My Twilight Follow Up

posted by Jory on Tuesday, January 13, 2009
After finishing the rest of the series, I feel I should say a few more things.

I know, I know. Just grin in bear it.

Overall, I felt the series was, at the very least, entertaining. It's really hard to clarify my opinion because I'm not always sure of it myself. There were parts I liked and parts I really, really didn't like.

Getting through the final book felt absurdly close to reading fan fiction, and that irritated me. The characters changed so much, and not the way a character is supposed to change. What I mean by this is that the characters didn't make any natural changes, they just became inconsistent to their former selves in order for convenience.

I also felt that as the series got longer, the imaginary world created became more and more ridiculous.

I concluded by dismissing the series as YA. However, that doesn't make me feel any better about it, because I've read really good YA that didn't leave me feeling like this. I was frustrated with the author because I could see that she had some talent, but I felt like she tried to hard to draw out what didn't need to be drawn out.

For example, the twists were predictable. I accurately guessed all of them at least a chapter ahead (sometimes two) and then had to suffer the agony of waiting for the words to slowly catch up to me.

Also, as much as I loved some of her descriptions, especially the passage of time (when it was done fairly quickly) and many of the action sequences, I felt that the character interactions were unnatural.

After the first few chapters of the first book I was never again able to imagine Edward as a "17 year old," and nothing like he was portrayed in the movie. Rather he looked, in my mind, as more of a contemporary of Carlisle. More of a leader than a son. And Bella also stopped feeling like a snappy, headstrong 17-year old, and instead she starting feeling like a whiny, self conscious preteen.

Like I said, the book was entertaining, and if I had just picked it up off the shelf by myself without having any expectations due to the mass hysteria, then I might have just enjoyed it, flaws and all, and then put it out of my mind without a second thought.

But instead it nags at me because of the hysteria, which I feel is undeserved.

Other fantastical stories, such as Harry Potter (I compare because I know it well), are successful and worthy of their recognition because of the sheer talent of the writer. Instead of the writer making up the story and then telling it, it is obvious that the story revealed itself to the writer, who then expertly retold it. I caught minor glimpses of this in Twilight, but not enough for me to think it warrented the praise it received.

All and all, I do not regard it as a literary classic. I don't think it's worthy of the mania that has erupted from it, and I don't think it will impact the world much after that mania dies down. I'm not saying its going to die down now, but after the last movie comes out...maybe. It was entertaining. But it makes me sad, because it could have been a lot better.

I think I'm going to go read Harry Potter again.


Jenni on 15/1/09 7:58 AM said...

I'm not an avid South Park watcher, but there was an amazing episode on a couple weeks ago. All of the preppy kids in South Park stopped shopping at Banana Republic, started a club of vampires, and switched to wearing all black. The story focused on the war between the vampires and the goths, and how the only reason the trend started was because a Hot Topic opened in the South Park mall, but the the best part of the episode was that Cartman and the other main characters were in the background just shaking their heads, and completely untouched by the trend (besides their awe of what was happening). I feel kind of like that -- I am hoping it's not because I'm getting older and that it truly is just a bad fad that "I Love The Millennium Part 2" on VH1 will mock in a year or two, but I'm glad to have an unbiased review so that I don't feel compelled to read these rags. Thanks Joji!


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