30 New Things: Read Twilight

 

I am not particularly snobby about most things (witness my list of the ridiculous music I listen to and the fact that I eat entire boxes of fake bacon in one sitting). But! I can be quite snobby about books. I’m very much that annoying person who refuses to read the type of books that make people line up outside Borders at 12 am. Harry Potter? Who’s he? The DaVinci Code? Never heard of it.So it was with a huge dollop of cynicism and several bouts of eye rolling that I picked up Twilight. Never mind the fact that The BFF and every other girl I know was singing its praises. I was bound and determined to hate it. I think I may have even snorted derisively as I cracked the cover.

And as you probably know, the writing is crap. Shocking. I wasn’t aware that someone had stolen my eighth grade creative writing project and turned it into a best seller.

Witness this gem:

During lunch, the clouds started to advance, slinking across the blue sky, darting in front of the sun momentarily, casting long shadows across the beach and blackening the waves.

Ms Meyer, is the beach becoming overcast? Is it getting a bit cloudy? Because I’m not sure. Maybe if you could add another visual to that run-on sentence I’d get a better picture of what’s going on.

Lordy.

But, of course, I got sucked in. And who hasn’t? Maybe it was Bella’s unassuming, pseudo normality. Or the fact that Forks bears a passing resemblance to my tiny, tiny hometown. Or that I, too, dated a vampire in high school. Wait. What?

The book is damn engrossing, guys. And as someone who isn’t particularly impressed with the ever-decreasing age of sexual activity in teenage girls, I love how sweetly chaste this book is. Well, perhaps ‘rife with unresolved sexual tension’ would be a better way to phrase it, but french kissing and collar bone grazing seems to be as far as it goes between these two pale young things. I love that this book is setting some sort of example for teenage girls that they can have a romantic, intimate relationship with a boy without humping him into next Tuesday.

What about you? Have you given into societal pressure and read Twilight yet? Are you obsessed?
(P.S. if you are cataloging your 30 New Things on your blog, drop me a line and I’ll link to you on my sidebar!)

35 Comments

kristine

Not yet, and I've been dying too since I'm pretty sure that, just like my late entrance into Harry Potter-ville, I'll swiftly become obsessed with the Twilight series. If I can just wrangle a copy out of the young adult section at my library…

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Erin

Yes, and yes. There's something about it that, despite the often cringe-worthy sentences, hearkens back to those angsty days as a young teen. It *is* engrossing! And fun! And don't worry, as the books go on, Bella becomes less dramatic. And also quits describing for paragraphs at a time how hot Edward is every time he enters stage left.

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Sal

Yup. And I had the SAME REACTION. The writing was clunky and sub-par, but I got totally sucked in despite myself. Total brain candy, and I loved it.

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Powered by Tofu

lol, I feel the same way about those types of books. I read 1 of the Harry Potter books, under duress I might add, and it was OK, but horrible writing! Hilarious post!

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Edith

I managed about a paragraph of Twilight before I felt nauseous. My stomach just isn't up to it.

I will totally admit however, that if Twilight had some out when I was 13, I would have been all over that shit. I would have been an epically sexually frustrated teenager with an affinity for (much) older, pasty white men who sparkle.

Harry Potter came out then instead – so I'm just a big nerd.

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pamelaperez

I have to say that at first I didnt see what the big deal about Twilight was… but that was before I read them and watched the movie. Now I'm HOOKED. Edward Cullen is in every girl's (and some guy's) dreams now

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hannah

Totally! If you stick with it through to Breaking Dawn (book 4, and yes that's quite a struggle) it gets realllly difficult not to burst out laughing at its absurdity. And yet I guarantee you'll be rooting for the sparkly vamps all the way.

Also; Mormon LDS dogma overkill? I do think so.

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Leia

I am DEFINITELY a book snob! I read the Da Vinci Code but before it became a huge worldwide hit, and didn't think it was very well-written. Harry Potter? Eww! TOTALLY over-hyped. I haven't succumbed and read Twilight yet, but I'm thinking of watching the movie just so I can try to understand why ladies are finding it difficult to find real-life boyfriends because they're obsessed with Edward Cullen.

