Wow...the voting was close on that poll. I wonder what the exit poll strategists are thinking right now!?
So...you want to know what I think about Twilight? OK...you asked for it!
(Pictures courtesy of the Stephenie Meyers website.)
I began reading Twilight because my sister asked me if this series would be appropriate reading for her 13 year old daughter. Naturally, my feelings about the series are, at least, partially seen through that lens. The ' is-this-worthy-of-the-mind-of-my-beloved-niece' lens. Let me first of all say that I did not think that reading this series would be a good thing for this particular niece. For many reasons. First of all, because she scares easily and has a hard time getting some images out of her mind, I felt that these novels would leave her with some difficult images to deal with. Hopefully my other reasons for wishing for my niece to delay reading these books until she is a bit older will be clear as I attempt to discuss these super popular books.
Hopefully, you will remember that I am very leery of what I call, hyper-popular books. They often are not well written and leave me unsatisfied. I find that these books make me more critical than usual. Having said that, I have to say that I really do feel that almost any book that gets people reading is good. That doesn't mean that I think hyper-popular books are 'good' books, just that I think it's a good thing for people to engage in the activity of reading. Any writer who convinces his/her audience to stop watching TV for a while and to be more excited about what is happening in their story has accomplished a great feat and should be commended. So...I think Stephenie Meyer should be both happy with her accomplishment and respected for having had such amazing success.
I must admit that I don't really feel that the Twilight novels are particularly well written. The plot(s) are full of holes and raise many questions. For example...we keep reading how careful Edward is not to be around human blood and that he also never leaves Bella once they admit their mutual passion for one another. This left me immediately wondering..."what in the world happens when she has her period?" Sure...this is easy to gloss over as a reader and just not to think about it...but it is a hole in the plot nonetheless. Other plot holes include: Renee's lack of involvement in Bella's life. The idea that she just could never come and see her daughter just seemed ridiculous to me which left the well-meaning but utterly clueless Charlie to see after his teenaged daughter's development. This just didn't make any sense to me. Then there is the matter of Edward's overpowering attraction to the scent of Bella's blood. It seemed completely improbable to me that never in his entire existence had he ever come across someone else whose blood called to him at least to some degree. So for me...those are some examples of where the plot left me feeling less than convinced.
I have seen a lot written about the relationship between Edward and Bella. Whether or not you feel that their relationship has some serious co-dependent issues, you have to say it is unhealthy in many regards. I was happy to see that in Breaking Dawn the relationship seemed to be moving in a more healthy direction. But I didn't enjoy the intense physicality of the relationship. But I also recognize that many teenage relationships are far too physical. It creeped me out that Edward was the 100 year old vampire with the 17 year old girl. It was just kind of sickening to me. I know, I know...he was 17 forever, but he was also 100 years old!!! Sorry...just made me a little sick. I must admit that I was amused by the many bloggers and other fans who were hoping that Bella would break it off with Edward and choose Jacob. Sorry folks, but that expectation was too strongly set up in Book 1 and the series would never have been a success if that had happened. There is more to say about the relationship and words like: unrealistic and overly simplified apply, but they would take more time to explain.
It would take way too much time to discuss the characters at length, but I will say that one of the things that I find most disappointing is that Bella is set up as the "not just your ordinary" teenager character. We hear of her maturity and wisdom beyond her years often, but the truth is Bella is, in just about every way, a typical teenager. I couldn't buy that she was so mature and ready to make the life-altering decisions that would remove her from human society. Every reaction of Bella's seemed to me to be very much in line with typical teenager behavior. Her attraction to the fantastic, her need to be protected, to create drama...all pretty teen to me. So, I think we are supposed to be comfortable with Bella's decision to turn vampire, but I was very uneasy...she was too young, too immature and too uninformed to make such a decision. I would have been much more comfortable if Bella had been a young adult.
If you are reading this and thinking that I absolutely hated all of the novels, you would be wrong. I didn't hate them. I just wasn't bowled over by them and am quite surprised at the overpowering response to them. I think I was much more critical of them then I would have been if I had not heard so much about them before. I was careful not to read spoilers before reading the novels and was glad to have only heard of the reputation and not the actual plots of any of the novels. I also think it was great to read all four at once. I read all of the books very quickly and was quite impressed with Meyer's ability to propel the action of a novel forward. I also thought the idea of "vegetarian" vampires was extremely creative and made the idea of vampires much more enjoyable and endearing. Having some vampires who possessed special gifts was also a great device. Of all of the books, I thought the fourth, Breaking Dawn was the best.
OK...now I am feeling like this post is getting way too long. But...I think that is at least a beginning of a summary of my thoughts on the much beloved and hated series we refer to as, Twilight.
Now...you get to tell me if you think I'm right or wrong and share your feelings about Twilight with us all. Were you one of those who were "bitten"? Or do you detest the books?
Note: I haven't fully proof read this review and so if there are words that are wrong or misspelled or thoughts that don't seem complete...please look over it for now...I'll keep editing.