And I hate it.
A lot of people ask me why I hate Twilight so much. Why, when I love P. N. Elrod's The Vampire files, Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and stupid 80's B-movies like "My Best Friend is a Vampire" and "Vampires Anonymous"*, did I spew so much bile over the vampire "masterpiece" that is Twilight.
Well, I'll tell you. It's BECAUSE I love P. N. Elrod's The Vampire Files, Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and stupid 80's B-movies like "My Best Friend is a Vampire" and "Vampires Anonymous".
I hate Twilight because I know so well what good vampire stories are like, and they are NOT Twilight.
Vampires have fangs. Vampires can be killed embarrassingly easily, and so have to make up for it by being crafty and charming. Vampires walk a thin line between human and beast. Vampires crave blood. Vampires personify humanity's darker impulses for sex, violence and dominance. Vampires, in short, ARE FUCKING MONSTERS!
And Meyer has done nothing less than castrate the vampires in Twilight. Oh, sure her "evil" vampires like James are still pretty beastly,** but in a tired, animalistic way. The true terror of the vampire doesn't lie in its monster side, but in its human side. The perversion of the familiar and the safe, of the charming and romantic. This is the essence of the modern vampire: a creature of guile and deception which, and this is crucial, DOES. NOT. SPARKLE!
But Meyer misses the point! Her "vampires" are basically angsty X-Man villains (not like Magneto, more like Stiltman). They're bland and pretty and utterly empty. And, you know, that's not necessarily a bad thing if you work it properly, but then you would be Scott Westerfeld and the book you'd be writing wouldn't be Twilight, it'd be Uglies. This? Is not Uglies.
But the biggest crime, the number one reason why I hate Twilight with the burning hot intensity of 1,000 suns, is because it isn't bad.
That is, it isn't always bad. There are genuine glimpses of real talent, of wit and charm, of actual characterization. The scene where Bella's father gives her the truck is actually a personal favorite. It's beautifully staged, perfectly executed and fun to read. But it and scenes like it are few and far between. I get this painful feeling like Meyer started out wanting to write a proper story, but decided revision was too much work and settled for her rough draft. And the rest of the world settled right along with her. I'm mad that she has such potential and she didn't even try to reach it.
Her characters are flat and lifeless, okay. They're almost completely static, undergoing no personal journeys and learning NOTHING. Okay. I'm fine with that. Let this book suck in an ordinary way, and we can forget the whole thing and move on.
What kills me is that they didn't HAVE to suck! If she had just tried even a little, they could have been great. But being inside of Bella Swan's head is like having a root canal that never ends. She's melodramatic, melancholy, self-obsessed and deluded to a point even teenagers rarely reach. There's nothing about her to relate to. She actually pushes the reader away, something I didn't think possible. Her endless whining and obsessing. If I wanted to read a neurotic, emo-girl's diary I'd surf LiveJournal.
Edward is worthless as a love interest. Aside from being a psychologically twisted, emotionally abusive pedophile...he's boring. I literally have nothing else to say about him because he has no character to speak of! He's empty!
Jacob is lack-luster and awkward, moreso than his age requires. Charlie is virtually non-existant (I consider him the most heinous example of wasted potential in the whole book), and Edward's family are...well they're set pieces, basically.
And yet Meyer's books are treated like legitimate literature. It actually hurts me to see people championing Twilight like it's the next Harry fucking Potter, and knowing that the majority of the reading population is willing to settle for mediocre rather than demand excellence.
What I can't understand is why good YA authors, even great YA authors like John Green love Twilight so much. I mean, Meyer's tripe and books like An Abundance of Katherines are lightyears apart. They shouldn't even be on the same shelf!
And that, readers, is why I hate Twilight.
*Yes, I know "Vampires Anonymous" was done in the 90's. Stay focused, people.
**I did read the book. That's why I'm so full of hate. I know that of which I speak.