Friday, March 20, 2009

...And (My) Last Word on the Twilight Series

My rather long-winded reflection is up on HollywoodJesus.com if any of you care to read it. For you moms who've been asking my opinion of the series, this article is for you. Thanks for wanting to know what I thought!

Here's an excerpt:

So I suppose I consider the books . . . problematic, especially (now here I’m going to speak to the moms who are reading this) for those readers who are still growing up. Considering that many girls aged ten and just above are reading books, since the word is out that the books are ‘clean’ with ‘no sex,’ I’m afraid too many impressionable minds are being primed learning to fall in love with a man who just doesn’t exist. I actually feel really sorry for the teenage boys who are having to compete with Edward.


As a romance writer myself, I try to be kind to the average guy. While it’s laudable to create an idealized hero that will raise the standards of girl readers, I’m not sure it’s fair to make him so beyond the pale that no average guy can aspire to be like him. read more...

ADDENDUM: Arianna Clark commented on my post on HJ and brought up this one point which is SO obvious I can't believe I overlooked it:

Furthermore, I never really noticed a meeting of minds or of a friendship between Edward and Bella, which I have always understood to be essential to a marriage or any meaningful relationship.

AMEN! Yes, THAT was missing from the series in a very large way. In fact, there are notable instances of Edward making fun of the things that Bella loves, such as her vintage truck and Wuthering Heights. If there *is* really common ground between them aside from each other, it's really buried deep.

15 comments:

The Real Katie said...

Ten is a little young to be reading Twilight. Although there's no "sex" it is very SEXUAL, if that makes sense. I'm a fan of the books (I'm fifteen)and I do love Edward, and I have to admit, Fish, Bear and Edward all highered my expectations for my first boyfriend (I'm not allowed to date until I'm sixteen).

I feel bad for the average guy, too.

I Just read the excerpt, so I'm off to read the rest.

Oh, one more thing. I wasn't allowed to read the books until November. I'd wanted to read them since last September, but once my mom saw I had brought the book home from the library, she took a look at the back, told me to get back in the car and we drove to the library to return it.

I finally convinced her to let me read it this November, and she agreed to let me see the movie, if she came with me.

Now, she's a TwiMom. It's actually pretty scary.

Sorry for the long comment!!

Minni-Mo said...

I enjoyed the 1st book greatly, liked the 4th book, and practically hated the 2nd and 3rd books. I agree that it's more the idea of vampires and werewolves that made it exciting for me than the actual story! and I was ALWAYS getting frustrated with Bella, Edward, and Jacob.

Your review was great and touched on pretty much everything I didn't like about the books. I think I'd probably recommend the 1st book and leave it up to the reader to decide about the next 3...but I'd never recommend it for someone that's not in highschool!!

I enjoyed Stephenie Meyer's style and am wondering what she'll write about next...

...but your books win 10 to 1 :)

p.s. If I wanted to write a letter to you, where would I mail it to? thanks!

regina doman said...

Hi Minni Mo! Thanks for wanting to write to me!
P.O. Box 949, Front Royal, VA 22630
But be sure to include an email address if you want a response! It takes me forever to respond to snail mail these days!

Minni-Mo said...

Thanks!!

Kevin Clark said...

I was walking through our local Wal-Mart the other day, and I checked out the young adult book section. I realized that Harry Potter and Twilight have had a large impact on YA books, but I honestly didn't realize just how much impact. It seemed like the whole section was one vampire/wizard fantasy after another. There are actually two current series of books which deal with vampires at elite finishing schools.

I haven't read any of the Twilight series. I have read and enjoyed some of the Harry Potter books. I'm not a detractor of Harry Potter at all, but I do wonder whether what HP has spawned is good for young adult literature. When all a young adult has to read is another knock-off in the same genre, does that have a cumulative effect on the psyche?

regina doman said...

