I like Twilight. There, I said it. When I first picked up Twilight, on a whim, I was completely sucked in (no pun intended). Never had I so closely identified with a female protagonist since I met Elizabeth Bennet when I was 10. But even I, the butt of every Twilight related joke amongst my friends, can find more than one reason to hate the series and all the hype it has engendered.
1. Twi-hards & Twi-moms. The two main groups that seem to adore all things Twilight are interesting because of the generational gap that exists between them. The common link, and what I believe draws them to the series, is their affinity for exaggerated romanticism. Young girls’ hearts stir thinking of their future Edward, who will probably never exist in reality given that Edward is fictional and that they cannot see even his flaws. The older generation (or generations really, since even our grandmothers are not immune) is equally drawn to what I call “emotional porn.” Twilight can provide a break from the monotony of real life and turn otherwise well adjusted women into romantic junkies who get their highs from the fire of young love, of which they have long passed. These two groups make it embarrassing for us people whom I will obnoxiously and self-righteously call “real fans.” Real fans are the readers & movie goers that I consider to have a healthy grasp on reality. For me this means that I can appreciate Edward (or Jacob) because of how much he reminds me of my husband instead of expecting it to be the other way around.
2. Haters. Remember that generational gap I mentioned earlier? This group consists almost entirely of that generation (also: men, but that’s a different story). Haters tend to be women of 18-30 who are, at least outwardly, disenchanted with romance. These anti-fans are either single or are in (or have a history of) lackluster relationships. The most common reason I am given for hating Twilight is that real love “is never like that [Twilight].” While it is true that not all romance is dependent on sexual tension, chemistry, etc. and that not all romance is “real love,” I think the problem is that these people have never experienced a genuine love that also has the aforementioned thrills. Whatever their reasons may be, they make it hard for us “real fans” to come out of our coffin shaped closet for fear of all the snark we will encounter!
3. New Moon (the book). Oh Stephenie Meyer, I’m afraid I can’t be in your camp on this one. Just when it seemed that our protagonists were coming out of the honeymoon stage of first love, were having to deal with doubt and mistrust, were having to work through real life issues slowly, Meyer lets us down with an unbelievably tidy ending. If you’re not sure what I am referring to, I am talking about Bella “realizing” that her visions of Edward were proof that deep down, she knew Edward still loved her, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and despite her remarkable depression at his leaving. I am willing to believe a lot in a novel, and I can even identify somewhat with Bella’s hurt and depression – given that her relationship was terminated at the height of its emotional climax and during adolescence when all emotions are exaggerated – but when someone tries to sell the idea that a broken hearted girl will see visions of her ex-lover because, against all reason, her soul knows he still loves her, I stop believing. On top of being not even remotely realistic (which, granted, could be said about most things in this fantasy series), it was not even an interesting resolution to the plot arc! Thank goodness for the New Moon movie as it does not bring this travesty of plot writing to the screen. I think I’m going to throw my New Moon book away and just watch the movie if I ever want to read it again.
4. Stephenie Meyer’s editor. Did they get paid for that job? Really? The reason that Twilight reads like amateur fan-fic is because that’s what it is. Meyer never claimed to be a novelist (except for the fact that she did write a novel, which counts, even if it’s not very good). She simply liked the characters and predicament that a dream produced and decided to explore it. I would say she even did a remarkable job! I am willing to be forgiving of Twilight because the characters are fascinating and because I blame Stephenie’s editor for publishing a really good draft of a novel. I think that if Stephenie Meyer had re-written her book (perhaps with the help of a thesaurus) even all the haters would have nothing to say except that they don’t like vampire novels.
So there you have it. Many people have written their opinions about Twilight, but I would like to think that my contribution to the media vomit is perhaps better than most, if only slightly and because I know how to use punctuation and spell check. Though, if you have bothered to read this, then chances are you fit into one of the two Twilight extremes and will leave a comment using too many exclamation marks. Or perhaps, like me, you just wanted to read the thoughts of a fellow “real fan.”