Twilight: A Negative Review

By

Here in the Rabbit Room, we try hard not to speak disparagingly about authors and artists.  Rather, we laud the work that we admire and remain silent about that which we do not.  However, sometimes exceptions must be made.  In this case, the exception is that Andrew Osenga is hilarious.  While I was talking with him recently about the newest cultural phenomenon which is Twilight, Andrew got passionate and I got tickled.  I haven’t read the book yet, nor have I seen the movie, but what I’ve read about it leaves me a little concerned–not because it’s about vampires, or because it’s about teen romance, but because of its subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) themes.  Also, because I have a hunch that it bears little or no artistic or literary merit.  Someone emailed us recently and asked about a Rabbit Room perspective on this movie, and Travis Prinzi has a more in-depth one coming.  In the meantime, enjoy Osenga’s editorial.

The Proprietor


So Andrew Peterson has been telling me for well over a year that I was welcome to post here at the Rabbit Room.  He came to me a few days ago and said “Hey, remember that terrible book you sort of read?  Want to review it on the site?”  It seems like the perfect opportunity for my inaugural post.  Russ Ramsey and Jason Gray write about theology and Paul Simon, I will write about teenage vampires.

To begin: I sort of read the book “Twilight”.  By that I mean, I read all but the last ten pages.  I knew there was a sequel, which meant that at least most of the characters did not die in an atomic bomb during those last ten pages and therefore there was no ending that would have satisfied me.

“Twilight” is the worst book I’ve ever read.  And I read half of the first “Left Behind” book.  I picked it up because I was told it was in the vein of Harry Potter.  I love the idea of secret societies, whole new worlds right within our own to discover and enjoy.  That stuff thrills me.  “Twilight” is not like that. None of the characters have any personality whatsoever, so even their illogical actions and stupid decisions aren’t interesting.

One of the big scenes in the book is when the superhuman vampires play baseball.  I went to Wrigley Field for the first time this year, and saw the Cubs beat the Pirates.  It was cold and boring and I left after three innings.  If someone had said, “would you rather watch this game with vampires playing?” I would of course have excitedly answered yes.  Somehow, this book has shown me my instinct would be incorrect.  Vampire baseball is also boring, and I imagine the beer is just as bland and expensive.

Basically here is the plot of this book, which you all have probably heard by now.  A boring girl moves to the Pacific Northwest and meets a vampire who is mean to her, but only because he wants to eat her because he’s in love with her and he’s gorgeous.  So he falls in love with her, because he’s beautiful and that is what the author wishes would have happened to her in high school.  There is an Encyclopedia Brown twist at the end (i.e. a third-grader should see it coming) and that is the big finish.  Again, and unfortunately, every character is probably still alive at the end of this book.

The heart of the tale, though, lies in this simple conversation that is had, and this is no exaggeration, probably 200 or 300 times throughout the book:

Her: “I love you, you’re so beautiful and perfect.”
Him: “Yes, I am.”
Her: “But I’m so clumsy!”
Him: “Yes, you are, and I love you.”
Her: “I love you, you’re so beautiful and perfect.  And cold.”
Him: stares off in the distance, looking like a model.

If you cut that conversation out of the book it would probably be twenty pages long.  And probably no better.  There’s also the sad commentary on how teenage girls LOVE this book, and how this girl decides to completely give up her friends, family, personality and everything else to be in a relationship with a rich, good-looking guy who treats her terribly.  I hope my daughters read this when they get older and learn that valuable lesson.

And yes, I will probably watch the movie “Twilight” at some point.  It looks as if the movie is somehow worse than the book, and that type of terrible is probably pretty hilarious.  Like Gymkata with fangs.


51 Comments

  1. Wickle

    It’s that good, huh?

    I was wondering whether I should check it out, but it seems like those will just be hours of my life that I’ll never get back, and I might as well read something worthwhile, instead.

  2. Mary Eady

    I just read this out loud to my husband who, sadly, snorted spicy soup in the hearing.

