Saturday, August 16, 2008

True Love Bites, Pt. 1

These past two weeks, I've been reading the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. I bought the first one a few weeks ago, but never really started reading it. I wanted to get through them before the first movie came out though. Whenever possible, I like to not have actors in my head when mentally picturing the characters. But what really motivated me to read them right now was the release of the 4th and final book in the series, and the apparant fan backlash that immediately followed. What could've happened in the last book that sparked such an intense response? I can't investigate the uproar without spoiling the story, so now I'm racing through to get to the end before someone spoils the surprise. I have my Entertainment Weekly (who gave the last book a D!) with an article on the backlash waiting for me as soon as I'm done. What could have made this the Anti-Seathly Hallows? I must find out.

Going through the books... well they are certainly big on atmosphere even though I don't think that much ever happens. I'm midway through Book 3 right now, and while I don't think they're especially well written and I don't really like any of the characters, they're still kinda fun to read. i have some issues though. They are listed below this.... SPOILER ALERT!

Okay, so basically very little happens in the first book. This has to be an easy book to adapt because of the 500 or so pages of the first book there's about 100 pages of action and 400 pages of chaste kissing. It's dreamy and fun and sorta romantic but it goes on forever. Lin says that it's porn for the 12 year old in your brain. Because it's basically just cuddling and kissing but they are in LOVE. LOVE!!!

We learn a few things and then nothing really changes for the next 1000 pages of the story. Bella can't believe she is worth Edward loving her. Edward thinks he is too dangerous for Bella to want to be with him. They keep saying this over and over again. Bella keeps finding ways to get in accidents and then bleed all over the place in front of Edward's vegetarian vampire family. Bella wants to be a Vampire, but Edward doesn't want to put her through the painful initiation and (possibly) cost her her soul. I think Edward is being a bit ridiculous. He says he will turn her when she becomes ready to marry him, but Bella doesn't want to get married! I think Bella is being a bit ridiculous. There are also werewolves that hate vampires and vice versa and there is a truce between them they barely follow and although Bella wants to join the vampires, she wants to be best friends with the werewolves.

Bella has a single dad who's kind of like Joyce Summers circa seasons 1 or 2 of Buffy. Some of the vampires have special powers and some don't. There's this one female vampire that's been trying to get revenge on Edward by killing Bella for the PAST THREE BOOKS! The other vamps and the werewolves seem incapable of tracking and killing her. Jacob, Bella's werewolf BFF wants to be her boyfriend, but Bella really loves Edward and won't leave him, even though he's kinda controlling and overprotective and, you know, undead. There are anvilicious references to Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights. There's lots and lots of descriptions of Bella and Edward kissing.

These books are fine and enjoyable in their way, but I kind of don't like any of the characters in the main love triangle. I guess that's the Wuthering Heights Angle. They do selfish hurtful things to each other in some misdirected notion of love. I guess that's interesting, but it would be nice if Bella was more than a helpless victim, Edward wasn't so overprotective and patronizing and Jacob wasn't so reactionary and jerky. I do believe it's part of the point they are this way, but as the story goes on, I hope I get more of Edward being dreamy, Bella being assertive and Jacob being understanding. No one seems happy with the ending though, so I'm guessing that doesn't happen. We'll see in about another 800 pages! To be continued!

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