I’ve never really been a fan of the Twilight series; however, as with any highly publicized novel I have to read it to see what all the fuss is about. I had high expectations after hearing the author of Twilight, Stephenie Meyer, being compared to Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, but after reading the entire saga I was left somewhat disappointed and fully annoyed at the morals and values of love and relationships set forth in the book. I’m seriously afraid for my gender’s future.
Twilight is a four book saga about a teenage girl named Bella that falls in love with a vampire named Edward, that doesn’t sound very creative, does it? Of course, every generation needs at least one fantastic old fashioned forbidden love story. I just don’t understand why it had to be this one.
The writing was terrible even by Young Adult standards. Meyer’s abuses the use of adverbs and adjectives to the point that the reader is being beaten to death with the point. It usually takes about 400 pages (per book) to actually get to the actual plot and what happens when we actually get there? It only lasts for about fifty pages. The rest is filled with so much teen angst that I practically gagged.
…I smelled his cool breath in my face. Sweet, delicious, the scent made my mouth water.
Now that is just gross.
The main heroine, Bella Swan, is probably the most immature, self-centered and querulous character to ever be published. She is clumsy but other than that is painted as a flawless individual. Every girl in school wants to be her and every guy wants to date her. Even when she finally becomes a vampire she has complete control over herself and her senses. She has no personality of her own and no life beyond her perfect vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen. Of course he is handsome, with an impeccable face and body (I won’t even bother to mention how many times that is brought up in the books), but beyond that he is also wealthy, smart, athletic, loyal, strong, musical, loving, protective and, well, perfect. I think the term ‘perfect boyfriend’ is actually an understatement for this guy everything about him is amazing. We should just rename him God.
The book revolves around vanity and the importance of beauty, and not inner beauty. Not only is the idea of physical perfection repeated nonstop throughout all of the novels it appears that the main characters are only attracted to each other because of their looks (that is a great basis for a relationship by the way). It makes me ill just thinking about the legions of fangirls idolizing this way of thinking.
“I guess my brain will never work right. At least I’m pretty.”
The romance is obsessive, creepy obsessive. Their relationship is absurdly displayed as true love. Vamp-boyfriend blatantly tells flawless heroine that he wants to eat her and it is driving him insane. Her response is repeatedly: oh, but Mr. serial killer, I don’t care if you slaughter me because I love you. Hmph.
“You’re dangerous?” I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words. He was dangerous. He’d been trying to tell me that all along.
On a positive note, the characters did wait until marriage before consummating their relationship. Purity is quickly becoming a new fad amongst teen pop-stars like the Jonas brothers and Miley Cyrus and there is nothing wrong with glorifying that at all. Meyers is a devout Mormon and we can probably attribute this one to her religious beliefs.
The series ends with Meyer not-so-subtly hinting that all a woman needs to be happy is a rich husband and a baby. Yes, at the tender age of nineteen our heroine is married and having little vampire children, going to college is no longer a goal. Idolizing teenage marriage and parenthood is a really bad message, especially in today’s society.
I suppose if the novel was written in a way that actually might have benefited today’s generation it probably wouldn’t be half as popular as it is now. The movie comes out on November 21, 2008. I’m expecting the film to be just as lackluster as the novel but the film might be able to add a little more personality behind the characters.