Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Just My Opinion

Three years ago, my step-daughter (now age 16) begged me to read Twilight. She's been obsessed with Bella and Edward, Volvos, and vampires, since long before it was cool to be crazy about them. She even asked if we would take her to Washington. (We said no.) She met Stephenie Meyer and got an autographed copy of New Moon at a book signing two years ago at a small bookstore in Houston before Meyer became the sensation she is today. My daughter has implored me for years to read the book. I resisted. Vampires, teenagers, and romance?

Recently, my 12 year old daughter read the book. She, too, is crazy about Bella and Edward and all things Twilight. So, I finally broke down and read it. I'm going to apologize now, just once, to all you Twilight fans. I'm not impressed.

First of all, the subject matter doesn't appeal to me. I'm not a romance reader, and even less when it involves teenagers who profess their love on their first "date." All the mushy, gushy, lovey-dovey, ooey, gooey "I can't live without you" stuff just isn't my style.

Second, the vampires were created as such romantic characters, with movie-star qualities and extra-sensory abilities that I found to be over the top. Yes, vampires are unrealistic to begin with (aren't they?), but they weren't the dark, scary vampires who only come out at night, who drink human blood, who sleep in coffins and have sharp incisors - the stuff myths and legends are made of. I would have liked that better! Edward sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight? Give me a break!

*Spoiler Alert* I found the plot to be overly predictable and unbelievable. Edward's shift from disdain to undying love for Bella did not make sense, even when an attempt was made to explain it later in the story. He saves her from certain death. I saw that coming. Edward is absent during the "blood" lab. Big surprise. Bella leaves Forks, and her feeble attempt at explaining to Charlie why she was leaving was poorly done. Her arrival at the dance studio and her miraculous rescue was much-too-common. The attempt at explaining why she was back in Forks was not addressed to my expectation. And the prom? I expected some twists, turns, and surprises, but alas, there were none. Since this was Meyer's first published novel, her writing lacked substance and style as well. I just couldn't fall in love with the characters.

I didn't HATE the book, but I would only rate it mediocre, much to both my daughters' chagrin. I don't understand the Twilight madness. Fortunately for Stephenie Meyer, the general public disagrees with me. It's just my opinion!

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  1. When my niece Amber was here last summer she was OBSESSED and I mean OBSESSED with these books! Personally I agree with you (and I like romance) - please don't shoot me. I like some real life substance to my stories - you know something based in reality.

  2. I don't necessarily disagree with you. Vampire and romance aren't my genre together & alone. It was all you said. I just came away from it differently. For one, I read it before all the hype. And I just wasn't expecting much since it's a teen book. I think now that it has such mass appeal, people tend to expect more from it. I don't really like the character of Bella. But, Edward & Alice are pretty cool! ;)

    It's ok tho. You don't *have* to like it. Your girls will forgive day. ;)

  3. No I'm not impressed either but each to their own taste.

  4. I haven't read it yet. My son read it because the girls said he had to, and he hated it. All that mushy, gushy, lovey-dovey, ooey, gooey "I can't live without you" stuff wasn't his style either. I guess it's not really for teenage boys.

    I am on the waiting list at the library so I will give it a try, eventually.

  5. Are you going to try and read the rest of the series?

    I'm not a love story reader either, but really liked these books. I originally read it because kasi wanted to, and I wanted to make sure it was suitable for a pre-teen. I, personally, think the books get better as the series progresses.

    I couldn't put the last one down! I read all 700+ pages in one day!

  6. I've never heard of it.. but it doesn't sound like something I would enjoy either. Thanks for the heads up. :)

  7. there are many kinds of things that I would call 'romantic'

    giving your spouse a flower? it might be romantic, but not my style.. mine is a little wild and naughty (some times even bitchy :P) kind.

    I was pushed by a friend to read it, she lent me the book.
    I'm with you, reading this book is like reading sandra brown's or so.
    not bad, but may be wonderful for teenagers.

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  9. I've never read this book but from what I've heard about it, I don't understand the hype. I definitely don't care for my kids to read or watch it.

  10. Hey there. Long time reader; first time commenter. I totally agree! I read Twilight because of all the buzz amongst blogger moms and ugh -- not impressed at ALL. Passed it to my 12 y.o. who, of course LOVED it. I was a real hero for enduring the movie with her.

  11. My parents just bought it for Micheyla for Christmas so I will be reading it soon, but am not expecting much from it, they say the series gets better though.

  12. You know what I didnt like about these books the guys 110 and the girls 17! This is totally pediphilia. I mean why does a guy this old go after a girl who's not even of age? That point has bothered me so much I had trouble enjoying the books at all. And I would kill my daughter if she dated a guy 5 years older than her let alone 93.

  13. LOL
    I'm lucky though, I have two boys and neither want to see it or read the books. They are both deeply into vampires but van helsing kind of

  14. Interesting review! I however, love Twilight and found myself unable to put the first 3 books down..I'm on the 4th now! I saw the movie though and it was not nearly as good as the books!

  15. My 14-year-old daughter would agree with you - she tried reading the first book back before the hype, and she hated it. Just not her thing, I guess. She's definitely in the minority, but she doesn't care!

  16. Twilight isn't without its flaws but I am one of the silly girls who fell in love with the series! I do get into the mushy gushy stuff so it was right up my ally. I liked that Meyer made the vampires different than the stereotypical vamps we might imagine. Alot of my friends read them and while most loved them like me, there were a few who are on your side of the fence. Oh well... to each their own!


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