Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Series of Confessions, Part 1 - Where I Confess that I'm Reading Twilight

"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."
— Stephen King

I came across this quote in all of the Harry Potter mania that went on last month. Having never read Twilight, and, really, having never had any desire to read Twilight, I found it incredibly funny.

I was all

But then we went to see Harry Potter, and I saw the preview for the new Twilight movie (Breaking Dawn? Eclipse? one of those). The teenage girls in the crowd started squealing with delight. What was it about these stories that these girls found so compelling? I decided that it was time to find out.

I borrowed the first book from the library's eBook collection. I told no one. Not even Charlie - he asked me what I was reading, and I just blushed furiously and changed the subject. I texted my BFF to confess my sin while I brushed my teeth before bed. Thankfully, she didn't judge me harshly, if only because she's read them, too. I ended up staying up all night to finish it, cramped up in the corner of my room on the floor - I just couldn't put it down. I can't really figure out why, either - it's not even a good book! It's not well-written, incredibly verbose, and there is very little actual plot. The characters are completely one-dimensional.

It's absolutely not something I would want my teenage daughter reading - it's unbelievable how co-dependent and unhealthy the Bella/Edward relationship is. Kind of reminds me of how I felt when I was a stupid teenager and got dumped by my first real boyfriend. Except I didn't tailspin into a ridiculous year-long depression where I didn't talk to anyone until he came back. And, oh yeah, he didn't come back. Totally unrealistic, and just setting young girls up for serious disappointment. And what kind of role model is Bella? What kind of heroine? She's weak, she's needy, and she's completely dependent on Edward for life satisfaction. Come on, lady! Pick yourself off and dust yourself off! Suck it up! Losing your boyfriend at 17 is NOT the end of the world!

But maybe that's why the 20- and 30-something girls like it so much? Maybe it fills a void for them? Allows them to hold out hope that all ordinary Bellas out there will one day have their Edwards?

And I do totally get the whole idea of reading for enjoyment, and reading just for the sake of reading, but there is so little actual substance to these books, and so many moments of eye-rolling and gagging (every time Edward picks up Bella to carry her somewhere, a little piece of me dies - she's not a puppy, for crying out loud)...

...but I can't stop reading. I just downloaded book 3 last night, and I'm sure the movies are somewhere in my future.... Please don't judge me too harshly.

Especially since I'm also going to say that Robert Pattison is just not very attractive as Edward. I don't get what all the fuss is about.


  1. Love the quote! I have to admit I read the Twilight books a few years ago when my (now) 16 year old sister said she wanted us to go see the first movie together. So I read the first book so I'd know what she was talking about. Yea, I ended up reading all of them in a week. I agree, there's really nothing to them. And the movies, well, we can talk when you see them. I have just accepted Twilight as a random guilty pleasure. I go see the movies with girlfriends and we laugh at ourselves about it, but it's fun.

  2. Ah...this is hard.  I read the twilight books, I own the movies...I know how stupid they are but I like them.  I don't swoon over her dependency on Edward or Jacob, but they are entertaining at least.

  3. I had to MAKE myself finish the first book only because it was for book group. I make snide commentary about people who don't finish the book and then complain about it...so I finished it because I wanted to complain about how horrifically awful that book was. :) Seriously...I was horrified by how bad, bad, bad it was. And I've read some bad romance novels in my time! I gave the book away to someone just to get it out of my house. :)

  4. My 75 year old mother read the Twilight series, and her sister (my aunt) has now read them on her recommendation -- she's 78. :)

    I read the first book, and I loved it.  I'm not any kind of a literary critic, because I can't pick apart her writing style or her tendency to be verbose -- I probably can't spot it because I tend to be that way myself.

    I just love the romance of it all, an ordinary girl being noticed by an extraordinary (in her mind) being, and finding true love.  It speaks to my teenage soul all these years later.

    I do agree with the Robert Pattinson comment.  He's not even pretty, he's weird looking.  Nothing at all like I pictured Edward when I read the book.  The movies are decent, nowhere near as entertaining as the books, but watchable.

    I just don't think there's anything wrong with reading the books, or even admitting that you enjoy them.  We don't have to live up to high standards all the time.  :)  Go easy on yourself, it's not worth being embarrassed about.

  5. Yes, I totally couldn't picture him in the Edward role. I think it was harder because I read the books already knowing that he's the vampire. The picture in my head just couldn't reconcile with the picture on the screen.

    And I blahblahblah a lot, but by the thousandth time she mentioned how cold and hard Edward was and how good Bella smelled, I just wanted to stab myself.

  6. Well, I'm going to force myself to finish all of them, and then I'm going to watch the movies. I'll let you know my final thoughts :)

  7. I like a lot of stupid things, but I just can't get into the fanaticism over these. It's not a matter of not understanding how people like them, but not understanding the OBSESSION over them. It's like being obsessed with yellow american cheese when the sharp irish cheddar is right next to it on the shelf. Mmmmm, cheese....

  8. I'm actually looking forward to the movies, because then I won't have to read about how cold Edward is or how good Bella smells a million and three times :)

  9. I feel the SAME WAY!! Couldn't put them down, but wasn't sure why. I felt after I read the first one, I had to commit to finish the other ones. Ugh. Bella pissed me off - but I did enjoy Alice. :-)



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