Twilight, Or, How To Destroy The Foundations Of Literature In 544 Pages
By Giselle Nguyen
Imagine you’re a 13 year old girl. You’re the fat goth one that sits in the corner with My Chemical Romance blasting in your ears, crying about how you have no friends and how no boys will ever like you. When you get home, you jump onto your Emily the Strange bedspread with your laptop and begin to write your own novel, the one where you’re perfect and hot and all the boys love you and the hottest boy in the whole school totally loves you and it just so happens that he’s a vampire, JUST LIKE GERARD WAY. He also dazzles you frequently and doesn’t suck human blood, conveniently, because he’s a vegetarian vampire~~~. You can get lost in this fantasy world where ~*~dangerous luv~*~ runs rampant, and forget that in reality, you’re just a little mentally impaired.
Okay, now think about that whole scenario again, but replace 13 with 35. You’re probably laughing, right? Wipe that smile off your dial, because this isn’t a joke. It’s actually the biggest selling book series in the world.
Enter Twilight, the first novel of the series. We’re introduced to Stephenie Me- I mean Isabella Swan, the protagonist, damsel in distress and the-one-with-the-tasty-smelling-blood. She’s a normal 17 year old girl who goes to live with her dad in a hick town, where there just so happens to be this guy who is like, totally a babe, but omg, he is SOOO mean to her and she just doesn’t know why! Meanwhile there are like, soooo many guys who want her but she’s SO not interested in them and they’re all totally jealous of each other because they want her to themselves!
So it turns out that the guy who’s like, a totally sexy Adonis marble faced cherub carved by the hand of God himself, is a vampire! OMG! Edward Cullen, who looks 17 but is really 107, is the object of this Mary Sue’s affection who just so happens to want to suck her blood. No one else’s, just hers. She’s that much of a babe. He also glitters in sunlight and moves super fast, so fast that he pushes a car off her. Thank you, Jesus! And so the rest of the plot transpires...they’re in love, they shouldn’t be, bad things happen, but love prevails. Until the next problem. Which paves the way for three more books. Dear God.
Prior to the film adaptation of the 2005 novel, the series wasn’t all too popular. For this, I will eternally curse the name of Catherine Hardwicke, director of said film and perpetrator of all hell breaking loose. Sure, teenage girls like their sappy romance novels with the perfect hero and the girl who needs to be saved – but it would be nice if a) the hero wasn’t a moody douche, and b) it was written in a whimsical and captivating way. Instead, Meyer employs the oh-so-handy MS Word function of right click-synonyms on every page, and each paragraph is an ode to Edward Cullen, Saviour of Mankind, Jesus Incarnate. It’s a slap in the face to the idea of autonomy in women, and it’s also a slap in the face to the vastly wonderful world of literature. Simply put – a novel for idiots by the queen of the idiots.
And why did I, in all my cynicism, pick the book up and read it? It’s like watching a train crash – it’s horrible, it’s immoral, it’s disgusting and yet, despite all that, you can’t help but peek through the gaps between your fingers. After seeing so many of my perfectly intelligent friends reduced to piles of screaming, ovulating mush by a glittery vampire pedophile-who-doesn’t-really-seem-like-a-pedophile-due-to-his-chiselled-features, I needed to see what the big deal was. 544 pages and countless cringes later, I still don’t get it.