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Do I really have to read Twilight, really?

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I think everyone is doing a good job of commenting on the writing, rather than the person -- whom I suspect few of us know.  There's nothing wrong with dissecting a bestseller and discussing aspects we find strong or weak -- it can help us become better writers, perhaps.  And certainly it helps me understand better what works for tweens/teens and how my own writing might fit in.  Although it's probably true that if Stephanie had been a long-time member of this board before Twilight came out, we probably wouldn't be comfortable discussing her book here.  As others have mentioned, we'd know her, in that case, and I think it's much harder to separate the writing from the person when there's a personal connection.  However, she's not a member, and since everyone is doing a good job keeping this respectful (I've seen nothing mean-spirited so far), I think it's a valuable discussion.
#61 - November 03, 2009, 01:04 PM
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A reminder from your friendly local name-stickler: Stephenie Meyers



ETA: The strikeout feature doesn't work so well on a single letter -- there's no "s" on the end of Meyer.
#62 - November 03, 2009, 01:19 PM
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 01:21 PM by Sarah Miller »

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When I began this thread, it wasn't my intention to have a 'good ole trash Stephenie Meyers bash'. But I don't think it's turned into one, either. I think people have given honest opinions about their impression of the book(s).

When I took Fine Arts in college, one component of every studio class was to offer our work up to peer critique. A reason for this was to prepare us for the fact that art is subjective to taste, and that we couldn't let it become personal if our work didn't appeal to someone. As writers, we do the same when we offer our work to a critique group, or to the public. A negative review can seem devastating, but next to a dozen positive reviews, it is just one person's opinion.

It wasn't so much the negative reviews I heard on the quality of writing in the Twilight series that made me hesitate, (I've heard similar criticism of Dan Brown's books) but more the sheer volume of reviews. I've heard so much already relating to the writing, the storytelling, Bella's passive personality, etc etc... that I wonder if it's possible to read this book at this stage and still get an enjoyable read or at least learn something from it. I think my expectations would either be so high or so low (depending on the source) that either way I wouldn't get out of it what I might have before the book exploded in the media.

#63 - November 03, 2009, 01:19 PM
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I also read, THE HOST. I know not ya---so dont know if it belongs here. For the record...I have teen boys-who read. My oldest son, who is a mix of right and left brain, read twilight and new moon...but reported that Bella's Heartbreak was 'TOO EMO' so he bailed for Eclipse. He does like the twilight film. The huge shock was my husband reading the series. I cant imagine a more left brained human (except albert einstein lol)...so i was shocked he got sucked in. He hated Breaking Dawn though. We used to wrestle over the Potter series, till I finally would buy 2, yes 2 hardbacks so we wouldnt have to share. LOL. THE HISTORIAN was adult vampire...which was very literary....and I liked it alot.  Also, for me, nothing about the prose. But the characters FELT real. Im a character reader. Thats why I love King, too.  For me, heres the ultimate test of a book. If you can recall characters in it, years later...well they were like people for you. That you met.
#64 - November 03, 2009, 02:57 PM

Put me down as another one who hasn't read it. I just don't like vampires.
#65 - November 03, 2009, 03:04 PM

 How you feel about the books is how you feel about the books.

I wasn't at all wowed by the writing, but I thought Twilight was a page turner. I liked the rest in the series less so. I found it interesting that they seemed to be less edited as the series grew, and I've always wondered why. For instance in (I think) Eclipse we had a twenty-five page chapter of Jasper's backstory (literally) and I remember thinking, wow, I bet Jasper is gonna DIE at the end of thsi book. Nope. Just stuck an unrelated 25 page chapter in there for no apparent reason.

To me that was sort of funny. Did the editor know they were gonna make that much money so it didn't matter, or was there such huge pressure to finish the book that things got glossed over?  But I wonder that about a lot of books. Titles by a successful author (not necessarily kidlit) where tons of backstory is plunked into the first chapter or whatever problem is left intact. Is it because it's a BIG author and so no one is going to care? Is it deadline pressure? The author's ego? Is the editor less likely to tell a best-selling author "no" about something?

