For Jessie Baynes, watching the epic struggle between vampire and werewolf unfold on the silver screen with her best friends would have been out of the question.
Instead, catching the midnight premiere of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" was an obsession she wanted to share only with her mom.
Before the clock struck midnight Tuesday, lines of moviegoers for Team Edward or Team Jacob formed in front of theaters across the Lowcountry for the first chance to see the third installment of "Twilight," a series of hugely popular vampire romance films. And in those lines stood mothers and daughters who say they've bonded over a storyline of a teenage girl named Bella Swan torn between two loves.
"It really gives us something to talk about," said 13-year-old Jessie Baynes.
Her mother, Debby Baynes, agreed.
After reading the first book of the "Twilight" series, she realized Bella Swan is more than a fictional character. Bella represents the awkward teenage years her daughter is experiencing.
"We're able to talk about Bella and Edward instead of Jessie and whoever. We can talk about tough issues like love and relationships in a subtle way through the characters in the movies and books," Baynes said.
Sharing a passion for the "Twilight" saga not only gave mother and daughter a common ground but also gave Jessie the perfect movie-watching companion.
"On the one side, I need someone to scream with when something jumps out in the movie," said the C.E. Williams Middle School seventh-grader. "But, on the other hand, I need someone that I can actually talk with about the movie instead of just getting crazy about the boys."
Issues of love, relationships and social hierarchies draw adolescent readers into the "Twilight" series, Emily Skinner said. Skinner is an associate professor of literacy at the College of Charleston.
However, the storyline of Edward and Bella captivates mothers too, she said.
"It's the story of teenage angst and high school romance," Skinner said, "But, more importantly, it's a coming of age story that can take these women on a trip down memory lane."
For Diana Treahy, the trip was more than welcome when she was going through a divorce.
"It was an escape and a nice way for us (mother and daughter) to look at love as a family and say that love is possible, even though it's not always easy," she said.
Her oldest daughter said the series and the movies kept her close with her mom.
"It gave us something to enjoy during the time that the divorce was happening and we just loved the books," said 17-year-old Ashley Treahy, a Wando High School student. "It was a way for us to bond and it was a distraction from some of the bad things going on."
The books reminded Diana Treahy about the young optimism and romantic hopes of teenagers. It reminded her that even though it hurt to talk about love during a divorce, it had to be done.
"A lot of mothers are kind of jaded and can put up a wall between themselves and their daughter when it comes to talking about love," Treahy said. "But with the books, I can bridge that gap and talk with them about relationships on a deeper level than I probably could have done on my own."