This is awesome

So, many of you know that I haven’t read the Twilight books. I have my issues with them, (and not issues that would be resolved by “just reading them to see how good they are”; they’re more to do with Meyer herself and things she’s said in regards to them) that I won’t really go into now, but I wanted to link to this review because 1) it’s funny, 2) I think she hits on some key points, and 3) because this line had me seriously cracking up this morning and I want to share it and can’t really post it on Facebook because it would hurt all my little YW’s feelings. In regards to Edward and Bella: “Take out the vampires and you would still have the most ridiculous teen romance ever–if these kids sat in front of me at church I would make fun of them every day.”

Love it.

7 thoughts on “This is awesome

  1. Cindy on

    I haven’t read the books either but Brianna did make me watch the movie. Kellianne had already told me that it was Mormon porn after she read the first book, she’s not read the other volumes. Kaje’ didn’t even want to see the movie but Jill and Brianna had a girl’s night and took her to it. I don’t know, from what I’ve read and heard it crosses a line. Did you know that Deseret Book pulled it from its shelves last week? Interesting.

  2. Cindy, can you tell me how it crosses the line? I’ve read them (and, for full disclosure purposes, adored them), and was surprised to get a “Challenge Alert” email (I’m a librarian) that a mother had asked for them to be removed from her daughter’s school library. There is implied marital sex in the 4th book, but nothing that even approaches some of the “heaving bosoms” and “throbbing members” you get in pulp romance.

    Email me your reasons, Maryanne; I’d love to know 🙂

  3. Maryanne on

    Brandy, some of my reasons are different than other peoples, I think.

    As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of the vampire genre; I think it’s a great framework for discussing desire, repression, the role of the feminine- all those great psychoanalytic things- besides being an interesting look at those longings we all have that are taken up in Christ’s atonement- everlasting life, eternal love, etc.

    But from everything I’ve heard Stephanie Meyer say in interviews, she knew nothing of those tropes when going into writing the books, and is disturbed by people “putting those things” on her books. Like somehow she missed that Edward holding off biting Bella and her pursuing him, and all those things that are getting all her readers all hot and bothered could be sexual in any way.

    So it irks me on two levels, first that she wrote in an established genre without doing any kind of research whatsoever and then getting miffy that people are “interpreting” her book wrong… really, it’s like writing a book about zombies and then getting mad when people think the characters are dead people. “But my zombies aren’t dead people!” But also on an irrational level
    (irrational because it’s her book and she can do whatever she wants with it), it irks me because she COULD have done something really amazing with it if she had embraced those tropes and used them. I mean, for goodness sake, she has teenage girls pining over a pretend boy who will love them and be with them forever, and these are girls WHO BELIEVE ETERNAL MARRIAGE IS A REALITY.

    I honestly don’t have that big of a problem with what I’ve heard is in the books- although if it was my teenager reading it, I might- but I don’t think it should be pulled from libraries. I do think it’s pretty sketchy for YW leaders to be suggesting the books to their girls, but that’s more given the normalizing of borderline abusive behavior than anything else. But I read worse when I was in middle school and high school (V.C. Andrews anyone? Those were seriously wonky books) and while I wouldn’t want Z to read them, I don’t know that I was seriously damaged by them.

    But while I don’t have a problem with those things being in the books, there is another issue that comes up, and this ties in with my issue with YW leaders championing them. Because Meyer is so loudly Mormon, girls are assuming that her characters are upholding standards that they’re not. (And I’m not blaming Meyer for that- she’s not required to have Mormon characters- it’s just an issue.) Because I do think the perception is different when they’re reading some random book and the boy and girl spend an erotically charged night together, and when they read the same thing in an “LDS book”. Does that make sense? But again, I don’t think it’s a reason to pull the books from libraries, and I think there can be a great opportunity for parents to talk to their daughters about those things. I just don’t know how many are having those discussions. And I think a lot of parents aren’t even aware the discussions need to be had, because it’s an “LDS book”.

    Anyway. That’s just my view. I don’t begrudge anyone liking them, and try not to say anything to my girls about them, because they do really love them, and I’m not their mom. 🙂

  4. Maryanne on

    Why didn’t I just make another post? Goodness that comment was long. 🙂

  5. valerie on

    Thanks for sharing the review…it put into words the feelings of disquiet I felt when I did choke down the first Twilight book. Bella is not the kind of girl I want my daughters to use as a role model…I think I have feminist issues with the book.

  6. Hey, thanks for the plug for the review I wrote of the book. I think reading it as a scholar in Children’s Lit AND as a Mormon brings up some interesting thoughts.

    I plan on discussing the other three as I read them, so I would welcome comments any time!

  7. Yeah, that was a long comment 🙂 But thanks for explaining. I’ve read some places that Meyers put a lot of thought into vampire stories and some places that she didn’t, so I’m not sure what to think. The books (esp as they go on) seem to deal (if we are in a Mormon context) with restraint and the natural man, which is fascinating. I agree that it’s weird for these to be considered “church” books in any way; it would be like considering Ann Rice’s books “Catholic” books because she herself is Catholic.

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