I often read books of all types. Especially when a book suddenly rockets into mainstream culture, there ought to be something worthwhile there, right? Then, once I start a book, I have to finish it. That’s why I read the entire Twilight saga. Although I prefer to read a book before seeing the movie, I saw this particular movie first, pulled along by some over-eager girlfriends. As a lifelong fantasy fan, I thought the first book was an interesting read, with many commendable elements. Having read the book directly after seeing the movie, I even thought it was better in print. (Doesn’t that almost always happen?) While I’m not about to ostracize the Twilight books, I think it’s important to have a greater awareness about some of the content.
As the books’ fan following grew into hysteria, I started to hear concerns about the apparent desire young/teenage girls had for similarly ‘dangerous’ boyfriends. I thought people were overreacting, and chalked the situation up to movie stars and enthusiastic girls. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve always disapproved of anything dangerous. I wasn’t “Team so-and-so” crazy or in love with the series, but I still thought the concern was overdone. Perhaps it was because I was a young, teenage girl myself. With all of the love triangles ringing throughout young adult fiction, they seemed untrue to me, but not harmful. Several years later, I read more about the possible perils of vampire infatuation.
I was shocked.
I had always thought that I personally would hate to have all those ‘surprises’ prepared behind my back. Twilight seems to have spawned myriad books based on feeding the supernatural frenzy—including the daring love interest. I knew I wouldn’t like to be in the place of the heroines, having little to no control over many of the events in the relationships featured in these popular books. However, I assumed it was me—that I wasn’t ‘ideal’ girlfriend material. But I was wrong. Whew!
These books can present a very twisted view of the ‘helpless damsel,’ as well as a boyfriend who can’t control himself, can’t leave her any space, and can’t let her make more of her own decisions.
Since I personally had misgivings about these relationships, I just can’t believe I never noticed the total inappropriateness of that behavior for couples everywhere. Given that I disapproved, if I didn’t see the complete creepiness of some of the ‘heroes,’ how many others don’t see it either?