I was sitting at my parent's dining room table eating homemade pizza. Innocent enough, until I opened my mouth. "Mom," I said, "I feel like I need to at least watch Twilight. I've spent too long mocking it without having read the book or seen the movie."
Conveniently, Mom just so happened to have the flick in the house.
So it came to be that I watched Twilight.
I promptly went out and bought the first book the next day.
It was hard for me to admit that I had actually enjoyed this immensely popular teen fiction. When I want to read about vampires, I pick up Laurell K. Hamilton or something similar. I'll have blood, sex, death, sadomasochism, and badass chicks with my supernatural fiction, please. But there was something about the simplicity of the story that captured my attention (and I'm a sucker for a vampire romance... no pun intended).
However, I do have several major issues.
I'm no stranger to Stephanie Meyer - I read and enjoyed The Host, though I thought her origins as a young adult author clung too heavily to her "adult" novel. It had the potential to be truly excellent, but skirted too many deeper issues for me to say more than 'The Host really held my attention, and it could have been really good." I felt similarly about Twilight. The writing felt clumsy and clearly aimed towards young teen girls, yet there were a few moments when it really shone.
I have another problem with the book. Bella bores me. I mean, she bores me to tears. The elements of her character that make her interesting and likeable were completely clouded by her obsession with Edward. Instead of granting her some semblance of independence, Meyer took her protagonist and viciously wrung out all trace of character, leaving her limp as a wet dishrag. And oh my God the teenager angst. I have so little patience with it!
Oh, and can we talk about stalker Edward? Yes, teenage girls, it's romantic to have some guy trespass into your home and watch you sleep.
A quick comment about the film - I thought it was terrible. There's just no getting around it. Robert Pattinson was lovely and actually very good, but the special effects were atrocious, much of the acting was wooden, and the script was painful.
All that harsh criticism aside, the simple truth remains that I did enjoy it - both book and movie. But I enjoyed it in a hey, that was kind of fun sort of way, not in a OMG I love Twilight, it's SO GOOD! kind of way. I feel no pressing urge to run out and get the second book. I feel no thrill of excitement contemplating the release of the next movie. I'm left with that wanting more feeling - not wanting more of the story, just wanting more substance to the story.
I guess what I really want are more adult, interesting characters, and a more adult, interesting romance.
This is why I shouldn't be allowed to read teen fiction.