Saturday, October 4, 2008

Now that I am halfway through my current series, I thought I should take some time to comment about the last series I read.

Which just happened to be the Twilight books.

Now, wait.

Let me explain myself. You probably are thinking the same things I thought when I started reading the books. Things like, "I really should be ten years younger to read this," and "Oh, another silly book about insecure teenagers." But I would like to justify myself a little bit.

Before August, I had never heard of the Twilight books. Looking back, I do recall seeing the striking red and black covers in the grocery store and at Costco, but really gave them no notice. Books like Twilight just don't make it into the conversation in medical school. (Although I think that it is because we are busy, not because no one is reading them.)

When I was at a community service event in August, I was talking to some of the other volunteers about books to read. Mainly, I was looking for suggestions. I had just re-read both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility for the, um, who knows how many times. I didn't want to re-read Harry Potter just yet (I'm waiting until about 6 weeks before the 6th movie comes out.) I mentioned that I was looking for something light and easy to read. One of the girls said, "Why don't you try the Twilight books?"

And so I did.

I have to say, while reading them, I was surprised at how polarizing they are. You love them, hate them, or refuse to read them. Scrolling through conversations at Shelfari and LibraryThing, there didn't seem to be anything in between.

But I'm not going to comment on other peoples' opinions. I'm just going to give my own.

I have to admit, I felt a little silly reading them. I kept feeling that I'm way to old to be enjoying them. And I did enjoy them.

I will be the first to admit that I don't think Stephanie Meyer is the strongest technical writer. But she does create a compelling story line and characters that you may even find yourself attached to by the end.

Bella Swan is a very strange girl. She drifts between being an amazing obnoxiously insecure teenage girl, who really can't form opinions for herself to being very self-reliant and independent. There were times throughout all the books that I wanted to shake her by the shoulders, and tell her to get a grip.

I've read many reviews where people expressed dissatisfaction with the story line. While reading the books, it never occurred to me to do such. I was just along for the ride, which is how I feel books should be read.

Breaking Dawn was probably my favorite book of the series.

So it came as a surprise when I heard the most criticism for it. People didn't like the ending, thought there was not enough action, it was too unrealisitic (this comment amuses me: it is a book about vampires and werewolves after all). I think I liked it so much, because Bella finally became someone I enjoyed reading about. She matured, was loyal, and centered, something that was missing from the first three.

I really should say something about the men of the book. I did like Jacob, but honestly, it had to be Edward, right?

So, I think that the books deserve their fair share of critique. But for me, they fulfilled just what I was looking for: A little escapism at bedtime.