With Breaking Dawn: Part One taking over the box office, these are dark times for those of us in stolid opposition to the Twilight franchise. From the poorly-written anti-feminist novels to the films stewing in their own angst, everything about the series is begging to be hated. However, all of those posters hanging around featuring Bella clinging to her pasty Edward with Jacob standing aside looking stoic and hunky are stirring up something terrible from my past: my days as a 12-year-old Twilight fangirl.
I used to love those books, I’m sorry to admit. I thought the first volume was surprinsingly well-written upon reading it, which is the exact opposite of my views today. I swooned over Edward, I cursed Jacob’s name, and I felt for Bella all the way through the series. Although I never saw the movies–I wasn’t much of a cinema-goer then–I adored the franchise. I spent hours stalking Stephenie Meyer’s website for any extras, and I could spend just as long on the phone with my older cousin expounding on Edward’s relative hotness. In fact, I think Edward was the first fictional guy I had a crush on, glittery skin and all. So how did a mere two years–and a lot of reading–completely turn around my view of the infamous Saga?
I just said it: a lot of reading. Reading Shakespeare, The Hunger Games, and in-between galore has led me to realize that there’s more to a good story than a plethora of attractive non-humans. Just because a book contains passionate kissing does not make it a great work of literature. At 12, I kind of lacked that understanding, having just started to tentatively step out of the realm of squeaky-clean Middle Grade. I thought Twilight pushed boundaries, made a statement. Yeah, right. Try reading Libba Bray, past self, if you want some quality writing that does that for real.
For your entertainment, here are a few excerpts from my original reviews of the Twilight Saga:
“This is an enjoyable, contemporary romance/fantasy that will keep readers turning pages.” –on Twilight (4 star review)
“This sequel to the popular Twilight is nearly as good as the first. However, Bella’s misery slows down the action and the reader is dragged down with it. I would still recommend that all fans of the first book read it, as it really provides key points and lead-ins to the final books.”–on New Moon (3 star review)
Extra reader insight: the only real reason I didn’t like this one was because there was so little of Edward.
“A fantastic, compelling entry in The Twilight Saga, Eclipse is sure to please fans with the suspense, thrills, and romance that Meyer piles on.” –on Eclipse (4.5 star review)
“The phenomenal finale to the hit teen series, Breaking Dawn will surely satisfy the reader’s thirst for romance and action alike. Don’t be daunted by the novel’s size; every word is worth it!” –on Breaking Dawn (4.5 star review)
Pardon me while I travel back in time to give my past self a smack upside the head.