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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Love Twilight. Get Over It

Still accepting entries for a kissing scene. 

Until then, consider the following an opinion post.


Opinions matter. I know cuz I have one. And it matters to me. Whether others agree with my opinion can matter also, but it isn’t necessary. I go my own way. Follow my own path.

Reading Twilight was a life-changing experience, magical and personal. If Twilight didn’t trip your trigger, then I hope you experience this kind of magic at some point in your life, one book that sets you on fire.

So you didn’t like Twilight. That’s okay by me. I know you have your reasons. Maybe you thought the writing was bad, but what debut author doesn’t make mistakes? Poor role model for girls? Disagree fervently. Movies were junk. Er...agreed. But that’s not the reason to hate the books.

I’ve had my share of “meh” books. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did nothing for me. I thought Ender’s Game was just an okay book. The Harry Potter novels were enjoyable but nothing I need to read again. Fifty Shades was a strange trip down the literary road and not one I need to travel again. I gave it a four-star review for the basic storyline. The bad writing made me think of a person falling down the stairs. Over and over.

Honest reviews aid the writer and the public. Comments that begin with, “I have not read this book”, followed by a review defies logic. Or this Harry Potter review: “I didn’t read it but the Church says it’s satanic.” *headdesk*

Don’t like the author? So what? “I wouldn’t waste money or time on this author”, but here is my one-star anyway.
Does the anonymity of social media contribute to this phenomenon? Give nasty-minded people the freedom to sack and pillage like Attila the Hun?  Some feel they can. An excellent post by Nathan Bransford details these problems
Hating never gives pleasure. It only hurts. Not only the recipient but the giver as well. What person can stand poisonous, unkind comments? Not Stephenie Meyer apparently. Even after her success, foul words do hurt to the point that “...Twilight isn't the wholly positive place for me that it once was.”

Now darn it, when vile remarks cause an author to avoid writing, that is just plain sad. Cruelty has no place in this business.

So you don’t like Twilight. I applaud your opinion. Nothing wrong with an honest review. That’s all anyone can ask, authors and readers.

And that’s all it should be. An honest, civil review.


Patchi said...

I totally agree there is magic in the Twilight Saga. I couldn't put it down once I started and, as I got on board late, the only book I had to wait for was the last one.

I found the same kind of magic in the Harry Potter series, which I am now reliving by listening to my son and husband read it aloud to each other.

Some books are like that, but that kind of magic is a personal experience. My mother loved Fifty Shades for exactly the same inner dialogue reasons that made it impossible for me to get past the second chapter.

People just need to go out and find the kind of magic that works for them instead of criticizing what works for other people. The kind of magic that will keep them reading into the night.

This past year only 2 books kept me up past midnight: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher and The Binding Stone by Lisa Gail Green. But the year isn't over and my TBR pile is waiting.

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

The magic of reading shouldn't be curtailed. Not the reading or the writing.

Some books I don't care for. But by all that is holy, I would never want the author to stop writing *just* because I didn't like their book.

It's gotta be herd mentality when it comes to throwing rocks. I cannot believe how vicious it is. A FB page highlighting fantasy books books continued to slime Twilight. I had to give them up. It was too much.

The magic of finding a life-changing book is rare enough as it is.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Twilight is a funny one for me. Looking back on it, there were things I didn't like. I am not a huge fan of Bella. However, I read all the books! Obviously she had me caring enough to read them all, one after the other.

Liz Blocker said...

This is why books are great :) We can disagree - I loved the HP books and Ender's Game, for example - but what really matters is that a book or a series fires someone's imagination, inspires them, moves them. We're all different; why wouldn't our reading preferences be different?

I couldn't put the Twilight books down. The premise and ideas were incredibly creative. For these two things alone I give Meyers a LOT of credit and respect. I thought the writing was a little weak, and some of the sub-plots were contrived. That's just me.

And yes, the movies stunk. Not her fault, though.

Charity Bradford said...

