Can you believe that I read Twilight (and New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn)? I have been curious about the books for a while and a couple of weeks ago I borrowed them from my sister-in-law. I had heard some things about Meyer's writing, and I was worried that I would hate the books just based on that. I correct errors in my textbooks... so there was no hope for non-fiction. [No worries, Ellie. I didn't write in your books. I made mental corrections. :-)]
I tried to begin reading the books with an open mind. I have never really read fantasy before and so I decided I would accept whatever crazy thing happened just like I would while watching a movie such as X-Men. So that's what I did.
In the last year, I cannot even count how many times people have told me that I remind them of Bella. I even took one of those "Which Twilight Character Are You?" quizzes and the result was Bella. I knew nothing about her and didn't really care... UNTIL I read the first book. Bella is clumsy, plain, pale, and bookwormish. I was offended that I would remind people of her! I am definitely not clumsy. It is true, I rarely wear makeup but I don't think that makes me plain. I used to be tan before Utah sucked all the color out of me. I am from Arizona and I like to read. However, I am not a granola girl! If Bella were a real person, I would kick her butt.
I read books to get something out of them. Something that will help me become a better person. Even though I enjoy fun books too, I still look for the moral of the story. Although it may seem like I am reading (hehehe) too much into these books, I want to know the ultimate message.
Below are a few things I liked or did not like about the Twilight Saga:
1. The target audience
The Twilight series was not written for anyone above the age of... let's say 16. It was naive and petty. Although it was a fun story, it was frustrating. Why must everyone be a martyr? Yes, Bella, I understand that your life is miserable and you can't be happy. Solution: go wild and jump off cliffs and ride motorcycles even though you happen to be the klutziest person I have ever heard of. Sheesh. Dumb. Break-ups happen. It is true. Not everyone ends up with their first love. That doesn't mean you should be reckless/foolish and Meyer should be ashamed she is teaching teenagers that.
Maybe I am overly sensitive to cheating, but holding hands/kissing/exclusive-time-spent-with-a-member-of-the-opposite-sex-who-you-are-attracted-to is CHEATING! And Bella is a cheater face. Surely Jacob did not help her avoid the situation. Nonetheless, she cheated.
3. Gross images/violence
That freaky fetus that eventually became Renesmee freaked me out! Now I am going to have nightmares about this baby trying to rip and chew his way out of my stomach. Awesome. Thanks for the image. I really hope Meyer never continues these books from Renesmee's point of view. How much bad luck can one family really have? It has already gone too far, even for the overly accepting.
Breaking Dawn was a bust. She spent 700 pages building up to something that never happened! The resolve was a disappointment. My only explanation is that she couldn't decide who would die. And someone obviously had to die if a battle ensued. Miraculously, it all worked out so that everyone could live happily ever after.
I don't expect anyone to be creative and a good writer. Meyer has definitely got the creativity part down. She needs to find a new editor.
Stephenie Meyer is definitely well-read. She frequently referenced great novels and even the Bible. Since the target audience is 14-year olds, I respect that she is attempting to instill in them a desire to read great works. Hopefully they can overcome their lust for Edward and actually read something else!
7. Alma Mater
Meyer is a BYU graduate. I am so glad that she was able to use her degree. So many people get degrees and then never use them. She did. And that is impressive.
8. An Underlying Message
The motif of "eternal" marriage. Edward was continually requesting that he and Bella get married before anything dramatic happens. That is unusual and I liked it.
Meyer handled the honeymoon very well. She didn't allow the book to become pornographic and was respectful of the honeymoon experience.
The motif of the importance of family. Bella and Edward both highly value their own and each other's families. After they were married, their first priority was each other and yet they still wished to be surrounded by their families. They each had very open (as much as possible in Bella's case) and trusting relationships with their parents.
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