Ok. Ok. Ok. I know that just by reading the title of the post many people will avoid it.
HOWEVER…I have to do this post because I feel it needs to be said. It has become so common to grind the Twilight Saga into the ground, but the books ARE young adult classics. They helped to change the YA lit game just like Harry Potter, and that contribution needs to be recognized.
Here are the reasons why these books need to be respected for the classics they are:
- They showed YA lit was here to stay
Twilight emerged around the same time that Harry Potter was winding down. Some critics of YA literature felt that once Harry Potter was gone then the entire genre would start to stagnate then collapse. The phenomenon associated with Twilight showed just how wrong they were. Harry Potter created millions of eager YA fans and without Harry Potter they simply wanted something new to grab onto. Twilight was the answer for many of these readers.
- They allowed for YA paranormal romance to become their own genre
Before Twilight, most of YA romance was focused on simple flirtations or people who already had a boyfriend or girlfriend with preassigned traits. The widespread popularity of Twilight showed that teen romance could be just as in-depth as adult romance. It also helped to present the idea of romance being “more” than the real world. Such romance can present the idea of a romance to which readers can relate with real-life desires of love yet distant enough to allow for more excitement in a parallel underworld of sorts. Tons of authors took up the cause to supply paranormal romance to these now eager fans. In fact, many adult paranormal romance authors (like my personal romance goddess Sherrilyn Kenyon) embraced this shift and broke into the YA market.
- They brought the entire concept of romance books out of the closet
It was common for women to keep their romance in a secret place for quite a long time. I knew many who kept it in the closet or in plastic containers under the bed. They would prefer to do this than put them on the bookshelf. Romance was for silly women. Yet, Twilight showed romance could be more than a dirty secret you keep hidden behind a collectible World of Warcraft murloc action figure (true story). It’s widespread popularity resulted in many people reading these books in public without shame. This surge in YA romance caused a ripple effect through the adult romance books, making them more popular as well. I mean Fifty Shades of Grey is a friggin erotica novel (not just simple romance), and it was on the national best seller list. Twilight helped many romance readers to not be ashamed of their love of love and their sexy-based reading habits.
Now for my freely admitting the bad and how I can actually excuse some of it:
- The relationship between Bella and Edward is MESSED UP. He is a control freak. She is a whiny pants. However, their love and the length they will go for each other helps to show truth. Many critics of Wuthering Heights said similar things about Heathcliff and Catherine. Therefore, I am going to defend Bella and Edward with the same tidbit that is applied to Heathcliff and Catherine. It is their LOVE that redeems them. It is their love that makes two imperfect people seem better than they are. Honestly, that is far more real than the majority of love stories people like to tout as the “perfection” of love since most romance and couples are definitely not perfect.
- Bella going comatose for multiple months in New Moon is extreme. Still, I’m going to explain why I think this incident is not what it seems. Most people feel that she went out of it because of her love for a boy. I completely disagree. Bella explains often during the later books that it is not about one boy or the other. It is ultimately about who she “should” be and who she actually is. With Edward she found her place in the world, finally fit into something, finally had friends with whom she could truly connect, and finally knew for certain what her future should be. When he left, she did not only lose him but also herself. How would you feel if you had grown up, gotten through the rough parts of early adult life, found your dream job, your dream mate, and friends you truly enjoy only to lose it all and be tossed back into the mundane world of high school where you have to fake most of your personality just to survive? I would be pretty messed up…probably not comatose for months but it is a book and some exaggeration is necessary.
There…I’ve said my piece. I hope you listened and hope you understand what I meant. If you disagree, I get it. Please feel free to comment on this post because I’d love to hear your beliefs.
Bring It to Life (BITL)!
Make Jacob’s dream-catcher for Bella! This piece is a great symbol from the book that can be an awesome decoration at home.
What You Need:
- Small grapevine wreath
- 4 yards of hemp or twine
- 12 inch suede cord
- Glass beads or charms
- Cut a 70 inch piece of the hemp or twine. Tie one end to the wreath. Then, start making half hitches all around the wreath, pulling string firmly between each loop.
When you get to the middle you can tie on a large glass bead if desired. Trim the hemp or twine.
Cut a 15 inch piece of monofilament. Tie a large glass bead or charm to one end. String additional glass beads or charms on to the monofilament until you have a 5 inch beaded dangler to hang on your wreath. Make four more shorter danglers to add extra shine and style.
Tie all to the bottom of your wreath. Trim any left over hemp or twine. Cut a 12 inch piece of the suede cord. Make a loop on the top for hanging it anywhere you like!