I enjoyed the Twilight series. I've only read them once and the Harry Potter books multiple times, but I don't think loving one has to diminish the enjoyment of another.

As Liz mentioned, that's the beauty of books. We have the option to read different things to match our mood. Goodness knows my mood shifts as often as the wind. :D

Robin said...

It is really sad that all of the hateful things said about Twilight has caused the author to not enjoy that "world" anymore. Wow. Are people so unaware of the power of their words?

I know that I liked Twilight better before I saw the movies. I tell myself that I ALWAYS like the book better, so this is not a surprise. It has been difficult since there are SO MANY movies to not allow them to taint my original view of the story... which I loved.

Maybe authors simply shouldn't read the online reviews. Or maybe we'd all be better off if sites like Amazon and Goodreads disallowed people from leaving ANY review. Simply allow the reader to decide about the book based on the blurb.

Obviously, I don't have the answers. But you have raised a legitimate question!

Crystal Collier said...

Yes, I like Twilight. And yes, I'll stand by it--minus the sparkles.

Seriously, the old adage applies: If you can't say something nice... At least, that's the approach I take with books.

Darth Lolita said...

o_e I didn't like Twilight because it detailed an abusive relationship yet was being marketed toward teenage girls as being a one true love story. If Stephenie Meyer can't take legitimate criticism then she should have never published the books. If I find something offensive or triggering or downright harmful, I have the right to express my views without fear that the poor author will hear and be sad. And I care about literature too much not to express my opinions regarding it, especially when fiction is so closely a representation of our culture. I don't like the message books like Twilight send--mainly that manipulative, abusive men have all the agency over a woman, and so I want to be able to speak and converse about such a thing.

People don't have to agree. You can like the books as much as you want. But "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all" should never even brought up. We're grown adults here, I think we're allowed to have some criticism regarding the literature of our generation.

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

@Rachel: If Rowling writes another HP book, I'll be first in line. It's re-reading them that doesn't interest me.

@Liz: The movies did stink. Strange but it is the opposite with the HP books. Loved the movies, not so much the books.

@Charity: How do people live without reading? Talk about baffling.

@ Darth (love the name) Lolita:
I agree that if a writer can’t take criticism/rejection, they should quit this business. But poisonous remarks have no place in reviews. This isn’t about “...some criticism...” This is about vitriol. Personal attacks.

Meyer has taken a lot more abuse than merely folks critiquing her books. And it comes from many sources. After a while, don’t you think enough is enough?

I’ve given one star reviews when I felt the book was horrible. One YA by a very famous author was indeed harmful to youngsters in my opinion. But I didn’t spit on the author. I didn’t hurl abuse. I didn’t make nasty references to the author’s childhood, religion, or sanity. I simply wrote a civil opinion.
To another point I made, I assume you agree that reviewing a book without reading it is completely asinine.

Liz A. said...

I've never read the Twilight saga. I have this thing against vampire books.

But I will always appreciate them. Because one day at the high school where students who are in danger of not graduating go, a few girls got into a Twilight conversation. In an English class.

I wonder if it was the first book that the one girl had ever gotten into. She was raving to the others, extolling them to read the book. A fairly thick book if memory serves. And a couple of the others were part way into the series but still working their way through.

These are students that normally do not read. You ask them why, and they tell you reading is boring. Twilight changed that for a few girls. So, for that reason I will appreciate it.

Charity Bradford said...

Liz that sums it up perfectly! If it gets people to read that wouldn't normally read then it is worth every piece of paper it's printed on.

Katie Hamstead Teller said...

I completely agree! I'm not a twilight fan, and I get a good giggle from the teen girls who go bananas over it, but trashing is just mean. I've been on the receiving end of fierce reviewer rants and you're right, it hurts. It makes me doubt myself and my love for storytelling. Every story has it's strengths and flaws and nothing is perfect. I respect the raw talent and the heart and soul Meyer poured into those books, even if I don't like them.
So bravo for speaking up about these review bullies! Because that's all they are; Bullies.