Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Defense of Twilight

Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit -- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is a popular book that has had a big influence on a lot of people.

I personally am in the group that LOVED Twilight. I read it when it first came out in 2005, and the book captivated me. The dialogue was magnetic and drew me in, I related to Bella, and thought Edward was a-maze-ing! I went on to have a Twilight obsession -- I was highly active in Twilight discussions on the Twilight Lexicon Forum, I designed popular Twilight layouts for MySpace at MichLayouts (claim to fame = Stephenie used my layouts on her MySpace when she had an account!), I created and ran the Official Bella Swan MySpace page, (along with many other characters ...) and even wrote a (terrible!) fan fiction. It was only about three chapters long ... and let's just say I've grown as a writer since then ;)

But what I'm trying to say here is -- I loved that book! And now is the time to defend this wonderful book that has affected millions of lives ... to my Contemporary American Writers grad school class.

This is going to be difficult, because there are going to be people in the class who want to rip into Twilight, talk about how it's a horrible piece of writing, blah blah blah. So I'm asking for your help!

I want to bring to the table some real-life testaments about the many ways Twilight has impacted people out there. So please tell me -- what do you love about Twilight, and how has it positively affected your life?

Comment on this blog post, or Tweet at me (@MichelleMadow) using the #DefendTwilight hashtag.

Thank you for your help, and I can't wait to hear what you have to say. Let's prove to people out there that Twilight (and Stephenie Meyer) is to be respected and valued! :)

Much love,

Michelle Madow

9 comments:

  1. I whole-heartedly agree w/you! When I was a new mom, & very, very lonely, reading Twilight helped me hang on to my sanity. My brother, who I haven't seen willingly read a book since he was a kid, read the entire set! And loved it. (He's a 30 yr old father of 3) The series has given so many people a common thread, something to connect them.

    Good luck!

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  2. Obviously, this story resonates to many people on some level. Look how many people (lots of kids) actually read the books. If nothing else, it brought reading in general to another level. Not easy to do in this era of video games.

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  3. The summer after the Harry Potter saga wrapped up, my family and I were in a Barnes & Noble, lamenting that we would miss the annual release party that had been such a big part of our lives. Then we noticed that a book called "Eclipse" was coming out with a release party in a few days, and realized that we had missed a similar phenomenon, but that maybe it wasn't too late. We bought Twilight on cd's and stated to listen to it in the car as we drove to a cottage we'd rented for the week in Michigan. We bought one in pb, too, just in case, as well as New Moon, still in hardcover. Well, there was plenty left to read by the time we arrived at the remote lake house, and since we only had the one copy of each book, my wife, my two daughters (18 and 22) and my son (14), spent the next few days taking turns reading both books out loud to each other, since we couldn't wait to find out what happened. We all got totally wrapped up in the story of an ordinary girl who was so extraordinary to one special boy, and the lyrical, intense and lush world Stephanie Meyers had created. We didn't know anything about "teams," but we intensely debated the merits and worthiness of E & J, and which was best for Bella (our sole criteria for evaluating them). Maybe it was the isolation of our remote spot, or maybe it was the experience of hearing it together, but we all got totally absorbed in the story, the characters and the setting. It was a great shared enjoyment that was reminiscent of how we enjoyed HP, and an experience we all still remember as a great family and reading time.

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  4. While yes, the writing is not on par with some of the classic writers, I don't think it was truly meant to be. It was clearly entertaining and reached a lot of people, otherwise the franchise would not be here today and spread worldwide.

    Stephenie writes with, I don't know how to say it other than to say a great voice. Her story flowed and made for a quick, light read. The pacing was just right as well. You always wanted to know where the story was going and what happened next. Action packed but romantic as well (if you can get around with a 100+ year old in love with a teenager).

    While I cannot agree that the relationship between Bella & Edward was healthy (I tend to think it was more Stalker-Prey - however we ARE talking predator prey essentially)...but I liked that they had morals. It was all about decisions. Decisions define you in a crazy world. Examples:
    The Cullens could easily have been monsters but they CHOSE not to be.
    Bella CHOSE to move to Forks.
    Edward CHOSE not to eat Bella when he was compelled to follow his natural instincts.
    Decisions, decisions, decisions. All showing character.

    Also, Bella & Edward were still teens (technically) and having a somewhat normal sexual/intimate relationship and Edward was the one being old fashioned and gentlemanly. THAT is one of the key reasons I think it was so popular. Showing girls yes, you can have an intimate, close relationship and it doesn't HAVE to be about sex specifically.

    I also thought it was interesting how Stephenie showed that it was okay for the girl to want to be sexual. I think there is some freedom in that, the role reversal.

    While Twilight can be a bad example of writing, it also has good points. Good luck on your paper :-)
    Marissa @ nofollow">And many to read before I sleep
    mavso29(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  5. As a 50-some-year-old, I am not the typical Twilight fan. I regard Stephenie Meyer as a gifted storyteller (despite some minor flaws), and the Twilight books as compelling stories, with special appeal to the romantics among us. (If it matters, I graduated with distinction from a fairly prestigious university in English and American literature. To admire the Twilight series is not, necessarily, to be a knuckle-dragging semi-illiterate.)

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  6. Don't have a heart attack, but I haven't read the books yet. I own the entire series in hardback and I fully intend to read them. Regardless of anyone's opinions about Meyer and the books, these books opened a new generation's eyes to the wonderful world of reading. Bookstores cleared out sections at the front of the store to dedicate to the young readers because of Harry Potter and Twilight. That alone, makes these stories great IMO.

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  7. Well, I'm, like, old and I loved the Twilight saga. I liked Bella, fell in love w/ Edward, and enjoyed reading about their unusual love story.

    I loved all the movies too. Each one gets better. The last one was the best thus far.

    Yup, that's right, I am not ashamed! Say it with me: "I proud to be a Twilight fan." :-D

    ~Sherry

    Official Author Website Sherry Soule

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  8. I Was always a big reader, but I had very specific genres and I stook to them (mysteries, thrillers mostly). But then I read Twilight, and I was sucked in!! A book had never sucked me in as much as this one. I absolutely loved the chemistry between Edward and Bella. I could feel the love flow out of the pages and hit me in the face. I had never read something so addictive. In New Moon, I almost cried the whole time until the book was over and I realized that Edward was not gone for good haha. I was team Edward the whole time during the series. I loved Jacob, but I understood (like Bella explains herself) that for Bella, dating Jacob would be been a 2nd choice to her Romeo.

    This series has opened me up to the paranormal genre and especially YA. I had always stood to adult mysteries before. I had no idea the YA genre was even good for adult readers. I also got to love paranormal stories. Vampires, Werewolves, Angels, Fairies, you name it. There are so many books out there that I would have never considered were it not for Twilight.

    So yeah, this is how much I loved Twilight. I say Nay to all the Naysayers!

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

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  9. I watched the first 3 movies in one day with my sister and mother about 3 weeks ago! I'm literally hooked now! All I think about is the love story. I borrowed Breaking Dawn in an effort to read it before it's release next week!! I read it from cover to cover!!! Its amazing!! I loved every minute of it. I then went back to the start and read Twilight and now I'm reading New moon. With each book the romance gets more intense and it's overwhelming to read sometimes. It's exciting and I feel giddy with excitement sometimes. I know I was very late to cope onto the Twilight saga but I think the point I'm making is that once you pick them up your instantly drawn in! For anyone who hasn't read them, I am reading them while listening to the soundtracks... I only play these when I read and when I listen to them watching the movies all the memories of the book come back.

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