Honestly for me, it was many different things. I'm 36 so I'm close with you all. One thing would be the forbidden innocent love, you don't see that innocence anymore. Everything is about sex, sex, sex... Second thing is the growth of the character, Bella. She's not like the "typical" teenage girl, she made it a great thing to not be the "typical" teenage girl. Third, it was the romance that Edward can be "old fashion", you don't see that anymore. Fourth, I saw myself in Bella. Stephanie Meyer really nailed the teenage "special" girl.
Now with the movies, they do hold up on their own and Edward didn't fit the Edward I saw in my head but after watching him on screen. I knew they picked the right Edward. Jacob was right on the dot. Bella was also right on the spot. I love the movies but the books are my all time favorites.
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