I've always said that J.K. Rowling wrote her books with very little attention to the cultural wars of today. While HP itself provides many warnings against the occult, the same cannot be said of the American marketing machine, which likes to serve up poor imitations of whatever is popular.

However it's worth noting they did the same with Lord of the Rings, offering inferior occultic works to those who loved Tolkien's Christian classic.

Anonymous said...

Great review!

Anonymous said...

Your review of Breaking Dawn was especially interesting; I found myself comparing it to Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt, in which the protagonist Winnie, like Bella, must also choose between immortality or eventual death. In a way, Winnie is an anti-Bella, and while Tuck Everlasting isn't on my list of *absolute favorite* books, it's nevertheless very thought-provoking. I'd definitely recommend Tuck Everlasting as a comparision for anyone who's read the Twilight series.

Minni-Mo said...

have you decided which fairy tale will be next and who it will be about? I'm rereading Midnight Dancers again and I think every time I read it I notice something else about it!!

Minni-Mo said...

Yay! Facebook friends! ;) I gave it up for lent (except saturday night/sunday) but after Easter I'll 'introduce' myself!

regina doman said...

Hi Minni Mo! I think it will be the Alex O'Donnell book I mention here: http://reginadoman.blogspot.com/2008/06/what-fairy-tales-will-become-novels.html

As usual these days, the most up-to-date info and spoilers are on the Fairy Tale Novel Forum at www.fairytalenovels.proboards76.com but if you aren't allowed to join the forum, feel free to keep pestering me with questions here. And pray for my writing!

Minni-Mo said...

Just saw this comment, I'll try to join! I'm super excited for whatever book comes next!!

Angel_Horses said...

"Furthermore, I never really noticed a meeting of minds or of a friendship between Edward and Bella, which I have always understood to be essential to a marriage or any meaningful relationship.

AMEN! Yes, THAT was missing from the series in a very large way. In fact, there are notable instances of Edward making fun of the things that Bella loves, such as her vintage truck and Wuthering Heights. If there *is* really common ground between them aside from each other, it's really buried deep. "

That was one thing that's always really bothered me about the books, even back when I was a huge fan of them. I just couldn't understand how Bella and Edward could really love each other if they didn't have anything to build their love on. (And Bella is just as bad as Edward.... I remember especially one scene where she asks him what he's thinking, and he says "About right and wrong, actually" and she freaks out and asks him to kiss her instead of taking the opportunity to actually talk about SOMETHING.)
I'm not a fan of the books anymore, and I think that's mostly due to your reviews, Regina. I'd noticed lots of things I didn't like in the books before, but after reading your reviews and trying to reread the books... I couldn't turn a page without noticing everything wrong on it, and the bad definitely outweighed the good. So thanks for helping me break my addiction to the books. :)

I was wondering, have you read "The Host", also by Stephenie Meyer? I liked it better than Twilight, but I would be interested to hear your opinion of it . Thanks :)

~Lanta from FTN

√čarwen said...

I must confess to being an Anti-Twilighter.
I am sure they are written very well, and the movie looks fantastic - but to watch or read them would go against my morals and belief in what God wants.
I know He does NOT want me saturated with sexual, demonic stuff.

Alice said...

I quote: "Furthermore, I never really noticed a meeting of minds or of a friendship between Edward and Bella, which I have always understood to be essential to a marriage or any meaningful relationship.

AMEN! Yes, THAT was missing from the series in a very large way. In fact, there are notable instances of Edward making fun of the things that Bella loves, such as her vintage truck and Wuthering Heights. If there *is* really common ground between them aside from each other, it's really buried deep."

I'm a teenage girl, a Twilighter, but I must say, that is precisely why I am not Team Edward. Thank you so much for expressing what I've been trying to express for the past two or three years. They did not really fall in love, because you cannot fall in love with someone you do not know. Edward is not the perfect man to her, he really is possesive, and almost a slave to whatever she wants. I firmly hold my stance on the side of Team Jacob. Their friendship was much more real.