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Chrissy

i've read the first two twilight books and i don't really think they're romantic at all! edward is creepy and borderline abusive, and bella is the shadow of an actual character. but i'm probably going to read the last two books, and i'm definitely seeing the movies, so what do i know!

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Sarah Von Bargen

Leia: I'm a TOTAL snob over the DaVinci code. I read it while I was living in Taiwan (there weren't many English books around) and just about strained my eyeballs with all the rolling. It's written like a really crap screenplay!

That said, I think it's admirable to find a way to make religious history interesting to the general public. πŸ™‚

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Marie

I caved in last summer and read all 4, devouring the last two in a 24 hour time period.
I enjoyed the story and despite being 28, I managed to get swoon-y (I've decided that's the adjective version) over Edward. It felt like I had a high school crush all over again! I became slightly obsessed and read all about it online until I convinced a few friends to read it.
Book 3, Eclipse, was my favorite by far.

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Rachael

I am so with you Sarah! I read the books a couple of months ago and I'm totally hooked. Dude, even my MOM is reading them and I never saw that one coming. The writing is so cheesy but I totally got all swoon-y (mind if I borrow this, Marie?) over Edward too. And Marie is right, Book 3 is definitely the best!

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molly

haha, love this post!
i havent read twilight mainly because i'm one of those people who have been blindly hating on it for no clear reason. maybe it has to do with me being a harry potter fan (i'm very much looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that!)

i've heard lots of things about it, such as that it was anti-feminist and full of thinly veiled mormon chastity propaganda. but if you who are so cool can enjoy it, maybe i should give it a shot.
p.s. love the pussycat dolls' "when i grow up" too!

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Sarah Von Bargen

I should add that while I was definitely engrossed, I'm not sure that I'm totally committed to finishing the series. I think I might read Harry Potter first and then decide which hugely popular, young adult series deserves my attention! πŸ˜›

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katie

agreed!!!

so poorly written, but it pulls you right in. i personally got sick of reading about edward's good looks, and muscles, and eyes.

i too am a book snob and picked this up strictly as a beach read for vacation. i finished it in about a day even with all my beaching, and vowed never to read the rest of the series–based on how it was so poorly written. but now i find myself wanting to know how it all ends. . . .so maybe.

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The Naked Redhead

Haha, yay! Twilight is so terrible, but "terrible" in the way that eating an entire chocolate cake by oneself is: so good, but bad, and you still want to throw up afterwards. Currently, there are three over-thirty women at work who are obssesed with these books, and I feel as though it is my duty to encourage them by sending them links to pictures of Robert Pattinson's half-naked body. HOURS of entertainment.

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Eralda LT

I am a book snob as well. It's really because of my MA in literature. After reading Woolf and Joyce, everything else pales in comparison. I have been avoiding this book like the plague. It seems that the plot is engaging, but I'm not sure if I'll read it. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it.

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erinwalker

I read it and hated that I loved it so, then got over that and just outright loved it, and now I'm a little tired of it. I haven't even watched the New Moon trailer, and that is a HUGE deal.

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Darcie

Dear Naked Readhead and Erinwalker, YOU GUYS! I KNOW, RIGHT?! I'm 100% with you. Please tell Sarah that just because she has multiple degrees in Fancy-This-And-That from international universities, that it's OKAY TO LOVE VAMPIRE BOOKS FOR TEENAGE GIRLS! πŸ˜‰

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jess

I am *chagrined* to say that I love to hate Twilight. It's so freaking absurd – also it requires about .5% of my brain power to read, so it's like a little nap for my weary mind.

However, I do i have a friend who is very serious business about Twilight. For Christmas she got me a Twilight shirt), the Twilight soundtrack and the Twilight movie behind the scenes book. I am 25 years old…so is she. It is sad.

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Rachael

I also forgot to mention that one of my girlfriends (we're both 25) went on a "Twilight trip" where they filmed the movies and went to all the locations in the books: Forks, Port Angeles, etc. Anyway, she bought me a Forks highschool hoodie and I love it but will never wear it in public, lol.

