A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meyer FAIL: Why Twilight Fails as Literature

Just like the majority of ladies in the world, I was sucked into the Twilight Craze of 2008. I read all three of the released books within a week and was immune to the bad writing because of my love for the story and characters. It wasn't until after my horrendous experience with Breaking Dawn that I realized just how bad the books were.

Here's my initial reaction to Breaking Dawn just after having finished it the summer of 2008:

"So who wants to take a wild guess as to which was better for me?

A. Seeing Batman for the 4th time on Sunday, at the Imax ORB. Reading Breaking Dawn

What do you guys think?

If you picked Batman, you win! Was that predictable??? Well, probably less predictable than
Breaking Dawn ended up being. When asked to describe this book to those who haven't read it yet, I told them it was like watching the movie Titanic, and instead of the boat sinking at the end, it lifted up out of the water and was a space ship, all of a sudden.I don’t think I have ever EVER been so disappointed in reading a book in my life. This book was a train wreck… except that I could look away from it because I was bored with it. It was like she got tired and so she let a fan with half a brain write the last book.

It isn't true that anything is possible in a fantasy novel. You have to have rules... otherwise it's just cheese. There wouldn't be ANY conflict in a story without rules, and therefore no plot, and furthermore no good stories to tell. Which in this case, there wasn't. How many warm fuzzies could there possibly be in one book? It was like surprise happiness, after surprise happiness, to the point where it was just sickening. There was hardly any conflict. Well, any real conflict. Even when the Volturi approaches, there was no fear that something bad would happen. And … no one even dies. There is no loss at all! Meyer has completely gone against the rules of her own world, in this book, more than once. How am I supposed to believe her for the rest of the story when she pulled the rug out from under me in the first hundred pages? It was hard, but I kept holding out hope… it was not rewarded.

The only way a proverbial ‘red ribbon tied to the top of an ending’ feels rewarding is if there is some struggle somewhere in the book. That is the problem with this story. There is no REAL conflict the entire time. Bella gets her way in every single way possible, so the fact that she lives happily ever after isn’t surprising or rewarding in any way at all. It’s almost sickening. And it’s pretty easy NOT to really care either way, by the end, anyway. "

After that, every single flaw that I had been blind to before came screaming at me from every single page of the series. In a desperate attempt to find something redeemable about these books, I started re-reading them. About half way through, this happened:

"I cannot finish Eclipse... it's SO bad. I can't believe the difference in the experience I am having the 2nd time through these books compared to the first time.

Twilight was ok the 2nd time through. I still enjoyed New Moon the 2nd time through as well, despite noticing a bunch of goofy parts. But Bella is getting on my last nerve on every page in Eclipse. I think I actually said the phrase "I want to smear Bella against a wall with a canon," this week.

I am going to have to read
Breaking Dawn again soon.



I want to have hope that
Breaking Dawn won't be utter crap the 2nd time through. But I fully expected to still like Eclipse when I started reading it for the 2nd time... and yet... 100 pages from the end I want to add it to the compost heap in my backyard. So if I re-read a book I generally liked at first, and now hate upon 2nd viewing.... I'm SURE BD will suck more the 2nd time through because it was an abomination the first time! There is no hope!

SM's writing is terrible OVERALL, regurgitated, unoriginal, and cheesy 80% of the series. Turn to any page of any of the books and you'll more than likely find one of these phrases/words:

- “He reached across the table to cradle my face in his hands…” (I SWEAR he does this more than any other being has ever done this EVER. And he does it at THE MOST random times. Like in the middle of a conversation… I mean, seriously… stop touching her face, Edward. It’s gotten to level where I actually picture Gollum pawing at Frodo’s face in The Two Towers movie any time I read this phrase.)
- “I had to remind myself to breathe…” (She does it so often, you’d think she would have died by now.)
- “…a sudden blaze of chagrin.” (I only had to turn the page twice to find a phrase with this word in it…)
- “…my favorite smile…”
- “…eyes like liquid…"

-"... topaz eyes"
-"... liquid topazy eyes.."
- “… porcelain god…”
- “…perfect lips…”
- “… perfect chest…”
- “…perfect Adam’s-apple…”
- “Perfecty perfect perf perf!!!”
- “Hey! Indestructible beings! I’m worried you may skin your knee trying to protect me so I’m going to whine on and on for pages about that, sending the reader to [what can only be described as] the brink of a break down… K?” (Alright, so I ad-libbed that one… But it’s the jist of what Eclipse basically is.)

