Reading My Life Away

12 08 2010

I’ve been a sickly little lady this week. I haven’t felt like doing anything that requires real effort, so I’ve been reading pretty much everything that will sit still long enough.

I’m still working on The Stand by Stephen King. I’ve been reading on it for a long time now. I can’t remember ever taking this long to read a book before in my life, and I’m the gal that once read The Royals by Kitty Kelly (which is a big ol’ book). It’s a lot to take in, though. Lots of people, lots going on with all these people… And I’m still not entirely for sure where all this Mother Abigail/Randall Flagg business is going to lead. Right now, I’m too worried over Tom Cullen making it home safe and sound.

Confusing though the book may be, I don’t think anyone else could have written this story so well. Stephen King is awesome like that. Yes, it’s a confusing book, but wouldn’t it be a confusing time to live in?

Because this book takes a bit of mental toll on me, I take breaks here and there to read something “dumb,” which usually means reading something light like The Devil Wears Prada. Rather than read it for the ten millionth time, I figured I would give Twilight a try. How bad can it be?

Keep in mind, about this time last year, I read one page at the beginning of Twilight. I put the book back down and backed away slowly, afraid I would lose brain cells if I read any further. Last year, I concluded the book was written to be read by a five year old, not an old fart like yours truly who has a piece of paper proclaiming that she holds a BA in English. And yet people keep insisting that the Twilight series (I refuse to call it a “saga,” thank you very much) was the most wonderful book series ever written. I just needed to step off my literary high horse (HA!) and give them a chance.

Don’t get me wrong… I don’t sit around reading Hemingway for fun. I despise most British literature. I’m a Harry Potter and Stephen King kind of gal. I’m not snobby in the least. I just expect a story that doesn’t read like it was written for a small child when it’s target audience is “young adults.” Then again, what does that tell you about young adults these days if the books have to be written like this? Hmmmm… a rant for another day, perhaps?

So I picked up a copy of Twilight and began reading it. Sheer boredom kept me reading. I had nothing better to do with my time. If I’d had so much as a game of solitaire to occupy me, I would have thrown the book into a dumpster somewhere.

First and foremost, Bella Swan is a whiny brat who barely has enough brain cells to complete normal human functions, like walking across a room without needing a trip to the ER. I don’t understand her attitude towards her father, Charlie, who doesn’t seem to be a horrible person or parent. He pretty much lets her do whatever she wants with little parental involvement until the next book. Secondly, she is about as self-centered as a person can possibly get. She ignores the fact she’s socially accepted at her new school to wallow in this dream world where she thinks she’s NOT accepted anywhere in the world. Never mind the fact she has no less than three (human) guys throwing themselves at her along with three female friends who think for some strange reason that Bella is cool.

Next comes Edward Cullen himself. I hate him. He upsets me to the point I have to take breaks from the books to go stomp around the room and remember that he’s not real. I think he’s very hateful, bossy, and frankly, just flat-out CREEPY! After reading the book, I thought maybe I was just being overly sensitive, considering my past with creepy exes who were hateful, bossy, and stalkeriffic. I watched the movie in hopes of getting a different view of the bloodsucker. Nope, I was right… he’s a stalker prone to tree-throwing tantrums and making Bella cry during most of their conversations.

“Perfect” and “godlike” were poor choices of words to describe Edward Cullen. I’d go with words synonymous with “angry,” “hostile,” and “creepy.” If any guy–no matter how hot or how sparkly–treated me like Edward treats Bella, he could kiss his chances with me goodbye.

So why do I keep reading the books if I hate the two main characters so much? Easy. His name is Jacob Black.

I love the character of Jacob. Stephanie Meyer must have based him off of someone. He’s one of the very few characters who shows any depth whatsoever. In Twilight, he’s a bit awkward and a little shy, but he has far more clever things to say than just about any other character combined. His spilling of tribe “superstitions” made no sense to me, but eh… I’m sure I was a blabbermouth around boys when I was fifteen.

In New Moon, Edward has ran off on an epic pout-fest, giving Bella (who needs serious therapy) a chance to bond with Jacob. And you know what? I LOVED the parts where Bella and Jacob interacted! They were flirty and teasing, just flat-out adorable together! I loved their budding relationship. It was something built off of friendship, not perfect bodies and dazzling vampire legends. He was the boy-next-door, a childhood friend, and just an all-around nice guy to Bella. I ate that stuff right up!

But as we all know, Bella broke his heart in a heartbeat (no pun intended) the second she thought Edward was back. This goes back to my “Bella is a self-centered brat” argument. She uses everyone around her to gain something for herself. She used Charlie to get away from her mom. She used Jessica to shut Charlie up about how Bella never goes out. She used Jacob to fill the hole in her heart she won’t shut up about that Edward left when he abandoned her. Some people might call this behavior a bit on the sociopath side. She doesn’t show all those signs, but you get what I mean, right?

Well, I’m over 1,000 words into this little rant of mine. As you may have guessed, I don’t like the Twilight books very much at all, yet this morning, I started reading Eclipse. I’m pretty much just hanging in there for Jacob. I want him to have a happy ending. He deserves better than Bella, so I’m hoping Stephanie Meyer introduces a new character in Eclipse just for Jacob. I couldn’t care less what happens to Bella and Edward.

So in conclusion, I will leave you with a quote by Stephen King:

“Both [J.K.] Rowling and [Stephanie] Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people… The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”
Stephen King, February 2009

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3 responses

12 08 2010
wildwoodflwr

Bravo! *clapping wildly* I haven’t read it and I probably never will. But I agree. 😛

12 08 2010
Stephanie

I am just waiting for you to get to the 4th book…

12 08 2010
choperena

Hmmm, Twilight. Yeah. Well, I was in a bookstore last July, and saw the stand advertising Breaking Dawn. I asked the employees, and they said it was an easy read, but a good way to waste some time. I read all four books in a couple of weeks, twice. They were so addictive!

But like you said: I can’t stand Bella and Edward, and I felt dirty for reading them, but I just couldn’t put them down! There is something addictive to them, and I can’t place my finger on it. I very much loved the Werewolves, and Jacob was so real to me. I live in a college town and can’t help but interact with people 10 years younger, who always have that attitude that they have to prove that they can run with the Big Kids. I attributed his need to spill and be a clumsy sort of aggressive in his pursuit of Bella to the same attitude.

Other than really hoping she would dump that sparkly douchcanoe, I read them for the rest of the characters. All of the Cullens had really interesting back stories, that I wish she would have taken more time to explore. And while I really loved watching all the shirtless werewolves in the movies, damn were they terrible! So, so, so terrible.

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