Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twilight : seeing for myself what the fuss is about

So I finally gave into the phenomenon. I borrowed Twilight from a (kid you not) 12 year old girl who attends my church. Both the book and the movie. I read the book when I was in MI helping out with my in-laws, and watched the movie this weekend.

Going into the craze this late in the game certainly means that I'm coming in with already formed opinions. Some people I like and respect really LOVE both the books and movies... although nearly all of them warned me that the writing isn't great, but that it manages to suck you in, anyhow. I've read the disparaging comments about adult women all hot and bothered over teenage vampires. So I was not coming to Twilight with a clean slate. (Were this a trial, I could not be on the jury)

For the record, I came into the Harry Potter craze 4 books in, very reluctantly, and greedily read all 4 books in about a week, fast becoming one of the masses of Harry Potter fans.

So... what do I think about Twilight?


Really, that pretty much sums it up.


The book was... eh. The writing was, indeed, not very good. Several times I nearly yelled at the book "stop telling me how "alluring" or "attractive" he is and describe him so that I will find him alluring or attractive." I was not sucked into the story, although I was curious enough about the characters to keep reading and see what would happen to them. The movie was similar. They changed some of the things that I liked about the book... like how Bella would cook for her father. That tiny detail lost sucked so much out of her relationship with her dad. The relationship between Bella and Edward in the movie made little sense... how on earth did they get so emotionally attached to each other so quickly? It was strained in the book, but completely whacked in the movie.

So, ultimately, I have to say I don't get it. It wasn't terrible... I've certainly read worse things. But not only did I not think it wasn't great, I didn't think it was very good.

How about you? What do you think?

(and hey, to each their own... if you love these books and movies, great. Have it)


imbeingheldhostage said...

Well you know what I think :-) I read all four books in one sitting. I loved being transported out of my tedious little existence into something a little more exciting. I completely agree that Meyers is no Hemmingway and the perfect example why is exactly what you highlighted. The movie? Yeah. Ouch. I sat in the theater cringing because I knew they didn't get it right, however I was beyond thrilled that they had begun filming my little escape.
I guess I went into this series a little biased to begin with because I was raised on Dark Shadows-- I love all things vampire but hate that writers now have to focus only on the sensuality aspect. Meyers didn't do that in her teen-target book.
So, I guess you don't want me to send you the copy of Midnight Sun? (the Edward version of Twilight that Meyers quit writing when it was leaked) ;-)

thailandchani said...

I heard the same things you did about the stories. Not being particularly drawn to romance stories (most of them are cloying), I haven't read any of them.


Mary G said...

For this, much thanks. I have the same curiosity you describe, and am so glad to get a review from someone whose judgement I trust.
Guess I will stick with my 1000 page biography of the Queen Mother.

kaye said...

I read them with my daughters--so that was the magic for me. I shouted shut up at the narrator more than once--especially over the almost but never love scenes! It was maddening. Once was fun--but never again. And the 4th book--I want to hack it up, put the wedding at the end of the 3rd and end the series!

Melissa said...

I was the same way. I read them, mostly to find out how it ended. But in the end...meh.

What's amusing to me is that the kid I mentor for confirmation was all about TW last year, until she started reading some better written stuff (I gave her Mists of Avalon) and now she thinks TW is crap.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I like reading other people's thoughts on the Twilight series. I picked up the first book a year ago as a fluke. I wanted some light reading while I basted the Thanksgiving turkey...and before I know it, I was sucked in...and the turkey wasn't defrosted. I think the appeal is that in a sex-crazed world, the anticipation of sex throughout the series had females saying,"Ugh. When will they get past first base?" Honestly, I think that's the draw. Plain and simple. Add to the fact that Edward Cullen is supposed to be totally hot...and rich...and dangerous. What's better than that? It's escapism - of the tween kind. But, it's entertaining.
Thanks for your take on it!

Kyla said...

I haven't read them, but I saw the first movie...it was...meh. I think I'd like the books for a light read, but I just haven't made time for it.

Kat said...

I came into the Twilight series late as well, but I am so in love with it. For me, it immediately takes me back to my late teen/early twenty years. The love story brings up much of my past. I understood it all. And I didn't think the writing was as bad as people were saying. IMO
The movie left out some of my very favorite parts too. The relationship with her dad, definitely. And the scene in the restaurant was messed up. ETC But the one thing the movie did get right was the chemistry between Bella and Edward, and therefore, no matter how much of the movie was messed up it was saved by that.

Now I'm wondering if I should pick up the Harry Potter series. I have never had any interest in it. I guess I'm all about the love stories. ;)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Like you, I came to HP late and LOVED the series. Hated Twilight. The sparkle bit was where I really turned off. I mean, living in New Orleans doesn't it bother you what they've done with vampire lore? I'm kidding, of course (about the New Orleans comment), but there are so many things that drive me nuts about this series, I can't even get started. And yeah, the writing is just not good.