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Twilight: A Review, Part 1

September 11, 2008

If you haven’t somehow become aware of the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, you most likely will by the time the first movie comes out later this fall. Targeted at young adults (ok, teenage girls) the series is about Bella, a human, who falls in love with a vampire, Edward, and then a werewolf, Jacob. The series spans 4 books, the last of which, Breaking Dawn, was released in early August. In a first, you’ll get to read other people ramble on this blog, as I invited some friends who had also read the series to weigh in with their opinions. And they did. A lot.  As such, this will be broken up into 3 parts. This should be obvious, but this will contain spoilers for all the books.

The panel: Gretchen and Jen, whose taste I know I can trust because they love The Office, Marva, a friend, and graduate student in screenwriting, and yours truly.

1. What initially attracted you to reading the series?

Gretchen: I heard about it from a bunch of teenage book girls on the internet. I’d heard good things about it, so I decided to read Twilight during the week a major paper was due my sophomore year. And the paper definitely got procrastinated so I could read the book instead.

Jen: While subbing one day at the high school, I was given a copy and told to read it because it would make the day go faster. I was not thrilled with this prospect. I have never been a fan of anything related to vampires, but I started it anyway. The rest is history.

Marva: I was working in a bookstore, when teenaged girl after teenaged girl came in searching for the book, and were elated to find it there because they couldn’t find it anywhere else. I was curious then, and you know, decent cover – always judge books by their covers.

Megan: Well, everyone else was reading them, and I do like vampire stories on the whole.

2. I gotta go with the obvious: Jacob or Edward?

Gretchen: I’m a Jacob-fan, without a doubt.  If I were choosing, I’d want to be with the werewolves. (Shape-shifters? Whatever. I thought that whole explanation was weaksauce.) As a group, they’re infinitely more interesting. Also, I’d take tall, dark, and warm over cold/bronze any day of the week. Jacob made me laugh; Edward’s really not that funny. Also, I feel like Jacob helped Bella grow up just a little.

Jen: Edward, no contest at all. I’d like to lick his face. The odd thing is, I kept picturing him as he was before he became a vampire. Sparkles are nice, but I guarantee green eyes and imperfections made him all the more attractive. Also, I tended to identify with Edward, personality-wise. Old fashioned, a perfectionist, tending to over-think everything.

Marva: Edward. … The only thing about Edward that isn’t attractive, is the fact that he’s attracted to Bella. Which I don’t get. I like to think it’s about the whole singing blood thing, combined with being able to confide in someone who’s not a vampire for the first time ever. But I don’t get it. Also the fact she just sort of falls in his lap – it makes you wonder what would have happened if a guy with nice smelling blood got assigned to that seat. Or a werewolf girl. Or…anyone.  Jacob is just a guy. And I don’t mean that as a disparaging comment on average guys. … Particularly because he’s not. I mean the way Meyer writes him, Jacob was never going to be more than that annoying guy who persues awkward moments.

Megan: I’m going to say neither. I think Bella needs to get a life of her own, which doesn’t consist of staring at her marble boyfriend for eternity.  Seriously, what does she do besides hang out with Edward and cook for her Dad? She’s boresville, and to be honest, I’m not sure what Edward sees in her.  My serious problem with Edward is that he is in no way even remotely real. We’re supposed to believe that he’s a vampire virgin? And all he ever wants to do with Bella is kiss? Yeah, right. With Jacob at least, she did things, went out, talked about normal stuff. But I’m to going to go out on a limb and say that she should really be looking for someone who isn’t a supernatural being.

3. What do you think of Stephanie Meyer’s interpretation of the vampire “myth”?

Gretchen: I didn’t know a whole lot about vampires. In fact, I probably learned a few things from it, but she certainly took liberties with the myth to suit her story.

Jen: Vampires are not my “thing”. I don’t really care, so I let Meyer do whatever she wanted here. However, towards the end of the fourth book, I had to wonder when the vampires started to become X Men…..

Marva: I like it, except for the baby situations.

Megan: I really didn’t like the fact that they could go out in the sun, and became living diamonds. I didn’t like that they were like marble statues. Who wants to snuggle against hard rock? On the werewolf front, I didn’t really like that the wolves were “5 times” the size of a normal wolf. If you really doubled the size of a wolf 5 times, it would be ginormous. Like, bigger than trees. Dumb.

To be continued in Part 2….

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