Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I have such mixed feelings about the whole Twilight phenomenon.

On the one hand, I will admit that the first time I read the series, I loved it. I loved the raw emotional power of the writing, the way she grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until its over. The way you feel what it is to fall in love through her words.

I was delighted and I was enraptured.

And then I started discussing the book with other people, and I met people who didn't like the books because they weren't terribly well written (I'm like this is young adult fic yo, get over it) and I met the crowds that FREAK over the whole "sparkly vampire" bit, to which I also respond "Get over it".

But then I hit the groups that can't stand Bella because to be honest Bella might just be a smidgen codependent. I mean the whole Edward leaves and she completely has a break down bit is definitely not going to win her any friends with the feminist crowd.

But by the same token, she's 18. Her reaction is very real. Is it the best and healthiest reaction? No. Should she get over it? Yes. BUT there is such a thing as "broken heart syndrome"; a person can in fact die from a broken heart. Is it pretty? No. Is it the kind of example you want set for your daughters? Probably not. But can you understand it? See it happening? Feel the pain of it? Absolutely.

Oh and theres the whole "She's deserting her friends, family, everything she loves for a guy" thing, which once again is not going to win friends with the women's lib crowd. Of course because this is fiction it all works out. She gets to have her cake and eat it too. She loses nothing and gains everything. Lets take a moment to remember that this book really is fantasy. Sure it comes at the fantasy from the "realistic fiction" angle but we're talking vampires and werewolves and happily ever after where you risk everything on a one in a million shot and of course it works out perfectly.

And I think the fourth and final book might cross the line from "Young Adult Fiction" to "Adult Fiction". I can tell you I don't want my kids reading it until they're at least 16. And also its been my experience that almost everybody I've talked to - if you are less than 20 years old you hated the last book or at the very least it weirded you out. If you're over 20 years old you loved the last book and thought it was absolutely perfect in every way.

So with regards to the books: Do I want Bella to do my parenting for me? No. But is it a fantastic piece of escapist literature? Definitely. Do I enjoy it just a little bit extra because the author is a Mormon woman? Oh yeah.

But then came The Movies.

And yes I know: Never, ever judge a book by its movie. And I know that with very few exceptions the movie is almost never any where near as good as the book. And the first time I saw the first movie I was okay with it. It was not as good as the book but did okay and was more or less as good as I think the movie could be... -ish.

Then came The Abomination (aka The Second Movie). They left out all the good parts, all the humor, all the character development etc. And all you were left with was pure, concentrated, teenage Emo Drama. *gag retch* It was like watching a bad soap opera. I don't do soap operas. It was just painful. And I swore that I'd never pay to see the next two movies in theaters on the grounds that I paid $9 for 2 hours of my life that I can never get back. I'll rent the next two on Netflix so I can shut them off if they're too painful.

I kept watching the The Abomination because it was a train wreck. I just couldn't look away and I kept hoping (vainly) that somehow it was going to get better. That it wasn't really as bad as I thought it was. And then it was over and I was left with the sure knowledge that yes it really was every bit as bad as I thought.

And so because of the lingering pain of The Abomination and the little twinges of my inner feminist weighing on my conscious I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but at the end of the day... Twilight books are still my dirty pleasure.

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