"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.