And so the time has come for me to discuss Twilight. I’m posting this during the Sunday Salon because I want to hear what others think. I’ve read about this book everywhere, but I’d like one spot for you to give me your opinion. So please, do so here, or link me to your review so I can get a more complete view of the range of opinions. If not, well, I want to rant a little bit too.
Allow me to skip plot summary here, I’m sure we’ve all heard it before: Bella moves to rainy Forks, Bella meets perfect vampire boy Edward, love ensues. Allow me also to state that I fully, reluctantly intended to love this book. I like romance, I like fantasy type settings in general, I was a silly teenager that fell in love with every boy who ever smiled at me, and I really was in the mood for young adult books at the time.
So the surprise was that I didn’t love Twilight. I liked it. It did bring back those silly teenage years that I normally try to shove away into the corner of my brain marked “recycle bin”. Like I said, I was boy-crazy in the worst way. I think I missed something essential, here, because even that bit of me still ecstatic over cute boys did not like Edward Cullen. I don’t understand why every girl who has read this adores him – even intelligent, grown women that should probably know better. He is a stalker. He watches Bella while she sleeps! He always shows up when she’s in trouble and he gets her in danger. He doesn’t want her hanging around with the friends she made before him. He drives too fast even when it makes Bella nervous. He reacts violently when they kiss and makes her feel like she’s crazy. At first, he is utterly cruel to her. Okay, he is attractive and sparkly, but I do not see the meant-to-be going on in this book. I don’t see why he’s perfect except when Stephenie Meyer explicitly says that he is perfect. Maybe it’s because I never liked the dangerous guys, but I don’t get it even when I channel teenage Meghan.
I did find the book to be a fairly entertaining story, but I guess having one of the two central characters fall flat damaged it for me. I also didn’t particularly like the writing and hope it gets better as I go on in the series. Every detail of Bella’s life is delineated, like what she eats for breakfast and when she throws on some clothes. I don’t like the prose, either. I’m not a perfect writer, but I can’t stand seeing ellipses and dashes used incorrectly in professionally published work. I do it myself here but whenever I am writing for a professional audience I take all that out and correct it when I read other people’s writing.
Before you ask, yes, I got the next two. Like I said, I was convinced I’d like this even if I didn’t want to. Now I’m going to read them eventually and maybe I’ll understand why people love it by the end. I’ve got Breaking Dawn on my hold list at the library. I’m not shelling out money for that one, unless I find it for $1 like I did with the others.
Lastly, I want to stick out my opinion on comparisons of this to Harry Potter. Simply put, they have nothing in common except popularity and age group. I think of Harry Potter as more of a fantastical, wholesome kids’ series that promotes good stuff like family love, sacrifice, and loyalty. J.K. Rowling is perhaps not the best writer, but she is a terrific storyteller, and I love the HP books. When you get relationships, they are the awkward ones when you don’t know how kisses go but you think they might be nice, and for the most part they are built on solid foundations of friendship. This one? Well, Bella ditches and disobeys her father pretty quickly, she ignores her mother’s emails if she doesn’t feel like answering them, and she is happy to ignore all of the friends who welcomed her in favor of the creepy vampire family. Her relationship with Edward is similarly creepy and I think borderline abusive. I know that if I had a kid, I’d be thrilled that she/he read Harry Potter and would be happy to discuss it, but we’d have to have a long talk about Twilight because I think there are some issues there.
Do you love Twilight? Want to set me in my place about how wrong I am? Please, do so! If you’ve heard it all before, please feel free to ignore this post and read some of my other posts.