Monday, June 30, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I just finished Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  I really think that some of these publishers are sprinkling narcotics in the spines of these books because there is absolutely no reason for me to read a 500-page book in two days.

Especially when it's a bad book.  After the first chapter, I could have sworn on a stack of first edition children's books that ANY of my creative writing seminar classmates could write better.  The prose had no spark and was so repetitive.  Really, the first 2/3rds of the novel consisted of a young girl, Bella, falling madly in love with a vampire, Edward.  He's a gorgeous vampire (occupational hazard) and he gives off a smell that intoxicates her.  And he has a crooked smile (OMG, how many times I had to read that little piece of description!).  And he loves her because she has an equally interesting scent (so much smelling!).  What really freaked me out was when he would keep kissing her neck--talk about tempting fate, eh?

Yet, I zoomed through the book; I set up a reward system for myself where I could read a chapter every time I completed some assignment for one of my classes.  I got sucked up into their silly little romance and now I will be among the throngs attending the film version in December (I was happy to see they got the girl from Speak to play Bella; maybe she'll finally seem intelligent).  There are already two follow-ups, but I'll wait until I get all my work done for the week before I make my way to Wal-Mart to pick up some cheap paperbacks.  I can't even borrow them from the library because there is a 201-day wait! 

It's kind of like Harry Potter (yes, it's better written but I have the same basic issues with it).  J.K. Rowling has a knack for storytelling but there is no reason for her books to be as popular as they are.  Same with Twilight.  My students are ravenous about this book.  They ADORE it.  They all want to go out and find cute vampires to tempt with their various smells.  I don't want to critique the novel; I want to do a psychology experiment to figure out what is wrong with our species because there is no reason for us to get this worked up about fictional characters in sub-par novels.  

Bella is the worst kind of female protagonist--she's so clumsy she constantly has to be saved, she's ready and willing to become a vampire for a cute boy, and she has absolutely no self-confidence (You like me?  Really?  I'm cute?).  Sure she is described as intelligent in her Biology class but that's only because she had already done the work before at her previous school.  For a feminist, Bella (her name even means beautiful, gag) is like turning the clock back to the early 1900s.  

But, yes, I did read the book and I will read the others because I am invested enough at this point to want to see how it turns out.  But I'm blaming it on whatever stimulant they sprinkled the pages with because I can't explain my interest.  Not. One. Bit.


Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny said...

Sorry- I wasn't quite clear in my last comment. =) Send me your UPS-mailing address and I'll send you the 2nd and 3rd books in that gripping saga. =) Happy Graduate School Day! =)