    Thank you.

    These books have taken over amongst some of my friends and I am finding myself tempted to read them (or at least part of the first one) simply to be able to speak intelligently about them. I laughed my head off at Escape from LA. Does this mean I’ll be in hysterics over Twilight?

  3. Jeremy

    I’m halfway through the fourth book in the series. Trust me, it gets MUCH better after the first two books. The first two are full of the lovey-dovey stuff that’s obviously written for teenage girls (with great success, I might add), but the last two are pretty good. It’s no Harry Potter but I’ve definitely enjoyed it.

  4. Amy

    This is funny. I really wanted to like the book because I love vampires/tragic romances and because so many other people love it. Sadly, I didn’t.

    I agree that half the book was them telling each other how wonderful they are….ah well. I’m definitely NOT jumping on any sort of, these books are evil and harmful bandwagon, I completely understand why young girls like them, but I didn’t and this made me laugh. 🙂

  5. Matt McBrien

    I recently read all four books in the series (I don’t like to not have any idea what people are talking about), and I have decided the best way I can describe it is in the form of a recipe.

    Twilight:
    1 cup Interview with a Vampire
    1 cup Heroes
    2 gallons The Young and the Restless

    Mix all ingredients in a bucket. Stir gently. Chill, allow to sit overnight. Serves 16.

  6. Chrissy

    I definitely snorted when I read this. Thanks, Andy O.

    Twilight seems to have done a good job of exposing in young women what their hearts are really hungry for, but with the conclusion that danger/violence/love go hand-in-hand and “you can handle it all on your own!”. My heart aches when I think about the throngs of young women who have been captured by this story.

  7. Caroline

    Brilliant! And highly accurate.

    I made it through the first book and plowed through the second and some of third only on the insistence of a dear friend. I do not understand Edward’s appeal at all; he seems like a horrible sort of person to be deeply “in love” with.

    My younger sister (in middle school) wanted to read the books, but I redirected her to other fiction, as in *quality* fantasy novels.

  8. Loren Eaton

    Oh, Andrew, I must respectfully disagree — nothing is worse than Left Behind! What irritated me about Twilight (and this might seem petty>is the way in which Meyer doesn’t even try to reconcile the horror and romance genres. Edward smolders for so much for about two-thirds of the book that we think he’s going to combust, then the novel clunks into supernatural thriller mode for the end with these creatures that are supposed to be vampires but aren’t hurt by light, don’t have long teeth, aren’t scary to anyone, et cetera, et cetera.

  9. Janna

    “I have a hunch that it bears little or no artistic or literary merit.”

    Your hunch is right AP, but there’s a scene in the first book when Edward describes twilight as a special time of day that is kinda nice. I just finished book 3, and it IS better than the other two, but yeah, if you can resist eating that first potato chip, you’re probably better off without the bag. As far as the movie goes, the baseball scene is pretty neat there. Lastly, to Mr. O, we all wished the beautiful people in high school loved us, didn’t we? I think it’s a good thing that I never read anything like this in high school; the fire of fantasy escapes from that time in my life did not need any more fuel.

  10. Leigh McLeroy

    Fabulous and funny! I have not read any of the Twilight series, due to my perversely stubborn resistance to any book I’m told to read because “everyone’s talking about it.” I talk enough as it is.

    But here’s the ugly confession (both of my former taste, and probably, my age.) When I was 12 or so, there was a vampire soap opera called “Dark Shadows” that I watched for a whole summer. It gets worse. I even bought a 45 rpm record of the theme song of the soap – a screechy instrumental thing called Quentin’s Theme, which I actually played on my turntable. Often.

    There. I feel better. Confession IS good for the soul. Please review more books, Andrew!!!

  11. Caleb Land

    Thank you for not taking this book seriously in your review. I am a lover of fantasy, I thought Harry Potter was awesome. My students (I’m a student pastor) were all talking about how awesome it was, at least, the middle school girls were, so I decided to check it out. I make a habit of withholding judgment on things until I’ve actually read/watched them.