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Anisha

Well; I did go to see the movie but only just because I could stay in the loop and know what everyone was going on about.
I haven't touched the books and I'm never ever going to. I like the movie alright, yeah. But it's nothing to become obsessed over.

The only real vampires, to me, are the Anne Rice ones and the Buffy guys. Edward just doesn't fit into that group.

Also, if the writing is as bad as shown above…
I'll probably end up not reading it.

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Sherin

Everyone I know has been raving on about Twilight, but I'm also a bit wary about these kinds of books. I think I might just pick it up now…

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Jackie

Indeed I have given in to societal pressures. I just started the book. I've only finished the first chapter. Aaaaand…I want to read more =0

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Dubai Stylista

Wow, for all its successes, The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter sure don't seem very popular ! πŸ˜‰
But I totally loved the Harry Potter series. And Da Vinci. Now that was really awesome. Opened my eyes to so many things I hadn't even known or heard of. And the passionate debate it created! You have to love a book that can do that. Dan Brown's latest book is coming out soon and I can't wait to line up outside a bookstore for that, haha. I enjoyed the Twilight series too, but the writing really IS crappy. Now that I agree with.
Great blog! πŸ™‚

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ScarletHart

Haha only just found your blog, and I love it already. You put into words exactly how I feel about Twilight (Apart from your seeming acceptance of Bella. Grrr she annoys me. A lot.) Seriously, though: Read Harry Potter. You may hate it, I don't know. But it's better and more original than Twilight, with better morals and more realistically achievable characters to emulate.

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Liz

Love your blog. Just stumbled upon this post. First, let me say that I wish Buffy (the Vampire Slayer, of course) would kick Edward's ass. Seriously. I have a very dear friend who convinced me to read the books. It was one of those train-wreck things. I wanted to look away, but couldn't believe how it just…kept…getting…worse..
Bella is such a dope! I don't think I've every encountered a female character with a worse self-image. Edward is just annoying. And sparkly daylight vampires? What's with that?

Take a trip to Hogwarts. Much, much better than Twilight.

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NoviceWorldTraveler

I read all of Harry Potter before I ever cracked open Twilight. I was also an uninterested eye-roller, PLUS I had seen the first movie and was wholly unimpressed. However… I got completely sucked in (pardon the pun) and spent many a twilght hour engrossed in the lives of these teenagers. I fell madly in love with Edward, and by the end, I loved the whole Twilight universe – even Bella, who, up until then, had been my least favorite character.

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gluedtoapost

I will admit to having read Twilight — one beach vacation week a few years ago, a friend loaned me all four and I read them all. It was… absorbing, but sickening at the same time. However, I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan.

I have a simile that I use to compare the two books' reading experiences: If we compare literature to food, I will admit that Harry Potter is a dessert. It's fun. But it's a very rich, complicated, savorable dessert; like red velvet cake. Twilight, on the other hand, is like eating a Twinkie. A Twinkie that you dropped on the floor, and you THINK someone saw you eat it, but you're not sure, but you can't help yourself so you eat it anyway. And while you're eating it, you feel kind of sick, but it's also filling your mouth with saccharine so you keep eating it until you've finished it off, and you feel sick after.

HP is an interlocking web of references to literary greats, as well as Latin etymology, classical mythology, world religions, and world history. People get smarter from reading Harry Potter without feeling like they're being educated (not that feeling that way is bad, but it can be a bit mentally taxing, ya know?) Also, JK Rowling has the literary courage to actually let bad things happen to her characters even if it's painful to do — unlike Ms. Meyers (really, book 4? Really? Most anticlimactic ending I've read…). Furthermore, pretty much every sentence in HP is there for a reason–little details that are planted throughout the earliest chapters play a major role in the dramatic reveal at the end of each book, and there's a particular phrase in book 4 that is the reason the end, 3 books later, wraps up the way it does in the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort. Rowling's forethought and dedication to a compelling (yet totally-makes-sense) mystery in each book is admirable and makes for an incredible reading experience.

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