I guess I just never noticed, the first time through, that there was so much cheese, because I was so in love with Edward and Jacob and wanted to know WTF was going to happen. Now reading it slower and more deliberately, I am seeing a growing surplus of things that annoy me... Bella being #1, followed by SM's tired ways of setting up faux distress and continuing her empty/shallow descriptions of the perfection of vampires. The patterns of bad writing from Breaking Dawn are littered all throughout the series... I can hardly believe I never saw it before."

Needless to say, I stopped reading right then. There was no way I was going to be able to subject myself to Breaking Dawn once again. Just no way! My experiment had failed, there was nothing redeemable about the series for me, after that. In fact, a second reading made it more clear just how GOD AWFUL the series really is.

Twilight has been one of the biggest disappointments to me in my Entertainment history.

Here's a great link to two bloggers having an intellectual discussion about S. Meyer's writing style. Hilarious and right on target. Enjoy.


  1. Haha! This is hilarious! Twilight = Fail. Audree = Win.
    I don't mind the movies, although they aren't great. They're a guilty pleasure for me, too. But truth be told, I haven't made it through even the first book yet.
    As a writer (okay, one that aspires to get published but hasn't yet...) it's always frustrating to see someone so bad at the craft have so much success. Maybe that's the bitterness talking, but still!
    And I agree, I wish someone could take over the series and make it less...disappointing. The dialogue is...not good.

  2. Anyone who uses the word "topazy" in a novel, in my opinion, sucks. And I didn't even read them.

    This post makes me happy. I hope Stephenie Meyer sees it and stops writing. Or gets better.

  3. She's seen so much criticism and her reaction to ALL of it is that of a petulant child. It's ridiculous. She's actually said in an interview that if you don't like the ending of the story, then you must have just not loved the characters enough, because this [lame] ending is where it was always headed. (OK... my bad?) And she also said it was our fault [the readers] that Breaking Dawn disappointed us because we built it up too much.

    OR it could be that you are a terrible writer. The end.

  4. Uhhhh yeah. That's the business. If you can't take the criticism and build from it...then you shouldn't 1.) be doing it and 2.) have opened the floodgates like she did.

  5. I totally agree. Now...if I could just get some people that I know to understand, or at least be open to, this view I would be happy. People who haven't read LotR or Harry Potter but insist that the Twilight Saga is the pinnacle of the literature heights needs to be shot. I still haven't seen New Moon. I think I'm still boycotting. Haha! Great post though, Audree. I love when you bash written Twilight.

  6. Christine SouthardMarch 23, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    I had a friend finish Breaking Dawn in one day and then immediately returned the book to the Barnes and Noble I worked at with the reason that it was the worst thing she had ever read. (I later found out that another person had also returned the book for the same reason.) But no, I tried the experiment as well and actually made it through all four again. And it gets so much worse. Because if you are like me, you read it the first time really fast and don't notice everything. Even Jacob's part got worse. And the movies are still a guilty pleasure. They make me laugh and New Moon just has Jacob.

  7. CHRISTINE!! I returned mine and got store credit and bought a latte and a sandwich with the gift card. It was much better than the book.

  8. Why didn't I take mine back too!!!! Why???? They probably wouldn't still take it, huh?

  9. Try it! You may get a latte and a pretzel instead!

  10. This is hilariously funny and right on target. There are only so many things you can write about a Mary Sue before it gets repetitive... which it did... often.

    There are many, many reasons why BD doesn't make sense, I mean, I can see what she's trying to do but in reality she ending up making a badly written fanfiction. I just don't get it.

  11. Yes, yes and yes.
    The reason I will defend the Saga is because, outside of Edward and Bella, Stephanie Meyers has created these really great characters and this really great world. And she does nothing with any of them. Although I am a Jacob lover at heart, there are so many other great characters. The Cullens, the Quiluetes, even the Volturi. There is SO much potential material there. I know she wanted to tell B & E's story but c'mon. Why create all this really great stuff and then ignore all of it? Breaking Dawn was so bad... I wanted to throw it at someone. I kept screaming out loud "WHY?!!!" I think my husband thought I had lost my mind. But it's Breaking Dawn here. Once I explained all the fail to him, he was a little more understanding. hehe It's just like... worse than the worst fan-fiction I've ever read. Epic fail.

  12. I've thought about this at great length, and I can't tell you why. I've decided that reading Twilight is like being on a really crappy, far too expensive amusement park ride. I subscribe to the school of thought that Bella isn't so much a character as a suit, and you put her on and walk around, and people react to you just so. And you're told this is how you want them to behave. And then you're forced into this ridiculous string of events that you would never think to incite and would never really want to. And you're told this is the optimal outcome and you're odd if you might shy away from the creepy dude who poses a clear and present danger to your life.