    I read the first book and I also think it was the worst book I ever read, narrowly beating out Left Behind. It was just stupid with a stupid, tired message. Your review was far more enjoyable.

  12. Nathan Bubna

    I didn’t find the books that terrible. Predictable, occasionally boring (mostly any part with Edward in it), but still engaging. It’s all about what expectations you have and your willingness to skim the so-called “romantic” parts. The first and the last were, in my opinion, the worst ones, largely because Bella & Edward are truly as boring and cringe-worthy as Andy O. says they are. The strength of the series for me was the general universe they are set in and the supporting cast. The third book was definitely the strongest.

    Of course, i’m always a bit of a sucker for the sci-fi/fantasy genre and generally in need of light, quick, escapist fare due to the nature of my day job.

  13. Neil

    Nice review Mr Osenga, but was trashing the wonder that is Chicago Cubs baseball really necessary? It’s not the Cubs fault the author swung and missed on this book. Give Wrigley Field and the Cubbies another try, just go back in July next time.

  14. Seth H.

    I’m still waiting to look at the cover of a book and see “a novel by Andrew Osenga” written prominently under the title. Don’t even act like you don’t want to.

  15. Andy Vandergriff

    i’m glad i’m not the only Andy around here that wants to drive a stake through the heart of these books(actually…that might not be that bad of a waste of 40 dollars). I have a few friends who are quite taken with these books, and i am quite concerned about the lessons that the books are teaching about how they should be loved. The whole “i’m going to love the guy who treats me like crap no matter what my friends or family who know me say” ethos is a dangerous one. I’ll stop now, before i write a 9000 word essay in the comments.

  16. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    I did watch a movie once, years ago, called Rabid. It was so absurd and ridiculous, but more than that, it felt like a black hole had come through the TV and sucked away two hours of my life that I’d never get back. Oh, wait, that’s exactly what happened.

  17. Shawn

    This should be a springboard to a post on the worst movies ever made – only good for the unintentional comedy. I would fire the first shot at John Carpenter’s ‘Dark Star’ from 1974, a movie that, if you can find it, was a stoned attempt at fitting with the 2001 space-age stuff, only it was so short when finished that they wouldn’t release it in theaters unless they added another 10 minutes of footage. Being the quality flick it is, they went in and shot ten more minutes worth of film, then randomly inserted it into the movie. It didn’t matter, because it was stupid and pointless to begin with. Good times.

  18. alice

    ok first off he is not rude to her, he loved her but didnt want to hurt her.and she didnt give up her family for Edward, she is still with her family in the last book.i think it is rude of you to say such mean and hurtful things about the book when you didnt even read it all.the book is a love story so of course it would be lovey-ish and there is not one part in the book that he is so full of himself the way you made it sound.

  19. becky

    Top of my “worst ever” list is the only movie I ever walked out of, Caveman. When I tell you that the lead was played by Ringo Starr, that should give you an idea of the caliber of this film. What was I thinking???

  20. Aaron Roughton

    Andy, do you have to act like Bugs Meany and drag Donald J. Sobol and his Encyclopedia Brown masterpieces into this? I learned everything I know about general sleuthing and sleuthery from those books.

    I haven’t partaken of the Twilight phenomenon. However, I have walked out of a movie: Second Sight. It starred John Laroquette and the guy who played Balky on Perfect Strangers. We lasted about 15 minutes.

  21. Kory Wilcox

    I have thus far resisted Twilight, and have placed it down a few on my reading list. I am hoping that, by the time I get around to reading it, both my preconceived distaste for it and my fiancee’s insatiable craving for everything related to it will have greatly subsided. I want to be unbiased.

    There is something about the series that the girls I know seem to relate to quite deeply, and it scares me the degree to which they insist that there’s no way for me to understand what it does for them without reading the books myself. I have been captivated by stories before, but I fear that to be as passionate about these as some people appear to be, they have to feel deeply connected to the messages within. My biggest concern is that these messages are distracting rather than dire.

