Tuesday, June 2, 2009

10 Reasons I Couldn't Stand Twilight

Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer


My review

rating: 1 of 5 stars

Where to start? After reading critical reviews of these books and hearing people rave about them to the point of excess, I decided that I should read one myself before I criticize it.

And thank God, I'm done.

One was all I could stomach, and I had to force myself to finish it (usually I stop reading books I don't like). I read the plots of the rest of the books on Wikipedia.

Twilight series, how do I abhor you? Let me count the ways...

1. Sentences, and content, like this:

"I couldn't imagine how an angel could be any more glorious."

"There was no way this godlike creature could be meant for me."

"His beauty stunned my mind--and it was too much, an excess I couldn't grow accustomed to."

2. Completely one-dimensional, hollow character development. The heroine, Bella, is supposed to be bright; however, she is clumsier than humanly possible and faints at the drop of a hat and CONSTANTLY needs to be rescued by the "hero." Said hero, Edward, is earth-shatteringly beautiful (as we are told a gazillion times)...no, PERFECT!!!! But he has absolutely no depth whatsoever. The attraction appears to be completely based on Edward's "beauty" and animal magnetism.

3. No characters I can relate to or give a shit about what happens to, at all...because of #2.

4. Borderline abusive and stalking situations...such as Edward sneaking into heroine's room at night and watching her sleep, looking furiously at her, lashing torrents of angry looks and reactions at the drop of a hat, and ordering her around. Apparently, in the later books this is driven up several notches...with Edward disabling Bella's car to prevent her from going to see her boyfriend (and his apparent rival for her affections). At one point, he threw her "over his stone shoulder" and dragged Bella downstairs...and she liked it! Or "Edward's capable hands pushed mine away and zipped it smoothly." Bella is completely incapacitated without Edward to take charge. And she likes it.

5. Why would anyone ever want to kiss or be with anyone who was ice cold with marble skin? (Or not want to have sex with you, perhaps ever, because it might make him lose control?) Hello???

6. Lack of research into the geography of the Olympic Peninsula. To drive from Forks to Seattle takes 5 hours. You cut 2 hours out of the journey by taking the car ferry--not necessary to go through Tacoma and Olympia. Also, grizzly bears are RARE in Washington. Black bears would have been a much more logical choice for Emmett's favorite food. Meyer obviously has not spent a lot of time in Washington--the only places where schools are made up of a series of separate buildings are in WARM CLIMATES (like Arizona, her home state). That would be completely impractical in the Pacific Northwest.

7. Tedious, boring page after page. Meyer desperately needed a skilled editor. 3/4 of the book could have been easily cut out, with absolutely nothing missing. Very little happens in the entire book. Most of the pages are filled with swooning, admiration of Edward's beauty and perfection, Bella cooking for her father (because, typical man, he can't cook a damn thing for himself even though he's been living alone for years!), and Edward rescuing Bella from harm, time and again. And purple prose that made me want to vomit.

8. Implausible romantic situation. I've never been attracted to bad boys, so maybe that's why I can't relate. But I simply could not understand how Bella could fall so "irrevocably" in love with Edward (within a week's time, no less!)...what was there to love about him? He was cold, angry, dangerous, and frigid. AND HE'S A VAMPIRE!!! What girl or woman in her right mind would be attracted to THAT?

9. Sexism, pure and simple. Bella is a cipher, completely without any purpose in life except to be with Edward. She gives up her desire to go to college to marry Edward. (Just like her own mother, who follows her second husband around wherever he goes and appears to have no life or personality of her own.) She gives up her human form and life as she knows it to be a vampire, because being with Edward is the most important thing in her life. When Edward leaves her in Book 2, she goes into a complete depression and tries to off herself--her life has no meaning and is not worth living without her vampire. When she finally does have sex with Edward, she gives birth to a baby while nearly dying in the process (again needing to be rescued by Edward). She is incapable of taking care of herself or making any decisions on her own. The one time when she does go against him and make a decision, she made a very stupid and dangerous decision (of course) and nearly gets killed (and is rescued, AGAIN, by Edward). She doesn't even get to have a healthy, platonic relationship with her friend Jacob--because he turns out to be a werewolf, another predator! Women are incapable of making decisions on their own or taking care of ourselves. We need men to run our lives for us, even as they terrorize us at the same time. And we live to serve them.

10. The messages these books and movies are teaching girls and women--very depressing. This is the most distressing thing to me about this series. Bella is no Hermione Granger or Katniss (The Hunger Games). Stephenie Meyer is NO JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins. I shudder to think what young girls and women are taking away from this series...must find a drop-dead beautiful man who treats me like shit and can save me from all perils. He will lash out at me and lust after my blood, and I love that about him! He's dreamy!!! I want to be a vampire so I can be just like him! It's all so romantic.

Barf. For some interesting critical reviews of this series, check out:

The Independent
Blast Magazine
Ms. Magazine

View all my reviews.

3 comments:

  1. I concur. I took issue with a 16/17 year old girl being so obsessed with a male (vampire or not) and being the object of such an obsession. I wonder what the reaction would have been if Edward had been human and not vampire. I can't imagine endorsing that plot.

    What about the line..."you're my personal kind of heroin." or something like that. Gag.

    I started the second book but had to put it down because it was so awful. I don't think I'll be picking it back up.

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  2. Good point, Lizzi! That can be #11. And that's not even considering the age difference between 17 and 90-something!

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  3. I suggested this for our book club because I wanted to know what all the hype was about. I completely agree with your review. But I had to read the next two books (something about not finishing a series) and it was even worse. I was just telling Sara today that I would totally be on Team Jacob because Edward is so controlling. Like an abuser. And it is scary that young girls love him so. My daughter is reading the first book now and at first she was really into it but I've noticed her reading has dropped off. And she is not obsessed with Edward like some of her friends (thank goodness). But I was looking forward to a 10 year old's assessment, as I think tweens should be the intended audience.

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