Friday, May 8, 2009

Twilight--Initial Reaction

I'm trying to keep an open mind here, but so far I'm not impressed.

I'm a big fan of Young Adult fiction. Some of the best books I've read fit in this genre. But Twilight, at least so far (I'm about half-way through the first book), seems like a junior-high schooler's attempt at writing YAF. If I weren't aware of the Twilight phenomenon, I'm not sure I'd have kept reading after the first chapter or so. The sentence structure is simplistic, the dialogue often seems stilted (don't get me started about Bella's e-mails to Mom), and although I usually have no problem willingly suspending my disbelief, some of the situations are simply unbelievable--and I'm not even talking about vampires or mind-reading. Edward and his family can just not come to school on sunny days and it's okay because the family goes camping a lot? He's allowed to sit in his car and listen to CDs instead of going to Biology class? Reminds me of Saved by the Bell, when students pretty much did whatever they wanted and got away with it. And what's the deal with Bella falling down all the time and Edward's repeated smirking?

But like I said, I'm trying to keep an open mind. I know a lot of people who absolutely love the series, so I'm going to keep reading. And Twilight lovers: feel free to disagree with me.

We'll talk feminist issues later.


Jennifer said...

:( I hope you like it better once you get into it! I agree there are some un-realistic situations, but the overall story (I think) is good.

Courtney said...

Thank you!!! Can I add unhealthy relationships and a poor example for teenage girls to the list?

Jonathan G. Reinhardt said...

It doesn't get better. It's an extremely poorly written book.

What I'd like to hear your thoughts on -- and what I think is what makes it so attractive to the millions of girls and women who've been devouring it -- is how it reinterprets the tropes of the romance novel.

Edward in particular strikes me as an odd mixture of Darcy, Rochester, Heathcliff, Jesus, and the "Christian romance"-bodice-ripper heroes.

I think young teens in particular find that the caricature of superhuman masculinity tempered by bare and mysterious (because inexplicable, because unnecessary) restraint and mopey moodiness gels with their own inexperience, and they interpret that sense of connection as attraction. What do you think?

Stephanie said...

@ Jonathan -- I'm working on it.