Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I cannot believe I am admitting this

After reading my post with all those extraordinary and delightful book recommendations, my friend Marta immediately handed me the first two books in that crack-like Twilight vampire series.

I read Twilight in a night, snuggled in bed with a pint of frozen yogurt. Both were delicious. I was almost equally invested in both. Almost.

I then went on to devour New Moon, which I liked less, but which I understand sets you up well for the third and fourth. Which I cannot wait to read.

And it bothers me. Because I think I should be smarter than this.

The Harry Potter books, they were so well written, and there were all these cool references to clever things. Rowling's character, place, and object names were excellent. Her imagination is fabulous. Her descriptions vivid.

And the Twilight books? Not so much.

The author, she is not a great writer. She's not overly creative. She repeats adjectives.

And yet, I love these books. And I have to face the fact that I'm all kinds of invested in teenage high school angst. Or rather, teenage high school vampire angst.

I will say that I got fairly annoyed in the second book with all the "I love you but I'm not worthy. I don't deserve you." "No, I love you and I'm the one who isn't worthy. I don't deserve you more."

Stupid. But didn't stop me. Even through this, I can't wait to read the next one.

And I am all, oh, dude, just vampire her already! And then you can get it on. Because you cannot make me believe that you are seriously going to go through all four or five or whatever of these fucking books with nothing but declarations of intense, angsty love, and constant internal struggle and occasional passionate kisses and holding of ice cold hands?

And then I think, seriously, Lis? This is the part you're finding unrealistic about these little tales?


  1. You just described exactly what was going on in my head when I read those books. The last book gets even more far fetched... if you can believe it. But yeah. They're like crack.

  2. I know. It's completely unbelievable. I don't understand how it works, but it does.

  3. So far I have been strong and resisted.

    Will. Not. Read.

    Will. Not.


  4. ditto ditto ditto! fun fluff, that's what they are. they definitely don't test your brain matter. but damn, i read all the books in less than a week! :-)

  5. I just finished reading Twilight last night and I was up until 3am reading New Moon. When my alarm went off at 6:30 this morning, I was very unhappy. I can't put the damn books down and it's not like stuff I ever usually read but I love them!

  6. absolutely. I agree with EVERYTHING you said.

    And I LOVE LOVE twilight.

    However, I have made a mental catalogue of phrases and words she beats to fucking death like an ugly pony.

    - marble
    - breathtaking
    - reflexively
    - convulsively
    - topaz
    - liquid amber

    you have any you'd like to add?

  7. Amidst all the flutter over these books, I haven't had the slightest desire to read them.

    Maybe that's a good thing?

  8. PS

    When they DO actually get to the sex part... She leaves too much to the imagination. No mention of loin or breast anywhere.

    And yeah, I get it. It's a young adult book. But if I have to wait four fucking books to hear about them doing it, I'd like a more thorough description of his marble loins.

    Just saying. After having to wait through all those books vicariously for them to finally do it, I wanted more descriptive passages about the actual sex. You know, because that would have made all the waiting and reading and staying up late worth it.

  9. I haven't read Twilight, but thoroughly enjoyed Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1-4). I also own both SotTP I and II on DVD.

  10. There was a particularly untalented writer who hooked me once. Bad writer, great story teller, and I read far too many of his/her books. I know the feeling.

  11. Twilight is MY personal brand of heroin.

    I don't know how these books suck you in, but they do.

    I. Love. Them.

    I resisted for as long as possible, but after seeing all the Edward and Jacob references on Facebook, I decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about.

    I'm glad I did.

    But seriously? As soon as I finished the first book, I was like, "O.K., please sleep with her and turn her into a vampire already...enough is enough!"


    Glad you're enjoying them!

  12. A good friend of mine with a highly developed brain and sophisticated reading tastes got sucked in as well. So far I've been able to resist, largely because I haven't had copies in my possession. But if someone handed one to me, I'm sure I'd be weak.

  13. Slightly Disorganized- I completely agree! I felt the same way when they got it on, definitely a let down!

  14. Oh my gosh, welcome to the club. So many intelligent, well-educated women have been sucked into this series! I read all four in a week (finished one at 2 a.m., bought the next on the way to work, etc.), and then got all of my intelligent, well-educated lady friends to read them as well. And now they love/hate me for it.

    Don't hate yourself too much for reading them - the series is entertaining, and that's all. And if you want to pee yourself, read this. And also this.

  15. I was on the fence... but I think you just pushed me over.

    I'm getting those damn books.

    And then I'm watching the movie.

  16. Honestly, sometimes great literature can just suck it. I haven't hopped on the bandwagon (yet), but a fun, fluffy read where you're not having to look up a word every two pages is exactly how to keep people reading, IMHO.

  17. I was very slow to convert to Twilight also, which is weird since I love badly written fluff as a rule and you'd think I'd have jumped on the bandwagon straight away. But I didn't until a few weeks ago. But once i picked the book up, I couldn't stop reading. I've got the second one but don't want to start it until I have time to finish it!

  18. My niece insisted I read all four Twilight books.

    To put this in context my niece decided she didn't like reading when she was 10 and no amount of coaxing would get her to read.

    Hearing her rave about the books she couldn't put down ensured that I would read them. The books are easy to read, the story provides just enough will she won't you to keep you reading.

    Bonus - we are now comparing notes on the Inkheart trilogy - Cornelia Funke

    It doesn't matter what you read so long as you enjoy it.

