Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

All summer long in the books and authors category at Yahoo! Answers were questions, quiestion, and more questions relating to the Twilight books. Piles of them. Sickening amounts of them. Questions that repeated themselves: Who do you love? Which character is your favorite? Which character do you want to see a book devoted too? What other books can you reccommend that are like Twilight? (all of these questions are still going on in Yahoo! Answers, I just took a break from the site for a while). And boy are people passionately opinionated about these books! I was genuinely curious as I'd never heard of these books before. But then I realised that they are teen vampire books which really isn't my thing, so I didn't do much about it. I just put them in the not my genre, not my age category and left it at that. Well, along comes the fall term at work and I start noticing these books everywhere. The majority of girls between grade 5-8 are carrying them around. Now these are thick books. The last book sweep I saw like this was the Harry Potter books. And for the same reason I read some of the Harry Potter books (I only read the 1st 3 or 4 of those), I decided that I should read these too. I really do care about the kids I teach. I want to know what they are into, and what is influencing them. Fortunately I work at a school with other caring teachers who already bought these books so I didn't have to and I borrowed. (I know I have yet to borrow and read Breaking Dawn, the last of the series).
So here's my honest opinion thus far. First I get why girls are into these books. Every young girl dreams about falling in love , head over heels in love and certainly Bella does that. There are parts of these books that are hypnotic to read. You can just eat it up. I do think that there are parts of the books that could be better written, with more description. There were a lot of jumps around. I like it when authors paint a picture for you such that you don't have to guess, and I thought Meyer could have done more in that aspect. I also thought she could have done better with the character development, the emotional side of things. I thought Bella was just too calm about the whole, Edward is a vampire thing. There wasn't any inner conflict, disbelief, none of that. It was like she saw it as normal, which just seemed like too big a jump for me. I'm still trying to work out how everybody sees Jacob as a viable love interest for Bella, I really didn't see any interest from her until late in Eclipse, and even then it was brief. Also, Jacob's interest in Bella came across as puppy love, very different than the feelings Bellas and Edward have for each other. I know some people find Edward too overbearing and controlling of Bella. I din't get that at all. I really think Edward wanted the best for her and was looking out for her. He's a strong male character. Would I want my 10 year old daughter (if I had one) reading these books? No. I think they are too old in subject matter for 10 year olds (particularly as the books progress in Bella and Edward's relationship). Eclipse in particular has topics that include decapitation and increased sexual feelings between the 2 main characters. If I were a parent of a 10 year old girl that was reading them (and there are a lot of them out there) I would be reading these books right along side them and discussing it with them.
Midnight Sun, for those who don't know is the unpublished 1st 13 chapters of Twilight as seen from Edward's point of view. It was internet leaked and then posted on Meyer's website to read. At last posting she is planning on finishing it.
As much as I know I've critiqued these books, I'm actually anxious to read Breaking Dawn and finish the story. There is something that is addicting about them.

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