Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Thoughts on the Twilight Series

I find it disturbingly odd that amidst a society with increasing fuel prices, food shortages and inexperienced leaders, the Haitian government taking advantage of desperate parents seeking adoptions, nightmare abuse stories from Austria, and heartless, power-hungry generals in Myanmar withholding food from thousands of victims of a cyclone, yet I'm here today to write my impressions of a teenage girl and the vampire she's in love with.

Can you spell ESCAPISM??

You have to admit - the covers are pretty inviting. Simple, basic, and dramatic. Kudos on the marketing people here.

But on to the real stuff. I thought the opening line was pretty catchy - "My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down." - definitely not Olive Ann Burns quality or Betty Smith - but it had promise. Unfortunately that promise started to falter about 3/4 through the book. The more I read, the more I couldn't stand Bella. Too dependent, too clingy, too "Edward stay with me 24 hours a day" type of girl. And though she shows a caring, selfless side to her character, her whole attitude towards gifts and material displays of affection towards herself almost become mean-spirited and discredits any pervious affable traits.

The love triangle starts to burden the plot in book #3 when Meyer has Bella going back and forth between La Push and Forks (between Jacob and Edward) 3-4 times before the story line starts to move forward. And by the time it resolves itself, I'm so disgusted with how Bella has strung along Jacob while staying with Edward I find myself not really caring who dies and who ends up with Bella in the end (though really I'm still rooting for Edward).

However, the ultimate example of Bella's lack of self-esteem and bad judgement (granted, she is in high school) is when Edward returns in the end of book #2 - confessing to Bella that he lied and has been miserable without her - that she is his 'new moon' (hence the title) and he cannot live without her. Without hearing a shred of dialogue from Bella in return Edward then goes on to berate her for believing him in the first place and question her love for him when she so readily accepted his lie. None of this seems to sink in for Bella who immediately forgives Edward and rushes into his open arms.

My favorite story about these novels comes from my good friend Staci - who tells me her book club in St. George actually holds up the Twilight series as a model of comparison to their current book of discussion. Wow - what I would give to see these womens book shelves - or lack there of.

Not to put down Meyer - I do intend to read the final book #4 in August. Although at this point, I'm wanting to read it more for the action of the vampire battles than to figure out what happens with Bella.

And, yes, I am really excited to see what MTV productions does with the movie next summer.

And now back to Drudge, Reuters, and worries about life in general. Thanks to Meyer for a brief break :)


Kelly said...

Next time we're together, I'll tell you my real thoughts on the popularity of this book...but the short of it is that I agree with you (bring on the rotten fruit). I can't stand Bella. I read it and think, what compels Edward to be with Bella, other than her captivating scent? That's not love. Anyhow, I must admit that I do enjoy the books as a diversion from life, as well. But holding other books up to the standard of the Vampire story? C'mon.

Staci said...

This is a bit of a tangent, but I have found myself doing a lot of things for escapism. And the Wall Street Journal is so depressing that I have stopped reading it. World events are really getting me down. I've never felt like this before.

And in some defense of my book club, it is kind of interesting to hear from people who have a different idea of good literature. You know what I mean?

Chad and Sara said...

I love the Twilight series and the new movie comes out on 12/12/08 and I can't wait! You can see the new trailer on I know Bella drives me crazy but I love the way Stephenie writes. She has a new book out called "The Host" and I definetly recommend it.

Galo Fab 5 said...

I still love the books. I'm not one to analyze everything. If I like it, I like it, if I don't, then well I just don't. And I definitely like these books, even if Bella is a bit annoying. They are an escape from this world and just plain fun to read. When or if you read her new book, The Host, post how you feel about it. I'd like to hear. Hope you are doing well!!

Maren said...

I like these books for there easy escape quality, however, I do agree about Bella she is so annoying! They are a fun read, but, if you hold them as your standard then all I have to say is oh what a sad world!

jennifer woodbury said...

I just happened across your blog today Rachael, and I totally agree with you. These books definitely aren't great literature, and Bella drives me insane, but I'm sure I'll read the fourth book anyway!

The Parkers said...

He he - I don't have long enough at the computer to say what I think, but it would be fun to talk about next time we're at the park.

Britt said...

Yeah well, i just avoid reading all together! Just kidding- similar to the Harry Potter series, I will probably never read these books and for my forms of escapism, I jump into the world of Jason Bourne and become a cool ninja fighter with an uncanny ability to walk really confidently! :) I love you Rachael and miss you. I gotta run- more Bourne stuff on TV!

(Oh this is Spencer)

kj said...

Yes. I only read the first one because I was so disappointed after all the hype. I would like to see you post on books that you have loved now that I know we agree on this!

Britt said...

I really do like these books. I agree with the whole Bella thing but I read them more for the cool vampires. I kinda forget that real life is happening while I read them. It's (like you said) a nice break/escape from the real world.