I was lacking for reading materials in Italy, and Shaina was kind enough to lend me Twilight, the first book in a young adult fantasy series about a girl who falls in love with a vampire. The series is very popular right now in the US, especially among teenaged girls, and I read the book on a long train ride from Cinque Terre to Lake Como.

I disliked Twilight for a variety of reasons, including bad plot, bad dialogue, bad pacing, and bad character development. I was additionally concerned about what I felt was a borderline abusive relationship between the female protagonist and her vampire boyfriend. According to a post on Yahoo! Answers (contains spoilers), the theme of emotional abuse only intensifies in the later books.

As if I needed another reason to avoid reading them.

3 replies on “Twilight”

  1. I can agree with much of your assessment of Twilight and have not intention of speaking in its defense (although I also have to confess to also liking parts of the later books). Neither of us is a twelve-year-old girl and thus we are just not in the target audience. However, I was surprised that you found it noteworthy that there is an abusive relationship. It is a vampire book: of course there are some sado-masochistic overtones. All of gothic literature is predicated on such relationships and the tension they create (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Dracula…) It is a convention of the genre. Although Bella wreaks havoc on all sorts of lessons about female empowerment that I would love to teach my middle school students, the abusiveness of her relationship with Edward is not just excusable but necessary for it to be what it is.

  2. I want to use Buffy as a counter-example but refrain because I don’t want to spoil things for one or two readers who will eventually watch it. I’m not overly familiar with most of the classic vampire lit. I guess Edward’s abuse might be fine if Bella would ever stand up to it in the least. Something like this inappropriate (and very not safe for work) Twilight “deleted scene” from CollegeHumor could maybe snap her out of it. 😉

  3. Ok, having read all of the “this book is terrible!” and “I’m 12, I love this book!” comments on the Yahoo Question, now I kinda want to read it… y’know, just to see for myself!

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