The Twilight of My Career: Part II ~ The Rest of the Book

So.

It’s taken me a while to get back to everyone on my Twilight adventure. It’s a long, troubled story that you don’t want to hear, yadda yadda. Still, the end result is, instead of doing this chapter by chapter I’m just going to post about the rest of the book, as during the interim I have completed reading it.

I already blogged about Chapter 1, so I’ll move on from there. As I first laid out, I’ll give a list of pros and cons for the story, and add them all up to decide, once and for all, weather I can continue to hate Twilight with my now educated opinion, or if I have to swallow my pride and decided that it’s… okay.

Pros:

  • Bella researches vampires early on in the story. Oi. I bet some of you were just WAITING for me to find THAT out, huh? Sadly, this is why it was important for me to read this book. So. Stephanie Meyer DID look into some vampire lore, did she? My anti-Vampire argument… is no longer valid. Though I still say vampires don’t sparkle. +1 for pro.
  • Wait… there’s actually a BAD GUY? Holy crap! Where did he come from, and why is there NO mention of him ANYWHERE in all the Twilight hype? The dude is actually pretty interesting, and smart, too. +1 for pro, for having someone in there that’s more like an actual vamp.
  • Wait again… there’s actually a PLOT? Holy crap! And it’s a good one, too! Kidnapped mother, father in danger, chase across the country, dark, seedy hotel rooms and creepy dreams? THIS is a horror novel! Why the hell doesn’t anyone mention this… EVER? +1 for pro, for having a PLOT.
  • I like Lucy and Esme. Why isn’t there more about them? Their backstories alone are fascinating. +1 for pro, for having a couple of characters I can actually stomach.
  • Stephanie Meyer has a degree. In English.  From a Mormon college, but whatever. It’s a degree. In English. That means… ugh… maybe she might know a LITTLE about writing. Maybe. +1… dammit.

Cons:

  • Vampires STILL don’t sparkle. And they certainly don’t sparkle like angels in the sunlight. Oi. My friend Jessica would argue with me on this, as apparently there IS an obscure sect of mythological nosferatu that sparkle, but I am going to be stubborn on this. You want a vampire? Look at Dracula. Damnit. +1 for con, for being dumb about vampires just so you can make them all pretty.
  • Meyer’s writing style gets on my last nerve. She repeats words incessantly (I was going to scream and throw the book across the planet if I read one more “murmur”), overemphasizes body language, (just how many ways can you describe Bella’s clumsiness, anyway), and WAY overdescribes the vampires while underdescribing everyone else. Sure, the latter might be on purpose, but come on. We KNOW Edward is hot. Move the hell ON already. -1 for being about as professional at writing as a Hollywood exec.
  • Edward is a jerk. Sure, that’s on purpose, considering he IS a vampire (allegedly), and he tells Bella this from the get-go, so it’s not like he’s even trying to pretend to be nice. But he’s also supposed to be the hero of this weird story, and a hero doesn’t stalk people, control people, and brow-beat people. The guy is the perfect example of a boyfriend who WILL become abusive if the girlfriend doesn’t dump his ass asap. -1 for creating a HORRIBLE example for girls to look for in a man.
  • Bella is whiny. Like… really whiny. And when she’s not whiny, she’s the perfect example of a cutter in training. I can’t imagine why any of her friends even like her, let a lone why all these guys at school are so into her. Apparently before she moved to Forks she wasn’t even noticed, but in Washington, boy-oh-boy, she’s like a supermodel! What happened? It makes this Washingtonian wonder if Stephanie Meyer thinks all our boys are so tired of all our girls that one new girl coming along, no matter how “plain” she is (as Bella is described numerous times), is like winning the lottery. And that? Well… that’s just offensive. Not to mention a HUGE character-hole, as far as I’m concerned. -1 for Bella.
  • Jacob. WHOO boy did the movie get HIM wrong! Okay, so this isn’t exactly the fault of the book, so I won’t take a point off for this, but since when did little Jacob Black become this big teen hearthtrob? He’s supposed to be like 13! WTH? The descriptions of him in the book do NOT coincide with the pictures I have seen… like… everywhere of the guy playing him in the movie. Just… no.
  • The actual plot… you know, the thing that made me so happy above… doesn’t even START until more than halfway though the book. Instead, Stephanie Meyer pulls the reader though this needlessly long, drawn-out torture of a romance between Bella and Edward, which reads like a cross between a psychotic’s diary and a stack of short romance stories out of Teen Beat or Bop. She could have given the reader a great image of their relationship in a few chapters, then gotten on with the actual STORY. But no. There had to be more murmuring! MORE! +1 for con for being storyline dumb.
  • Meyer pretty much took a fascinating cast of characters, then threw in two entirely flat, horrible characters, and made THEM the hero and heroine. Wait… what? Obviously she has some skill. The backstories of the vampires alone are fascinating. But she chose instead to be vapid and shallow. I can’t respect that. +1 for con for selling out and not living up to what I can easily see she is capable of.

