In defense of Twilight…again

Ok, so I reread the Twilight books recently because I wanted to stop thinking. It didn’t work. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: these books suck. Characters are poorly developed, if at all. The dialogue tastes like I’m eating sand. But I couldn’t stop thinking while I read them.

In the past, I thought that Stephanie Meyer couldn’t write a good climax. There’s a reason why these books are called abstinence porn. But I mean this kind of literary climax.

Where x=page and y=tension

Where x=page and y=tension

In Eclipse, however, she did. That book actually ended with a descent fight after some action and tension building. But with New Moon and Breaking Dawn, not so much. Their climax was bad dialogue and too much of it. It was like the literary equivalent of blue balls.

As I was rereading them and trying not to think about current events, I realized that one of the reasons why I like the books (sand eating aside) is because they’re about corrupt cops and peaceful protest. I don’t mean Charlie, underdeveloped and bumbling as he is, I mean the Volturi. Early in Breaking Dawn, Edward seems confused by Bella’s “Fuck tha Police” attitude and says that the only vamps who don’t like the Volturi are the law breakers. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But here is an example of poor storytelling or Edward being a douche. We know from The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner that Edward knew at this point that the Volturi are corrupt and wanted Victoria et al. to kill the Cullens.

The reason why the climax of Breaking Dawn is boring and painful to read (and why they had to spice it up for the movie, which I thought was a good addition) is because it’s about a bunch of people who gather to peacefully protest the cops nonviolently. Yes, they prepare for battle and some of them want to fight, but when Tanya, Kate, and the Cullens are given motivation to attack when Irina is killed, they continued to urge nonviolence and restraint. If you want to stretch the analogy, their whole way of life (not killing people to feed and rejecting “traditional” vampire “values”) can be compared to civil disobedience.

I’m not gonna lie: these books are absolutely terrible. But instead of bemoaning that today’s teenage girls read crap, can we try to take value from what they are already reading and teach through that?

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About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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2 Responses to In defense of Twilight…again

  1. Sandra says:

    I agree. The character development was poor which stands out when the books were adapted into movies. While I like that the Collins were non-violent pacifist, there were things which stuck out to me as something people that lived for hundreds of years wouldn’t do or act. The baseball scene was cheesy… someone who has lived hundreds of years would be bored and have a been-there done-that attitude. Yet, this vampires act the age they appear rather than the age they are. There is no growth, no maturity. It would also help if “plot twists” weren’t so predictable and the main character was more likeable. It really surprised me that the books and movies did so well since the plot and characters were lacking.

    • emmawolf says:

      The baseball scene was incredibly cheesy, especially as done in the movie. There were supposed to be plot twists?!

      I noticed too that the vampires didn’t seem to age mentally or change. I think that was Meyer’s take on vampires–that they are unchanging physically and mentally. They can learn new things, but they are the same in characteristics as they changed. I kind of like how she did that (at least, I thought that was a more interesting idea than the sparkling). It was how she made Bella be such a big deal–she changed Edward in some way. It was also playing to her audience.

      You know, I realized as I’m writing this and as I read your comment, I don’t know what vampires are supposed to do with eternity. Why not play baseball? Emmett was pretty competitive, and in a physical game, Edward or Alice didn’t really have a psychic advantage. So I guess it makes sense for them. Lestat became a rock star, which is also kinda cheesy. Louis just brooded. I can’t even remember what Dracula did with his time. Was it even mentioned? What did Eli from Let the Right One In do? Just roam around for blood? The vampires and immortals in Night Watch, they just kept order, which I guess seems more fitting though it sounds boring. In the Real Vampires series, she had a long list of careers, but those books were pure cheese.

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