Also, I'd like to point out, that if I ever make 50 million dollars from writing in a year, all blueboarders are allowed to hate me, in posts and in secret. Just sayin'. I might feel bad for a brief moment, but I'm sure taking my private jet to my estate in the South of France will soothe me. :yup
#66 - November 03, 2009, 04:01 PM
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Since we're whipping out the honesty here, I have no beef with her story at all, it was the word count. I felt like she robbed me of my time (although I was a willing victim because I read them). I think she could have told the same story in half the words, and it would have had the same impact. 

Terrible, coming from a word girl, I know. But as much as I aspire to achieve that kind of story, one that sucks people in, I'm very aware of the time I'm asking of people because of those books.

I absolutely did read them because of the hype, and I think it's important in relation to market to have a sense of what's selling.
#67 - November 03, 2009, 04:11 PM
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 04:16 PM by aimeestates »
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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.

But I am now a bestseller (maggie said in a small voice)
#68 - November 03, 2009, 04:34 PM

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To me that was sort of funny. Did the editor know they were gonna make that much money so it didn't matter, or was there such huge pressure to finish the book that things got glossed over? 

I see this as a real possibility. There may have been a lot of pressure on SM to get the sequels out quickly to keep the momentum going. If people had to wait 5 years for New Moon, the success of Twilight may have fizzled.

Also, I'd like to point out, that if I ever make 50 million dollars from writing in a year, all blueboarders are allowed to hate me, in posts and in secret. Just sayin'. I might feel bad for a brief moment, but I'm sure taking my private jet to my estate in the South of France will soothe me. :yup

LOL! You just may find you have friends you never knew you had! I hear the South of France is very nice, btw. (nudge nudge wink wink)

But seriously, I don't begrudge Stephenie Meyer any of her success, even if I turn out to be among the camp that didn't like the book. I think it's exciting that someone who writes YA could become a household name (as someone else pointed out earlier, it means this is possible for any of us), and I think it might encourage teens and adults alike to read some of the other great YA books out there.
#69 - November 03, 2009, 04:35 PM
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But I am now a bestseller (maggie said in a small voice)

 :lol  And do you know my library hasn't got your books yet!! (don't worry, it's a small town in BC) Still, I'm outraged and plan to suggest them to the librarian the next time I'm in. I moved here from Toronto, so I'm not used to the library being so poorly stocked.
#70 - November 03, 2009, 04:39 PM
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But I am now a bestseller (maggie said in a small voice)

I kind of wondered about your reaction. And yes, if there is/was a thread out there devoted to discussing your books this way, that would hurt. A lot I imagine. But it happens. You did give me some insight with that teeny tiny hard to read comment of yours though. It's a reminder to be impersonal about my critique of a novel, and not slanderous.

So thanks.

:mob  <---those things can be catchy.
#71 - November 03, 2009, 04:40 PM
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 04:42 PM by aimeestates »
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I kind of wondered about your reaction. And yes, if there is/was a thread out there devoted to discussing your books this way, that would hurt. A lot I imagine. But it happens. You did give me some insight with that teeny tiny hard to read comment of yours though. It's a reminder to be impersonal about my critique of a novel, and not slanderous.

So thanks.

:mob  <---those things can be catchy.

i am waiting for the "Do I have to read Shiver, really?" thread, five years from now . . . "And Maggie is too busy riding in her helicopter adorned with cabana boys to read this thread!"
#72 - November 03, 2009, 04:46 PM

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Please do send me an invitation to that party.  :pinacolada
#73 - November 03, 2009, 04:48 PM
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i am waiting for the "Do I have to read Shiver, really?" thread, five years from now . . . "

If it will make you feel better, we can call the thread 'Do I really have to read You Know What by You Know Who, really?"  :whistle

(btw, I'm dying to read Shiver!)
#74 - November 03, 2009, 04:50 PM
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 04:52 PM by Artemesia »
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Blueboarder factor aside, and regardless of her money & incredible success, celebrity status, whatever, the book is out there for the public to read.  I've always felt once a book is out there, it's not yours anymore.  And I think if you're going to put your work out there, you have to prepare yourself for people to love or hate it for all the right or wrong reasons.

(Although with fiction being so subjective, I don't know what is a right/wrong reason to like/hate a book.)

As far as I can tell, Stephenie Meyer can and continues to hold her own against the haterz.

