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Do I really have to read Twilight, really?

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I used to try to tough it out through books that weren't thrilling me, thinking, "It has to get better."  I've stopped doing that.

You only have to read Twilight if you want to write a YA vampire book. (So you don't repeat what's already been done.)
#31 - October 30, 2009, 10:08 PM
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I used to try to tough it out through books that weren't thrilling me, thinking, "It has to get better."  I've stopped doing that.

I do that, too. I'm also trying to stop. I actually put a book down last night and don't intend to pick it up again. A first for me.

:hiding I loved Twilight  :hiding

LOL! It's all right to love Twilight. Millions of people do. Here, I'll give you a cookie if you come out from under there!  :cookiemonster

thanks to everyone for weighing in on this.


#32 - October 30, 2009, 11:31 PM
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I don't think you have to read anything, but I agree with the ones that say it maybe good just to understand why people like it.  As for me I haven't read them and there is a good chance that I never will.  Nothing personal against the books or the author, I just have a vampire phobia and avoid anything with it like the Plague.  The only book of vampires I ever tried to read was Dracula and I couldn't sleep for a week.  I do know enough of the story line and plot because my oldest daughter read it and my best friend too, but looking at it brings me the chills. 
#33 - October 31, 2009, 06:57 AM

Really? A vampire phobia? This fascinates me.

People are so fixated on vampires as silly Halloween creatures or sexy, Anne Rice-ish creatures that it never occurred to me they  could be creepy.

I have bed bug phobia-- so hey, they're the bug version of vampires, aren't they?
#34 - October 31, 2009, 08:21 AM
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if you want to read some great books with paranormal characters, then read Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. I am addicted.  (the HBO series TrueBlood is based on theses books)  They aren't YA (because they have lots of s*x in them-don't know if I can say that on here) And the first few were written before Twilight.

Okay Artemesia, I'll take a cookie.  Just has to be gluten-free.   :cookiemonster

Happy Halloween everyone!  :bat  :bat  :bat  :bat  :bat  :bat  :bat  :bat  :bat  :bat
#35 - October 31, 2009, 09:42 AM
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Really? A vampire phobia? This fascinates me.

People are so fixated on vampires as silly Halloween creatures or sexy, Anne Rice-ish creatures that it never occurred to me they  could be creepy.

I have bed bug phobia-- so hey, they're the bug version of vampires, aren't they?

My friends think it's hilarious. Last week I had a person that came to a Halloween Party dressed as a vampire and he was behind me and asked me something, when I turned around and saw him, I shrieked.  :faint I don't mean a little screech, I mean running out screaming.  :drumfingers I'm think he almost died laughing.  I find the whole concept sinister and creepy. I tell you if ever see anyone with fangs the last thing I'm going to find them is sexy. *Shudders* Great, now I'm going to be all creep out every time I open the door.     

Happy Halloween!  :blackcat     
#36 - October 31, 2009, 10:08 AM

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Really? A vampire phobia? This fascinates me.

People are so fixated on vampires as silly Halloween creatures or sexy, Anne Rice-ish creatures that it never occurred to me they  could be creepy.

I think I liked vampires better when they were creepy. I loved creepy vampire books when I was a kid. 'Salem's Lot scared the bejeezus out of me!  

LeStat was creepy, but in a 'that guy gives me the willies' kind of way.
#37 - October 31, 2009, 10:12 AM
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I read it because the hype made me curious.  I didn't regret it either, because I found it entertaining.  It's not great literature, but it's a fast, action-packed read.  I might read the rest of the series, but there's no urgency to do so.  There are so many books out there that are equal to or better than it.  Read what you want when you can.
#38 - October 31, 2009, 10:56 AM

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I read it because the hype made me curious.  I didn't regret it either, because I found it entertaining.  It's not great literature, but it's a fast, action-packed read. 

Ditto for me. The story was intriguing enough to make me turn the page, but the writing is poor, IMHO, and I cannot abide the message she's sending to teen-age girls - essentially, it's okay to love a guy who might hurt you.
#39 - October 31, 2009, 12:20 PM

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Okay, I have to step in, because I'm sort of goggling. I am *not* going to say what my opinion of the Twilight books are (some people here maybe already know). I *am* going to say that I am kind of shocked at the blueboarders though. If Stephanie had been one of us, there is no way this thread would've gone the way it had. The overall tone is negative, dismissive, and critical of her writing, with some folks saying negative things without even reading the books. Not at all related to the question.

