Why and how two straight (and fictional) women are the love story of my life.
"Her fangs bit into me, hard, and I cried out at the brief flare of pain. Then it faded, replaced by a wonderful, golden joy that spread through my body. It was better than any of the times I'd been drunk or high. Better than sex or so I imagined, since I'd never done it. It was a blanket of pure, refined pleasure, wrapping me up and promising everything would be right in the world."
That is from the third page of Vampire Academy, the first novel in a series whose film adaptation comes out this Friday, even though the books have been coming out since 2007. The whole universe falls into the same vague teen, paranormal romance boom that sprung from the spilled blood of Twilight (though I think Harry Potter played a role as well) and focuses on two species of vampires, fancy animals called psi-hounds, and slightly underwhelming fire magic. But none of that really matters.
What, you ask, can be more important than key plot points? What could be more vital than knowing who is killing the little animals and leaving them on people's beds? (That's a legitimate mystery. I thought it was Kirova. Just read the book.) Simple: Rose Hathaway and Vasilisa Dragomir. The names are a bit odd but yes, they're both women, and they have a romance to stop even my cold heart.
The heroines of your soon-to-be favorite pulpy masterpiece, Rose and Vasilisa are best friends, psychically-bonded warriors, and, oh, yeah, totally in love. Don't get me wrong. This isn't some creepy fan fiction, this is the real deal. The 'reach for the stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff' love we've all dreamt of.
These two women, both unabashedly, sexually confident heteros (if not downright horndogs) are also the greatest romantic triumph I've experienced in modern teen fiction. They protect each other, both physically and emotionally. They confront each other's demons and quite literally feel each other's emotions. One 'pulls the other into her head' for gods' sake!
Now, the author has promised that the film will not differ from the book, but this royal We has concerns. A young vampire romance movie slipping into the Twilight void will most likely be welcomed at the box office, but what of the not-so-subtle lesbian vibes? Will Hollywood and the vox populi be receptive? I hope yes, because the seething love is what makes Vampire Academy so much better than the rest of the slogging, supernatural muck out there. There's no intense orgy scene or some after-gym-class shower brawl, but there is love. A purer love that isn't defined by the character's gender, or sexuality, or the yearning of their carnal parts (and trust, there is plenty 'o yearning), but rather by their undying devotion to one another. That is the 'gay,' I'm talking about and that's what I hope translates.
Image via Bloody Disgusting