13 June 2009

Grouped Poop and Twilight

By this time next week, I'll be finished with this quarter of school and my last three finals. Until then, I'm stressed. I shouldn't be. This quarter I really have my poop in a group.

Lets hear it for grouped poop.

I'm writing my Eng102 paper on Alternatives to Gardasil. It's coming along nicely. Just not fully there...polished. I am an editing/rewrite queen, so lord knows, I'll be tweaking it for the next three full days. I'm already registered for fall with a 14 credit load. Baby girl will be in full-time 1st grade and I'll have more free time to actually update my blog.

HAHAHA, Im funny.

But I'll be off school this summer. To read. And read. And read some more. **and blogging more!

Speaking of books, (and I can hear the moans and groans now....) I decided to reserve a copy of the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. My daughter is aching to read it since all her friends have. Vampire books in my house were high on my favorite book list between Your Pet's Inner Qi and The Skinhead Life For Dummies.

But I started Twilight. And I couldn't put it down. And then I went out and got the others in the series and read those, too. All four books and the unpublished partial of "Midnight Sun" devoured in four days.

I guess it's easier to eat crow when it's still warm.

What is with this series? Why are people going gah-gah over the book? I'm so glad you asked! Its not original. Its not mind-bending, award winning literature. Its like bibliophile cotton candy.

I decided to write a review about the series for all them haters, lovers, eye-rollers, or those simply curious. I do recommend reading the books before you make judgment...or at least reading my review. Here goes:

I never set out to like these books.

I am far from the person who finds vampire stories captivating and being more of the one to buck the trends of the sheeple, I withstood the general consensus of "you gotta read this because everyone is reading it". And that damn apple book was every.where.

I'd known what to expect by critics and enthusiasts alike: cotton candy fluff writing, romance, allegorical, timeless love story, co-dependence, and self-discipline. It took me until two weeks ago, at the prodding of my daughter, to read the book with open-minded skepticism. I never thought I'd enjoy the story.

Being my first vampire story read, I was thankful for the easy read. For those who criticize the basic writing, I would agree that the story is simply written. It's geared towards teens and I knew I wouldn't be reading something deep, human, and twisty as the Count of Monte Cristo. Rather like comparing a soup broth with a four course meal. Sometimes, you need your steak and potatoes, but sometimes it's good to just have soup.

I won't explain the plot, as so many have easily done, but will explain how the story stood out to me. I'll answer the biggest question: What's the big dealeo!?

Taking several weeks to mull this over, I have an answer: I don't know. But I'm picking up books again.

There are many women that relate to Bella, but even deeper, there are many women (and men) of all ages want to be loved in this over-the-top way. Does this desire to be adored and loved mean it's realistic? Not in every relationship, although I'd like to think so. The draw is that women see Edward so entirely devoted to Bella and I don't know a soul who wouldn't want that same devotion in their own life. This is the same reasoning behind the term, "chick flicks". Generally speaking, women like the warm, squishy, lovey dovey stuff. We can't help it. We want to be Cinderella and have the white knight jump in a save us without later having to clean the horse stall and wash his dirty clothes. We want to be independent and strong, not some campy heroine that whines and skitters around when something or someone bad happens. We want both sides of the coin.

The story is written in the first person, so relating to Bella was an easy task. As one having felt like a much older soul that my own teen years afforded, I understood Bella's decisions, strength, and independence. She was used to being the 'grown up' for her mom who raised her and thus, her relationship with her father, Charlie, would be distant but not strained. She never thought much of herself, always thinking of others.

I caught an allegorical "deny your self with discipline and restraint, and strive to better yourself despite it all". It was an interesting idea, depicting teens with restraint, "good" vampire or not.
Many people find Bella's co-dependence on Edward idiotic and sickening. It's one of the biggest things I hear repeated over and over. I didn't see it that way.

I saw their relationship differently. They were a couple so deeply in love that she nor he could survive without each other. It's a fairytale, wishy, warm fuzzy love, like that first crush you had in Jr High or High School - not to say that a person and a vampire falling in love is something you would see everyday.