    Even when the Bella suit malfunctions and does stupid things and won't stop whining, you keep it on because at least it gets to hang out with pretty people. Then you get to the ending, only to find out none of us would ever have put on the Bella suit if we'd known that's where the ride was going. And all we got for our time and money is brain damage.

    When you think about it, you realize that you stayed on the ride to find out what happened. Not even how the story ties up, but to find out what happens to everyone who's not Bella and Edward. When you try to replicate it, you find the experience isn't all that enjoyable.

    I don't even blame Stephenie Meyer. She's new to the craft. A squirt of water in her face every couple of words, and she could maybe produce something worth the paper. I blame the professional editor who should have known better. Any editor worth his or her red pen would've knocked the series down to a clean 500 pages. 300 to make it good.

  13. ITA with you guys! I am a Jacob fan .... and I was so disgusted with the end SM got for him, it was so unfair, Nessie ...Nessie Nessie a complete consolation prize .... why didn´t you stay where you were Jake at Eclipse and never came back to see that dumb Bella .....and fell in love with someone that could actually love you the same way ... sorry got a little carried away here .

    1. I kinda wanted him to go out with Leah, but I was annoyed how he got Nessie and Bella got to keep her friend and her perfect life.

  14. A few things.

    1. In Breaking Dawn, Bella has Ed's baby, right? Ok, when you first told me that, I had to do a double take because last time I checked, vampires were UNDEAD and therefore STERILE.

    2. Stephanie Meyer fails at LIFE

    3. I saw the books at B&N in their ridiculously large section that has been sequestered off specifically for the Twilight junk, and took a look at the physical books. I didn't read anything, but Jesus Christ on a bicycle those books are huge! How in the hell was she able to publish so much worthless garbage in so many pages is beyond me. One copy of each book has the paper quantity of like three trees. Fuck me, they must have chopped down the amazon rain forest to print these things!

    4. Watching the first two films with my sisters, I can safely say that I don't even know how such redundant and worthless literature is given the time of day by a studio, let alone given a big budget, is kind of beyond words.

    5. In watching the films, I found one or two things to like. The first being Alexandre Desplat's score for New Moon, as well as some of the cinematography for New Moon. I'm actually starting to quite like Robert Pattinson as an actor, still kind of wary of him as a person. Sorry, but Taylor Lautner is just kind of boring to me. Kristen Stewart.... I don't even find her attractive in the least bit, so her acting is made all the worse. Some of the action sequences in New Moon were actually well choreographed and held my interest for short periods of time. Notice how I didn't say anything positive about the first film? That's because it's devoid of any good filmmaking. At least I can find some positive things to say about New Moon

    6. And yet, the films and the books are terrible. How something can have multiple good aspects about them and still be so worthless.... it's kind of astonishing.

    I for one just can't wait for the day when the films just finally go away (after next year hopefully). But when you showed that picture of the trashy vampire novel, it made me die a little inside, because the damage these books have done to literature, feminism, and culture on the whole is so massive and irreversible that I die a little inside every time I see someone buy the dvds or carrying around/reading one of the books. Maybe one day things will be better.

    And Stephanie Meyer still fails at LIFE.

  15. Kevin,

    1. My reaction to this was: "FTW MEYER, Edward can’t cry tears and yet he has WORKING SPERM??? Where is the continuity in that?" And she was asked this exact question in so many words and her response was: "OMG guys you're gross, next question, perv." SHE IS DUMB.

    2. Yes.

    3. EXACTLY. They are SO long and are full of circular conversations that repeat the same things over and over again.

    4. Again... yes.

    5. I AM SO GLAD you like Robert. Keep watching, I know he'll overcome this stigma.

    6. THAT'S just how bad of a writer Meyer is. She has a great story created and wonderful characters that accidentally emerged, but she still is able to screw everything up.

    And it won't go away. Breaking Dawn will be made into a movie, and if Summit gets it's way... 2 MOVIES. God forbid this, but I have a feeling, it will come to pass and the world will end.

  16. P.S. One thing I also noticed is that one of the big issues, like you pointed out, is the total lack of any conflict. But that issue is made worse by the lack of any kind of significant payoff of any sort. There's a lot of build-up throughout the series, evident in each and every installment, but never any payoff. Nothing really happens. It's like watching animals at a zoo that never come close enough to the bars or whatever so that you can really get a good look at them. Every time they get up and look like they are going to come closer, they just walk a few paces to the side or go off into a corner and frustrate you because you still can't really see them. NO PAYOFF.

