Breaking free of the Twilight haze

I’m sad to admit that this past week I’ve been a bit of a hermit: I haven’t really been online. I’ve only left the house for big outings twice, and I’ve been holed up in my room for hours a day. The cause: Twilight and nothing but Twilight.

Yes, in the last week and a half, I’ve plowed through all four of Stephenie Meyer’s novels, and yes, even went to see the movie a second time. (I mean, I had to see it now that I really understand the story. I have to say, it was definitely better when I understood why Edward looks like he’s in pain for most of the film…)

I know I’m way behind the curve on this one. Twilight talk was EVERYWHERE in November, but I was kind of wrapped up in my last semester of college, and now that I have nothing but free time, I no longer had an excuse. I really didn’t want to give in, but my love of all things pop culture forced me to understand what all the fuss was about. Now I finally get to have an opinion! It’s a complicated one, but here goes:

I can’t say I think the books are good, but I also definitely can’t say they’re bad either. I mean, I couldn’t put them down. Even with my ridiculous love of getting completely wrapped up in a book, that fact says a lot about the story. And there is the distinction I have to draw: the books present an amazingly engrossing story.I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Stephenie Meyer says herself she considers herself more a story-teller than a writer, and I think that’s an apt description, because as wrapped up in the story as I was, I still found myself cringing at points, especially in Twilight, at the repetitive language and overly fluffy writing. I know everyone has said this, but if she had described Edward’s heart-stopping beauty one more time, I thought I was going to throw the book out the window. That said, I wouldn’t have because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! It was mildly frustrating. Especially because I wanted to find myself above the books: I wanted to hate them. And I didn’t. I enjoyed them. A lot. Damn you, Stephenie.

(EDIT: I was told by my mother I should pause here for a brief SPOILER ALERT in case I’m not the last person to read these books.)

There were more things I found frustrating: the feeling all through New Moon that nothing happened (and when it did, it had nothing to do with anything that had happened thus-far in the book), Edward’s ridiculous perfection but also his mild creepiness (I mean, he’s wonderful and all, but if a real guy acted like him, I would probably be telling him to take a giant step back…), the fact that Bella and Jacob kept having the same good-bye scene over and over and over again, the slight creepiness of the Jacob-Renesmee situation in Breaking Dawn…

While on the subject of Breaking Dawn, I was told by all my friends who had read the book that they hated it, that it took so many weird turns, so maybe I was prepared, but I didn’t hate it. I mean, I found problems with all the books, so Breaking Dawn pretty much fell in line with my expectations. Yeah, the whole pregancy, having to drink blood, baby-breaking Bella’s ribs thing was weird and a little scary, but I thought it was kind of cool. I mean, in a vampire book, it had to get creepy eventually.

It’s amazing it took this long to get bloody, when you actually think about it. Plus, I loved that in the end, Bella really did have to become a vampire to live, and I was happy to get to see that transformation. It felt gratifying.

The thing that bugged me the most was that the timeline felt really compressed (did anyone else think they talked about the events in New Moon like they had happened years rather than months beforehand?), but it all made sense, I suppose. I also think, like with Harry Potter, this was definitely not a young adult novel…at all. Despite all these frustrations, though, I have to say again, I liked the books. It’s weird. I don’t think I’ve ever been this torn about enjoying a book before.

There is SO much more I can say, but I really need to break away from this world. It’s been totally engrossing to me, and I’m glad I finally feel caught up on pop culture after putting it off for a while, but I need to get some other things done that Edward Cullen has kept me from. Up next, I promise, I’ll finish my trip recap!