Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I hate Bella. I should be in her place.

I was nervous about my book club at first – I thought it would fail pretty quickly, but it’s been going pretty well. We read a good combination of different books: old classics, modern fiction, non-fiction. Every month the host of that book club chooses the next book.

The last host chose Twilight - a good easy to read no-brainer. At first, I was excited. I bought the book, but haven’t found the time to pick it up and read it despite the fact that I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I figured having it as a book club book would motivate me.

However, ever since the book was actually chosen I have started hearing not so great things, like how cheesy the writing is. If there is one thing that will make me hate a book it is cheestastic writing and clichés galore. So now I’m all nervous that I will despise it and I truly want to enjoy it!

This morning on my way to work the radio station I listen to was interviewing the “two biggest fans of Twilight on the west coast”. They were two high school age girls and they were certifiably crazy about Twilight.

In this interview I was lucky enough to hear first hand the cheesy writing as the host was doing “dramatic readings” of it. These girls kept talking about how perfect Edward was and how they loved the books because they themselves were falling in love with Edward.

The fact that Edwards is “perfect” also bothers me. How is that romantic? It’s easy to love somebody who always does and says the right thing. What happened to loving somebody for their imperfections? These poor teenage girls are convinced that the perfect man/vampire is waiting for them somewhere. He just isn’t in Kent…which is, I guess, a valid point.

It turns out that, funnily enough, these girls were studying Romeo and Juliet in their English class, but, COME ON, that is nowhere near as romantic as Edward and Bella! I think that’s what had me convinced these girls had lost their minds. Maybe if they saw the movie with Leo they would understand the romance behind it…

Despite my reservations regarding this book I am still going to give it a fair chance. I’m going to attempt to forget all those pesky realities about how Bella could never be truly happy with Edward because I mean, really, how is that going to work when she’s forty and he’s still seventeen? Truthfully, chances are I’ll love it. Deep down I am a hopeless romantic…and I will probably agree with the obsessed girls that Bella’s a loser and I should be the one with Edward. On the other hand at the age of sixteen I very passionately hated Titanic so I am proud to say I do not succumb to all things “romantic”.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I've heard mixed reviews too. I'm a totally Harry Potter fan (and proud of it, clearly), but I think that's about as fantasy/sci-fi as I'll go. If that's even what the genre is considered. Eh, whatever. I'm anxious to see what you think about it!

Bayjb said...

I'm reading Twilight series now and I agree with many of your points. But I keep in mind two main things: 1 - it's written for teens so the language and writing will be a little over the top, 2 - suspend all reality with this. I ended up sobbing at the end of the third book last night and I'm starting to hate the Bella character, but again, she's a teen so I need to keep that in mind.

LosingIt said...

dude, there's nothing more perfect than a guy who'll hole-punch your neck and drink your life essence like it's kool-aid. my loins, they are a-tinglin'.

Andy said...

I bet that when you start reading it, you'll understand the euphory behind it. I think every girl deep down wants an Edward, someone to compliment them and tell them how beautiful they are...

I received a Facebook Bumper Sticker that said something like "Edward Cullen, raising boyfriend standarts".
It would be foolish to pretend all the guys you'll meet will be like Edward, s the trick there is keep in mind it's pure fiction. No guy is like Edward, because no guy is a vampire. (Not that I know, in any case).

Ally Marie said...

It's true that he is made out to be perfect, but that's okay for one book.

I thought Twilight itself was pretty good. The other three, though, were frustratingly so-so and not worth the effort of reading 500+ pages. Especially not the last one. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

i'm not a reader so i've got no comments as far as that goes but i love that these teen girls are just getting setup for a lifetime of disappointment with men.
my disappointment came solely from the day i realized all/any man is not exactly like Cary Grant. what a let down.

stoogepie said...

Edward is not perfect. He is a vampire. That means that, by definition, he sucks. In fact, he will bleed you dry. And he is interested in going down on you about once a month. What's unrealistic? He sounds like a lot of dudes.

Question: seeing that this is a craze and all, should I get the fang implants?

surviving myself said...

