Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twilight

OK, I have some more thoughts on Twilight...and, I will apologize ahead of time, because they are NOT good. It is a nice enough story. It reads fast, has an interesting plot and is pretty well written.

That said...I really, really hate it. And what's worse, I think it is a terrible, terrible idea that young girls love it so much. This is possibly the WORST BOOK EVER!!! Not the lowest-quality writing or story telling...but the worst book.

First of all, the whole thing is about a love story involving a 17 year old girl. Am I really supposed to take this "intense, undying love" seriously? She is a CHILD! And after a single date with this creepy guy (who, by the way, hated her at first) she is all of a sudden in this epic romance? I just could never get past the absurdity of the whole thing...if your daughter or niece told you that she was "in love" at 17, you would giggle to yourself and find the whole thing maybe a little charming.

But that is not nearly my biggest issue. My biggest issue is that no teenage girl should aspire to act like Bella. She is an amalgamation of all of the things that we try to get girls that age NOT to be. She clearly has horrible self esteem...guys love her and girls are very friendly towards her, but she thinks she is ugly and uncool.

So what does she do? She becomes attracted to a guy who treats her like dirt at first. Then he starts to be kind of nice, but still erratic and weird. Then she finds out that he is incredibly dangerous and could physically harm her or kill her at any second. Then she finds out that he sneaks into her house to watch her sleep, and listens to her every conversation. But every one of these revelations just makes her "love him more".

All of this is OK, though, because he is really, really ridiculously good looking!

Am I the only one who sees all kinds of domestic violence overtones in here? How is "he hits be because he loves me" any different that "he spies on me while I am sleeping because he loves me". She is so infatuated with the idea of a good looking guy liking her, that she is willing to put herself into mortal danger regularly just to validate her own prettiness. "Oh, sure he might kill me, either on purpose or by accident...but I love him! I can change him! He may be dangerous, but he won't be mean to me, because we are in loooove!"

I know that I will get yelled at for this, and that I am probably overreacting. And I know that it is only a fantasy book...but it's not entirely. It is set in a realistic town with realistic kids, and Bella's actions are way too realistic for my taste. How about writing a leading girl character who wants nothing to do with the super hot boy because...I dunno...he is an asshole! This is why women get stuck in miserable relationships with miserable men. This whole "he can change" idea is evil, dangerous, and it should be insulting.

OK...rant ended. Fire away.

17 comments:

Ally said...

So I was already not going to read it....and have read other reviews that explain why I shouldn't....so thanks for one more reason.

dawn said...

So many people are "pushing" Twilight on me because I'm such an avid and eclectic reader but...

I have less interest in Twilight than I do in Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Xbox combined. And that's saying a lot! I detest them all. Or, rather, I detest the thought of them all, because I'll never participate in any of them.

A said...

I'm not done - just 120 or so pages into it - but nothing about Twilight has felt quite right. And I think it is because of just that: something about how Bella is acting and talking is a tad creepy and wrong. I assume it is only going to get worse.

I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

I haven't read the books either and like Ally, have been looking for reasons not to. Everything I have read about them screams, "THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA!" and I totally agree with your take on it. Plus, the passages I have read seem like a lukewarm, teen romance at best. No thanks.

laurwilk said...

I can't really agree or disagree. The 1/3 of the book that I read was boring. And, I thought, kind of lame.
So I'm not real into it.

Did Munchkin read it? Sis Kate read it and went to the movie. I think she was kind of excited about it but has since lost interest. Ha. Dad had to return the 2nd book to B&N b/c Kate has lost interest.

HappyascanB said...

Well, I read twilight after much prodding from two friends. And I've now read three of the four in the series. . . . Realistic? No. AM, you make great points, and I don't disagree with all of them, but I just kind of enjoyed reading something that's definitely not what I would typically read. The movie? Not planning to see it, really. The book was enough. . . So, take it or leave it, fine by me.

brandy said...

I've read the first two books, and blogged already about my thoughts on the first one, and pretty much feel the same way. I also mentioned the creep factor involved with a guy sneaking in and watching you sleep EVERY NIGHT. I do not understand how that's seen as romantic. At all.

Harriett said...

Ohhhh my gosh!!! Thank you for having a brain! I hate it how women (and men, actually!), GROWN women, are obsessed with whatever-his-face-is! He's NOT real, but as you said, the situation is all-too uncomfortably real. A woman excusing a man for his behavior because "he loves me." GAH!

And, the other thing I emphatically agree with is how Bella is a totally trashy slut, and NOT someone I want my nieces or little sister to see as a role model! I can't stand how my sister lets her 16 y/o read the books and watch the movie. It's just unhealthy. There are plenty of good books that don't glorify inappropriate relationships and conduct.

Btw, has Munchkin read Twilight??

Aaron said...

Excellent rant.

Chicken fingers tomorrow are on me!

Accidentally Me said...

Aaron - Fantastic...I will send you the bill:-P

Mo said...

You make excellent points as usual! I'm reading the series now and am enjoying it. I haven't had a chance to read a book for enjoyment in so long that I went for the popular easy read that I could borrow from friends.

Setting a bad example for impressionable young minds? Yes, definitely. But for me - I'm 30 and in grad school and am enjoying my chance to read something the TOTAL OPPOSITE of the gazillion scientific studies I have to keep immersing myself in until May. Trashy "teen" romance novels fits that bill perfectly.

That said...I'm disturbed that my 14 year old sister read them or that my mom even let her. If I wanted to read them at that age she would have said "Over my dead body."

Woolly said...

I can honestly say I have neither read the book nor watched the movie... and I never plan to.

the second I hear that teenage girls love something, I know I will hate it.

anne said...

I just don't see myself jumping on this Twilight bandwagon, not my cup o' tea.

Leetid said...

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and personally I don't want to read it because most of the time when big books like these come out that everyone raves about they are not for me as I am bored of all the big named books.

KT said...

ummm... it's just a book. seriously, i think the fact that we're talking warewolves and vampires kinda brings the whole obsessive love thing down a notch. so it's not too scary for young readers to be reading about because it's not real. this book is totally fantasy. how is this any different than harry potter or all those comic book things everyone likes now. those can be graphic and violent too. at least twilight is relatively sex free and pretty benign. and at least kids are reading.

little miss optimist said...

I love that you wrote this post and I agree with everything you said!! I have had countless "debates" with friends over this, providing the same reasons that you have here, and I've just given up. But honestly, those preteen girls need to learn that love does not work this way!! If you continue to read on in the series, I think you will dislike Bella even more.

erin said...

I've been out of town for a week and am just now getting caught up on reading blogs! I went to Florida for a mini vacation, and decided to give in and buy Twilight because I figured it would be a good, easy, laying out on the beach read.... and I was right.

I have to admit, it's better than I was expecting it to be... It's well written and kept my attention. BUT the fact that Bella can't go more than half a page without saying how good looking Edward is, is ridiculous. I agree completely with all of your points.

It's a fun read, but sets a bad precedent for all of the teenage girls who are reading the series to follow.