Sunday, March 21, 2010

Former Hater

Several of you mentioned that you hadn't read the Twilight saga and/or that you hadn't watched either Twilight or New Moon. One of you even said you wished someone would "do a good post about why Twilight is so well loved".
Well, your wish is my command! ;)

Let me begin by saying this: When I initially heard about Twilight and met some of its die-hard fans, my first thought was "What a bunch of weirdos! Who the heck reads creepy vampire novels?!" I secretly wondered if they were crazy and scoffed at their obsession with the aforementioned "vampire books". Not only that, but I adamantly refused to read the books for myself or to watch the upcoming movie.

A few months later, my sister's friend accidentally left the book, Twilight, at her apartment, and it somehow ended up at my house. I attempted to read it on three separate occasions, but I couldn't get past the aridity of the first chapter.

In June, I decided to rent the movie just so that I could tell its pushy followers that I gave it a try and still thought it was terrible. After watching Twilight, I concluded that it was mildly entertaining, that vampires weren't evil after all {well, at least not in this series}, that Robert Pattinson was not so bad looking as a vampire, and that all of the scenes with the "non-vegetarian" vampires were ridiculously cheesy. I also felt like I was missing out on a TON of information.

I think the producers tried to keep the movie short so that non-Twilight-loving people would give it a chance. After all, who would watch a 3 hour long vampire movie if they'd never even read the book it was based on? However, I do wish that they would have made it at least half an hour longer. I feel like they cut out a ton of information that would have helped first-time Twilighters have a better understanding of the story and its characters.

Nevertheless, the movie peaked my interest, and I attempted to read Twilight for the fourth time. Suddenly, I was halfway through the book, scaring my husband by gasping aloud at all of the suspenseful parts and staying up 'til the wee hours of the morning, reading chapter after chapter. I couldn't believe it: I was officially hooked!

Our 1st wedding anniversary {traditionally the anniversary for giving paper} was the following weekend, so my husband decided to give me the entire Twilight saga as a gift {something he now regrets due to my love for/obsession with the series}. I read the next three books voraciously, skipping lunch with my friends in favor of reading a few chapters during my lunch break, staying up even later to finish "just one more paragraph", and neglecting my housework. But I didn't care, because the books were just that good.

After reading all of the books, I watched Twilight again and loved it. I couldn't believe what a difference it made! Having all of the details and background information {from all of the books, not just the first one} really helped the characters come to life.

Twilight is definitely a romance novel: not a Danielle Steele type of romance {ick}, but more of a star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, will they end up together??, type of romance. Sure, Edward and Bella's relationship is pretty intense for high school, but if you think about it, Juliet was only 13. Seventeen is a much more reasonable age for such a romantic relationship. Plus, Edward is not exactly a teenager, and Bella is clearly wise beyond her years. So, I can deal with the age issue.

I'll admit that there are some pretty gooey lines in the books, such as whenever Bella talks about Edward's "beautiful face". But I am not a very mushy type of girl, and the romance in these books didn't bother me. I loved how devoted the characters were to one another. Somehow, their sincerity enabled me to look past the silly lines and really believe that they were in love.

In addition to romance, all of the books and movies have lots of suspense, action, and even some humor thrown in.

I hesitate to call the Twilight saga a "thriller" because I feel like that word often gets lumped together with horror movies ~ something this movie/book definitely is not. I am a self-proclaimed scaredy-cat, and often run out of the room with my hands over my ears when commercials for scary movies come on. So, take it from me: this move is thrilling, but it is definitely not a "thriller" in the creepy/demonic/upsetting sort of way.

I also love Bella's relationship with her dad {partly because it reminds me of my relationship with my dad, except that we talked a lot more than they did}. The way Charlie {her father} was protective of her and the fact she respected and loved him in spite of/because of his protective nature was refreshing. Movies and TV shows nowadays seem to paint parents as the bad guys who are just there to be their children's personal ATMs. Although Bella and Charlie had difficulty expressing their emotions, the devotion they felt for one another was quite tangible and heart-warming.

I watched the midnight premiere of New Moon {after attending a Twilight saga themed party with friends ~ so much fun!} and thought it was incredibly well-aligned to the book. Also, if you weren't a fan of the first book/movie, you still might enjoy New Moon because it is vastly different from Twilight. There is a much more detailed and complex storyline, and the film is riddled with action and suspense.

My husband just bought me my own copy of New Moon on DVD {it was released on 3/20} and we watched it together Sunday night. I had almost forgotten how amazing it was! The action, the suspense ~ incredible! What's more: my husband loved it, too!

