nationwide book parties -- nights where stores stay open late to host trivia games, costume contests and giveaways while counting down the clock until they're officially allowed to sell new books to eager fans.
Lost in a sea of girls, I talked to one the few men brave enough to show up. Twenty-five-year-old airline attendant Brian McDonald, who said he got hooked after he picked up the first book between flights. "The cover art caught my eye," he said. "It's just hard to put down."
The trivia game was surprisingly difficult: "Name the members of the Cullen family in the order they were turned into vampires." "Who was the doctor that tended to Bella after Edward left her?" "What is the name of the tribe Jacob belongs to?" (I read the books just last month and I was stumped.) Competitors didn't stand a chance against well-read Min Sung Lee, who not only answered most of the questions right, she answered them first. Lee won a "Breaking Dawn" shirt.
There was also some lively debate about whom Bella should end up with. (See the Team Edward and Team Jacob fan recruitment videos in post above). Team Jacob got pummelled by the overwhelming showing of Edward fans.
Unfortunately at this particular party, the costume contest didn't happen. No one came dressed as pale, golden-eyed vampires or hairy werewolves. There were, however, a few homemade T-shirts that, of course, supported Edward.
(Below left, Tea Kavrelishvili, 20, designed a Team Edward shirt for pal Natalie Streltsova, 14. Chelsea Felix-Shannon, 13, right, used a purple marker to deface an official Team Jacob iron-on.)
Freebies included stickers that read "Bella & Edward 4ever" and "My Heart belongs to Edward" and buttons that read "I was bitten by 'Breaking Dawn.'" Borders staffers passed around black cherry soda shots -- they weren't red enough to resemble anything close to blood -- and chunks of baked goods labeled "blood clots." Cute.
Also on display were cherry-flavored fangs and pet wolves -- neither of which were actually "Twilight"-branded products. (Below, my friend Ann Donahue said this benign-looking wolf was a poor substitute for the fiery-hot Jacob.)
At the stroke of 12, everyone grabbed their copy of the 754-page saga-ender. Some opened it immediately and began to read, while others ran out of the store (presumably to get cozy with it at home.)
Now the four-month wait for the premiere of the movie begins...
-- Denise Martin