My Twilight Confession

Around Valentine’s Day, Twilight in all its many film manifestations dominated the movie channels. And I mean, eight-hour blocks of time where each movie was played back-to-back sans commercials. Almost every day. If this sounds horrible to you, rest assured that that’s how I felt, too. I switched off the TV in disgust…but then something strange happened. I caught the beginning of Breaking Dawn part 1, you know, the one where Bella has a demon baby growing inside her. Since the vision of Kristen Stewart emaciated and bruised was oddly gripping, I kept watching. Before I knew it, I was hooked. I watched almost every single Twilight film playing nearly non-stop and I loved every minute of it. Whoops.

Now, when I was 15, I jumped on the Twilight bandwagon. I got super excited when my copy of the first book came in the mail, devoured it, and before I knew it, I was 17 with my friends at an awkward, tween-infested midnight party for Breaking Dawn. For about two years, I really liked Twilight. I thought it was romantic, interesting, and even if it was terribly written, it was a gripping story. I never hit that point of being “in love with Edward” but I really did like the love story. It wasn’t until I grew up a bit that I realized Edward was kind of a controlling, abusive boyfriend, and that Bella was a bit of an idiot.

So I backtracked. I became rather outspoken against Twilight and roundly criticized it. I perhaps went too far in the opposite direction. And now, seven years after I first picked up Twilight, I find myself kind of liking it again. Liking Twilight again was surprising considering all its major flaws, but I kind of want to apologize for hating it so much. Sure, it’s sentimental, and some of Bella’s decisions are a bit dubious, and Edward is more creepy than not, but there’s something about Twilight that’s fun, romantic, and a bit transporting.

Recently, I read Gone With the Wind, and was surprised at the amount of racism and propaganda present in the novel. Parts of the book, especially the pro-KKK bits, were difficult to read, but I loved the book just the same. I loved it for the story, for the characters, for the way it swept me up into a different world. Though deeply flawed, I could not help but adore the story.

I think I feel the same way about Twilight. I’m not perhaps the wide-eyed fan I was at 15, but I surely don’t hate it just for the sake of hating it, not anymore. And there are things about it that I truly like, even though it’s so far from perfect. I like Bella’s selflessness and her capacity for love, I like the vampires’ redemption journeys, I like the backstory Meyer wrote about the werewolf clan. It’s a fun story, and it’s entertaining. So I’d like to take this time to apologize for hating Twilight, and maybe admit that now I’ve come to see things in that story I hadn’t seen before. Or maybe it’s just fun to watch Kristen Stewart as a vampire.

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  • I was all aboard the Twilight train when it still in progress. I think I jumped on just when Eclipse had been released. And I loved it! Since Anne Rice I hadn’t read anything vampire related and so this was really exciting for me.

    Now though, being both older and wiser (I think! Ha!) I can see some real flaws in it- both in its characters and in its narrative style. It’s not the best.

    BUT! I read plenty of books now where the characters aggravate me, or the moral compass is broken, or the narrative is so clunky its painful to keep reading.. But I still like them, for some unconscious reason (because sure as heck I can’t work out why I like some of the books I do) I’m addicted.

    Twilight makes me cringe now. But I can appreciate how, as a younger version of my self, new to the genre and new to YA lit in general, it captured me so effectively. And that’s ok.

    There’s plenty of things you do as a teen that you later regret.. but then come to appreciate as a kind of right of passage.. my Twilight is just one of those things. Heh heh.

    Really interesting post! 🙂

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