In Conclusion:
I highly recommend reading at least the first book {the whole book; not just a few chapters} before you completely write it off. You may not love it, but you should at least give it a chance. And if you don't hate the first book, read the second book...and so on and so forth until you are hooked! hehe just kidding. But you never know: you might end up liking Twilight after all :)


s + b said...

very well written! i completely agree. i picked up twilight a few years ago in an airport and forced myself though the first chapter on the plane, but after the first chapter, i was hooked.

obviously it isn't socrates, you're not going to draw a huge moral out of it, but the books are very entertaining.

great post!

Cassie said...

When my sister told me she was reading the Twilight series, I laughed. There was no way I was reading about vampires. Then a coworker was given the book by his girlfriend and wanted him to read it. He thought if I read it and told him about it that would be good enough and she'd never know. Little did I know I'd finish the first three in a week only to impatiently await the release of the fourth. Oh, I feel a sigh from my hopeless romatic self coming on.

Well written, I agree. People should consider giving it a try. Who doesn't love, love?

Beth Dotolo said...

I just finished reading the series less than two weeks ago and I am still thinking about it!! My husband likes to make fun of me, but I tell him he's just jealous because his skin doesn't sparkle in the sun...
But, it's killing me that it's over. I want more!! What's next?? Anyone have any suggestions on how to fill the twilight void?

California Wife said...

I couldn't agree with everything you said more. I really stuggled with the whole Twilight thing until I got into the first book, then couldn't put them down! I am so excited for Eclipse to come out this summer, but am a little nervous about how they will do with Breaking Dawn. It's a little more out there than the others?!

LindsB said...

What a good husband you have for not only buying you the books but the DVD too AND watching it with you. My boyfriend will have nothing to do with my obsession with Edward and Jacob- I think he is secretly jealous that I am so obsessed with them haha.

emily said...

i'm a fan!

McCarthy Designs said...

Hi Natalie, you are starting to convinve me to give it a go! I have an award for you over on my blog. Stop by to pick it up! Love your Blog. xx

Sarah B. said...

I watched the movie first too, then had to read the book, then went back to the movie and loved it. I read the next three in a week.

I really, really like Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, so I'm glad he was always the character in my head while I was reading.

Soooooo excited for Eclipse!

Sharstin said...

ditto sister! I read the books first before I saw the movie--and couldn't put them down! can we say addicting? team edward for sure!

TMB said...

I love twilight!!! =D I havnt read the books yet but maybe I should hehe ... did you ever get your giftcard? =)

M and E said...

Great post! My three little sisters bugged and bugged and bugged me to read Twilight, but I just never got around to it. Then, a little over 3 years ago, my husband and I moved to a new state, and I didn't have any friends or family around, so I went out and bought Twilight and read it. And the next morning, with stayed-up-all-night red eyes, I went and bought New Moon. And then I went to Borders at midnight when the next two books came out. And I've stood in line at midnight for both movies. I guess my little sisters were right!!

MCherie said...

I felt the same way about the book series at first, my best friend made me read them and I was HOOKED. I basically read all books in about three weeks and completely ignored my husband, chores and any sort of responsibility during that time. I loved them so much I was sort of sad and depressed when I was done reading.. at least I have the movies to look forward to!

Stephanie said...

This is funny because I was the same way! I was so against the 'Twilight craze' I never gave it a chance. Finally I gave in and I am obsessed!! I read on every lunch break and stayed up until 3 am for an entire week! Each book took me about 2 days, my husband thought I was crazy! Have you read the draft for Midnight Sun? If not, you need too, its amazing!!

kashya said...

What is it with us grown women? I didn't get it either until I read it and my husband called me crazy. This was in the craziness before new moon came out so they were everywhere it seemed. Everytime they were on conan or late night I was watching, it got to the point that I had to hide it too cuz it was all I ever thought and wanted to talk about to other twihards. I think what makes sense to me why we all fall head over heals for these books is we remember.

How it felt to be in love for the FIRST time and soooo strongly that you couldnt eat and all you thought of was him. It was that all consuming love that when experienced the first time is so wonderful. I love the books I read all 4 in about 8 days. I read that Stephanie Myer wrote the story for herself, a 30ish old women so to say to women that this is for tweens well not initailly.

And aren't we all girls at heart.

Sparrow's Nest said...

I was totally, a too-good-for it scoffer of the Twilight Series. I just ignored all the hype, and wrote it off as "kid" stuff. Then, all the hoopla for the second movie really made me curious to see what was so great... so, as I waited in the airport for my plane, I finally broke down and bought the first one. I stayed up all night reading it, then immediately when I got home, I went out for the second one. In a week, I had read all of them and seen both movies. Totally obsessed! The writing is insane and the stories are timeless. Robert Pattison isn't to bad to look at either. I'm such a cougar!

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