I've been really processing my thoughts about this series and what I would say about it on my blog because I think it's a really important series in YA literature. It's 'important' because 1. it's been widely loved 2. it's been brilliantly promoted, some real lessons in p.r. there and 3. it's become a popular movie. Now those three points are critical because they point to a large number of young people, primarily girls, reading the series, and anytime a large number of kids read something, it's bound to make an impact. So here's my take on Twilight.
First I must say that I couldn't put it down. For whatever reason, it hooked me, and I read all the way through the first two books in two days at Christmastime in the midst of lots of other things. So you understand, there's a real pull there. So I'll start with what I LIKED about Twilight.
1. I liked the way the whole vampire and werewolf thing was entwined with local legend, native americans, etc. I liked the small town feel, the strong sense of place in rural Fork and its climate, culture, etc.
2. I liked the fact that while there was some innuendo, this book was largely free of cursing, sex, drugs and alcohol. It mentioned no brand name clothing, purses, jewelry or other over-the-top labeling seen in many other ya books right now. (okay, cars labels were mentioned) I definitely felt Bella's pull to Edward without anything close to a sex scene,even with his coldness, etc.
3. I found Bella to be likable and believable as an insecure high school kids with divorced parents, etc.
4. I loved the whole smell thing. I have always had a very sensitive smell, and I can distinctly remember kids from my childhood that I hated to sit beside in class because of their smell ( of course, I never said anything), but I totally get the power of smells.
What I didn't like:
1. I found Bella's attachment to Edward to be a bit, well, codependent and unhealthy. Maybe that's a ridiculous thing to say when obviously any relationship with a vampire would be clearly unhealthy, but I would have liked for Bella to have been an artist or something unique that she held onto even in this relationship. It seemed she dumped everything for him which really cost her later. Although, I must admit, it's very realistic and happens all the time with teen girls.
2. I believed that Edward was hot. I really did. But I wanted him to have a bit more redeeming value than just his beauty. Sure, it was romantic the way he saved her (if a bit over the top sexist--poor helpless girl saved by the guy EVERY time), but he should have saved her because the problems were always his fault. I wanted him to be a great scholar (it started out a little that way--maybe could have fleshed out hsi knowledge and love of literature or something that made him different and endearing outside of his physical appearance and hot car)
3. I mentioned this before, but the helpless girl continually saved by the emotionally distant guy with anger issues? Seemed a bit 1950s to me.
All that said, I cannot deny the lure of this series. And no, I haven't seen the movie yet. But I plan to.
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I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.