    Thanks for some negative commentary. I hadn’t heard any yet. –kory

  22. Julie

    Haha! That was hilarious and so true in most instatnces. Though I have to agree with alice on one point. Edward may be a moody vampire, but he does everything in his power to protect Bella no matter the circumstance (at least in the first book. its the only one i’ve read.)

  23. Travis Prinzi

    I’m having trouble making it through the book simply because every couple of pages, Bella encounters Edward, and her heart races and/or stops. I work in cardiology, and I have serious concerns that she needs a defibrillator.

  24. Allison

    I read Twilight on a friend’s recommendation, and then read the other two just to find out what happens next. I haven’t read the fourth one, but I think I know what happens.

    I preferred the werewolves over the vampires, if only because they are slightly more interesting.

    But this review has provided more entertainment value than all of the time I spent reading those books. Thanks, Andy O!

  25. Michael Anthony Curan

    Sir Andrew, i posted this blog in my friendster bulletin (im from cebu city,philippines and friendster is what’s hot here than myspace and facebook hehehe).

    and here’s one comment from a girl named Shella, a 20 year old Filipina girl now living in New York;

    ok thats the worst review i’ve ever read in my whole life. vague, too wordy, indirect, and his reasons are a bit off. probably the writer of this terrible review didn’t grasp the whole im-good-to-you-bella concept. edward protected her! he didnt treat her in any manner that could qualify in my own definition of terrible.

    also haven’t he heard of the word motif? omg it really shows how idiot he is! haha. im sorry but the stuff that he said were repeated 200 to 300 times is the motif of the story “twilight”. if you speak of the motif, it should be repeated again and again and again up until the story ends. if he reads the second book he will find the word “deja vu”. its not just there as a display or just to make the story long but it is the motif of the “new moon”.
    i think the person who wrote this negative review needs to take up literature to better understand and enjoy good stories. he needs a good beating too! he exposed his idiotic and stupid mindset! lol

    PS: sorry.. i just kind of dont like the way he wrote the whole negative thing.. too low and unconvincing..

  26. david

    i love this blog. here i am, checking for the newest advent reflection, and at the same time that i am spiritually moved, i am also deeply encouraged by the fact that songwriters i respect strongly dislike Twilight. i knew there was something deeper in me that didn’t jive with the book (haven’t seen the movie yet), but i’ve been as yet unable to put my finger on it. Andy O gets at it under the sarcasm, and i really look forward to Travis Prinzi’s response…

  27. Tony Heringer

    Andy O. You are not a teenage girl and neither am I. I’ve not read the series. However, based on what I know of it (reading this and other reviews), I’d have to say this is a work similar to the sap that fuels the Hallmark Channel. My daughter (14) and her teen friends have consumed these books and the film.

    Can I blame her? I made her endure Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and many others in that vein (pun intended). I can sniff and say “Tthat is good fantasy!” Well at least Lord of the Rings and the first two Star Wars films. I’m talking the original two, not the “prequels.”. Lucas went nuts with “Return of The Jedi” and the “prequels.” All in all, we’ve watched some goofy stuff that I’m sure she could lecture me on.

    She went through a Barney phase, a Jonas Brothers phase and now “Twilight.” This too shall pass. Even if it doesn’t, she can always point back to Ewoks, Jar-Jar and other such pabulum and go “Come on, man!” – a new catch phrase on Monday Night Football Countdown and my favorite part of that “Go Phone” commercial featuring Steve Buscemi voicing the Gingerbread dad. Classic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP-1mO2NxcQ

    Review, if you dare, the shows you thought were cool in your youth. I caught a rerun of “Mork and Mindy” the other day. I thought Robin Williams was so cool when that show was on. Watching it now, it feels very dated and corny. You mention Bob and Doug Mckenzie’s “Strange Brew” in your song “Canada.” Therefore, I know you know what I’m talking about dude. Speaking of Bob and Doug, here’s a little Christmas cheer from them and somebody with too much time on their hands: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WCXnlFWaIY

    Also, from your concert banter with Cliff Young in the most recent Caedmon’s Call concert I attended, you didn’t strike me as a sports fan. So, I discount your Cubs comment. Real baseball fans genuflect when they enter hallow ground like Wrigley and they don’t leave until the last out is recorded.