  19. i admit i have avoided twilight like the plague, and while i am certainly of the "you can read however you like!" mindset, i thought these were a few interesting critical takes on the series if you're interested:

    The politics of wizards and vampires

    Bite Me! Or Don't.

    On Twilight, romance, and antifeminist ideas

  20. It's sad when you are so excited to get New Moon in your stocking for Christmas, after all, you did ask for it. And then, you and your husband are on a walk together right after Christmas and see a 10 year old holding the same book. Then, he makes fun of you and you have no defense. None at all.

    I feel your pain!!

  21. My wife breezed through them in five days. She'd finish one, sneak out and get the next fix. It was like catching her with powder on her nose and listening to the cries, "Ah... I just have a sinus thing." Then she stormed off to the movie dragging me kicking and screaming. When what's his name Cullen made an entrance, a roar of shrieking teeny voices went up. Yah... I think I would have had been happier slitting my wrists. Wait, I think I would have rather skinned myself alive at that point.

  22. I've refused to read those books simply because so many people love them with such fiery intensity. It was the same way with Harry Potter -- I've never read any of them, either (but I'm much more of a nonfiction/memoir kind of gal, so I always figured I wouldn't get into them anyway). :)

  23. I couldn't get in to Happy Potter. People look at you like you are INSANE when you say that. I think I may be the only person in America not to read them...or the DaVinci code. Don't judge me.

  24. nuttycow - They are fun, they really are.

    mrsmac - AND they're perfect during this low-brain pregnancy time!

    JoLee - I know. It's brutal. I tried to stay up late reading New Moon on the weekend, but just couldn't make it. I had to finish it the next morning. Immediately. First thing.

    Slightly Disorganized - Oh, how I love you. I can't think of any offhand, and already returned the books or I'd look through. The fucking topaz and marble, though, over and over and over.

    As for the sex part, I just learned she's a devout Mormon. And your "marble loins" made me laugh out loud.

    Nicole - I had no interest, until I had one in hand and read the first page.

    HKW - I heard that they were fun!

    restaurant refugee - Yes! You feel like you should be beyond it! But nooooo.

    browneyedgirlie - I wasn't even resisting, just not interested. And Marta was really the only one of my friends who had read them. But oh, so compelling!

    Wendy - I think you would. I am glad to hear about the brainiac friend who got sucked in too.

    Heather - It's bizarre, this stay up too late, rush to the store. I've done this kind of thing when I've gotten full seasons of things like Grey's Anatomy or the Sopranos, where I'd stay up so late I'd practically make myself ill. But not so much with a series of books.

    LiLu - I heard the movie sucks sucks from multiple sources. But teens love it.

    J - I usually like looking up words - love the feeling that I'm learning. And I think that's where some of this guilt is from. I'm not learning a damn thing. I'm just eating frosting.

    Paula - As a rule, I dislike badly written fluff. Why is this the huge exception? I dunno.

    Rio - That is really, really cute. I'm glad it got her hooked on reading.

    kate.d. - I took at peek at one of them and it makes me know that odds are good I would really dislike and disagree with the author on pretty much everything. I'll follow up - I find this really intersting. Thanks!

    Canaan - Hilarious. A 10 year old made fun of you for your taste in literature. You could beat him arm wrestling, though.

    Anonymous - I don't actually want to see the movie, but even if I did, I would never, ever force Nick to go. You're a good man.

    Zandria - There's a lot to be said for knowing what you like, and not bothering with the things that you don't think you will.

    Lemmonex - I understand. I never read the Da Vinci Code either, just wasn't compelled to. I am sure people look at you like you're insane. This happens to me when I say I hate Will Ferrell. But I do.

  25. That is so what happened to me. Even though I love Harry Potter, I didn't think I would ever get into Twilight. Then I had some free time, so I got and read the first book. Next thing I know, I'd finished all 4 in a week. Worst part was, once I finished, I reread them to see all the little things that I missed the first time. I still don't believe I got in to it this much.

    Have you heard of Midnight Sun? It's her work in progress of Twilight from Edward's perspective.

  26. I've fallen victim to the saga too, Lisa! And I'm committed to converting others.. just lent out the last two to a colleague today!

  27. Lis, put down the crack pipe and step away. It's for your own good.

    Although I totally agree on Harry Potter. Great reads. My ex read the last one in like 13 hours and then got pissed when I savored it for a week.

    I hate the end of a good book. Thankfully you can read them again.

  28. yes, yes- read midknight sun!!!! i knew i was hooked when i downloaded that copy :-)

  29. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you've said. And me too. About all of it.

  30. I've read them all and seen the movie twice. There is no justification.

    Don't get me started on the soundtrack. I'll just embarrass myself more.

    P.S. I have talked to my kids about the downside to the symbolism. I really have. Still, I am not redeemed for my wholesale immersion in the story.

  31. Oh man, don't hold your breath for a big steamy love scene, either.

    It's a non-event.

  32. Funny - your post has put the Meatloaf "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that" song in my head. Favorite part of your post (hence the song) " And I am all, oh, dude, just vampire her already! And then you can get it on." Priceless!

  33. I'd like to add "perfect" and "velvet" to Disorganized's list. If we played a drinking game where you took a shot every time she used one of these words, I'd be wasted by the end of the page.

  34. About the much-awaited sex,I asked The Dancer if she thought Stephenie Myer might be sorry she'd chosen marble-icy flesh when she finally got into the series and knew that it would lead to sex. I mean, who keeps their solid marble dildo in the freezer?

    The Dancer was not amused that I let my mind wander there.

  35. I'm in the same boat. Devoured them all as quickly as possible.


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