I've joined the middle school girl bandwagon and started reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I am not pleased. The story is intriguing, yes, and I do want to find out what happens, but I'm also infuriated by what I am seeing.
What you have here is a gorgeous and charming vampire who falls in love with a 17 year old high school junior and vice versa. It seems so adorable and romantic, the beautiful girl and the beautiful guy, Romeo and Juliet from two different worlds daring to cross that invisible social line to declare their true feelings and be in love despite all the odds.
Except that Edward was born in 1901. Think George Burns. Read the following passage but instead of envisioning two seventeen year olds, imagine George Burns and Jamie Lynn Spears.
"With deliberate slowness, his hands slid down the sides of my neck. I shivered, and I heard him catch his breath. But his hands didn't pause as they softly moved to my shoulders, and then stopped.
His face drifted to the side, his nose skimming across my collarbone. he came to rest with the side of his face pressed tenderly against my chest.
Listening to my heart.
'Ah,' he sighed."
Not so sweet now, is it! There's not enough alcohol in the world to make that sexy.
Add to that the fact that he initially wanted to eat her, and then became fascinated with her, and you have a pedophile, attracted to young vulnerability and, with his charm and persuasion, skilled at the unholy seduction of ignorant little girls. We also discover that he's been hiding in her room at night to watch her sleep. Um.....ew.
Then there's Bella. Edward has intelligence, charm, manners, and talents. All Bella can talk about is how gorgeous he is. He's an Adonis, she writes several times. His beauty takes her breath away. She is mesmerized by his eyes. She can't pay attention in Biology calss because of the apparent electricity between them. Her thoughts get scrambled when she looks too long at his wonderful face.
He's read a ton of books, he has several college degrees, he gets every answer in every class right, he loves a variety of music, he's lived 100 years and seen society change over time, technology, art, politics, science, he's seen so many things, and has had several decades to perfect his piano playing, and she knows NONE of this about him.
When she decides she will spend the day alone with him and risk the possibility that he won't be able to control himself and will KILL HER, she decides she DOESN'T CARE, because she is madly in love with him, even though he spends the first half of the book warning her about him, that he's bad for her, that he's dangerous, that "her number is up" (sounds romantic!) and she decides that even if he eats hr alive, she doesn't care because she loves him.
Sounds like every parents' dream for their daughter.
Follow this part of the book where the are lounging about in the forest and he's describing to her how the desire to eat her was so overwhelming when they were sitting next to each other in biology that first day, which he very accurately describes as "that class full of children."
" 'In that one hour, I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you from the room with me, to get you alone. And I fought them each back, thinking of my family, what I could do to them. I had to run out, to get away before I could speak the words that wouldmake you follow...'
He looked up then at my staggered expression as I tried to absorb his bitter memories. His golden eyes scorched from under his lashes, hypnotic and deadly.
'You would have come,' he promised.
I tried to speak calmly. 'Without a doubt.' "
Oh, so many things wrong...like suppose he WAS a pedophile, and he's talking about molesting her. "I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you..." And she knows this, that he has these urges, but decides she doesn't care, because she feels so safe with him, and she doesn't care.
I want to slap her silly and send her to a convent. Get thee to a nunnery!
So...I was actually planning on finishing this stupid book and then forgetting about it, but my beloved Bryan talked me out of it. Bryan, book reviewer extraordinaire and critical theory major (plus he knows me better than anyone else) gave me the following reasons to stick with this infuriating series:
1. I haven't even gotten to the main plotline of the series. This first book is sort of like Life of Pi, where the first half and second half are almost like two different books. I haven't met the villain yet. He says the story picks up after the baseball game. What baseball game? He won't reveal it.
2. He says I'm going to love Alice, the female vampire. Right now she is a tertiary character but she becomes more prominent later on and throughout the next few books, and he says she is right up my alley, so to speak.
3. In the next book Edward pulls in the reins and insist that Bella do a little more personal growing before making any long term commitments to him. That does help a little, yes.
4. The back stories of the other vampires are fascinating and worth trudging through the slower parts for.
He does warn me that I'm not going to like the first part of the next book, but it will be worth it. And, for the most part, I trust Bryan's taste, unless he tells me how wonderful a horror novel is, in which case it is in my best interest to not even let it in the house. And hold an exorcism.
Anyway, that's what I think about creepy Edward and dumb Bella. I haven't even touched on Edward's scary mood swings, or the strange coincidence of Bella sounding like "Belle" from Disney's Beauty and The Beast, which is originally a French story told to young French girls who are doomed to be married off to rich old French men, to help them believe that if they're kind to their beast, he'll turn into a prince. OY!
And now to finish this damn book...