Bottom Line: Twilight is not reality. It's fiction. Love or hate the story but why insert reality in a story that is based in fantasy?

Do people complain about the impact on teens when a dog named Snoopy violently attempts to shoot down the Red Baron...and while not wearing proper aircraft restraints or pants? Does it mean that teens everywhere are unbuckling their airplane seat belts as we speak?

I liked Cinderella like any other classic tale, but does it mean there are teens buying up glass shoes and me complaining about unhealthy expectations in attempting to ride around in a pumpkin?

Do we argue gravity with Superman fans?

The story isn't supposed to be a normal love and reality, like, I'll take out the trash, honey, can you pay the water bill type of life. Its Princess Bride, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast. It's mushy and gooey, of course, appealing easily to anyone who fancies teen "I can't live without you" type plots. I don't know anyone who wouldn't love to experience that at least once in their life. Don't we all remember our first love? I do, and don't laugh but his name really was Edward. But I can safely say he was not a 6'1", 108 year old vampire.

That leaves us with fantasy being a bad message? No. We dream, we tell stories, we imagine. The story is simply entertainment and that worked just fine for me.

~Bee is reading books with words and everything.
Listening to: music is off, I'm reading now...


... Paige said...

Well, no wonder we have seen little of you, caught all up in the vamps fad.
No just kidding, I have not read them and from all the gaga crap I'm getting a work I don't want to. I spent my money on buying them for my daughter and that made her happy so that is enough for me.

and you are gonna be on vacation for summer--Cool
I for one have missed your post and was just thinking I may have to add you to my defunt blog list. But I'll wait on that {smile}

Danielle Says Hello said...

Yep, I had to eat crow on Twilight also...swore I wouldn't read it....read all the books within a week and loved them!!!! Glad the quarter is going good for you. I'm actually thinking of going back to school....AGAIN!!!! I must be insane.

Heffalump said...

Ah, but now you have to read The Host. I liked the Twilight books a lot, but I liked The Host even more. Maybe because it made me think more.
Enjoy your summer off!

Gwynne said...

It's so nice to see a new post from you...we've missed you, but so HAPPY to know that you are enjoying school!

And now I know why my youngest daughter enjoyed the Twilight series so much. She is 18 and craving a relationship like that, but I fear she still believes it is possible and won't settle until she finds it...ah, teenage angst. ;-\

Jaina said...

Great review. I loved Twilight as well. The writing may be simple, but it's absolutely captivating. You don't need complexity to weave a masterful story. I had the series recommended to me by a friend long before the hype went up...took me over a year to finally read them, but I'm so glad I did. I do love vampire stories...I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The new rules definitely threw me at the beginning of Twilight, but I like the liberties she took. It's interesting to see where she pulled different ideas from.

Have a great summer!!! I hope you get more time to write...I was just thinking the other day that I hadn't seen any new posts from you in quite some time.

momof3boys said...

Yeah!! another fan. My niece told me about the books way before the hype. She is also in the movie.

I enjoyed them for the light reading that they were and captivating story. In Bella I think we see the girl(us) that thinks of herself as ordinary, nothing special and then Edward shows her how special she is. I think that's what we all want our partner to believe in us and think we have something special and that is why they choose us. I know I'm a romantic sap.
You can borrow the "Host" for summer reading. Let's get together and party with Dapoppins.

Blessings from a swarnermom.

R said...

I'm such a snob. Did I mention (again) that I have still not seen the Titanic just because people continue to be shocked by that fact? Well, it just looks mushy and stupid too.

But I am definitely not of the caliber of people who refuse to see the LOTR movies because it will shatter the imagination of youthful years and insert Orlando Bloom as the face of Legolas.

But---I am of the kind that is in love with love and reading a book about ridiculous love will tempt me to discontent. What I am saying is that we women love and adore unrealistic things, and I will then be tempted to be unrealistic. Like eating popcorn slathered with butter and expecting not to get fat....I know I will. :)

Secret Agent Mama said...

I think I'm going to re-read it now. Because, yes, the love story is so great, so over-the-top, so desired.

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

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