Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Twilight



The first thing that occurred to me was that my eyes didn’t burst into flames. It was weird—instead, I found myself glued to Twilight, a story I had openly despised since I first heard about it in sixth grade.

I vividly remember girls taping Twilight covers to their desks and the endless Team Edward–Team Jacob–Team Tyler (the guy who almost hit Bella with his car) wars. I recall criticisms that “real vampires don’t sparkle” and the part by part dissection of everything wrong with Bella (or Stephanie Meyer).

When I was twelve I decided I was never going to read Twilight. Ever.

When I was fifteen I decided that I could probably read it when I was twenty five and my brain had stopped developing so that I wouldn’t become a freak like all the Twihards of my elementary school days.

Then last week I got my Kindle and looked up the eBooks on my library’s website. There was Twilight. “Screw it,” I thought. “What could it possibly do to me now?”

My brain did not dissolve. My good sense remained intact. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, Bella’s lack of any self-esteem simply made me sad, and the abusive-style relationship didn’t make me happy, but it wasn’t the condemnable trash I’ve always believed it to be.

Twilight was threaded with little wisdoms, splashed with refreshing diction, painted with religious symbolism, and webbed with complicated, deep histories that carved memorable characters. Edward’s family is plenty to get me going—especially Carlisle. My best friend and I fangirled about him during lunch yesterday. We were so excited. But the idea of Edward as the prodigal son, death and resurrection, sacrifice, compassion… I love those ideas.

I love them so much the first thing I did on Sunday morning was check out New Moon.

Every book I have ever truly adored I thought I would hate when I first picked it up. Twilight isn’t on my favorites shelf, but I think I read the Wikipedia pages enough times to know I refused to read Twilight because I knew if I picked it up I would enjoy it. I didn’t want to become creepily obsessed with them—I don’t want to be creepily obsessed with anything.

But sometimes you have to take the risk that you will turn into a creepy, bizarre sixth grader who writes Edward all over her desk in flowery letters. Even though you haven’t been in sixth grade for years. And also teachers get mad at you if you write all over their desks since you move around all day in high school. Plus I’m not very good at flowery letters.

I was wrong. Or maybe I was right, since I knew I would like it anyway. I enjoy the books. I don’t think I’m that much creepier than I was on Friday. I’m pleased to continue and excited to reflect. They say not to judge a book by its cover (I do anyway.), but this week I learned that it is not enough to not judge a book by its cover, but also not judge it by the negative connotations you picked up before you entered middle school when you were probably too young to read it anyway.

So, I suppose I have to apologize to Stephanie Meyer. And Twilight. I’m going to keep reading. And continuing to read, I think, is one of the highest praises one can give to an author, because we are for whom she writes.

Did you find Twilight as bad as you thought it would be? Have you ever had this happen to you in another book? Share in the comments below!

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