Okay so here it is, the thing I am most ashamed of:
I read the Twilight series and liked it. And I’ve gone to see every movie.
Back in 2008, the weekend the Twilight movie opened, I finally got curious enough to read the first book and see what the deal was. I cracked open Book 1, and didn’t stop until I’d plowed through all four about 9 hours later.
The plot is shallow and poorly constructed, the writing is clumsy and stiff (I feel like I can tell which sections a beleaguered editor really got a hold of), and the characters are either laughable tropes or deeply disturbing or both. The events of the fourth book had this expression permanently etched on my face:
So I finished reading it, spent a few days marveling at the fact that this was the hugely popular book that had made it to the NYT bestseller list, that everyone was fawning over, cringe-laughing at the cheesy dialogue, and breaking down all of the issues with each book.
And yet. Something about it worked with my internal chemistry, and I…kind of liked it. I find this extremely shameful.
I’ve speculated on why this might be quite often, trying to make myself feel better about it. Between ages 12 to 15, I wrote a lot of stories on my hand-me-down computer, in Word Perfect. Those stories, as far as I can recall (they were all destroyed during an awesome lightning storm one summer) were very similar in plot construction (shabby, lots of holes) and intent (magical-Mary-Sue-everything-works-out-perfect) to Twilight. Not to mention florid overuse of the thesaurus. And I think that’s where my fondness originates.
Although I have to say, I would never have written a teenage werewolf falling in love with a baby. That’s just creepy.
The worst part is how damaging these books could potentially be to younger readers. I’m old enough to read them, smile, and never daydream about a guy spying on me while I sleep as the height of romantic love. But if I’d read it at 12? I’m not sure.
So I actually spend some of my free internet reading time reading blogs with feminist critiques of the series. It’s like a tiny hobby.
I’ve felt even better about it in the last few months, because next to Fifty Shades of Grey, Twilight is like goddamn Shakespeare. (I didn’t read Fifty Shades, just got a small taste of the horror by reading novelist Jennifer Armintrout’s hilariously incisive recaps and takedowns of each chapter.)
So! Congrats, now you know the worst about me, and can decide whether or not you’re going to burn my blog down in disgust.
Ugh I’m going to go wash my own brain out with soap.