My Twilight Rant
Honestly, there are so many blogs about Twilight I figured I should jump on the bandwagon and throw in my two cents, too. I know how much people on the interwebs enjoy reading other people's opinions and either agreeing or arguing the points that are raised.
Cleolinda may as well have written the Twilight Cliffnotes: Snark Version. I loved every moment of reading the reviews of all four books. So much so that it actually caused me to purchase the first book... Then the second book (that same day I saw the movie) and then the fourth and third books. I say fourth and third because they were purchased in the same day, but the first book store was out of copies of the third book, so after I bought the fourth book there (I had a coupon!) I traveled to the other main stream book store in town to make my purchase. All three days in which the purchases occurred were sad, sad days for me.
I remember buying Twilight at Barnes & Noble and just feeling soooo dirty. Like no amount of soap would ever make my hands feel clean again. I was so abashed at my decision I promptly went over to the sci-fi and fantasy section and bought the newest Warcraft novel to make myself feel better. I realize the irony of buying bad fiction in order to make oneself feel better for buying bad fiction... But, in Warcraft's defense at least the characters have personality... I'll have more on that later.
I went up to the register and looked balefully at the cashier and muttered how ashamed I was of myself. And I got the best reply...EVER. She asked me why, and then in a moment I can only describe as “OMG YOU MISREAD MY EXPRESSION COMPLETELY” she said, “Oh, honey, these aren't REAL vampires. You have nothing to be ashamed of. There's nothing like THAT in the books.” I pondered for a split second over what 'THAT' could mean... Oh so many things. I responded by tilting my head quizzically and responding, “I know. That's the problem.”
“Oh, you're one of those people.”
Those people? Well, now I really have to dwell on what 'THAT' means. Blood, gore?... SEX?! I like a little action in my fiction... I like a little sex in my fiction. Hell, it doesn't even have to be tasteful sex... I can find some way to appreciate it even if it's just because I laugh while trying to trek through it.
Now, my problems with Twilight are numerous. There is no sex... Even the “intimate” scenes are seriously lacking in any form of detail. I have problems with this because, even at the age of fourteen... As I would lay in bed at night and stare at the ceiling imagining my own version of an Edward... Who was often a weird mix of Tuxedo Mask, one of the Power Rangers from the current season that I thought was absolutely to DIE for (to the point I watched the horrid little show just to see HIM...Squee), and the current guy I was crushing on at school... I knew what the mechanics of sex were and I had no problem imagining in my head the hand holding, the kissing, and the snuggling. Did I mention I really wasn't much of a sexual being at age fourteen? That was probably about the extent of my “sex” knowledge... But, oh boy, could I put some erotic details on the kissing... and where the kisses were going. The neck, so scandalous. Oh, I knew that vagina plus penis equals baby, but even at that age I knew I didn't want kids.
But, as a twenty-three year old, I know it doesn't always stop at kissing and snuggling. By age fifteen I knew that. There are lots of things you can do without it being “sex” or even “oral sex”. So, I can only conclude that Meyer skimped on the details simply because she was embarrassed to write such things. That's why the sex scenes in Breaking Dawn are always a fade to black. I know from experience that my senses are completely heightened and I am fully aware during any sort of intimate encounter. (There is one exception to this, but as to date neither he nor I know who actually initiated the little rumble... But it was awesome and we both passed back out promptly after.) But let me give an example of what I mean:
He kissed her neck.
His fingers grazed gently along the base of her neck as his teeth grazed her ear. She pulled in a sharp breath and felt him grin as his lips moved lower to her neck; his breath searing each place his lips moved from.
Which would you rather read? Yes, yes, blah blah blah... Twilight is supposed to be innocent and support abstinence and all that good fun junk. But just because there is more detail doesn't mean it makes it harder for the character to pull away... Just harder for the reader when they do pull away. I want a book whose characters pull at me and get me emotionally involved.
As it stands, neither Edward or Bella appear to have much of a personality outside each other. And even together they never talk about anything but their feelings for each other. It makes the whole thing very bland and very akin to a bad text-based role play session. You know, like the kind I used to do when I was fourteen... only I had a handle on adjectives so I like to think my stuff was passably entertaining to read. I really had high hopes for Midnight Sun. I was sooo looking forward to the internal monologue that was Edward Cullen... But what I've read of it? It's like Meyer took Twilight, switched out Bella and Edward's names and turned up the angsty-hate. All they do is dwell on the other and do things that constantly remind them of the other. Seriously? I wasn't that obsessed over my first crush. Honestly, the best thing about these books are the endless rants and snarks that have appeared because of them.
Now, on to my final rant of the blog: The action scenes. Cleolinda made mention of the Twilight movie vs the novel in her m15m section. If you haven't read it you should: http://community.livejournal.com/m15m/#item19551
So, in the first book the big action scene were James is filming his tormenting of Bella... When the calvary arrives... we do a fade to black of sorts. No real fight scene in the second book except where the werewolves tear Laurent to pieces, but that one has a passable excuse: Bella couldn't keep up with the vampire or puppies. The third book had the epic battle between the Cullens, Werewolves, and the Blood-crazed Newborns... And where was Bella? Having a camping trip with Edward and Jacob. I could rant about that all on its own... But I won't... Yet.
Now, finally, in the fourth book... The Vampires from Italy are coming to kill the Cullens. Finally, some sort of action is going to happen... AFTER FOUR BOOKS. YAY. And Bella is a vampire and has a neat vampire shield of mind-saran wrap to shield all her peeps. And... Nothing happens. No epic battle, just deliberation. It's like Meyer's is as uncomfortable writing about blood and gore as she is about sex... unless it has to do with pregnancy.
All that being said, I'm glad I was an adult when these books appeared on the shelves. I loved the idea of vampires when I was a teen... Still do on some levels, so it doesn't surprise me to realize that given the choice between something by Tamora Pierce, like the Lioness Quartet, or something that says its about “vampires” I would have gone with the vampires first... And who knows how that might have warped my sense of self.
Current Mood: bored