That’s right, I’m here to talk about the phenomenon known as Twlight, meaning the series of books written by Stephenie Meyer.
WARNING: This post will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read the books and plan to, you may not want to read further. Also, if you have no interest in the series you may not have any interest in the rest of what I have to say. Consider yourselves warned.
When I first heard about “Twilight” I assumed it was for teenagers, and had no interest. Then a bunch of women I “know” on a message board I frequent started talking obsessing about it, and I paid a little more attention, even though I was still not particularly interested. Recently, my dearest friend started reading the books and she could talk of nothing else. She would go on and on about how romantic it was, and how Edward is the man we all wish we could have, and how the books make you feel like you’re 15 again (she meant that in a good way, believe it or not). And so with that kind of endorsement, because who ignores your best friend when she can’t let go of something, and who doesn’t want to feel 15 again? Wait, who doesn’t want to feel in love with the perfect man? There, that’s better.
So I bought “Twilight” which is the first in the four-book series. It’s a quick, easy read, and I enjoyed it. I won’t tell you what it’s about, since I assume if you’ve read this far you already know. But let me tell you some of the questions I had as I was reading it (and the following 3 books).
Why the hell are the Cullen “kids” enrolled in school? This never rang true for me. Everything we learn about the Cullen family, in this book and the subsequent ones, says there is no way they would be mingling in a school. Since vampires don’t age and they appear to be school-aged, the cover story should have been that they were home schooled, if that was necessary. When I mentioned that to my friend, she said, “But then how would Bella and Edward meet???” Well, that’s not my problem, that’s the writer’s challenge, but there are plenty of other, more believable ways, they could have met. One possibility would be to accelerate Bella’s job at the sporting goods store (which doesn’t happen till “Eclipse”, I believe) and since the Cullens are such avid “hikers”, they could meet there. Just an example, but I think something that kept in character with the family would have made the book that much stronger.
Please, tell me, what is the attraction between Bella and Edward? I never felt it. Bella thinks Edward is the most beautiful creature she has even seen, and she is mesmerized by him physically. I think we can all agree that an attraction can occur. But the love? I don’t understand how (or why) she fell in love with him. Or he with her. He was attracted to her by the scent of her blood, which he had to overcome just to be around her. Okkkaaay. But tell me again how this translates to the “can’t live without you” love that supposedly grew between them? I know I am the minority, but I never got the Edward-love. Some of his behaviors were outright cruel and abusive, while others, later in the series, struck me as parental. I don’t feel he ever saw Bella as an equal partner. They don’t ever talk to each other! And don’t even get me started on the way he treated her after their “first night”, which occurs in “Breaking Dawn”.
Let’s talk about Jacob. I loved Jacob. I always thought Bella and Jacob made a great couple. Bella even said, more than once, how Jacob was her best friend, and being with him was as easy as breathing. Hello??? Sounds like love to me! And love with a lot more substance than watching someone sleep! (which is all Edward and Bella ever seemed to do together) Jacob and Bella had shared interests, common family values and an attraction. All Edward and Bella had was the attraction. My friend could never understand how I could feel that way about him, but knowing I loved him said that I would be happy with how it was all wrapped up in the end.
Friend – I AM NOT HAPPY WITH HOW IT WAS WRAPPED UP IN THE END! I hated hated hated how the whole imprinting on Renesmee happened (which I saw coming a mile away). I thought it was creepy and gross, honestly.
My last big bone of contention was Bella’s desire, very early on, to be transformed into a vampire. OK, I know this is fantasy people. I get that. But c’mon! Bella is by all reckoning a bright, sensible girl who loves her family. And yet she is willing, even eager, to toss everything aside, at age 18! to join the ranks of Edward and his family. It reminded me of “The Little Mermaid”, which is another story I’ve always hated because it has a woman giving up her home and family to be with a boy she has decided she loves because he’s cute!
Other issues: Alice’s insistence on throwing birthday and graduation parties for Bella, even though she is clearly uncomfortable with that. Is that what a friend does? For that matter, Bella’s reluctance to have any attention on her just seemed weird. Edward bribing Bella to marry him, even though she is 1) only 18, and 2) has some very good reasons for not wanting to marry so young.
Don’t get me wrong, I wish I had thought of this story and written it. Stephenie Meyer is clearly a gifted storyteller and hit a niche and will never want for anything the rest of her life. I enjoyed the books, as light entertainment, right up until Bella got pregnant in “Breaking Dawn”. After that I had to force myself to finish the book.
Have you read the series? What did you think of it? What is so great about Edward? I’d love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree with me nor not. Just know that I won’t be changing my mind!