November 16, 2011

I still don't get why they sparkle, though.

This piece on today's The Hairpin actually made me sit up straight and frown. And think.

I have a lot of feelings about the Twilight series, not all of them exactly flattering. I read the first book because I was interested, and it's hard not to follow the phenomenon, because hey, phenomenon. And I'll be the first to admit I owe Bella and Edward and Jacob and Stephenie Meyer a debt of gratitude. The Twilight series got a lot of people reading again, or simply reading more. That's a net good all the way around.

But Bella ... oh, Bella. I had so many problems with her. I wanted to shake her, and I wanted to explain the idea of stalkers to her, and I really wanted to enroll in some kind of course in basic not-falling-down-ness. I didn't like her, although I could sort of relate to her, if I thought about it (and high school) for a minute.

I didn't focus on that, though. Because Edward sparkled, and Edward was bossy, and I didn't much like him, either, so I stopped reading the books.

 And yet, as Sarah Blackwood points out in the piece linked up there at the top, maybe there's more to Bella Swan than meets the eye. Wait, strike that -- maybe the point is that there's not more to her than exactly what we see. Bella may not be the girl we want to be, or want our daughters or nieces or friends to be, but in many ways she is the girl that we were, or the girl that we are, if you're a teen.

What do you think? Where do you stand in the pro/con Twilight debate?

And can we at least all agree it's a little silly that vampires sparkle?


  1. That article was incredibly interesting. I'd never really thought of the other side of things (that perhaps Bella isn't just WEAK, but finding herself, a very accurate portrayal of a girl growing into a woman...clueless and lost and stressed the way many of us may have once been, maybe still are). Perspective is so important, and it's always enlightening to read another point of view. Thanks for sharing, Amy!

  2. Her point that while we're teens, we tend to be more like Bella than like Katniss is pretty well taken, I think. I'm still not a fan of the books overall, but I do get the fantasy that they tap into. I was impressed with the piece.