I’ve been away for awhile, and I suppose it’s time I talk about Twilight. Because it is indeed day 12 of the 30 Day Challenge (sort of) and I really love to hate this series. Or maybe I hate to love it. Probably both.
Now, I’ve seen many blogs and authors and generally people completely disregard the Twilight series, and I don’t want to do that. I love talking about Twilight. And, if I’m to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have ever really started reading had I not read Twilight. I hated reading. All through grade school unless it was Junie B. Jones of Captain Underpants or a nondescript fairy tail picture book, the chances of my reading it were slim. I was criticized, of course. I still am. In grade school I had a ‘college’ reading level, so why wasn’t I reading harder books? My friends kind of scoff and go ‘I was already reading Harry Potter in first grade’ as if they’re actually above Junie B. Jones and Captain Underpants. There were a couple books here and there I read on my own and loved, like Bud Not Buddy and a couple of the Goosebumps books and Gilda Joyce. But when I read Twilight, I was introduced to a whole new world of literature. I really didn’t know there were fantasy books that could hold my attention. Fantasy movies had always been my favorite, but I’d seen fantasy books as these tomes you had to commit to. But not Twilight. It was like my gateway drug. But for books. So I can’t just write it off. (As I’ve said in a previous post, you shouldn’t be so quick to write off anything that so many people love).
So I’ve compiled a list. Five things I hate about Twilight and five things I love.
The Shit List
1. It’s not a saga. I know, of all the things that could possibly bother me, it’s one word. But i hate it when people describe something and they do it wrong. A saga is a long story of heroic achievement. It’s not a long story, as it takes place over only a couple of years. And it’s not about heroic achievement. It’s about love and standing up for what you believe in. Something extraordinary happening to a normal girl. People like Bella because she’s basically normal, not because she especially heroic. So it’s not a friggin saga and stop pretending it is.
2. The friggin love triangle. I hate love triangles with every fiber of my being. If you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second one. It was also unnecessary to the story, and it doesn’t make sense that it was Renesme because fantasy needs to be rooted in basic fact to work and I just can’t go with that. it also seemed to perpetuate the idea that and guy and a girl can’t ever just be friends and it made Jacob out to be a whiny little asshat when his base was of perhaps the best friend a person could ever have.
3. Character development. Fantasy or no, the characters are still people and people tend to react to certain things in certain ways. I like Edward in the movies infinitely more than in the books, because he makes more sense. 90 years and he never had sex? Really? And why the hell would he leave? And why did Jacob suddenly need to have Bella? And why didn’t Charlie really try to find his daughter? I can’t handle it.
4. Accidental abusive relationship. Accidental is the key word here, and abusive if probably the wrong word. Let’s say unhealthy, leaping right over the edge to obsessive. He left, and she was a zombie until he got back. Depression, I get. But that was slightly extreme. And if that whole soul mate thing caused her to do that, then I still don’t understand how Edward could have left in the first place. But the fact remains, he went so far as sabotaging her car so she couldn’t visit her best friend. People say ‘oh, he’s just protective’. But seriously. If your boyfriends messed up your car so you couldn’t see your friend, would you be okay with it?
5. Some of the plot points really kill me. An example: I get that Bella is so good as being a vampire. It offers a great contrast. But the explanation is bullshit. Everything happens for a reason, Bella was meant to find her soul mate. They could only ever be together in immortality – as vampires. Okay. I can dig it. But as an explanation to her being so good at it? By that very logic, they all should have been good at being veggie vampires as they were all meant to become vampires to find their soul mates. Meyer could have just as easily said Bella was good because she’d had so much preparation. She had seen these things and she knew what to expect and it was her choice and all that good stuff and it would have made much more sense.
Really Great Redeeming Qualities
1. The discussions I can get from it. I have spent so much time talking to people about how it would have looked with our various style of writings. I’ve heard some people say they would have switched it to a different point of view, like Edward or Jacob, and make the romance a subplot, teasing you with it so that its that much better when you finally get there. With me, it would probably be 3rd person. With the kinds of things I write, though, it would have been about the Volturi and the corruption there and this huge dark thing about a romance existed between a Volturi member and a Cullen or something completely weird like that. I like contrast. Anyway, i get some great discussion about Twilight. It’s one of those things people can just talk about.
2. The lore. It’s all very interesting and serves to remind people that it’s fantasy – you can basically do whatever you want with it. You want to make a vampire sparkle? Then go ahead. Have a blast. I mean, I think that’s kind of ridiculous, but still very interesting.
3. Racial tension. I love stories with racial tension, and I think it does a lot to mirror the sorts of issues we face today. it makes the whole thing more interesting and more frustrating to read. While it was dealt with a bit weird, I believe that fantasy is one of the best ways to get across the racial tensions we still face today. I mean, there was just about no logic to the tension between the shapeshifters and the vampires. Basically, they thought the other side was dangerous and didn’t slow down enough to double check. For awhile, it kind of seemed like the wolves were more biased than the Cullens, but if you really read it, that so isn’t true. And I think it was all an accident.
4. The characters. Not Bella. I don’t like Bella. She’s a neutral mask character to the point where she becomes boring. She starts out enjoyable, then become insufferable. Until she’s a vampire and done with that whole damsel thing. But then she’s just kind of boring. But the Cullens. I love the Cullens. And i love the ideas behind all the characters, and how they’re all slightly neutral mask so fanfiction writers can just go at it. I love Aro and Marcus and the ideas behind the Volturi. I’m always interested to learn more about them (even though the thing with the witch twins doesn’t make so much sense – good idea, poor explanation). I just really enjoy them all. It’s all so interesting, especially knowing you could probably get an independent book o novella out of most of them.
5. Jasper. Is it cheating? I love Jasper. So much. I often joke that New Moon should have ended with Jasper killing Bella in the early chapters (I really don’t like that book). And when they were voting and he just goes “I’m getting tired of wanted to kill you all the time.” Oh Jasper. Aren’t we all? Jasper is the character I can geek out about, and the character that I would skip through the books to find. Because yes.
Yeah. That’s my list.