Jillian and I debated the Twilight series in the Perpetual Post. Don’t judge me. Read her side here.
I never intended to read the Twilight series, but a friend of mine sent a copy to me in the mail. Really. I’m not making that up to defend myself. She called and asked if I’d read them yet, and a week after I answered “No, why would I?” an Amazon.com box with the first book landed on my doorstep. As is the case with many addictive substances, the first one is free because once you’re hooked you’re willing to pay anything. ANYTHING. Lucky for me the next two books were already in paperback, but I actually forked over $24.95 for book 4, which at the time was only available in hardcover. I’m not proud to admit that I elbowed a tween in the face to grab the last copy at my local Borders.
Now, I don’t like to get off my high horse as far as books are concerned. It’s smug and comfortable up there, and I get to say things like, “This novel is devastatingly honest and luminously haunting”. Movies are a different story; I love trashy movies and I live for Lifetime movies of the week. But where books are concerned, aside from the occasional pulpy bestseller, I like reading good books. So finding myself becoming drawn into the rainy vampire world of Twilight left me feeling conflicted, namely because it invited my long-obscured twelve year old self out of the shadows to frolic. While reading all four books (in about a month), the war in my head sounded something like this:
28 Year Old Molly: “I’m extremely skeptical of this series. It’s a like Sweet Valley High meets Count Chocula cereal. The main character is a whiny brat and I don’t care if she lives, dies, or gets laid, which she probably won’t, because the author is a Mormon. Why am I reading this? It just reminds me of high school, and I don’t need to remember high schoo—“
12 Year Old Molly: “SQUEEEE!!! She’s the new girl in town and the hottest boy in school is in loooove with her because even though she seems like an average girl to everyone else he knows she’s SPECIAL and he can TELL.”
28 Y.O.M.: “Yeah, right, he thinks she’s special. He thinks she’s a pork tenderloin in converse sneakers. This girl moves to a new town and the only friend she can make is some creepy loner who becomes fixated by her and watches her sleep at night? Why are we teaching young girls that it is acceptable for them to date controlling men who isolate them from their friends and family? Obsession isn’t love! It’s a warning sign! And what does he even love about her? She’s a drip!”
12 Y.O.M.: “OMG! Bella is lonely and angsty and feels like she doesn’t belong—kind of like me! I bet that if Edward went to my school, he’d totally fall in love with me and watch me sleep because deep down he can tell that I’m not like other girls.”
28 Y.O.M.: “Their relationship is based on nothing! He’s weirdly dominating and discourages her from hanging out with her best friend! She gets injured in every other chapter due to hanging out with him and his family and then hides the bruises from her father! How is this ok?”
12 Y.O.M.: “He doesn’t want her hanging out with Jacob because he’s a werewolf and they’re natural enemies. But Jacob is also hot, even though he’s younger than her. Jacob is in love with her too and she kind of loves him even though he’s not Edward, kind of like how I love Jonathan Taylor Thomas but I also love Zachary Ty Bryant. And then she has to choose between two guys! Just like I do! Sort of! In my head! Are you on team Edward or team Jacob?”
28 Y.O.M.: “Team Jacob all the way. He has the best one-liners. Also he treats her like an actual person and not some fragile collector’s item. But I sort of think Edward is hotter in the movie, but Jacob is hotter in the book—you know what? We are not talking about this.”
12 Y.O.M.: “I wonder if that really quiet boy in my physics class secretly realizes how special I am and is in love with me. I wonder if he can smell me from across the room and it makes him weak and his life didn’t begin until he first saw me. I wonder if he’ll invite me to prom.”
28 Y.O.M.: “Remember how she ends up not going to college because she’d rather hang out with her sparkly vampire boyfriend and lie to her parents? Remember how she feels like her life is empty if she’s not with a boy?”
12 Y.O.M.: “Boys are yummy.”
So I guess you could say that I can see both sides here.
I stayed up half of last night reading the second book in the Twilight series. Ogod it is so good. I mean, it’s bad! It’s terrible! I can’t stop reading it and I feel like I’m fourteen years old! What is wrong with me??
Person who sent these books to me in the mail because she knows me all too well: this is all your fault. You know who you are. If I had a sexy vampire boyfriend, I would send him to terrorize you. And then my sexy vampire boyfriend and I would hang out all the time and barely ever touch each other because he’s a vampire but also he thinks I’m sooo special and amazing and Sweet Jesus, how did this happen?