Again, I am not going to say anything about my opinion of Twilight. But I do think that on this board, which is a supportive writing community, we normally treat authors better. Does the fact that Stephanie Meyer is now a huge name mean that we can now come in and call her books poorly written crap without reading them or after a 10 minute read through? No way would we do that to anyone else! I don't believe in censorship, but there are nicer ways to answer the question.

/end preachiness

And my answer: you don't have to read anything you don't want to. There are a lot of summaries if you're curious about the plotline, lots of clips of the movie if you want to see what Robert Pattinson looks like undead, and plenty of reviews out there that give you the general gist of it. I will say that as someone who does a lot of school talks, knowledge of Twilight really helps prompt discussion with teens. And as a paranormal writer, I did feel like I had to read it.
#40 - October 31, 2009, 01:06 PM

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My friends think it's hilarious. Last week I had a person that came to a Halloween Party dressed as a vampire and he was behind me and asked me something, when I turned around and saw him, I shrieked.  :faint I don't mean a little screech, I mean running out screaming.  :drumfingers I'm think he almost died laughing.  I find the whole concept sinister and creepy. I tell you if ever see anyone with fangs the last thing I'm going to find them is sexy. *Shudders* Great, now I'm going to be all creep out every time I open the door.     

Happy Halloween!  :blackcat     

There's a local radio personality who has that phobia.  I live in FL, and Busch Gardens's Halloween gig was vampires this year (House of Vayne - vampires and fashion lol).  Anyway, she knew they were coming in, that they were actors, the whole nine yards.  She even prepped herself and they waited for her say-so before coming in.  She screamed and was sobbing when they entered the room.  Poor thing.

Anyway, I really liked the Twilight books, so...
#41 - October 31, 2009, 01:18 PM
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If Stephanie had been one of us, there is no way this thread would've gone the way it had. The overall tone is negative, dismissive, and critical of her writing, with some folks saying negative things without even reading the books. Not at all related to the question.

Thanks for weighing in, Maggie.

I do think the responses are related to the original question, since the OP is reluctant to read the Twilight books due to negative press about the quality of the writing. As with any question posed to the BB public, you'll find a variety of opinions, but I don't feel that anyone is bashing the author personally, which is where we draw the line as administrators and moderators.

That said, I agree with you that most of those who posted negative comments about Stephenie Meyer's writing may not have if she were a member here--not because they wouldn't have been *allowed* to, but simply because that's the nature of getting to know people via message boards such as this one.

Back to the original question...

I flew through TWILIGHT and stayed up late finishing it.

I, too, had been curious as to why the book appeals to so many people from so many different walks of life. Some of the writing flaws were akin to speedbumps throughout the story for me, yet, at the end, I couldn't put the book down for fear of leaving Bella in the lurch. :)

Although the romance seems to be the part the draws many readers through these pages, I'll admit that I didn't see what the initial attraction was between the two. It felt like they just sort of fell madly in love when I blinked and I missed it.

I haven't read the other books, although I still would like to after reading the teaser first chapter of NEW MOON at the end of TWILIGHT. I will check them out from the library, however, vs. buying them at the bookstore.

#42 - October 31, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Read the next ones, Natalie.  These books, for me, were a  :star2 fun escape  :star2, at a time when I really needed an escape from my very stressful job as a teacher.
#43 - November 01, 2009, 08:01 AM
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This is a 12 step program? RIght? No, im not paid by Stephenie Meyer. I avoided it too. Being a snob i guess. It kept staring at me too. It was everywhere. So....I read one, And I read the whole series in 2 weeks...neglecting laundry, children...my own writing. I am afraid I love Edward Cullen, not Bella. It's embarrassing to admit---but true. And we should be honest, right?
ronna
#44 - November 02, 2009, 03:20 PM

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and respectful ;)
#45 - November 02, 2009, 03:25 PM

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This is a 12 step program? RIght? No, im not paid by Stephenie Meyer. I avoided it too. Being a snob i guess. It kept staring at me too. It was everywhere. So....I read one, And I read the whole series in 2 weeks...neglecting laundry, children...my own writing. I am afraid I love Edward Cullen, not Bella. It's embarrassing to admit---but true. And we should be honest, right?
ronna

I'm with you on the Edward Cullen love....and I don't mind admitting it, either, LOL! :love

I even own a t-shirt that says "Bite Me" in big letters, and then under it, in smaller letters, "Edward only, please."   Luckily, my children aren't really old enough to be embarrassed by me wearing it.  Yet.
#46 - November 02, 2009, 05:04 PM