    The primary caution I gave my daughter is the same one I give her with all media: filter it through a biblical lens — this is especially true since Meyer is a Mormon and I’m sure that comes out in the books. My key with media and my teens is dialogue. I want to know what they listen to, watch and read so we can talk about it in the context of life.

    We all have our pabulum as it relates to media. The concern is do we move on and grow to a healthy or at least more robust media diet as we mature in Christ? If she’s thirty and still stuck in the “Twilight”-phase, I’ll encourage her to branch out. Revisit this review when your girls are teens and see if you feel the same way. My guess is you won’t.

    As for Harry Potter, I’m finally getting a chance to read through that series. Its saltier than I thought it would be given the target audience. All in all its not too bad for the current pop culture, but still, its not great or as stirring as I’d hoped. There are all sorts of things in the series that help me understand why folks objected to the books. Not enough to “storm the castle” to quote “Princess Bride” but enough to understand why someone might object to the book series.

    I’ve enjoyed the Potter films and sharing these stories with my son — who is pretty much past this series — and am looking forward to reading it through book 7. I got some extra incentive for this reading quest from an interview given by Connie Neal on Steve Brown, etc. http://stevebrownetc.com/podcasts/steve-brown-etc/fantasy-reality-christianity/ She has utilized these stories to share Christ in a winsome way. I want to take in the series along with her commentary to gain that perspective.

    These types of stories are with us whether we care for them or not. Let’s leverage them for God’s glory and give grace where we see “little or no artistic or literary merit.” – ouch! Barliman that was likely the harshest comment in this post. “Come on, man! It’s the holidays!” 🙂

  28. Andrew Peterson

    @andrew

    Tony,

    I admit, it was harsh, especially given the fact that I haven’t read the book. Nor will I, unless someone convinces me (as I was convinced with Harry Potter) that it has some literary or artistic merit. If Twilight were a so-so story told with strong sense of language, or if it were a fine tale told with less-than stellar writing (or if it wasn’t so vastly popular), I don’t think I would react so negatively to it. But from what I hear, the book fails on both counts, and instead seems to thrive on its ability to play to the insecurities of women.

    That said, I admire the way you’ve handled it with your daughter. I’m going to file that away for when my own kids are reading things I may think are pabulum (I love that word, by the way). Let ’em read it. Be gracious. Remind them to see it through the filter of the Gospel. And fill their lives with light and beauty. I can only imagine that to criticize your daughter for reading these books would only drive an unnecessary wedge between the two of you.

    Good word, Tony.

    But I still say it’s funny when Osenga gets riled.

  29. david

    so far, no one that i’ve encountered (and none of the comments thus far) have addressed your disclaimer and above reiteration: whether or not Twilight has “literary or artistic merit.”

    although in my head i say “YES” when i read that challenge, i then begin to think that there’s just enough subjectivity in determining “artistic” merit that there is some wiggle room for critics and fans alike… what would be some standardizing works to which Twilight is being implicitly compared?

  30. Chris

    The obvious difference between Twilight and Left Behind is that Left Behind was written by Christians (sad!!!).

