Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Confession # 5--Love Bites

So, I am a little embarrassed of this one...

not just because I am about to receive a brand, spankin' new Ph.D....

but also because I am 35, which is way too old, right?

but, it is true, nonetheless...

I have been bitten...

by the Twilight saga

Hoping for a small distraction, and curious to see what all the buzz was about, I asked a (very obsessed) friend for the books.

I started the first one Friday night... and read until 1:30 (not smart with kids!) and finally made myself put it down for the night. I couldn't wait until naptime the next day and almost finished it, had just a few chapters to finish.

I don't think they are that well-written, but the story is compelling. I can absolutely see why most guys aren't sharing in the obsession. It is a story of teen love/angst. My first superficial "analysis" is that women (girls) relate because it is how we are first socialized to think of love. It is how teen girls experience love or think they should experience love. I remember that angst, that combination of pleasure and pain, and I am always intensely grateful that the angst-phase passed (it doesn't always, if you have noticed) and that love is so much better and so much more comforting than that. I am slightly concerned that it might perpetuate the myth, for teenage Twilight fans, that this is the kind of love to hope for and hold out for.

I couldn't help but notice that the author went to BYU, which most assuredly means that she is Mormon. (I was raised Mormon, if you did not know). This struck me for several reasons. The author has written a love story about essentially evil beings, which a deeply religious person might not normally be comfortable with promoting, by creating the "monster with a conscience", the vegetarian vampire who does not drink human blood for ethical reasons. The normally "damned" creatures, hoping for a spot in heaven.

Also, in a relationship that is so intense that it would clearly, otherwise, involve sexual intimacy, the author cleverly avoids the "teen-age sex" issue, by using the vampire's strength and potential lack of control as a reason they cannot cross that boundary. Edward's impressive restraint, given the temptation he is facing, has remarkably religious over-tones to me.

Don't worry, I haven't gotten all out of control. I am not dressing up as a vampire. I am not interested in joining Team Edward or Team Jacob (really, I would hope Bella couldn't be that fickle, but she is a teen-ager, after all).

Of course, after reading book one, I went out and rented the first movie (as others were flocking to see New Moon, the second movie that just premiered in theaters.)

The movie was DISAPPOINTING. The acting is terrible; the dialogue is trite; and they cropped scenes from the book in a way that didn't do it justice.

and then there is the fact that this guy:

Does not do it for me!

I am sorry, he is not hot enough for Edward.

The way he is described in the book, he should look more like this:

Don't you agree?

I read New Moon, but I don't know if I can bear to see the movie. I am now on book three.

When I am done with book four, I promise I'll find some grown-up literature.


Katy said...

Totally agree with your 'analysis'.. I read the first book after borrowing it from an (obsessed) friend and I was also struck by the relationship model being promoted... what happened to strong heroines! And you're right too about the religious and moral overtones - No giving in to temptation/turning yourself into a vampire, at least until after you're married!

Abby said...

I totally agree that Edward isn't hot enough in the movies. Not at all. I haven't read the second book yet, or seen the movie (it doesn't come out til tomorrow here). They are super fast reads though, right? I think I read the first one in like 5 hours and it's super long!

mosey along said...

Isn't it bizarre how addicting they are? If you recall, I read all four of them in the first week of my vacation in the summer. Thank goodness that's over with, it was exhausting.

I did like the movie for the same reason as I liked the books, the "first love" teen angst themes were there even if it was trite and poorly written. And I like Robert Pattinson, but probably mostly because in real life he's a bewildered Brit, very similar to my hubby! Too young and scrawny though.

Lucie said...

I hear you! I am so addicted to the sega. I read all four books in approximately four days lol. I've heard New Moon sucks but I'm going to go see it anyway just because I love seeing movie's after I've read the books and love the story! I hope the third one will be better!

anymommy said...

Exactly. Although, I admit, I read all four books in a week. The story is original and compelling. The writing is so-so. The movie was atrocious!

Richard said...

As the first boy commenting :) - I never got the books, but they do appear to be the literary equivalent of crack cocaine for many new readers. As an interesting addition to the abstinence/morality tale, I met a Jesuit priest who was showing the movie to his class in a catholic school as a more contemporary way of making a point about abstinence.

So there you go - the vampires even appeal to catholic priests as an educational aid.

Annje said...

Richard--thanks for stopping by and commenting. I can see how the book could be used to promote abstinence, though we can't all date beautifully angelic and freakishly strong vampires. What is starting to bother me, is the woman as temptress/seductress/reckless abandon to lust and man as rational/controled/full of restraint.

Danielle said...

Wow! Who is that guy at the bottom and why couldn't they have cast him as edward?! Robert Pattinson doesn't really "do it" for me either.