Friday, January 23, 2009


Well, I finally broke down and read Twilight. I had never planned to read it, but my 11-year-old daughter checked it out at the library and since it has the reputation of being a romance novel for teens, I thought I'd better read it before she does, just to be sure it's appropriate for her.

Except for Harry Potter, I generally don't jump on the bestseller bandwagon, worshipping the latest popular fiction like a fanatic. And Twilight seems to have developed a following of Star-Trek-convention-like proportion.

So, I had scoffed at the Twilight series as plebeian fluff. I don't read romance novels in general, so the thought of a teenage romance seemed pretty vapid to me.

But, since my daughter wanted to read it, I dove in.

Now, for those of you who haven't read the book yet and plan on reading it, I'm going to be discussing some general content and plot points so if you don't want me to ruin the story for you, stop reading here!

I have to admit that overall, I actually enjoyed the book.

Of course the first half was kind of tedious. Nothing really happened to further the plot and, in fact, I was beginning to wonder if there was ever going to be a plot at all. It was full of adolescent angst and way too much of Bella's "I love him soooooo much, and I want him to love me sooooo much." Okay, I get it already. She's in love. And I swear, if I had to read another description of how perfectly gorgeous Edward was I was going to puke. Yes, he's cold as stone, he's chiseled like marble, and he's got Adonis-like beauty. He's got smoldering eyes and he's ultra-sexy. He's good at everything he does. Got it. Moving on, please.

But, once Bella figured out Edward's a vampire, and we finally got past all the mooning and swooning, there was actually some plot that was moderately amusing and entertaining! Nobody was more surprised than I was because I was prepared not to like the book.

In fact, it was good enough that I'm ready to read the next book in the series and hope we can get to the plot a lot more quickly.

Even though it turns out that I enjoyed the book, I was a little skeptical about letting my daughter read it. Even though Bella and Edward really only kiss a few times in the book, the story is full of desire and sexual tension, and I thought it was even slightly erotic in places, at least for an 11-year-old. I don't know, maybe I'm just overprotective. She knows about the mechanics of sex, but as we all know it's a lot more complicated than just the mechanics. She isn't interested in boys or dating or anything like that yet and I'm not sure how much of that sexual tension stuff she'll even understand. Her girlfriends have all turned into a giggling boy-crazy hoard, but she hasn't really hit that stage yet (thank goodness).

So.....bottom line is I'm going to let her read it and I told her if she has any questions or if there are parts of the story she doesn't understand she should let me know and we can talk about it. Her older brother reads like he breathes, and I often read the same books he does just because I like them, and we like to talk about books together, so my daughter is familiar with this book discussion ritual.

Anyway, I read it and I liked it. I hope I like the other books in the series. And I'm just not ready for my little girl to grow up. *sigh*

If you've read Twilight, what did you think of it?


Angie Ledbetter said...

Didn't read it b/c it's not my cup of tea. Nice that you and your DD share the reading & discussions.

alana said...

Not to be mean, but I thought it was mediocre and unoriginal. I don’t get why everyone went crazy for it.

I did enjoy her other book The Host though immensely.

Embee said...

Angie - not generally my cup of tea either, but it wasn't a complete waste of time!

Alana - well, it's not classic literature or anything and certainly not original, but it was a diversion. Certainly not worth all the hype!!!

Terri Tiffany said...

Bravo for you that you are the kind of parent who is concerned about what their child reads!
I'm not into vampires and all that stuff either so couldn't understand all the fan stuff!

Susan Storm Smith said...

I too am excited to learn that there are still moms [and dads] that will discuss books and life with their kids. I heard enough about Twilight to know it was not going to be my cup of tea either. There was a time in my life when I would have been the first in line ...

But as a review .. it was greally great, not giving too much but thoughtful for mom and mom-testing LOL

Kathryn Magendie said...

Haven't read it and won't - I admit it --I have this really visceral thing about Vampires - just makes me cringe and go eeywwww and feel disgusted...even cartoon vampires - I don't even like count chockula *laughing*

BUt, what I got out of this post is: YOUR CHILDREN READ! YES! YES!

Jenaveve said...

It was pure escapism, and perfect for holiday reading, which is when I got my hands on it. I'm thirty(something) and my teen-angst reading included the Anne Rice novels which means I can enjoy a bit of vampirism in my reading.

While others cringe, I'm raising my hand to say I really loved the dynamics between the characters, the pace was a little jumpy (particularly in New Moon) but overall I thoroughly enjoyed the series and love discussing the themes (good and bad)with others who were sucked in by it.