Look, this book is bad. Shockingly bad. But it's bad in that epic, unselfconscious sort of way that makes me kind of obsessed with it, in the same way I'm obsessed with Showgirls and Trapped in the closet. Although it's bad, it's not that surprising that it's popular. It's full of romantic grandiosity and shoots straight to the heart of teenage girl fantasies about being special and unique and being loved madly by a dreamy bad boy. But... oh god... IT'S SO BAD!
First off, I feel like I need to clarify that I'm not some McSnobbersons who sniffs disdainfully at anything that's not Lit-rah-chah. I heart good writing, but I'm not ashamed to get down with a little popular entertainment. I thought the Harry Potter series was delightful, and in my early 20's I devoured Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and loved every minute of it. But, for reals, Stephanie Meyer make J.K Rowling and Anne Rice look like Nobokov and Dostoyevsky. See, a lot of times I evaluate entertainments on the "could I have done that?" scale. And, honestly, The Harry Potter series and the Vampire Chronicles were pretty detailed with lots of characters and multi-layered plots, and I'm not sure I could pull something like that off. "Twilight," however, I'm pretty sure I could have written piss drunk, typing with my nose.
If someone had told me that this book was written by a 15 year old who'd never kissed a boy, I would have said "well, that makes perfect sense. The tone and writing level is pretty much what I would have done when I was a 15 year old who'd never kissed a boy." It's the fact that it was written by a grown-up mother of 3 with an English degree that amplifies the WTF factor. What? How? It made me want to travel back in time, find my 15 year old self and force her to drop out of school, get her GED and start cranking out overwrought fantasy romance novels.
If you have not read the book, here is the plot:
A girl (Bella) leaves her flaky Mom and moves to a small, rainy town to live with her dad. There's a really hot boy (Edward) who keeps giving her mixed signals that make her obsessed with him. He saves her from a car crash. She finds out he's a vampire. She decides she's in love with him. He starts being nice to her and he's in love with her too! But, uh oh! her blood smells delicious and he wants to kill her! But he controls himself and they kiss! Yay!
Not a lot going on, right? THAT'S 350 FUCKING PAGES OF THE BOOK! The last 150 pages consists of a bad vampire who decides he wants to kill Bella for sport and she has to run away with the help of Edward's hot vampire family, but bad vampire tricks her into meeting him at a dance studio and beats her up and OMG Edward saves her just before he kills her. Then they go to Prom. The end.
OH OH OH... and the bestest part of all: The reason vampires can't go out in the sun? Because they're sparkly. Yes, sparkly. REALLY. I'm going to extrapolate from this that they also ride unicorns and crap gumdrops. I had to put down the book at that point and crack up.
Seriously. 500 pages. Of course, if they cut out Bella's tedious run-throughs of her daily class schedule and the ten million ridiculously adjectivey descriptions of how hot Edward is, the book would probably be a pamphlet. And don't presume that those extra pages were used on extraneous things like, say, character development.. ha ha ho... you wish! There isn't a character in this book who has more depth than a kiddie pool, and the protagonist, Bella, is probably the most spot-on example of a Mary Sue Character since Mary Sue.
But here's the thing... I was kind of looking forward to this book being page-turning popcorn, but at about the halfway mark I started feeling this strange, undefined feeling of frustration that went beyond the fact that there seemed to be no plot. I couldn't put my finger on it... and then, it hit me: The book was written in the style of erotica and I was waiting for the sex. So that part of my brain that likes to spank it to bad literotica.com stores... or, you know, that WOULD if I were into that sort of thing *cough*... was impatient to get the show on the road. Subconsciously, my mind was saying "GET TO THE FUCKING ALREADY!" and once my conscious mind figured that out, I was like "This book was written by a Mormon. There will be no fucking." And then, admittedly, I was a little annoyed. I almost wanted to write the sex scenes myself. They would probably go a little something like this:
I gasped as Edward unzipped his gorgeous, godlike pants, revealing his smooth, white, marble cock. He glared at me with his burning topaz eyes as my fingertips brushed his cold, sparkling, granite dick. My heartbeat quickened. My breath caught. I didn't deserve this. How could I, clumsy, ordinary, plain, clumsy Bella Swan who was only asked to the dance by 3 different lovestruck boys, be so close to a cock so gorgeous, scintillating and godlike? It was like the pale marble cock of Adonis.
In a quick, graceful motion, Edward turned and glared at me. "Don't you see Bella?" he said as he held me in his strong grasp and dry-humped my thigh with annoyance, "I'm a danger to you! You should have nothing to do with me! Every moment you're risking your life!"
"Edward" I gasped "I love you. I will love you forever!" I was in agony thinking of losing him and never again touching his pale, white, cold, gorgeous, sparkling, marble, granite, dazzling, godlike, scintillating Adonis cock. How would I live? He was my life.
He glared at me again with his dazzling, golden eyes and told me with his gorgeous, pale lips "There's something I haven't told you. Something else about my kind."
"What Edward?" I asked breathlessly, "I will love you no matter what. Forever."
He brushed his cold, gorgeous, marble lips close to my clumsy, ordinary ears and whispered "We..."
"What, Edward? I love you. Forever. You can tell me anything."
He gave me his crooked grin and said, "We ejaculate rainbows."
...and so forth. You get the idea.
But, considering how little substance was contained in the 500 pages of Twilight, I figured I could just read the wikipedia synopses of the subsequent books in the series and I could get the rest of the saga without missing anything. Of course, now I feel like I have to go see the movie which I have heard is bad, but I refuse to believe it could possibly be as bad as the book. Also, Robert Pattinson kinda looks like my boyfriend's brother (which was pointed out back when he played Cedric Diggory) which may be funny or awkward, I'm not sure which.