A Guys Response to "The Twilight Saga Books" Hub
When listening about something every day becomes an unbearable burden
We go to Chapters basically every couple of months. I stock up on my police crime dramas and she, my wife, ventures into the ether-world of Jane Eyre-esque (sour women / solemn but romantic men). We lived this for about 5 yrs when a friend of hers introduces her to Bella and Edward.
Now, Jane Eyre is a classic piece of literature. I have even read more than one book from that era. It was a fine read. Not that I am heavily into romance, however, I can see through the writing that it has merit on a best sellers list. I do get characters mixed up and my wife can only help me distinguish them if she puts on the DVD and says "No that guy is Darcy.." (I'm sure all you romantic types know who I am speaking of). And I heard a lot about .. oh.. what the heck was it... Pride and Prejudice. So when she begins to talk about Bella and Edward I am assured it has to be another novel from the same era and filled with all the romance a guy can't handle (or live up to) in today's society.
Little to my surprise, Bella is an almost vampire, a person who so wants to be the same as her partner-to-be. Piqued my interest. After my wife bought all four books I take a gander (a look). She is so happy because now, not only can she talk about this stuff with her co-workers, but she can talk about it all she wants at home too. She has websites saved in favorites about the book, the actors, the movie, she talks on the phone about them, she tries really hard not to tell me upcoming events in the books I am not ready to read yet. She is soo pleased when I buckle and begin reading the first book.
I grew up with a sister and a Mom, and had a fair number of female friends in high school and university, so, when I find out that the main character is 17, I figure I'll know a fair amount of information, be able to connect with her in some way. After all when you are the shoulder for numerous friends while they mend their broken heart, you get the idea that you know what its like (somewhat) to be them. I have never been so wrong in my life. I could not imagine the amount of thinking and thinking and thinking a 17 year old female can do in general, not alone when she is talking. I do not envy up and coming teens, and I bow my hat to those who have outlasted this stage of development, you all earn yellow stars in my books.
So, I read, in dread, in hope that the monotony can end. I swallow my pride because I said I would read it. I couldn't not do it. I had co-workers tell me to "Stop the insanity" whenever the topic came up. I complained and I actually hurt inside from reading this entity called "Twilight". But I perservered. I say this with all the knowledge from all of the books, yes I did read them all. I could not base a decision of not reading the rest based on the simple belief that all 4 books could be as convoluted as the first. I say this as a MAN... not one to have heart strings plucked and tear ducts well up. As a Man I worried. I have a future that contains other little people who will become the Bella's. I fear her head may explode and I will be like Charlie and simply let that happen.
I say I read in dread, I seriously had head aches from the first book with all the thoughts that flew out of her head while she thought, while she spoke, while others spoke... it was a damn busy book. One of the issues for me was that she was the epitome of lame. She was clutzy, and pined after a guy. Neither of these most visable traits in Bella made her in the least interesting (though the movie did a better job to show a more angst ridden female with a tinge of "I don't care" attitude... I just wish the book and the movie were together on this rather than the separate views we have). But it was tooo much for me. Maybe the damsel in distress works for some readers, however, this was not a strong showing of character for Bella... or Stephanie for that matter.
I like short and to the point, and even in my memories of being a teen I know thoughts were always longer because we (teens) didn't know how to articulate them. But this was tiresome. I was so proud of myself for having completed the read. I was not connected to Bella, and Edward...well I wasn't exactly a fan either... but I knew there was more to come so I pushed that aside and started in on "New Moon"
As I let the first book wash off of me ( I had to read one of "my" books between Twilight and New Moon) it occured to me that I had to be fair. Stephanie had written well. Outside of her primary character being wordy, Stephanie did a good job of describing things and people without losing her audience. I liked that. So, with a fresh start I began New Moon. This was a better book overall.
(Forgive me if I am wrong for what is coming up) There is a section in this book that is supposed to be from the perspective of Jacob Black. I cringed while reading these few chapters. Stephanie had created a mirror image of Bella!! She had done such a wonderful job of making Jacob mysterious and 'normal' up to this point. I feel she never really let go of Bella long enough to be able to write from Jacob's perspective. It eeked of Bella's overall desire and yearning, and lost some of the machismo we were lead to believe he had. The distinction between the two characters was not strong enough for the reader to believe how Jacob was developing. I was thoroughly disappointed. But I continued to read... to be fair.. to see how this was all going to turn out.
The story line got better as time went on. The characters were further developed, and Stephanie did not attempt to write in any other characters perspective (thankfully). These next 2 books were wonderful to read, full of action and adventure, and even some primal competition that we men can understand. I again was impressed.
The transitions between books were solid. I did feel they were seemless. It was a big part of my connection to it. I still did not get connected to Bella, no growth in that area for me. I did enjoy the Cullens and the Blacks and all that transpired between the two. And Charlie was great through it all. I don't think she could have portrayed a father better. Not many words from that man but heck he said what he had to.
Then coming to the conclusion of the series, I was again let down. The decision making abilities of this girl were horrendous. I would have wanted to walk away from her and the horse she rode in on .. and I have to agree with Kellan Rice (2008-08-16). "Not only does Meyer give her two characters an obviously unhealthy—even abusive—relationship, but she romanticizes and idealizes it, and not only with Bella and Edward, but with Bella and Jacob as well." ("'Twilight' Sucks... And Not In A Good Way". Blast Magazine. http://psa.blastmagazine.com/2008/08/16/twilight-sucks-and-not-in-a-good-way/. Retrieved on 2008-11-16. As Quoted from Wikipedia). This was a theme throughout the book but between the 2,3,4 books of the series it was a rough go.
I was again let down by the final scenes and decisions made by Stephanie. Anti-climatic it was for me. There was a woman's day feel good ending.. it did not make the grade. It especially dropped off the earth in comparison to the build-up that occured for a book and a half or more. I waited patiently and obsessively for the grand crescendo that did not arrive.
Overall I would have rated the series a 7 or 7.5 out of 10. Again, remind yourself this is from a guy who would rather catch a killer than see romance between them. Take this for what its worth.