Friday, August 8, 2008

Of vampires and how books about them aren't worthwhile.

I don't get it. Maybe I'm just not romantic, maybe I'm not fully versed in the ever-changing flows of pop culture...or maybe I just don't like the taste of blood. Be that as it may, I don't understand all the hullabaloo with these vampire books everyone is raving about.

Now before you all start jumping on my case and calling for this heretic to be burned at the stake for calling a beloved pop culture icon trash, be it known that I did indeed read the first book of the series...Twilight I think it was called; and I wasn't impressed. Bad writing aside, I just didn't find the story engrossing.

Anyway, here is my explanation of the first book. (And from what I hear of the rest of the series, this is a fair indication of what the rest are all about...though I can't say for sure because I haven't read them.)

In the first three hundred and fifty pages (give or take) there is very little plot or storyline. There's some chick who runs into and falls in love with a vampire. That sounds like it could be made exciting, but sadly it wasn't. It was just three hundred odd pages of sexual tension...nothing more. (Here I must interject that when the 80 year old handsome vampire dude took the 16 year old high school girl into the woods and started taking his clothes off, pedophile-like creepiness aside, I laughed aloud. He was all glittery! HA!)

Anyway, at the 350ish page mark, the story started to pick up and the plot did indeed start to thicken. But then at the climax, when the author was just promising to end the book on a high note, she had the main character pass out and we missed all the action. It was later retold to her while she was in the hospital, but I couldn't help but to feel that it was a total cop out on the part of the author.

Anyway, this novel left me so disappointed that I refuse to read the others and plan on boycotting the movie as well.

And now, as the new book has come out, I've been informed by my "more cultured" friends that's it's pretty much a steamy harlequin-esque romance novel full of sex and intrigue. Yeah, not too disappointed about missing out on that one.

So I've decided that if ever I'm in the mood for a romancy type book, I'll stick with Adam Bede and Pride and Prejudice. Those at least employ a writing style that doesn't make me sick.


  1. I have not read any of them and after what you and Melanie said about them I had no desire. So I don't get it either. You should read Enchantment by Card. That was a good one.

  2. Sam I thought this might interest you-I'm not sure when this happened but sometime in the past someone altered the page for Twilight on Wikipedia. Somehow someone managed to save it before it got changed again, and a friend just sent me the link, of which I now pass on to you. Enjoy.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I felt the same way about the Harry Potter series. I read the first book and wasn't impressed (not to ignore that I did enjoy the movies). Everyone told me that I needed to read the subsequent ones but I have no desire since the author didn't grab my interest in the beginning. I think that is essential. So to conclude, I totally understand where you are coming from and all I have to say is "Stick to your guns no matter what the popular people do."

  5. Haha! I was actually excited about Breaking Dawn to come out but as I read it I was disappointed just like your friend. I would have been better off buying a romance novel at the grocery store...ha! I might take Heather's advice and read Enchantment!

  6. Ha ha ha. I just laughed out loud as I read your post. However, I don't plan on boycotting the movie ... I think it has a lot of potential to be good. It's a pretty compelling story and in the hands of another writer we just might be able to see what happens at the end! I agree--enchantment is great. Give it a go. But nothing will ever come close to Pride and Prejudice.

  7. Yeesh. Everyone who's ever read a book thinks they're a critic. Personally I didn't think the writing was that bad. I know it's not great literature, but it was compelling, cheesiness aside. What I don't get is the double standard. I have read Enchantment--which I loved by the way--but not withstanding that, how does Card get away with writing about sex and nakedness (there's nakedness in EVERY Card book I've ever read and the list is pretty long) and people call it literature, but Stephenie Meyer puts some kissing in her books and all of the sudden they are harlequin romances? Please people. Let's be fair here. You are simply perpetuating the negative stereotypes of female authors with your pontificating.

  8. Oh how I love a book debate. I just wish we were in the same room for it. To expound:
    I enjoyed reading Twilight, despite some things that I thought were strange about the relationship between Bella and Edward. At least when they were getting to know each other, it reminded me of a young, lost girl who is desperate for male attention and throws herself into the power of a dangerous, often abusive man. I know that is not Edward, but that is what it reminded me of. Also, true love isn’t based on how good someone smells or how hot someone is. This is something that bothers me about a lot of romances, not just this one.
    I too laughed when Edward showed his glittery self.
    Twilight and sequels are not harlequin novels. They are romances, but they aren’t a part of that group of literature which reading does more harm than good (as my children’s lit. professor suggested about harlequins.)
    I may, in the future, read the sequels. Twilight was a fun read, and while not a Jane Austen, it gave me a lot to think about. Thanks, Sam for sparking this discussion.

  9. I have to say that after all this, once again I love math. No debate there...

  10. Now I guess I'm going to have to read these books so I can give an informed comment. I love romance novels. But first I have to read the "Goose Girl" books that Maurianne loaned me.

  11. Sam! I loved the books! Sorry the first disappointed you.
    When you're a stay-at-home mom, you have fun reading things like that. Gives some variety to your every-day life rather than just wondering what to make for dinner. haha

  12. Ok so im not a book critic or nothing, and i am only 17, but i have been reading romance books since i was younger, i know most people look down on that but i dont care i enjoy them, shoot me, and twilight is not that kind of romance. its the kissy nothing else type. while its an ok read, its really not a stay up all night thing, and yes i have stayed up all night reading books even when i have school so i do know the diffrence. im not trying to dis twilight but its really not the best vampire book to show you the real enjoyment of some of the vampire books. A good series is something like the ones by Jennifer Rardin, the Jaz Parks series. So enjoy.