Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is the new YA novel that all my adult lady bookworm friends are reading.  At my office four women have already read it and two have even finished the two sequels, New Moon and Eclipse, and are anxiously awaiting for August 2nd to bring them Breaking Dawn.  I am more than halfway done with Twilight, but I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t be reading it.  This book has a disturbing philosophical motif that isn’t suited for males.  To put it bluntly guys, so far this story comes across as a manifesto against sex and pro all those qualities women wished us men had but most of us don’t.  Is this the beginning of a radical movement?

I feel like a spy reading a classified document meant for her eyes only.  Can women really read our thoughts from looking at our eyes?  Are women’s secret desire to have their true love stay all night in bed with them without trying a damn thing?  Is attention, talk and protection all what women really want from men?  If Twilight is a big time fantasy for girls, then boys, all those porn fantasies you spend every waking moment on, are on such a vastly different wavelength from the object of your desires that I think maybe you ought read Twilight, just to learn what the enemy is thinking while you are picturing them without their clothes.  They are picturing you in clothes.  Nice clothes.  Outfits you don’t take off.

Strangely enough Twilight is about vampires and werewolves, which you’d think would be full of great action and thrilling violence, but no.  These vampires all belong to my sister’s Please and Thank You Club.  Like I said, I haven’t finished with the first book, but so far killing and stakes through the heart are absent.  This is a far cry from Van Helsing, and it’s definitely not Buffy and Spike bringing down a house.

If J. K. Rowling had used a female as her lead character instead of Harry, would the Hermione Granger series have had as many readers, and would the working of the magic unfolded as it did for a male point of view?  Is Stephenie Meyer different, a writer revealing feminine secrets unlike most female writers who play along with male fantasies, or does her explosive success represent a large segment that’s pro chastity?

I have to admit that Meyer’s take on vampirism is quite cool, if intellectual, but I’ve got to wonder if it’s just one giant metaphor for male desire, where Meyer ties lust and sex to violence and death.  Edward Cullen becomes the ultimate beautiful male that must control his instinct to kill, which for the average guy is the instinct to get laid.  Now I could be completely off base here, and Meyer will eventually come around to the traditional values of sex and violence that all us guys enjoy and love, but I’m worried how far she will delay gratification.

This is a fun way to review a book.  I can’t spoil the ending because I don’t know it.  I can tell you the book is gripping, full of tension between Bella and Edward, and that women love this story.  I’m not used to reading teen girl fantasies, so it may not be as much fun as seeing into the girl’s locker room, but it might be like having a secret microphone planted there.

Jim

4 Responses

  1. Oh, dear god, no….this is not a peek into the secret world of women! At least, not the world I grew up in. I share many of your feelings (and concerns) about these books and have elaborated on them here

  2. Although I’ve heard good things I don’t really have a strong drive to read them. If I read any of her books it would probably be her latest, The Host.

    I can only speak from my own experience and can happily say that even after almost 20 years of marriage my wife actively encourages as much sex as just laying in bed and cuddling so that wouldn’t be an accurate portrayal of her! (oversharing?!?!?)

    I guess I would consider it somewhat encouraging though that it a teen story that non-sexual physical contact is being encouraged as much if not more than the other. That would be quite a refreshing change from most of the teen fiction I read as a teen and what I have read as an adult.

  3. Please don’t believe us girls all think this way. I’m getting to the end of the second book and Bella has already been swooningly carried by at least four men. It’s just plain weird. Give me Buffy and Spike any day.

  4. I’m intrigued by the idea of including a playlist with each book, but it’s disappointing that Meyer is so unoriginal in her choices. She should turn to indie work — something like “My Heart with You” by The Rescues, for example.

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