I was skeptical when Jenn, a friend of mine/teen librarian extraordinaire, suggested the first in the series, Twilight. I then read New Moon and Eclipse and I am officially hooked. Meyer's characterizations are so real and she makes the idea of vampires among us plausible. She also has this amazing way of creating such heat and sexual tension between Bella and Edward, the two main characters. However, she doesn't make the book a teen sex fest. Indeed, there is no more than some intense kissing in the first three books. Whether this is a reflection of Meyer's Mormon faith or just the storyline, I don't know. But I find it a refreshing change from all the other media that is geared toward teens.
Breaking Dawn, the fourth and last in the series, is being released on August 2. I pretty much volunteered to co-run a release party for the new book at the library I work at, and I am so excited about it. I was so gung ho that I got some other library employees reading the books, and methinks they are going to help out, too. We're going to have a trivia contest, a scavenger hunt, some crafty goodness, a lot of red food, and we're giving the book out at the stroke of midnight. It is going to ROCK.
I don't think Meyer's series will take away from the success of Rowling's Harry Potter because it is a different audience. I do think Stephenie Meyer is going to go far in her literary career. In my impatience for Breaking Dawn, I picked up her first adult novel The Host and I'm enjoying it. It is much more sci-fi than fantasy (think "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" circa 1956), but not unpleasantly so as I find most sci-fi to be.
I highly recommend the Twilight saga for some fun, intense fantasy reading!