  31. Rachel

    Okay Andrew. We agree on much. I love stories about hidden worlds within our midst. I’m not a baseball fan. And I love great literature. Twilight isn’t the most well written book I’ve ever read, but I liked it. At least you read it before your critiqued it. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people blow off a book or movie simply because it’s popular.
    The Twilight series appeals mostly to teenage girls and, according to what I’ve read, their mothers. It’s a book that women love. And I think I know why. The love between Edward and Bella is special. They both fall for someone who is not in their world (Bella is human, Edward is vampire). They both suffer greatly for their decision. They each have the opportunity to save the other. And their love (spoiler alert) endures. And as a Christian, I appreciated that it was a relationship with tons of passion, yet it had boundaries. No sex before marriage. What a concept for teenage girls to read.
    There are other familiar themes to appreciate. One – we make our own choices. We are not victims to our circumstances. Edward and his family are choosing not to be murderers. They are an anomaly within Meyer’s vampire world (which you learn later has a strict hierarchy and is literally worldwide). And Edward struggles outwardly with God and eternity. Is it our choices that decide our fate or our nature?
    Second – Bella isn’t boring, Andrew. She is normal. And wonderful. Hearing you say that about her makes her even more endearing to me. You missed her – just like everyone else does until Edward. Then you make fun of the author saying “that’s what the author wanted to hear in high school.” Ouch. You have hit just about every girl (and maybe some of the boys) in the gut. Don’t we all want to be loved well by someone beautiful? That desire starts way before high school. My little girls look up to their big handsome daddy daily, waiting to be loved well. Meyer taps into the very heart of young women who want to believe they are valuable. Worthy. Pretty in someone’s eyes. So, from my experience, Meyer is tapping into most of the female population.
    Now you and I both know that their is a God who wants nothing more than to be with us. And if we listen, He is telling us how much He prizes us. As believers we understand that all human (or in this case vampire/human) love is only an illustration of the greater story about how God loves us. So while Edward makes some of us a little giddy, I’m reminded that there is a love much greater, much sweeter, and much more real – and that is Jesus’ love for me. And He thinks I’m beautiful. And I believe that He even smiles over how much I liked the Twilight series.

  32. Boyd

    I am one of the number who haven’t read the book or seen the film, but I’m coming to the conclusion from all the banter and a good review on BBC radio that the response of we 30 something males to the likes of Twilight simply confirms our ageing status. We condemn the character Belle as being a whining drippy teenager. Meanwhile all the ‘wining, drippy’ teenagers look at her and think, “that’s me” much in the same way we listen to songs by the Anderews (plural) and think “That’s me. That’s my story and my desires in that song”. Doesn’t mean I think the message of Twilight, as retold by Andy, is good or uplifting or reflective of the gospel, but it helps me understand (or not as the case may be) 16 year old girls in the year 2008. As for me and my house, I will prefer to recognise myself in the Andrews music and remember when I was young listening to The Prayer Chain and The Choir’s earlier fair hey Andy O.

  33. Chris Slaten

    Tony,
    Over Thanksgiving I had the same experience with Mork and Mindy. I had to turn it off after 10 minutes despite the fact that as a child I would have left it on for the full 24 hour marathon. That’s all.

    Also, I wanted to thank you for that reminder. Right now I am teaching 7th grade language arts and I often find myself having to hold my tongue at some of the books that the 12-13 year old girls bring to my class. Mainly Twilight, but there have been others too. When I think back to all of the Robin Cook books and other beach-read thrillers I read during that time I could probably pick them to pieces. I would go so far as to say that even though I just read them because they were suspenseful I am probably still wrestling with the residue of the humanistic undercurrent that powered the stories of each. But, that is all part of growing up and engaging the world rather than hiding from it. Right? I do not doubt that many of my students reading it will be negatively influenced in some way by these books or any book written by any human. We all come from too many skewed angles. We are all crooked sticks. It does seem that trying to steer them away from something like this would have even worse effects. Why is that? Anyone?

    One thing that is great about anythng that they read…they are reading!!!! Not to mention that even though Twilight may not be well written, it looks big, which I think is great for the reading confidence of any young readers. I would have never have tried Brother’s Karamazov if I hadn’t read Lonesome Dove, which I wouldn’t have tried if I hadn’t read the Hobbit in seventh grade, which I wouldn’t have read if I hadn’t tried Jurrasic Park in sixth grade, which I wouldn’t have read if I hadn’t read Land of the Wangadoodles in second grade. If I hadn’t read a big goofy book in second grade I may have never attempted reading Dostoevsky which had a huge effect on me college. All that to say: At least they are reading.

