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"It was good, but there were way too many parts missing," she said, though she praised many of the effects used to bring Meyer's vampires to life. "But then again, they also added a lot of good parts."

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"We're having a hard time keeping it on the shelves," said Bob Houy, store manager at Hastings Books Music Video in Abilene, who said the popularity of the novels has exploded because of the movie version.

High School students Brittney Garcia, 19, and Laura McCoy, 17, are among those entranced by the novels, having read every single one.

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"The guy who plays Edward is single," confides 17 year old Abilene High School student Amanda Fleming, referring to actor Robert Pattinson, who plays the primary vampire character in the book's film version. "All the girls are going nuts over that."

"Every age embraces the vampire it needs," said Mikee Deloney, an Abilene Christian University English professor who will soon teach a five week honors colloquium on vampires in film and literature at the school.

But the undead's pale features have, of late, become tinted with a rosier hue, even becoming teen heartthrobs especially to fans of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" novels and the popular film adaptation of the series' first book.

The befanged bloodsuckers have long since held a significant place in the collective imagination. Vampire stories, of a sort, can be found all over the world, dating back thousands of years.

So popular is the series that the Abilene Public Library often can't keep up with the demand, said Marie Noe, children's librarian with the APL.

But Lozano enjoyed the film immensely, giving it easily "four or five stars," and saying the best part of the experience was "the anticipation of getting to see your favorite (sections) played out."

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"I had my doubts at first, but I was really impressed," McCoy said.

"No matter what happens, no matter what the opposition, they still love each Wallet Lv Man

Fleming, a staunch devotee of all of the series' novels, was a touch critical of the film version, but did enjoy it.

"It's just innovative," said Josh Lozano, 16, an Abilene High student who regularly attended Lv Wallet On Chain midnight release parties for Meyer's novels as they hit book stores. "It's not your everyday blood and guts vampire story. It has a teen romance twist to it."

But there's more a bit of real drama and (dare we say) bite to the series, Garcia said.

Over time, and throughout folklore, literature and film, vampires have transmogrified from hideous, shrouded ghouls freshly loosed from unhallowed graves to suave, sophisticated leading men and women the sort some would literally die to be.

Enter the

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are often just as taken by the series' action and suspense, something noted not just by local librarians, but also by outspoken male fans.

"There are some fighting scenes in there," she said. "There's some good action."

other," McCoy said. "They're wonderfully in love."

The love story of the two main characters is among the biggest hooks for the pair, with the overarching tale of starcrossed lovers (with a werewolf as a possible romantic rival thrown in later) striking a tone akin to "Romeo and Juliet."

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But the "Twilight" books are especially appealing to high school age students, said Mary Margaret Smith, the librarian at Abilene High School, because despite the array of monsters on display, students think the characterization is true to life and relevant.

"Sometimes, young adult novels are written by adults who don't speak the same language that teens do right now," she said. Girls seem particularly fond of the romance angle of the novels and subsequent film, while boys seem more enamored of the bits of supernatural prowess and action displayed by some of the main characters.

"Every store in town has been sold out," he said. "It's really reminiscent of the Harry Potter series.

In fact, there's even a touch of comedy, McCoy said.

"I can't wait for the next one," Garcia added. Production is planned for "New Moon," based on the second book in the series.

"There's something for everyone," she said.

McCoy and Garcia were both fans of the film, including the actor chosen to play Edward.

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"It combines some of the elements older teen girls and young adult girls in particular really like," she said, not just the vampire aspect of the story but the joy and (perhaps) peril of a mysterious boyfriend, the inner workings of cliques at school, and numerous other aspects.

Laura McCoy's mother, Julie McCoy, 40, said that she planned to read the books based on the enthusiasm of her daughter, whose love for the series is a bit greater than usual, even for a child who loves to read.

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