I love when new Twilight movies come out. Everyone gets so... defensive. Both sides. You either love the books and movies or you hate them it seems. Then everyone attacks each other. How dare you question these books!? How can you love something that promotes what is basically pedophilia of the vampire kind?! Edward is the most romantic man in the world- the way he cherishes Bella! Edward is a stalker who controls the woman he supposedly loves. Bella is a weak excuse for a modern woman. Bella is finding herself and becoming the woman (er...vampire) she was always meant to be. It's preaching about premarital sex and abstinence. It's promotes bad and unhealthy relationships. It's the best book ever written. It's the worst book ever written.
I get it. I do. I'm a Twilight Mom and a Library student. I also spent most of my undergrad tearing books apart trying to analyze every last bit of meaning. Between Lit classes and History classes and deconstructing music for choreography purposes I know how to rake a piece of work over the coals. I get why it's done. This need to understand everything is something that I think we all have. I've heard just about every argument you can think of. I made most of them myself. I agree with 90% of them (Yes. Both sides) They all make sense and hold weight. I think what people forget though is that books reflect the reader. You get out of it what you put in. Were you a Bella? A Jacob (I was)? Did you hope for an Edward to come walking into your life? Maybe you were a child of divorce who just wanted a chance with their father. Or a soon to be Mom who had a bad pregnancy and was terrified that this thing, this child, might kill you (me again). Maybe you were the opposite of some of the characters and that fact grated on you because you thought they were making all the wrong choices. How you view a book like this is directly connected to who you are. I think that is true of most books.
Do you want to know why I am team Twilight? I love these books because I don't think they were ever intended to be as big as they have become. I think they were, at their heart, just a story that the author wanted to read and felt compelled to write and share. Are they poorly written and full of weird story lines that make me cringe sometimes? Sure. (looking at you vampire birth scene, which frankly, so much better in the movie.) Are they hopelessly cheesy? Absolutely (now I turning my gaze on your sparkly vampire skin Edward). You know what else they are? Fun. Entertaining. Addicting. That's what I was missing in books when I picked Twilight up almost 3 years ago. Reading had become a chore. I was analyzing everything and not enjoying the ride. At what point did every book have to change the world? They don't all need to be literary classics on par with Shakespeare and Dickens. They don't all need to teach a lesson and make us better people. Sometimes a book is just a book. It let's us escape into it's pages and experience something we've never seen before. Reading should be fun. These books, for all they are not, are fun.
They also changed my life. They changed a lot of people's lives. Books can do that you know. Just when you least expect it, there they are, surprising you in ways you might not have been ready for. They opened my eyes to the wonderful world of YA and some of the most amazing books I've ever read. They brought some of the best friends I've ever had into my life through TM's and EFG. They forced me to take a hard look at my life and what I was doing. I wasn't happy, I hated my job and I needed something new. Thanks to one of those friends (my Fairy Threadmother Lauralee) I was introduced to the idea of being a librarian. So I quit my job and went back to school. I'm one semester away from graduation. All in the matter of 3 years- a complete 180. All because I found a book that reminded me that reading could be fun again. That is, after all, what reading is all about!