  34. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Rachel…thanks for your comment. I came back here with interest and started to feel annoyed despite myself with all the attack (especially from males). (I’m not a huge Twilight fan. I do think the relationship is unhealthy, having been in an unhealthy-minimize-all-contact with other friends sort of relationship it made me uncomfortable to read) Even though I think Meyer was a bit too obvious in painting Bella as normal (or with low self-esteem) in some ways it wasn’t so different from Harry Potter boy orphan discovering he’s actually a wizard and a celebrity in another world. You are exactly right…these are the cries of our heart and most certainly of young girls hearts. It is possible that by attacking the series we are closing off the conversations that could take place….whenever a book is a best-seller with wide appeal, I like to try to think about why….what does the popularity of this book reveal about the human heart?

    I’m a firm believer in the freedom of choice to read what you want and I’m against banning books. While I think books can be powerful tools for change, I don’t think any book is so powerful as to be considered extremely dangerous. Books are conversations and ideas, they can enlighten, inspire, encourage, and reveal. And I think Twilight reveals the deepest longing of a girl’s heart….to be loved deeply. And to a young girl who loves the book, to hear it belittled…well by extension she feels belittled.

    Of course, I just read a comment on a fellow book junkie’s blog where she expressed disappointment in her post about the final book and the commenter suggested she should just go kill herself. Maybe the obsession is a little dangerous…..

  35. Tony Heringer

    Barliman,

    With Andy O’s sense of humor, I’m sure it is fun to get him riled.

    Chris,

    “We are all crooked sticks.” – great line. I listened to your music whle I was reading your post and enjoyed both.

    Amy/Rachel,

    Amen sisters. I was struck with the thoughts you expressed as I read Andy O.’s original post. Thanks for articulating those points so well.

  36. Joy

    I read the books and was entertained. They are a quick easy read. This is not a complex story, it’s simple, requires a little “willing suspension of disbelief” and voila!

    I believe the attraction of these books is the over riding theme of the story – love, the need to be loved, desired, the restraint and protectiveness of love, the need to be loved well and for who we are, and loved by someone who is steadfast and loyal despite great odds.

  37. Haley

    I am a 16 year-old girl who has read the whole series and saw the midnight premiere. So i thought the review was absolutely hilarious and wanted to to respond to alice. I thought it was quite entertaining to read alice’s text message talk (lol, btw) but it is just a not a very well written book and characters have no feelings cause they’re not real. My advice to you is to look at the review and not get your feelings hurt. Think about the truthfulness of the review and respond to that and not just have a emotional response.I can appreciate the story and still acknowledge that its cheesy, not well written, and emotionally manipulative.

  38. Christy

    Rachel: “Meyer taps into the very heart of young women who want to believe they are valuable. Worthy. Pretty in someone’s eyes. …Now you and I both know that their is a God who wants nothing more than to be with us. And if we listen, He is telling us how much He prizes us. As believers we understand that all human (or in this case vampire/human) love is only an illustration of the greater story about how God loves us.”

    I believe the problem with the Twilight series and other series like it is that they teach the mass population that reads it that meaning CAN be obtained from human love. Rachel, you said that “as believers we understand that all human love is only an illustration of the greater story about how God loves us.” The fact is, is that all human love is NOT an illustration of God’s love. Most humans love in order to meet some inner need that they have. It’s a self-serving love. In reality, that hole won’t be filled until they realize that God is the only one who can fill it.

    Teenage girls are seeking a self-serving love that will meet THEIR needs. God’s love isn’t self-serving at love. So when girls read these books, they are getting the idea that this kind of love is, in the end, fulfilling and meaningful. In addition, when they believe that they can find this meaning from another human/vampire, a seed of falsehood is being planted. So yes, as believers, we may be about to see some truth in the series, but truth mixed with falsehood can be the most deceptive.

    Chris: “It does seem that trying to steer them away from something like this would have even worse effects. Why is that? Anyone?”

