This article was originally posted on the blog Stuff Smart People Like.
I finally finished this collection of writing the other day. The last third did not offer anything in the way of redeeming value. That being said, I'll just summarize it up with a few main critiques as to why people should not read this book, much less require it as reading in a COLLEGE level class. Looks like the football team isn't the only shameful thing in Columbus.
I can't take full credit for my first big critique. This was first summarized on The Oatmeal's site a couple years ago. That point is that Bella's character is intentionally vague and nondescript. We know nothing about her except that she's whiny, and apparently just sucks at life in general. This point is so blatant that you have to assume that Meyer wrote it that way so that every 12-16 year old girl who listens to Dashboard Confessional and hates life at middle/high school can insert themselves into Bella's character. For the life of me I can't understand why; the only thing worse than reading about Bella would actually imagine beingher. I'd rather shoot myself in the face.
Related to this critique is the notion that Bella is a bit of an anachronism. She has no desire in life besides being devoted to Edward. College? Career? What for? She'd rather be at home barefoot, sparkly, and fat with vampire spawn in her banal belly. Apparently in the Twilight universe, the feminism movement never happened and the image of the 50's housewife lived on. I wonder if Meyer will throw in a reference to Joseph McCarthy eventually becoming president in a future book. But I digress; is this what young girls (and middle-aged women) look for in a female role model? For these women, please read something better, like The Hunger Games. It's well-written, and the lead character actually has a personality that is not hopelessly pathetic.
In closing, I will say one good thing about Twilight. It's actually better than the movie. Yes, I did watch the movie way back when I was trying to be a supportive boyfriend. That's two hours of my life I will never get back. I will also never be able to get the worst movie line I've ever heard out of my head. "Hold on tight spider-monkey." It was almost like they approached screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and asked her "Is there anyway you can make this shittier than the book?" To which her reply was "Are you kidding me, I wrote the screenplay for Step Up, shitty is my middle name, right after Anne."
So, that's it for my reading of Twilight. If anyone has read the remaining books in this series and wants to give us a brief synopsis of each, let me know and we'll publish it. I'm done with this self-flagellation and will not be reading them unless someone pays me a substantial sum of money.