30 May

This is all Stephenie Meyers’ fault.

I started reading the Twilight series five days before the release of Breaking Dawn. My husband knows my affinity for all things horror/fantasy/supernatural, my early adolescent worship of Stephen King, and my thinly disguised adoration for romance so he bought Twilight for me.

At the time, I was on a four-year reading hiatus. Formerly accused by my peers of being a “bookworm” (and not in a nice way), I had become “too busy” to read much of anything. I mostly reread old favorites at a glacial pace. Nothing piqued my interest for a very long time.Twilight changed that.

This was well before the series became the nauseating fantasy love affair of every preteen in the nation. It was before the movie was officially cast. It was before the Young Adult section of every bookstore became inundated with supernatural sappiness. Therefore, I didn’t run into too many spoilers, I didn’t have visions of an unwashed Robert Pattinson and a bored looking Kristin Stewart at the turn of every page, and I didn’t feel a damn bit of guilt over how much I absolutely loved it.

I loved it. Every word, every cliche, every sap-filled line of dialogue, all the purple prose, all the improbabilites (vampires sparkle?! okay!) My husband had to go out and buy the other books in succession, and I was ready for Breaking Dawn on its release day. The story consumed me. To be perfectly honest, I even loved the ending.

Of course, two years later these admissions invite eye rolls at best. It’s popular to love the Twilight franchise, but even more popular to hate it. Women everywhere are personally offended that clumsy Bella cooks and cleans. I can’t even count the number of times the “not real vampires” argument comes up (it might be valid, I just don’t personally know any vampires, so what do I know?)  Even Stephen King criticized it, calling it “not very good”. Not my hero!

But Twilight did do something very special for me. It awakened the sleeping reader in me. I got such a feeling of euphoria exploring an imaginary world again, I wanted it over and over and over. So I started reading…a lot. I read now with a vigor and passion that doesn’t even compare to my teenage bookishness. I started reading outside my preferred genre and above my preconceived comprehension level. I started learning.  It’s become passion, almost obsession.

Well into the hype, I reread Twilight. I can now see its literary flaws. I can now understand it’s issues. I can almost see the absurdity. Regardless, I love it. I’ll reread it many, many times, and I’ll love it just as much. I’ll love it primarily because I’ll always remember the feeling of being revived, of falling in love again, of reuniting with an old friend, pure unadulterated joy.

So say what you want, Twilight was, in essence, my gateway drug.


One Response to “Hooked”

  1. Andrew Johnson June 11, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    I respect your opinion, and its fine to love something bad. For example, I love the movie Hudson Hawk, but it’s a train wreck at best. What bothers me though, is that this woman made a living off of wet dreams and mediocre writing. Bruce Willis at least has other movies that are awesome (Die Hard) but Meyer just has book after book of the same disgusting crap. Like I said, I understand liking something that is horrible, but lets at least recognize how horrible it is.

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