  17. I do like Robert. He seems like a nice guy. Watching his Harry Potter behind the scenes stuff allowed me to warm up to him, he seems like a nice, fun, goofy guy. But his awkwardness often comes off as being an ass. At least he's not really this miserable weirdo that Kristen Stewart is. And again, I know you love Tay Lau, but to me, you could paint abs on a piece of cardboard and it would be a more interesting actor. He's a nice enough guy, and charming in public. I just don't see any real acting talent in there. Girls just love him because his abs are RIDICULOUS and his arms are huge. But other than that, he just seems like a pretty face and teen heartthrob ala Josh Hartnett.

    And the circular conversations in both films made me want to shoot myself. TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF THE SAME FUCKING CONVERSATIONS. Jesus christ Meyer, can't you think of SOMETHING ELSE for them to talk about?

  18. Check out the TayLau SNL. The skits he does makes his personality stand out a little more. The best skits are the Mikosh and football skits. But his monologue is awesome!! And also the awkward dating skit is great because he talks about Samwise Gamgee. OH... and the skit where they make fun of Twilight and Tay plays a girl is LEGENDARY.

  19. (DISCLAIMER: I'm working on a research paper and don't have time to read the comments and didn't actually have time to read the original post, in all honesty, but I did anyway. With that said, I apologize if I've repeated anyone else's comments.)

    I'm glad you've finally seen the light. I must say, I'm a bit disappointed it took you twice through to see it. I read the entire series in about a week, and it was junk, junk, junk (but hey, so are potato chips, and I continue to eat them). Despite terrible writing -- and I shudder to give it that much credit -- shallow characters, a poorly constructed, empty and predictable shell of a plot and lack of any literary tension, I had an even bigger problem with the series.

    This is not, contrary to the garbage thousands of American mothers and teachers and Bible class teachers are spewing, an example of a healthy, wholesome relationship. I can't even comprehend the stupidity or complete lack of theological grounding it takes for someone to hold this book up as an example of how prepubescent (or even grown-up) girls and boys should relate to each other. Somehow, the fact Bella and Edward wait until they've gotten married to have sex (let's ignore for a moment all the nights Edward sat in her room watching her sleep completely against her father's, and I hope most parents' wishes).

    Chastity, oddly enough, is not the hallmark of a good relationship. But, if we were to take these mothers' advice, every girl would completely abandon her independence -- and common sense -- choosing instead to subjugate herself to a man who is to all appearances somewhat mad. Not to mention Bella goes catatonic(?!) after Edward abandons her. Yes, that's exactly what I want my 14-year-old daughter to do when some cruddy, snot-nosed eighth-grade boy decides he'd rather make out with that other girl who he'll abandon in three days. And let's not forget to throw on some futile hope that he'll come back because surely, my Edward still loves me. He's just doing what's best for me. Oh, Bella. What a shining example of womanhood.

    Hooray for permanent emotional scarring.

  20. Chelsea. Haha thanks for scolding me, first off.

    Secondly, I have agree FULLY with your comment. It's an entirely NEW blog post for me, but I could talk for YEARS about what a horrible role model Bella is for all the young girls who read it. I see it in my class room every single day, these 14 year old girls who are waiting around for their "Edward" when he will NEVER come. If I had re-posted my entire entry about Breaking Dawn in this blog post, you would see another section of my review talking about what a horrible lesson Meyer is teaching young girls and how she doesn't take her role as an influence seriously.

    Thumbs up to you!

  21. This post perfectly encompasses my experience with Twilight. I really liked the first three books, mostly because the characters and the stories were great. But Breaking Dawn was awful. As I was reading it, I kept saying "Am I being punked?" Now, in retrospect, I'm realizing what an awful character Edward is and how these books really are shitty.

  22. THANKS for posting your opinions! I've just recently realized, as someone who has only watched the movies and not read the books; just how ridiculous and harmful Twilight has been. So I've taken up writing an entire blog about it, gathering up "evidence" like this (I'm putting this at the TOP of my link list for now), and trying to get yet another STIR going about this subject. Yeah I know I'm probably fighting a losing battle against the world, ha! In you're interested, I could really use more voices up on the blog and help passing this around - Thanks! Search "ExplainTwilightBreakingDawnEnding" on Blogger

  23. Thanks Catherine! I am very interested to read your post when it's finished! Please share it. :)

  24. This is great! I'm trying to write my own book, and my friend told e that I should read Twilight, because 'it's supernatural magic like the Harry Potter books'. I picked it up, opened to the front page, and immediately gave my dog a new chew toy. A few years later I forced my through the series... I lost a lot of brain cells.