05 October 2007

Why I think Twilight is a piece of crap, OR The blog post in which an ingnorant person analyzes love

Most of that title is for effect. I'll explain:

In the last year or so, Stephanie Meyer's book Twilight has taken the girly world over. Ask nearly anyone about it and they'll do a string of things immediately. First; they'll profess undying love for a vampire. Second; they'll say that they don't normally read vampire books but this one is different. Third; they'll demand that you read the book, and (maybe fourth), proceed to give away almost the entire plot. So here's my analysis.

I read the first two and about half of the third in the series. Plot wise, the books are fairly interesting. I'm not usually one for popular teen fiction but a few of my friends told me I had to read them, so I picked them up. I actually enjoyed most of the first one. Granted, the book isn't very well written in some respects. It could use a serious edit. By the 800th description of how beautiful the hero was I wanted to chuck something heavy at the heroine, but other than a few quibbles it wasn't so bad. I didn't regret buying it. It was a nice distraction in the pre-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows mindset I had.

Then I read New Moon (the second book in the series) and part of Eclipse (the third) and realized that nothing had really happened. The interesting part about the first book for me was that the main character (Bella) seemed to have taken a risk. But after the initial risk in the first book, none of the characters seemed to change. It was pointless. The author stopped taking chances. It was so predictable and safe. The book could have gone down a route similar to Tuck Everlasting for instance, only it would have been (or could have been) even more significant because the age of the heroine has been upped about eight years. Rather than have a ten year old decide it isn't worth it to live forever, you have an immature eighteen year old consider for about half a second what the consequences of immortality as a vampire would be. Every time she considers it she throws the thought aside because she is so in love. Only I didn't believe it. Aside from the semi-interesting plot line, I never bought the story after a while. Edward was too good. I don't care how bloody beautiful he is or how noble he is, I'd be annoyed out of my mind by him if I really knew him. Seriously? He plays the piano. He wrote her a lullaby. He half stalks her. He is so darn over protective it's absurd. He never sweats. He has a nice car. Snore. I don't want a guy that perfect. It'd be obnoxious.

Going back to the love they supposedly have for each other, I buy their love about as much as I buy the love of Romeo and Juliet. Not at all. I'm sorry. It's just a little too surface for me. Whenever they see each other there will be some mad, gasping, clinging make out session. Maybe I'm just feeling particularly 'anti-touch' at the moment because I have three engaged roommates, but whatever Edward's and Bella's relationship is, it isn't one of love. It has no substance. Nothing to really fall back on outside of that fire they have during the books. If love is glue, then they've got a lot of glue but no paper to glue together.

And you know what? I don't think love is, or should be passionate all the time. What is a book like this teaching girls about the nature of love? I've heard girls say that Edward ruined other men for them. Ugh. How disgusting and superficial. This book would, if read in a certain way, teach girls that the Beatles were right when they said 'all you need is love'.

So here's what I think about love. You can all feel free to mock me if I ever turn into the person I despise one day, but from careful self analysis and in thinking about the relationships I've observed (fictional and otherwise), I know what kind of love I'm looking for.

You know the first day you realize the seasons have changed? When you wake up one morning and see that the leaves on the trees have turned red, or you have that first snowstorm? The first day you hear birds again or the day you pull out your shorts? That's the image I have in mind. I don't think romance has to be irrational and stupid. I think love is more like Darcy puts it in Pride and Prejudice-it comes on you slowly until one day you realize it, but you're already in the middle of it. It isn't like a movie with an orchestra-it's the day you realize that spring is back. It isn't that it hasn't been coming, it's that you finally register that it's back. You see the signs coming until the day you see it for what it is. It isn't new or unfamiliar because we've all been there before. We've all loved before. I think people expect love to be something grand or unfamiliar but it isn't. There's joy in it, of course-but there is also a comfortable kind of peace. I don't want fireworks. I want the crisp air of a fall morning. Something that feels so comfortable it's like curling up on a couch in your favorite pair of sweats.


Marisa VanSkiver said...

Thank you Joni! I have been fighting with many of my friends about Twilight for quite some time. I haven't read them, but I feel like I have because they've told me everything about them. I agree: their love is very surface. That's not real love, and that's why I won't read them. It's encouraging a very fake perception of love. It's also why I hate Romeo and Juliet.

The Girl in the Other Room said...

I will never be able to agree with you that Twilight is a piece of crap. I love them even now that I am getting slightly annoyed with them. I'm an addict, so sue me.

However, your description of love is so beautiful Jo! I really like it and that is how I have always felt about love in my own life. It does creep up slowly. Major differences in love, admiration, adoration, lust and friendship.

P.S. The Beatles WERE right when they said "All you need is love." Just be sure to take it correctly.

Karin, Dave, and baby Evan said...

Yay! I rediscovered your blog via your dad. I totally agree about Twilight. ALL the girls around here have read it and are obsessed with it--mainly Edward. I read it last month (actually, listened to it on my iPod). I enjoyed the book, but I'm not in love with Edward. When I told some friends this, they were disgusted with me. He's attractive on some levels, but the book goes a little overboard. It didn't help that the voice of the girl who narrated the audiobook drove me crazy.

Hope you're having fun in P town!

Karin :)

Karin, Dave, and baby Evan said...

Oh, and I agree with the love thing. It does come on slowly--you're in the middle of it before you know it. Atleast that's how it was for me.

Your blog cracked me up. THanks for not being another Edward fanatic :)