So I started this new blog because well I wanted to. I thought I might post my article from the bulletin here every week if nothing else and then my random musings. Who’s going to read this? Well as I am the most attractive and debonair man on the planet, EVERYONE!
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who vehemently protest something without having any real experience with it. To me its a too common and too prolific form of hypocrisy, and I found myself guilty of it. Up until just tonight I have had a prejudice against the Twilight series. I offer many a justification: what I protested was the premise of the book, what I protest is the reported inaccuracies, what I protest is the fanaticism that surrounds it, etc. What it all boiled down to really was what limited experience I had with it, I didn’t like. The commercials for the movies were stupid. The synopsis the people gave me sounded horrible. I think Robert Patteson is a goob and Kristen Stewart can’t act (that is a fact not an opinion). But the fact remained, I had not read the book(s) and therefor I had no right to pass judgement until I did. And so I have.
What I would like to start off saying is this, having now read the books I find the trepidation and vehemence of my opinion to have been unnecessary. Do NOT read this as me saying I enjoyed the book but the level of hatred I held for this series was unwarranted. Nothing this silly deserved that much of my attention. But in my newly adopted positive approach to life, instead of reviewing this book and offering my opinion focused on everything that is wrong with this book, (read: ripping it to utterly unidentifiable shreds), I am going to approach it from a positive perspective.
I think this is a book every youth minister should read at least once. One of my biggest frustrations in dealing with girls in my youth group is giving them examples in life of what kind of relationships to avoid, without getting too personal or hurting feelings. This book has managed to put every toxic relationship and every single “what not to do in a relationship” example into one single relationship. This is a feat I did not think was possible, though a small part of my mind must have held out the skepticism enough to believe that something like this probably exists. “Now wait a minute Rob, you said you were going to remain positive in this review. All this sounds pretty negative.” On the contrary, I am giddy that I have read this book, because, while it brought me very little enjoyment, I now have a starting point in talking about all those relationships that can utterly wreck your life. I’m so excited that I now have with in my arsenal a tool that will effectively allow me to have a conversation with a group of girls (because lets just be honest there are not many males that have read this book) about healthy relationships without having to spend time setting a framework of understanding. I just have to use Bella and Edward.
Ok so some of this bears some explanation but, before I get into my synopsis of Twilight I want to state this emphatically: DO NOT BASE YOUR OPINION OF THIS BOOK ON MY OPINION! GET OUT AND READ IT FOR YOURSELF YOU LAZY INSECURE BUM! KTHNXBYE.
So here is my quick and dirty breakdown of this book. A girl moves from Phoenix, AR to Forks, WA (point of fact this is actually moving up in the world). While in Phoenix she was the invisible girl but, now in Forks, she is the new hotness. With in minutes of arriving at her first day of school, mild-mannered Isabella Swan (called Bella by her inner circle aka everyone), is catching the eye of every boy on campus. She quickly makes a set of 3 or 4 girlfriends who have their prerequisite bundle of boys on a leash in tow. She goes from class to class with this certain set and eventually goes to lunch. (Remember we are still in the first day) At lunch she notices a table of 4 misanthropic demi-gods, of which the dark-haired boy (term used extremely loosely) catches her eye, but apprehensively. Low and behold next class she is set next to said demi-god who spends the whole class appearing either frustrated or constipated, the description in the book could go either way. Then there is a lot of blah blah blah about how she can’t get demi-god Edward off her mind and this is where the plot stays for a good 200 pages. By the by, this theme never goes away. IT NEVER GOES AWAY. I don’t think there was one chapter in which Mrs. Meyer didn’t insert something along the lines of how Bella couldn’t stop thinking about Edward. Here’s the catch :SPOILER ALERT: Edward is a vampire, but Bella doesn’t “figure” this out until about halfway through the book. I will now sum up the rest of the book: Bella and Edward fall in love, Bella figures out he’s a vampire but decides she doesn’t care, they meet each other’s parents, Edward and fam play a game of baseball that somehow calls a hereunto for unmentioned coven of people eating vampires (oh btw Eddie and his fam live off of animals like deer and bears not people cause they are noble like that), one of the three figures out Bella is human, Eddie protects her, this sparks new vampy to want to eat Bella, Eddie and fam try to save Bella, Bella gets found by bad vampire and summarily has the poop beat out of her by said vampire and *GASP* bitten. Eddie and fam find her in time for Eddie to suck out vampire poison before she turns but manages not to suck her dry and kill her like he wants to do but can’t because he loves her. They go to prom the end.
Now for my opinion. “Did you like this book?” NO!!!! “Why Rob?” Primarily because it is just poor writing. Go ahead and argue that she’s sold millions and that they are being made into a movie, it will not change my opinion. The story was predictable, cliche, and unimaginative. The feeling I got from book most of the time was the nerdy girl in school trying to rewrite her horrible high school experience to make herself cool and then have some vampires in. It didn’t make me think. It didn’t challenge my intellect. The worst part was she had some really scenes in which some actual tension was building where it should and Mrs. Meyers would ruin it by putting something in like “She thought about how she would never see Edward again” and completely make me hate her main character. I guess I shouldn’t have said primarily because that isn’t the main reason why I did not like this book.
The real primary reason I did not like this book is that it romanticizes every single bad relationship you can ever get into. With Edward you get the hurt lost puppy AND the dangerous bad boy rolled into one. While that is a feat in and of itself, Edward, as a character, is wholly unbelievable, and not because he’s a vampire. Let’s just start with the basics of this relationship. The inception of this relationship was Bella finding Edward very attractive and then being summarily shunned by him on their first meeting (we find out later that it was for a “good reason” he was hungry and she smelled good). So basically she wants him because it appears she can’t have him. Bad start, that is the sign of a spoiled brat. When they finally do get together Edward tries to warn her that he’s no good for her. Ladies if a man says “I’m no good for you” guess what? HE IS NO GOOD FOR YOU. Things are not going to work out well. But Bella figures she can hang on and “fix” him because he’s good at heart. He’s a vampire with a conscience. Basic rule of writing is your main character should be likeable. Bella is co-dependent and helpless in the whole book. To quote a good friend of mine she’s “clingy and needy.” Ladies this is not what you should aspire to be. This whole book is the constant damsel in distress scenario ran about 4 different ways. Bella is not a hero she is an anti-hero. She is who I hope all of the girls in my youth group NEVER turn out like. She is the woman who ends up being 45 still living with her parents playing Farmtown and working at Sonic. Edward and Bella’s relationship is toxic from the start and Mrs. Meyers glorifies this sick and dangerous relationship. This relationship in real life doesn’t lead to happily ever after (it didn’t even do that in this series but I’ll talk about that later). In real life this relationship ends up on COPS for spousal abuse or in divorce, EVERY SINGLE TIME. So congratulations Mrs. Meyers you wrote a very good book on how to start a relationship with addiction! YAY!!!
I won’t be reading the rest of the books but my wife has and this is what happens in the end of it all. First of all I have to say that Edward believes that what he is is despicable and SAYS that he doesn’t want anyone to live like he has to, least of all Bella. How does the story end. Well Edward and Bella get married and conceive. Problem is, the half vampire baby tries to eat its way out of Bella instead of going the whole birth canal way. So, TO SAVE HER LIFE, Edward turn her into a vampire. Take note of this, when you go into a relationship with some one thinking you can change them, they will always drag you down to where they are and make you like them. This story is not romantic, its the story written to get young girls feeling gooshy about toxic relationship and to help the hopelessly co dependent hold out hope that their Edward is out there. He might be but trust me he’s only going to bite you.