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I wasn't going to read them - too much hype - but a couple of the girls who work at the gym I go to insisted. And, since they're bigger & stronger (just kidding!) they actually brought me their copies of the books so I would read them. I raced through Twilight, was a little bored by New Moon, really liked Eclipse (I'm on the Jacob side of the equation) - and have Breaking Dawn sitting on my credenza at work where it's been for a few months now. Just couldn't get into it. Partly, I'm sure - because I know how it's going to end. But, I'm glad - like Maggie said - that I have the info, since I write YA, I need to be able to carry on a conversation with them about what they're reading.
#47 - November 02, 2009, 05:12 PM
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I'm with you on the Edward Cullen love....and I don't mind admitting it, either, LOL! :love

well i have teen boys-you do the math. Im rather obsessed. LOL. and julia sorry. I am so team edward ;) My girlfriend and I have a date to see new moon. Yes, it was campy and hilarious, and i still loved it!!! also...i dont know how to quote yet LOL


#48 - November 02, 2009, 05:26 PM

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I reluctantly read the series -- really to see what they hype was all about, and because my sister insisted -- and found myself enjoying them (except Bella, whose constant whining was too close to my own kids to provide the escape I long for in my books! And for the record, I enjoyed New Moon and Eclipse the most of the four.).  I'm glad I took the time to see what it was all about, to discover what was appealing about them. And, as I said, I mostly liked them.  As far as the writing goes, the series was a fun read, for the most part.  A good, fast tale.   Often, that's what we all want in our writing, to tell a good story.  Was it perfect prose?  No.  Does that mean they're worthless?  I don't think so.  I'm re-reading Stephen King's ON WRITING, and he seems satisfied to be a fantastic storyteller above all, and doesn't seem to mind that some people think he's an overpaid hack.  I remember a college writing prof of mine ranting about the horrible quality of his writing.  He's still one of my favorites.  And, whatever anyone thinks, Stephanie Meyer will be a favorite of her fans.   She told a pretty good story with that series.  Will Twilight be studied alongside To Kill a Mockingbird in English classrooms across the country?  Probably not.  Does that make the series less, I don't know, valuable?  I hope not.  If it does, what does that do for the rest of us storytellers?

To the OP, it's up to you.  Will the YA community run you out if you don't read Twilight?  I doubt it.   Don't read it because of the hype -- and don't NOT read it because of any negative reviews. 

Wow. That was like $0.12.  Sorry!
#49 - November 02, 2009, 06:35 PM

I read it and loved it.  I got all the books for Christmas last year and read through them all within a couple of weeks.  I really enjoy them, although there were some areas that weren't the best, overall I was very happy and have actually read them a couple of times. :frog
#50 - November 02, 2009, 06:40 PM

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What Maggie said.

I read all four of the Twilight books, plus Lisa Albert's bio of Stephenie, and I'm very glad I did. I considered it all "must" professional reading, not necessarily recreational reading because the series is now part of the popular culture, it's written for the age group I want to publish for, I felt I needed to understand what appeals to people that age and at least know who the main characters are and what up with Forks! I'm going to watch the movies, too, for the same reason.

Plus, when someone in my freelance group was trying to act cool and wrote, "As Edward Cullen would say, we're "always looking for new blood," I was able to pounce right away with "No, Joel, Edward Cullen would NEVER say that."

It was worth every. single. page.
#51 - November 02, 2009, 08:12 PM

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And as far as the movie goes, it was slated for production with a B-movie budget before anybody realized what a hit the series was going to be. So if it looks cheezy, part of the reason is a cheezy budget. The next movie will have a much bigger budget and probably a lot better production values.

ETA: Cheesy? Cheesey? Cheesie? Cheezie? You'd think, living in Wisconsin and all, I'd know these things...
#52 - November 02, 2009, 08:16 PM
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 09:55 AM by AnneB »

I love this thread. Until now, I thought I was the only person who just didn't want to read Twilight. Okay, not the ONLY one, but, well, you know...
Anyway, I did read it and while I could not get into the story, I did like the writing.
Immediately after reading this, a friend persuaded me to read the southern vampire stories. I tried one & really didn't like it. I mean...at all. Then I watched True Blood - which I now liken to a train wreck phenomenon. You know...where you just have to turn your head even though you know you're not going to like what you see.
Anyway, Back to the Twilight series. I'm not sorry I picked it up. It wasn't exactly wasted time. More like research. I won't read another one, though.
#53 - November 02, 2009, 11:56 PM

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Like many writers, I read the first book simply to see what teens were getting so worked up about.  By the time I closed the book a few days later (which was very fast for me!), I got it.  The story completely pulled me in and was much more suspenseful than I had expected.

