Sunday, November 22, 2009
Team Jakeward - My Twi Confession
So I read a Twilight book... Ok, so I read all of them. It was a journey rife with emotions spanning from self-loathing to addiction to delight. Initially, I wouldn't have touched the books with a 10-foot pole. Then I lost my job and had significantly more time on my hands. Still, committing to 3,000 pages of a brooding teenager with a death wish and a vampire wanting to eat her face was hard to commit to. But finally the peer pressure got to me and I succumbed.
I liken reading the first book to a stereotypical rough first year of a struggling marriage. There was regret. There were thoughts of quitting and in some moments the commitment I made to read it was really the only thing keeping me going. First of all it was beyond redundant. Reading the same things over and over again: how insecure, clumsy and awkward Bella is, her physiologic reactions - i.e. heart pounds, palms sweat, cheeks blush - every time Edward touches her or looks at her blah blah blah.....enough already. We got it the first 37 times. Moreover I was a tad taken aback by the fact that there seemed to be support for the idea that a moody, somewhat controlling stalker for a boyfriend is acceptable. Even if it was all out of love...I've seen that same scenario on Lifetime and on a few after-school specials and it never ends well. And overall, Bella bugged. For me, she was an unlikeable, whiny and brooding protagonist, and frankly the commentary on the plight of the melancholy high school adolescent that feels she doesn't fit in bored me. It's a tired scenario that's been done. About half-way through it I tried to break up with the book all together. But something always pulled me back in (plus I was kind of hoping Bella would die or something in the end so that contributed to me coming back to it) but before long it was over. All in all, it wasn't a bad experience, the writing wasn't anything stellar - easy to see why 5th graders are in love with it. I didn't pull out any profound meaning or literary nuggets to reflect on. But it was an engaging story, even though it was a bit of a slow start.
On to New Moon? Well sure, since my friend had established months before that he planned on dragging me to the New Moon movie opening night, I figured I may as well read it. It wasn't half bad. Not as dull as the first book, though still a little gag me on the lovey crap. Plus I kind of wanted to finally see a little more strength from Bella, but it was more of the whiny, I-can't-breath-without-my-first-love-and-my-life-is-over-and-will-never-be-the-same-again. Ugh. However it was a little more fast-paced and in the end I actually wanted to read the third book, and didn't think twice about the fourth. The third one delivered because there was so much going on that there wasn't time or room for all the annoying crap. The story was fast paced, intricate and a good time. By the end of the fourth book, well I had a change of heart and actually wasn't hoping for her death like in the first book. All in all, would I recommend the read?............yes
Now before you go rolling your eyes and judging my mental state, may I remind you that I am a lit major as well and have been known to have discriminating tastes in books. But sometimes Steinbeck, Coelho, Morrison and Hosseini need to take a back seat. Plus it was nice to finish a book without being completely wrecked or feeling you have stare at a blank wall for a few days to process all the deep meaning. Trust me. It's ok to have some cake with sprinkles once in a while.
The Movie - New Moon
Yes, I saw it. Yes, it was on opening night, and yes, I was pretty much surrounded by 14 year-old girls and a handful of their moms. Yes, I was embarrassed when I found myself seriously lusting over the 17-year old actor who plays a morphing werewolf and yes, I tried to be one of the first out of the theater so I wouldn't be seen. And finally yes, I could be persuaded to go again with you should you want to see it, providing you are a friend or lover. Call me.