For some reason, vampires presented as love interests in literature have become immensely popular in recent years. I can’t even buy books from the YA section anymore because I don’t want to have to deal with sorting through all of the vampire teenage porn. Twilight is one of such novels. YA books have sucked the blood from the vampire genre. Vampires used to be fearsome monsters, the villains of horror stories. Not lovesick teenagers that whine and sparkle in the sunlight. I’m sure while Meyers was typing out Twilight, Bram Stroker was turning around in his grave somewhere. Despite its stupidity, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series has become a pop culture phenomenon. Teenage girls and middle aged women everywhere are obsessed with the love story of the plain human Bella and the glittery vampire Edward. Twilight grants its readers the hope that someday the perfect man will sneak into their bedrooms (uninvited) and watch them sleep. Because that’s romance.
Plot Summary: Bella Swan is a 17 year old girl who moves to Forks, Washington to live with her dad. At school she meets Edward Cullen, an unbelievably handsome young man with a secret. He is actually a vampire. A great love is born.
What I Liked:
Beauty and the…plain? Bella is described as being an average looking girl. She’s insecure, clumsy, intelligent but not a genius, and overall just normal. The best part of the book, in my opinion, is before she meets Edward. I enjoyed reading about Bella’s sarcasm and her relatable problems surrounding being a teenager and going to a new school. Also I believe it’s a great message to young girls that they can find the perfect man no matter what they look like on the outside. Inner beauty is what should matter most.
Vampires living among us. While it’s overused, I think that in the hands of a good author it’s interesting to read books where magical creatures hide among us.
What I Didn’t Like:
Edward. Because I didn’t want to write an essay I compiled a list of reasons why I despise Edward Cullen…
1. He sets an unrealistic standard for men: Edward is too perfect. He is built like a model, handsome, classy, a genius, rich, romantic, protective and sensitive. And my generation is going to grow up expecting all of these qualities in a male. It’s unfair! No one is perfect. Us women (and men) can’t expect perfection from men because we aren’t perfect ourselves.
2. He’s creepy: Edward is 107 years old and dating a 17 year old girl. Hopefully I don’t have to point out why that’s completely screwed up. AND he watches her sleep. Another this is that he’s a controlling prick. God forbid she talks to other men (Jacob).
3. He’s cold: Sorry, I don’t really want to snuggle with a popsicle.
4. He pounded the final nail into the vampire coffin: When Bram Stroker wrote Dracula I’m sure he never foresaw that vampires would glitter and decide that sucking the blood of humans really weren’t their thing.
5. Fangirls: I know this isn’t really anyone’s fault, but @#$% fangirls.
1. She gives feminism the middle finger: Meyers boasts that Bella is a strong female protagonist. Well, unless “strong” means having no common sense, being a victim 100% of the time, and being completely dependent on your boyfriend, I’m going to have to say no.
3. She’s fine with her boyfriend wanting to kill her: This is a quote from the back cover,
“Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be – that thirsted for my blood.”
Okay, RUN. If I found out that my new boyfriend was a vampire and seriously wanted to suck my blood, I would already be on a bus wearing a garlic necklace.
4. She thinks Edward is God: I’m going to give a bit of relationship advice; DO NOT WORSHIP YOUR BOYFRIEND
Vampires playing baseball. I could handle the Cullens’ house lacking coffins and bats, but when they all started a friendly game of baseball I flipped out.
I love it. Yes, I’ve spent the majority of this post cursing Twilight to the depths of literary hell, but it’s my guilty pleasure. I can’t tell you exactly why I like it. I just do. I’m no fangirl but I did enjoy the series. I think it speaks to my inner preteen.
(If a book earns eight points or more it’s considered a “Book to Read.” If it earns seven to four points it’s considered a “Book that Wouldn’t Kill You to Read.” If it somehow ends up below four it goes to the “Books to Avoid” category.)
Good Writing- 1
Great Story- 0
Complex Antagonist- 0
Complex Protagonist- 0
Good Supporting Characters- 1
Reader Investment in Story- 1
Not Cluttered with Cliches- 0
High Stakes- 1
Final Score- 4
If you’re looking to soothe your inner 13 year old girl, I would say give it a read. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or send me an email!