    If a child hasn’t been raised from the start with a set of core values than, yes, you’re right, sometimes it does do more damage to forbid them from reading certain books. However, that doesn’t mean we should let them run rampant and read whatever they want. We can still be used by Christ to influence them in a positive manner. How? By teaching them the values that they never learned: “Whatever is TRUE, whatever is NOBLE, whatever is OF GOOD REPORT…” By our influence, we can win souls for Christ who didn’t have the privilege of growing up in a Christ-centered environment.

  39. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    I decided that I need to read this book just so I could talk about it intelligently and so with that goal in mind, I bought it and did my level best to read it. I made it to page 23.

    This was the sentence that convinced me I would not be able to finish this book:

    “I’d noticed that his eyes were black–coal black.”

    Let me explain something. A thing is either black, or it’s not. There are not differing levels of black. Had she written simply, “his eyes were coal black,” I could have lived with it, but she actually went out of her way to let us know that she doesn’t understand the nature of the color spectrum. The issue is compounded by the fact that Edward is clearly depicted on the cover of the book with RED eyes. My head asplode.

    Let me also say that I forgave multiple instances of similar inanity on the previous twenty-two pages.

    To further reinforce my opinion that this is an earth-shatteringly awful piece of writing, I submit this sentence from page 281 that I stumbled on as I thumbed through the rest of the book before consigning it to the toilet paper rack:

    “His beauty stunned my mind[…]”

    I’m actually looking forward to keeping the book around as a bathroom reader because almost every single page contains these kinds of cubic zirconium gems.

  40. Rain

    I read Twilight (only because I was forced to), and it was the most boring book I’ve ever read, even the action chapters were boring to me. Edward and Bella are void of any kind of actual chemistry.
    Although the cover of the book was attractive, the story was neither entertaining or memorable for me.
    But there is a silver lining to this cloud, the main character is somewhat relatable and logical. But that does not change my view on the novel.

  41. The colossal fail that is “Twilight” « drew.blog

    […] Twilight achieved such profound levels of idiocy that I feel as though my IQ is dropping just by sitting here writing about it. So, I’ll point you to Andrew Osenga, one of my favorite musicians who wrote a review of the book Twilight that is so hilarious that I’m compelled to share it with you here. […]

  42. EKB

    Hello all, I read the responses with great interest. I am a 40ish mother of 2 teenage girls and I work with the teen girls at our church. My girls asked if they could read these books, so I have read all of them. My 17 year old told me I should post here and respond. Her goes…

    I have to disagree with most of you guys here: Bella was definitely interesting to a female reader. I think most of us could identify with her. I found the books very compelling – even seductive in their power to pull you in.

    I do let my kids read MANY books and view movies that other christians might question, but we talk about them, weigh them against The Truth, and see how God would have us respond to them. I ended up telling my girls they couldn’t read these books, because they are SO powerful and SO seductive (witness the teenage response to them). Here is a synopsis of the reasons I gave my girls to refrain from exposing themselves to this, from the lesser to the greater:

    1. As a general rule, the adults in the book are not involved in their kids’ lives. The teens ignore, or don’t respect their parents – not something I want reinforced in my kids.

    2. The relationship between Bella and Edward – while not consumated before marriage – is very steamy and passionate. I have been 15-17, and this is not a passion that needs to be fueled. In the last book, the sex scenes are too much for pre-teen and teen girls – possibly for anyone who isn’t married.

    3. The vampires in the stories are aware that they are “fallen”, but they are trying to live righteously in their own power. Edward, at least, believes that he is unredeemable. This belief is present even though God is not mentioned – we are missing the truth.

    4. Bella is looking for sacrificial love. She wants someone to love her completely. In this point, the author hit humanity right on! We all want that, but the only place to find it is not in another person (or vampire).

    In summary, I enjoyed the books myself – I won’t ever re-read them, because that enjoyment was not edifying. I think the messages are presented in a way that is so enticing to female pre-teens that is is dangerous for them to read them.

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