If you haven't heard of the vampire saga, Twilight, then you must have been living on another planet for the last few years. The supernatural equivalent of Romeo and Juliet by Stephenie Meyer may not be the most obvious choice when considering reading material for your teenager, but here are five good reasons why you should go out and treat your tween/teen to the full set today.

Book Smarts

With each of the four books in the Saga weighing in at around a hefty 700 pages, almost double the length of the average YA novel, you don't need me to do the math for you. Not only is your kid reading words at a time when interest in reading can begin to wane, she's reading an awful lot of words at that. And that can't be a bad thing.

Safe Crush

While your daughter is crushing on vampires and werewolves from the comfort of her own room, she isn't out cliff-diving like the heroine, Bella, or cavorting with a real live bad boy who vaults in through her open window and keeps vigil over her well past sundown. Make no bones about it: An imaginary boyfriend is always preferable to a real one, especially when he looks like Edward Cullen.

Good Old-Fashioned Values

Although the star-crossed lovers have a modern, mixed (human/vampire) relationship, the books are all rooted in values even your grandmother would approve of. Edward repeatedly refuses to engage in premarital sex. No matter how hot under her teenage collar Bella gets, the 100-year-old blood sucker upholds her chastity and remains chivalrous throughout. Even when dealing with his nemesis, red-blooded werewolf Jacob Black, Edward keeps calm and reasonable, and over time vampire and werewolf learn to talk through their conflict. Moreover, the Cullens are ironically depicted as more noble and humane than their counterparts because they choose to prey only on animals during their infrequent hunting trips.

The Bigger Picture

Aside from the odd passing reference to decapitation and dismemberment, violence in the Saga rarely feels gratuitous or graphic; most vampires are simply 'destroyed.' Even when Bella and Edward finally have a romantic interlude, the long-awaited moment is glossed over, and the much-hyped sex scene is merely alluded to with a few bruises and ruffled pillow feathers. (An anticlimax for mom readers, no doubt. But Twilight isn't Black Lace, nor would we want it to be.)

A Positive Note

Despite straying into bleak territory, light ultimately triumphs over dark in Twilight. Bella and Edward get to live happily ever after, for all of eternity. Not only are the ideals of monogamy held in the highest esteem, there is hope for everyone to find lasting love: Werewolves 'imprint' on their partners for life, while members of the Cullen 'family' are all in incredibly devoted, faithful relationships. It seems that even the soulless can find soul mates in Meyer's romantic world. In a society that is increasingly pessimistic where marriage is concerned, it doesn't hurt to inject a little fairy tale hope and faith that with work, true love can, and does, endure.

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