Personally, I'm almost always disappointed by the books multiple people tell me I simply must read.  But that wasn't the case at all with Twilight.
#54 - November 03, 2009, 01:32 AM

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There's a local radio personality who has that phobia.  I live in FL, and Busch Gardens's Halloween gig was vampires this year (House of Vayne - vampires and fashion lol).  Anyway, she knew they were coming in, that they were actors, the whole nine yards.  She even prepped herself and they waited for her say-so before coming in.  She screamed and was sobbing when they entered the room.  Poor thing.

Anyway, I really liked the Twilight books, so...

I bow to her braveness! How horrible... I live in Orlando Florida too and I'm glad to know that Bush Gardens has that, just so I can avoid it.  I don't go into hunted houses (Disney being the exception) because I'm afraid I will find one inside and I'll have a nasty accident.  :ahh
#55 - November 03, 2009, 04:34 AM

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A couple years ago -- right abut the time the books were really taking off --  I made it halfway through the audio edition before I realized I wasn't engaged with the story or the characters. Didn't hate it -- just didn't care enough to listen to five more discs. Still don't. So while I'm not an official Twilight-hater, I am guilty of rolling my eyes now and then at the whole swoony phenomenon. But my BFF, who reads everything from Alexandre Dumas to Nicholas Sparks LOVES the entire series.

My point (if I even have one) is there's no predicting whether the books will capture you or not, so you might as well try one. But if you don't like it, don't feel guilty about walking away. Everything isn't for everybody.
#56 - November 03, 2009, 05:22 AM

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I bow to her braveness! How horrible... I live in Orlando Florida too and I'm glad to know that Bush Gardens has that, just so I can avoid it.  I don't go into hunted houses (Disney being the exception) because I'm afraid I will find one inside and I'll have a nasty accident.  :ahh

hahaha!  I live in Maitland...
#57 - November 03, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Interesting thread!

On Twilight - I started the book, twice. I didn't hate the writing, though some of it was pretty bad, I read a lot of mainstream bestsellers with worse writing. Essentially, Meyers writes in a very simple, readable manner, perfect for a big book that appeals to a lot of types of readers. My problem was the story. I love the area it takes place in, but I didn't feel she captured it at all and her characters just didn't click with me one bit. Granted, I'm definitely not in the target market for this, so that's probably not a surprise. I started it both times (Making it over halfway through...both times...) before the hype machine exploded, but I don't feel a bit bad about not going back. Maybe if I wrote that genre, I'd consider reading them as market research, but luckily, I'm cleared there.

On other vampire books - My wife loves the True Blood series on TV, she watched them in a marathon session of blood and sex, but she tried the books, which I owned the first couple of, but hadn't read yet, and really disliked them. I read the first after her and agreed with her impression of Harris, the author. We're pretty sure that she wrote Sookie as what she wishes she could do - lots of sex, blood, and most importantly, the ability to get gossip from anyone, whether they were sharing or not! I might read the rest eventually. I love Dracula, and I'm intrigued by the new book about him that's coming out. I highly recommend The Strain to anyone that likes a darker take on vampires too.

On Meyer herself - My problem isn't with her writing, like I said, I'm not her target audience. What I do love about her though, is that her success has allowed a lot of great authors to get published where they couldn't have before. It's inspired people that never touch a book to read and some to try writing. That is very cool.
#58 - November 03, 2009, 11:28 AM
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 08:55 PM by Avalon Ink »

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I have to agree with what Florence has said. If Stephenie Meyer were a blue-boarder, I would certainly NOT weigh in with negative comments as I have done here. I genuinely could not stand Meyer's books (and I'm fairly easy to please), but I see Meyer as on such a rarefied plane of writer fame that I did not hesitate to give my honest opinion. I also can't imagine that anything negative a relative nobody wrote might hurt someone whose books are so extensively read and loved -- and are such a commercial success.

When we went back to Scotland in June, I met the daughter of a friend who DOES NOT READ. And this girl -- very smart and tough -- is absolutely in love with Meyer's books. Which really is huge. I'd do a lot to get reluctant readers panting to read my (unpublished) books.  

Surely Ms Meyer can take my criticism (which she will almost certainly never see) with a huge grain of salt. And laugh all the way to the bank and back.
#59 - November 03, 2009, 12:28 PM
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 09:34 AM by MaryWitzl »

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I tried, I really did.  I made it through the first one and actually enjoyed the second one.  Halfway through the third I realized how much I dreaded picking the book up and quit.

God Bless,
Susan
#60 - November 03, 2009, 12:42 PM
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