I mentioned a few entries ago my reticence to pick up the book Twilight. Since then I have not only completed it but also ripped through New Moon in just two days. I am not proud.
I also ordered the Twilight movie on Netflix (disappointed – just tally it under “the book is always better”). On paper I would appear to have come under the spell. Truth be told, I did not enjoy them all that much – but then again I did.
I found practically every character to be immensely irritating in their stock stereotypes and melodrama. There was a fair bit of eye-rolling on my part. Although to be fair, my friend Melanie advised me to keep in mind the targeted young adult audience and if I remember high school, it was rife with stereotypes and melodrama; just recall your yearbook superlatives and the seismic breakups of two-week old relationships.
I read an interesting article on Salon that helped me better understand a bit of my love/hate perception of the series. I think I understand my dislike fairly well but have had a harder time understanding how/why I liked it. Wuthering Heights is one of my all time favorite books, so when the article drew a parallel I appreciated the enlightenment. Both books are successful because they embody timelessly appealing character types, only dressed differently for their times. Heathcliff/Edward: dashing, intelligent, rich and appealingly aloof and difficult. Catherine/Bella: sweet, loyal, innocent, ingénue, in search of true love. Who doesn’t like a good ol’ traditional love story? And feminism aside, women love to be adored, worshipped and protected. You may shake your fist at me, but admit it.
The writing was fluff – it took practically ten pages of babble before any true description or action occurred. On the plus side though, this meant that I flew like a (forgive me) bat out of hell through the book and finished them in just a few days! It was a welcome feeling of – albeit illusory – accomplishment. I could use a little of that these days.
So I sit here wondering whether to give the book a thumbs up or down? Well, it’s was like a Twinkie. Desireable, sweet while indulging, but left me feeling empty and wondering what else I could have had that would have been better. Mmmm brain candy. If you’re in the mood for a good fruit salad, read Wuthering Heights. If you’re in the mood for Fruit Loops, read the Twilight series.