Friday, December 7, 2012

My Thoughts on Twilight: A Response to Christina Reads YA

So, the other day I saw that one of my favorite book review blogs "Christina Reads YA" had a post talking about the taboo that is Twilight. So before you go any further please read her post here and come back.

Now, my introduction this book series was somewhat similar to hers. I had a friend during my freshman year of high school that would read the Twilight books when we hung out at our local Boys and Girls Club. This was before the movie was even filmed, so I had no idea what it was at the time. Eventually I began to read it too and she and I would talk about it when I finished each book. I wasn't sure why I liked it so much, it was probably because it was the first YA book I'd ever read and most of the content was so new to me.

Things like love triangles were so new, that I had thought that Stephenie Meyer had come up with the concept herself. When I read the other books I never really paid attention to the "subliminal messaging" that was going on between the pages. I say subliminal messaging because, even if it was unintentional, that's what it was and not that many people noticed it at the time. I feel as though there were a few reasons for this, one because too many people were swept up in the forbidden and intense romance to notice the problems with it and second, in my case, might have been too naive to fully understand the rights and wrongs of the relationship.

I think another thing that attracted me to this series was that I, in some small way, wanted to be like Edward or Jacob. I wanted to sweep a girl off of her feet and have her fall madly in love with me. It was a romantic thought that I could actually have a love like this, not realizing how toxic it could be for me.

So I kept on reading the books and during my sophomore year this girl I had developed some feelings for had decided she wanted to read Twilight. Our mutual friend had lent her the first one and I believe I lent her the final three. Anyway, due to Twilight we had developed this bond, even though I never had nor will ever have a shot with her, through this series we had developed a mutual interest over, we started talking and hanging out more, which lead to Twilight having a special place in my life. We actually became pretty crazy over vampires, me doing a lot of research into vampire origins and her doing some pretty disturbing research of her own, such as an Egyptian queen who bathed in the blood of children thinking it would grant her eternal youth, and reading pretty much every vampire book she could get her hands on. I pretty much stuck with classic Dracula for a while, eventually discovering the amazing Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.

As I grew and matured I began to notice some weird things about this series I loved, pretty much how co-dependent the two main characters were. Though it may sound romantic to find a love that's so strong that you literally couldn't live without that person, it's very disturbing at the same time. The thing is, you can't depend on one person for the rest of your life, whether you're male or female. I really just couldn't get over the fact that Bella went catatonic and Edward was going to commit suicide all because this person they had only known half a year was no longer there. I know it sounds pessimistic but at the end of the day the only person you should count on is yourself, not to say you can't count on others but merely that you should be prepared if they do ever let you down.

As Christina said on her blog, Twilight has become somewhat of a taboo topic that is never really discussed without a hush or whisper. Even though I've noticed things about Twilight that are sort of a "turn off" when it comes to reading, I do still have every book because in many ways it holds a special meaning to me. It's what helped introduce me to YA novels, it's paved the way for YA to reach the popularity it has, and it reminds me of a great friend who I still talk to and hang out with.

In the end, I don't want to be the one to say you can't like something just because I don't, but I do want to say the cliche "don't knock it til you try it" because in the end you can't go purely off of what other people say. I was going to make a video about this on my YouTube channel that I've been putting together, but since Christina beat me to it first I thought I'd give her all the credit she deserves and simply write a response. So please, go back to Christina's blog and comment with your feelings if you haven't already, and if you want leave yours below please feel free to do so.

I'd like to thank Christina for being the first I've seen to come forward and share her experiences and feelings about Twilight and recognizing it as something that us as book bloggers cannot just ignore like it never happened, since in some way we might not be here doing what we do without it.


  1. Aww, thank you :). And you've summed my feelings on it too. I didn't notice the co-dependency either, until I had read other books, and I'd thought... this kind of thing doesn't happen. It's not a healthy kind of love to promote.

    We definitely can't ignore that it happened, because a lot of bloggers started reading more because of Twilight... Even if they don't admit it, like you have :).

  2. For me, Twilight was kinda like the gateway book to YA as well. I found VA afterwards and completely fell in love with the beautiful crafted world Richelle Mead created. I realized later the little subtles in the book as well....and I was like WOW. Kinda shocked, yano? Cause it's like....why didn't I notice it before.

    But everything you said is right and I think that it's the same way for a lot of other people too :)

  3. I definitely agree with Twlight being the gateway to YA. For me, it was great when I read it, but then I read other books that were even better and realized the issues with it. Still, I like the story well enough, although Bella drove me bananas with her brooding. Thanks for sharing!