So, the final count, including my count for chapter 1, is…

10 points positive.

10… points… negative?

… Well. THAT wasn’t what I was expecting. O.o

So, now I guess I have to ask my readers. How do I break this tie? What are your thoughts?

Works Cited:

Meyers, Stephanie. Twilight. New York: Little Brown & Company, 2005. Print.

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6 Responses to “The Twilight of My Career: Part II ~ The Rest of the Book”

  1. What about the point rating? Surely some things are more important than others. Is a 1-point-for-everything pro/con comparison the fairest way to judge? I mean it works well for your article (which was great by the way), but surely different people will place different amounts of importance on each item..? Also I don’t think she should get a +1 to pro just for being an English major. I mean, that’s awesome and all (and I never knew that)… but isn’t this about the BOOK(S)? 🙂

    Anyways, fun article! You are a braver person than I for reading this. 🙂

    • LOL Thanks. I don’t know how brave I am, though, since I’m not planning on reading the other three books even though they are literally right in front of me right now. Of course, that might have something to do with needing to start on the second book of my own trilogy, finish another high fantasy manuscript, and get my master’s thesis proposal done, but whatever. Heh.

      I added a pro for her English degree since in my first blog, I used the “fact” that she’s not a “real” writer against her. Not as a con point, but in an initial list of why I hated “Twilight” in the first place. I figured it was only fair to knowledge that she MIGHT actually be a writer after all. Having earned my own BA, I know she actually had to learn some things to get there.

      I do agree that maybe my points system is flawed, however, I think I’ll gather together my pro’s and con’s and see what I can do about that in a future blog. Thanks!

  2. Melissa Voelker Says:

    Have you seen the first movie? The reason I ask is that Jacob (Taylor Lautner) in the first film looks quite a bit like Jacob described in the first book. He’s younger than Bella and skinny and kind of just a regular teenager. But as you will see in the second book, the supernatural stuff begins to effect how he looks and matures. Taylor Lautner had to work out like crazy after filming the first movie because they weren’t going to cast him to play Jacob in the second one originally, as he was too small. I hate to take a con away from your list, but I thought I should clear that up a bit for you.

    By the way, I don’t think the fact that Bella researches vampires should necessarily be a pro, especially considering the fact that when a person in the real world researches vampires they come up with information that in almost no way describes the creatures in Twilight. Seriously, where the heck did the whole venom thing come from? I’ve read lore where vamps make other vamps just by biting and draining blood, though more are made by draining all the blood and then replacing it with vamp blood. Nowhere have I heard this crazy idea that they are made with venom. If Stephanie Meyer really researched vampires, why are her vampires so different than other vampires? I think that is just a convenient name she put on her characters because they drink blood and are sort of immortal.

    And having a degree in English does not automatically mean you know how to write. It just means you can diagram sentences and read and use proper punctuation. 😉

    • Hi Melissa!

      I was not aware that Jacob changes that much in one book. Is there a two or three year gap then between them? You mentioned the magic element, but I can’t imagine how that would be quite right, somehow. Turning someone who is essentially a kid into a sex symbol… it makes me kind of squick out a little…

      Still, I gotta say that from reading “Twilight” alone and never seeing any of the movies (nor ever wanting to), I’m with Jacob if I had to choose. He’s way nicer, way cooler, and I always did like the brunettes more. 😉

      I included Bella’s research simply for the fact that it shows Stephanie Meyer sat least THOUGHT of it, which is more than I gave her credit for before. In my revamped point system, I’ll probably only give it a +1 still, though.

      As for the degree, as I said above, I know she at least had to learn some things, which shows she didn’t just wake up one day, write a book, and become a “writer”. I’ve done the degree thing — hell, I’m STILL doing it — and I know you do have to learn SOMETHING (and be willing to do so), to graduate. I’ll give her credit for that, at least.

  3. It’s been a while since I read your first post, but it seems to me that a number of your preconceptions turned out to be true. Specifically, you had heard that Edward was cold and controlling, and that Bella was mopey and looking for strength from a boyfriend rather than inside herself. Although you recount some pleasant surprises in the supporting characters and the plot (once it got rolling), it doesn’t sound like Meyer convinced you that vampires should sparkle.

    The big question is, do you want to read the rest of the books? Really WANT to read them? Answer that, and you’ll have broken your tie.

    • Hi Deby!

      No, I do not want to read the rest of the books. Especially since everyone I have talked to about this has told me that the good plots don’t get center stage in any of them. That, combined with Meyer’s irritating writing style, would completely drive me through the roof, and I know it. Still, at least now I can say I have an educated opinion on the first book.

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