This thread is great.  We've got people who loved Twilight, those who felt meh about it, and those who actively dislike it.  I see nothing cruel or out-of-line or overtly personal in the responses to this very interesting discussion.  As has been said, if any of the mods or administrators DID, it would be taken care of quickly.  I don't think anyone here needs to defend or apologize for their very respectfully stated opinions, which I hope members will continue to post, in the interest of furthering this discussion.  How you feel about the books is how you feel about the books.

All that said, Artemesia, I felt the same reluctance you did about the Twilight series, but I really wanted to be involved in Twilight Talk, so I bought them all to read.  I've read the first two, am kinda stalled on the last 50 pages of the third.  I CAN'T WAIT FOR BREAKING DAWN and I know everything that happens in it.  Saw the movie.  Bought the DVD.  New Moon movie?  I AM SO THERE.  Ultimately, I get a HUGE kick out of this franchise.  To be honest, I probably enjoy the Twilight Experience & community more than I enjoy the actual books, though I find the books themselves hugely entertaining, even when Bella/Edward/Jacob frustrates me.  The image macros alone are worth the cost of admission.  For example:




But ultimately, no, you totally don't have to read anything you don't want to.  If you write for that genre, it could be helpful.  The forbidden love/mystery person love interest who is more than he appears to be etc. is still hugely popular in YA right now.

Courtney- Do you have your New Moon tickets yet?  This is how much I love it.  My excuse-I have to screen it to make sure its appropriate for my daughter.  Ha Ha.

Hey, anybody, how do you quote just one line of a reply?  I tried but clearly failed.

Maggie-I will be there to pre-purchase tickets to Shiver the movie also!  Contribution towards fuel for the helicopter.
#75 - November 03, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Hey, anybody, how do you quote just one line of a reply?  I tried but clearly failed.

Just delete everything you don't want quoted before you post.
#76 - November 03, 2009, 05:02 PM
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If it will make you feel better, we can call the thread 'Do I really have to read You Know What by You Know Who, really?"  :whistle

(btw, I'm dying to read Shiver!)

LOL!
#77 - November 03, 2009, 05:08 PM

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Thanks, Artemesia.  I didn't mind looking at Edward again.  Just the raptor behind the tree-I love it!
#78 - November 03, 2009, 05:11 PM
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I would recommend trying to read Twilight, if you want to write YA.  Like many others have said--you need to know what your market finds enjoyable.  I am a bit removed from the target demographic, but the thing I liked about Twilight is that it was sexy, almost like a bodice-ripper for teens.

Remember those volatile emotions you had when you were first getting together with a boyfriend?  The nervousness, the mixed signals, the passionate kisses, the fights, the doubt, the self-doubt, the elation?  Meyer does a good job of letting the readers experience all those feelings vicariously.  That's why I liked Twilight.  In the later books when they quit flirting and start playing happy homemaker...well that is just not as fun and sexy to me.  And Breaking Dawn, well, is she really sending the message "Why go to Dartmouth when you can... (spoiler?)  Blech!

P
#79 - November 03, 2009, 05:33 PM

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That's why I liked Twilight.  In the later books when they quit flirting and start playing happy homemaker...well that is just not as fun and sexy to me.


So true, Piper.  Maybe that's the reason I didn't read the other books as fast.
#80 - November 03, 2009, 07:16 PM
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:lol  And do you know my library hasn't got your books yet!! (don't worry, it's a small town in BC) Still, I'm outraged and plan to suggest them to the librarian the next time I'm in. I moved here from Toronto, so I'm not used to the library being so poorly stocked.

Though I ran out and bought Shiver when it was released, I also requested a copy for our library here, which you can only do by placing a "Hold" on it on a slip of paper in their tin can on the librarian's desk. That's right, we're high-tech in Idaho!

A week or so later, I got a phone call telling me that my book was on hold, so I called them to tell them that I didn't need to check it out, I just thought they should order it for the library.

Kris (Me) - Yeah, I just wanted to let you know that I already have a copy of Shiver, so I won't need the one on hold for me.

Librarian - You already checked out the book we have on hold?

K - No, I already own it, so I don't need the hold.

L - Sir? Your book is right here, so you must not have it!

K - No, I mean that I don't need to check it out after all, I just wanted the library to get a copy because it's a gorgeous book.

L - Oh, it is a great book! We had to delay putting it in the system so that some of our librarians could read it first. You're going to love it!

K - Yeah, I've already read it.

L - But you will be the first one to get it, no one else has checked it out yet!