Ugh, I have nothing positive to say about Twilight so I'm just going to say, "Hello."

Matt said...

^ I agree with the statement above.

Megkathleen said...

Heatherdc - I loved Harry Potter too. I don't know that this is fantasy or not...but I do know I love vampires so it has that going for it.

Bayjb - Good to know. I'll have to constantly remind myself what I was like at that age.

Losing it - True! God I would love me some vampire sex.

Andy - I don't think these poor girls understood that Edward is fictional.

Ally - Sad! I was hoping for a good series ala Harry Potter.

Notsojenny - Wouldn't it be nice if we all had our own Cary Grant? I went through a phase in college where I couldn't stop watching An Affair to Remember. I think I had it memorized. My roommate were madly in love with Cary Grant and we drank ridiculous amounts of pink champagne, which really isn't that tasty.

Stoogepie - Definitely get the fang implants! You'd have to fight the girls off with a stick.

Surviving myself - That's ok. You can talk shit about it if you want. I am basically preparing myself to hate it.

Rachie said...

I really and truly LOVED the books. I have read all four of them and am waiting for the fifth to come out any time now. Yes, cheesy writing, it has. You just have to get past that and you'll love the books. You also have to remember that these are Stephanie Meyer's first attempts at writing. She never studied writing or literature. This isn't something she always wanted to do. And in fact she said in an interview that when she was dreaming up the story she saw it played out in her mind like you would see a movie.

And I agree with almost everything that everyone else has said about it. It was written for young adults so it needed to be decently easy to read. Teens these days won't read things that aren't easy it seems. You'll also find that there are a lot of things that make Edward less than perfect. I don't want to give anything away so I won't list those un-perfect qualities but just know, they're there.

All in all, you'll either LOVE love love it! Or you'll hate it. There's hardly an in between.

Chris said...

I would really rather take a hot poker in the nethers before reading cheese. If it appeals to teenage girls, if you aren't a teenage girl, run away very fast.

rs27 said...

Someone on the radio here in LA called in and wanted to ask the dude that plays Edward, "Was it hard resisting the urge to bite people's necks when falling in love"

they do know the actor isn't really a vampire, right?

Kristen said...

OMG. That scene with Leo and Claire and the fishtank with "kissing you" in the background?


I'm reading Twilight right now and I've yet to discover what all the fuss is about.

And I'm into vampires too.

The writing is very, very simple.

Jessica said...

Haha, I'm reading the first one now.

I really like it...but the writing is cheesy. And even I've noticed it. The author uses the same words over and over again (for instance the word "cold" as in "cold stare" like over and over)

And Edward isn't that appealing to me for some reason...I actually really like and relate to Bella more than I like Edward. He kind of creeps me out!

Happy reading!

Narm said...

If I have to become a vampire to get chicks I'll do it. I'm not scared. I don't like the sun that much anyways.

Kiera said...

My sister is fanatical about Twlight. And her constant gabbering about it is part of the reason I haven't it myself.

I'm glad to read I'm not only one that wasn't thrilled with Titanic either.

Anonymous said...

The writing IS really cheesy, and Edward is TOO PERFECT. Bella? Annoys me, a lot. I read all four books, hoping it would get better. It is a little addicting, and I'll probably watch the movie, but I think the series is WAY overrated. People compare her to J.K. Rowling and she is nowhere close.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read Twilight yet (and I doubt I ever will) for several reasons, and the bad writing is one of them. I've heard - repeatedly - that the story is good, but the writing is fairly lackluster, and there's nothing I hate more than waiting for something good to happen and being annoyed by the language explaining it. So I don't reasonably foresee me picking that book up any time soon. And, to be honest, the hype makes me hate it more... Weird, but true.

P.S. Leo as Romeo, super romantic. Such a fabulous Shakespearean play, and well portrayed by DiCaprio and Danes.

Kate said...

I get all judgy when people like something in a herd. Even in high school, I refused to read To Kill and Mockingbird because I knew my english teacher was going to try and tell me what it "meant." And I'm all like, "This is literature. You CAN'T tell me what it means! I'm supposed to figure it out on my own!" needless to say, he didn't like me.