Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 13, 2012
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Twilight Sucks: A Review

I am not proud to say that I read the Twilight series, (made up of four books) in about three days. Neither do I feel satisfaction when I state that I, like much of the teenage girl population, was enthralled by the so called “romance” Stephanie Meyers depicted. While I was in the midst of the fanged, glittery thrill, I too was sucked into the series. Only after seeing the movie did I truly realize how exquisitely terrible Twilight is -the minutes upon minutes of long stares and heavy breathing was at least an accurate translation of book to screen. I have nothing against fantasy- I’ve read the Harry Potter series several times over- but something about the vampire werewolf craze left me sick to my stomache. Unlike the longing that I felt upon finishing the final Harry Potter novel, however, I was thrust from the world of vampires and werewolves disgusted with Twilight crazed teens of the United States. Even more so, I was disgusted with myself to have succumbed to the series in all its awfulness.

The four books are about Bella, a teenage girl who has just moved from Arizona to the glum and rainy Forks, Washington. In the first chapter, several guys are already falling for her, including Bella’s lab partner, Edward, that seems to be restraining himself somehow. We find out later that Edward is deeply attracted to Bella: but he doesn’t just want to kiss her, Edward is a vampire, and is fighting his urge to drink her blood. The usual struggle of forbidden love is thrown into the mix along with a host of other cliches. Bella must choose to be away from Edward, but safe from him, or be with him and be in danger of an uncontrolled attack.
Whether Meyer is simply incapable of writing below the 500 page mark because of her inability to communicate ideas concisely, or if dragging out the novel for as long as possible is her way of captivating the audience, she does so with less grace and about as much interest than a Meg Cabot princess novel. The true plot of the novel is hardly introduced until the book is nearly over. The rest of the time, the ever depressed and angry Bella talks of Edward’s perfection, and how she doesn’t deserve him. In addition to the lack of true plot, it is also evident that Meyer is in dire need of a tutorial on the Thesaurus. The word “cold” was used frequently to describe Edward’s skin, and Meyer continually compared stares and Edward to stone. The phrase “immobile as a stone”, “impassive as a stone”, were used multiple times, and Edward’s body was compared again and again to a stone. In addition to boring me to death, such references left me wondering why someone so cold would be so appealing. Meyer also has a tendency to use large words in strange places; Edward’s “incandescent chest” and “scintillating arms”, for instance, doesn’t tell me that Meyer is a good writer- just a confused one.

It makes me shudder in disgust to think that Twilight has been compared to Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. Stephanie Meyer’s writing that is lacking all components that make up good literature contains none of the beauty that Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy so epitomize. Unlike any reputable fictional romance, the attraction Bella feels towards Edward is solely based on his appearance. An Anti-Twilight blogger actually counted the references made in the first novel to Edward’s beauty, including the individual parts Bella swooned over. Between his “glorious”, “heavenly”, “seraphic” face, (24), “voice of an archangel” (20), right down to his breath (4), a total of 165 references to Edward’s beauty were counted. Such sickly sweet descriptions as those leave me wondering whether I should keel over laughing or cry for modern literature.

However, length and cliches aside, the main thing that irks me about Twilight is Bella. I am appalled at the needy, pathetic person Meyer created as the female lead for the saga. Not only does Bella spend each page swooning over Edward, she lets him completely control her. Over the course of the five years it took her to hammer out four poorly written novels, Stephanie Meyer has quashed progress women have made on the front of women’s equality, and painted an anti-feministic view of how teenage girls should behave. Bella Swan is in danger three times in the novel, and is saved no less than three times by Edward. Millions of teenage girls read the series believing they were reading about romance, while a twisted lesson on female independence was really taught. Had Meyer depicted Bella as a strong and self respecting woman, rather than clumsy and insecure, Twilight would have been a better novel in many ways. Like Suzanne Collins conveys to readers in The Hunger Games, women are just as capable as men are. Collins’ main character Katinss is the quintessence of a strong heroine. Not only does she support her family by hunting, but she also cares for her male friend when he is injured. She eventually wins the Hunger Games- an accomplishment of being the last person standing in a brutal fight to the death. Katniss is independent and strong willed woman: the opposite of needy, pathetic Bella. Rather than building her novel’s main character to empower teens and encourage strength in women, Meyer has created a person that exhibits the passive mannerisms that society has forced upon women.

And thus, I take great pleasure in having defied my teenage fan-girl instincts. Now, when I read an excerpt such as this: “I smelled his cool breath in my face. Sweet, delicious, the scent made my mouth water”, I do not swoon, but fight the urge to vomit (Twilight 263).

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