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PREACH IT! Enjoy the 'Twilight' while it lasts, Edward Cullen -- the witches are coming for you!

Newmoon
Not that I’m completely trying to make the whole "Twilight" phenomenon go away, but there’s a new Hollywood franchise rising that just might help make the whole "Twilight" phenomenon go away.

I’m totally not gleeful. At all. That the next major teen obsession may actually have a pulse. And a leading lady that is not a doormat. And a universe in which sparkling in the sun is not considered to be a major tragedy.

Here’s what we know: Hollywood works fast. Warner Bros. has snatched up the movie rights to a new novel series called "Beautiful Creatures" (not to be mistaken for the boyfriend murder picture co-starring Rachel Weisz and Susan Lynch) and the first book installment was released right about yesterday.

It stars a human teenage boy named Ethan Wate. He meets a girl, Lena Duchannes, who is new to his southern town. She is 16 and suffering from a terrible curse, presumably something bigger than an addiction to "Gossip Girl"...

Pattpic With the curse come Powers, because there always have to be Powers. And of course the boy also has to save the girl’s life in the first book, because the girl saving the boy’s life isn’t supposed to happen in these sorts of dramas until the second book.

No word yet on whether either of them will be allowed to have any sort of sexuality. That would actually be kind of nice.

There’s very little else out there to get me disgusted in advance, but let’s try. Per the scant details in the fanboy columns, and the reader reviews already up on Amazon, we’re looking at a witch story, or something close to a witch story, which means everybody in the story is technically alive, which, actually, is refreshing and awesome. I like living people. They’re underrated. And there’s nothing wrong with some good, old-fashioned zapping and spell-casting.

However, I’m also gleaning that there’s a psychic connection similar to the histrionic link that binds Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, in which the one lover feels the other’s pain, and yadda yadda, she’s in danger! Really, kids, you can call each other on the cellular telephones they have out now, it’s all good. Or there’s always Twitter.

What else? That’s about it right now.

But if both main characters do indeed turn out to be living beings who actually, you know, think the sun is a good thing, I am going to hold out some cautious hope that this new proto-obsession might actually make me happy -- happy enough to go out into the good sunshine ... and sparkle.

-- Leslie Gornstein

Top photo: Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart as Bella in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." Bottom photo: Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in "Twilight." Credits: Summit Entertainment

Earlier sermons from the Ministry of Gossip:

PREACH IT! I'll Buy that kid for a dollar, Jennifer Hudson

PREACH IT! Hey Tiger? Gonna take a Big Bertha to your plea for privacy

PREACH IT! And Leslie Looked Upon the Ministry Readers, and She Saw That She Was Good (an introduction to Ms. Gornstein and her mission)

Related dispatches from the Ministry's temporary Office of Never-Ending Twilight:

'New Moon' nearly blindsided -- should Robert Pattinson zip it about abstinence?

'New Moon' shatters records, scores third-best film opening ever

Fans decide once and for all: Edward Cullen or Jacob Black?

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