Twilight Bites and Sucks
I did actually enjoy the first book of the Twilight series which I picked up Thursday during my lunch break, and finished Saturday afternoon. Yeah, it was one of those kinda weekends.
To be honest – I’m not quite sure why I liked it as much as I did. The writing is fairly generic for a young adult series, except for the descriptions of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, but that’s probably personal subject preference more than anything else.
But I found after sitting down and reading through the first few pages, I was totally hooked. Stephenie Meyer is some kind of idiot savant, who write an entirely engaging series about a usually fringe subject matter (vampires) and managed to garner the widest appeal possible.
I was in Subway on Friday during my lunch break, picking up the sub o’ the day. The line is usually long, so I brought Twilight in to read whilst I waited for the lovely ladies behind the counter to take my order. When I got to the first gal who was prepping the bread – we chatted amiably and I mentioned reading the Twilight series.
Mostly cause I was holding the book in my hand. Not cause I was totally infatuated (at that point). Suddenly – heads swiveled. I’m really not exaggerating. The woman in charge of veggies piped up, “that book is amazing.”
The lady in line next to me offered, “I’ve heard really good things about it.”
I was taken aback – but mentioned helpfully that a movie is coming out soon (so says the sticker on the book). Of course there’s a movie coming out soon. When is there NOT a movie coming out soon?
Anywho – I get up to the cash register, and the man behind the counter takes my money. As he hands over the change he says, “You will not be disappointed by this series. I’m a 28 year old man and I loved this book.” At this point – I wanted to look around for the hidden camera because I felt like I was trapped in some weird infomercial hell.
Instead, I got my drink and chips and left.
– END STORY –
So – if this book can inspire random love in the Subway sandwich line, I’m thinking I’ve entered a whole new world. And after a few hours of net researching, those suspicions were confirmed in multiple.
People are OBSESSED with this series. MTV has a news segment called “Twilight Tuesday” wherein they publish interviews with the modest and seemingly creeped-out cast and crew of the Twilight Movie being released 11/21/2008.
Honestly – scanning a few of the interviews of the principle actors for Bella and Edward (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson)…it seems they weren’t really aware of what they were getting themselves into when signing on board.
This is the most coherent interview with RPattz!!OME!! otherwise known as Spunk Ransom. Seriously, I am so amused by these fanvids, I’m not sure why. It’s the somewhat mocking element possibly, hard to tell what these folks actually think of him. But dammit if they aren’t funny all the same.
Getting Back to the Series: It’s set in the Olympic Peninsula of the Pacific Northwest – in a small Washington town called Forks. with a few references to Seattle and Portland thrown in for good measure. Gotta love that, right?
MORE LOVE: It was filmed in and around Portland. There was even a scene or two shot at my Alma Mater – Clackamas Community College. Here’s a complete list of the shooting locations.
But that’s not even half the fun. Apparently – there is a huge collective called the Twi-Moms who are completely cuckoos for all things Twilight-related, and they stalked the set and actors in a somewhat creepy, but also cutely amusing way. Check out the sarcastic Willamette Week article – please note WW is known for having no sense of nerd humor. The Twi-Moms aren’t even it – there are twi-teens and twi-twentysomethings. It’s a mad world, yo.
Here is my favorite of the two trailers:
As captivated as I am by this book – I do have some annoyances with the main character Bella Swan. She’s fairly sadomasochistic, if I’m allowed to read any feminism into this book what-so-ever. She gets off, and is attracted to a dude who at first glance has Multiple Personality Disorder OR severe mood swings and at second glance wants to KILL HER.
There are several scenes where the vampire, Edward Cullen – manhandles her in a rather un-kind fashion. She is described as being fragile and breakable. One of her constant traits is clumsiness – she doesn’t feel she’s attractive or deserving of Edward’s attention.
And yet – the exchanges between Bella and Edward are very different from the choices and behaviors the characters make outside of these descriptions. In essence – Bella and Edward are inconsistent as hell.
WTF mate? Bella’s selfless in a disturbing – cook your dinner, make sure your bills are paid, do your laundry and let you smack me around for fun, kinda way. But you never get the impression that she’s very happy doing any of these things. The only thing in her life of interest or worth is Edward. Even though she’s a smart, attractive woman who would appear to be able to take care of herself, as well as others.
Overall – not feeling the “damsel-in-distress” aspect of the series, which I feel is in direct contradiction to a lot of choices made by the character.
My hope is that the further the series goes – the more these inconsistencies and distressing character flaws will be fleshed out.
As was mentioned before – the writing is nothing special – and at times a little awkward. Especially in some of the longer, exposition dialogue sequences.
The plot of the “Bad Vampire” arriving in town was thrown into the final third of the book and did nothing to increase the thrills or chills. In this story – the mystery and sexual tension often over-ride the weaknesses.
This might be a first, but I’m fairly excited to see how the movie will re-create and re-dress some of the weaker points of this book. There will be much more action (which is desperately needed at times) and I’m sure the vampire discovery and bad vampire element will be introduced sooner – in order to ramp up the drama in the last half.
Overall, I am most impressed and willing to throw down some scrilla for the second installment. I was going to wait to blog until I had all the books read but after researching the movie, there was just too much nerdiness to be contained for the month or so it would take for me to complete the series.
I’ve even got my mom interested in the series. My mom likes Twilight, so why don’t you?
Much Love, Mindy C
PS – Couldn’t help myself.