Face It: America Loves Vampires and Dead Animal CorpsesS

What exactly is it about a vampire romance that would cause it to sell 250,000 copies in the first 24 hours? That's what happened with Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn, the latest book in her already-popular Twilight Saga. And that was only at Borders, where "preorders were second only to each of the final four Harry Potter titles written by J.K. Rowling," reports the WSJ. So this is what America's been reading while we've been busy being snobs! (And when they aren't gazing at a photograph of a dead animal carcass.)

Obviously, we need escapism more than usual these days. (There's also an upcoming HBO show, True Blood, about a "waitress and her vampire lover," says TV Decoder.)

The plot of Breaking Dawn: a teen girl falls in love with a charismatic vampire. It sounds like the classic "girl falls for the wrong boy" scenario. Here, the vampire can be a stand-in for the proverbial boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Jane's Austen's Mr. Darcy, Romeo, Jordan Catalano, or Ryan Adams.