K - I already have a copy of my own.

L - but... Your copy is right here, sir.

K - No, that's your copy. I just requested it so that the library would have a copy.

L - Then why did you request a hold on it, sir? It's an excellent book, sir. I really think you'd like it.

K - It is an excellent book, I just don't need the hold.

L - But... we really liked it, I think you would. I'm glad we got in a copy!

K - ....................I'll be in on Thursday to pick it up.

L - Oh, I'm sorry sir, we can only hold it until Wednesday, we have other people that want to check it out!

K - *Click*

#81 - November 04, 2009, 01:09 PM

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 :dr :dr :dr

I've had a hold on Shiver in our library system for months now.  I must be like 93 on the list or something.  But we use the computer -- ah, maybe my hold got lost! 
#82 - November 04, 2009, 01:16 PM

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Though I ran out and bought Shiver when it was released, I also requested a copy for our library here, which you can only do by placing a "Hold" on it on a slip of paper in their tin can on the librarian's desk. That's right, we're high-tech in Idaho!

A week or so later, I got a phone call telling me that my book was on hold, so I called them to tell them that I didn't need to check it out, I just thought they should order it for the library.

Kris (Me) - Yeah, I just wanted to let you know that I already have a copy of Shiver, so I won't need the one on hold for me.

Librarian - You already checked out the book we have on hold?

K - No, I already own it, so I don't need the hold.

L - Sir? Your book is right here, so you must not have it!

K - No, I mean that I don't need to check it out after all, I just wanted the library to get a copy because it's a gorgeous book.

L - Oh, it is a great book! We had to delay putting it in the system so that some of our librarians could read it first. You're going to love it!

K - Yeah, I've already read it.

L - But you will be the first one to get it, no one else has checked it out yet!

K - I already have a copy of my own.

L - but... Your copy is right here, sir.

K - No, that's your copy. I just requested it so that the library would have a copy.

L - Then why did you request a hold on it, sir? It's an excellent book, sir. I really think you'd like it.

K - It is an excellent book, I just don't need the hold.

L - But... we really liked it, I think you would. I'm glad we got in a copy!

K - ....................I'll be in on Thursday to pick it up.

L - Oh, I'm sorry sir, we can only hold it until Wednesday, we have other people that want to check it out!

K - *Click*



this story wins on SO many levels.
#83 - November 04, 2009, 02:07 PM

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So that's where Lily Tomlin ended up -- in a library in Idaho!
#84 - November 04, 2009, 08:13 PM

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Okay...just to get the elephant out of the closet....

I heard that Shiver was a HORRIBLE book, and I have no intention of reading it.  The writing? Pathetic.  And the story is even worse!  I mean, I don't know how this kind of drivel gets published!   Next thing you know, even I'LL have a book out there.  The whole publishing world is going to pot, and Shiver exemplifies this very fact.

There you go, Maggie.  A poor review on the Blueboards.  Now that we're done with that topic, I think we can move on....  ;)
#85 - November 05, 2009, 05:29 AM
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 05:48 AM by RyanBruner »

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I've got Shiver reserved at my library as well. They don't have it, yet.

As to Twilight, I thought it was okay. My son's gf wanted me to read them so I did. I used to read Laurell Hamilton until she went to porn. To me, Twilight and the subsequent books were extremely anti climactic. There was a huge build up and then it just fizzled. I kept thinking each book would get better but they got worse. They were so hugely popular that I thought it was just me. Then I started reading about it on the boards and realized it wasn't just me. Oh well. She wrote for teenage girls and that's what she got. In droves. Good for her.

#86 - November 05, 2009, 05:45 AM

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Okay...just to get the elephant out of the closet....

I heard that Shiver was a HORRIBLE book, and I have no intention of reading it.  The writing? Pathetic.  And the story is even worse!  I mean, I don't know how this kind of drivel gets published!   Next thing you know, even I'LL have a book out there.  The whole publishing world is going to pot, and Shiver exemplifies this very fact.

There you go, Maggie.  A poor review on the Blueboards.  Now that we're done with that topic, I think we can move on....  ;)

 :giggle Bad Ryan! You are so cheeky!!!
#87 - November 05, 2009, 09:01 AM
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I read Twilight. Why was this so popular? The theme of unrequited love? Longing? Passion? Works every time. Didn't read any of the others. One escape book in a row was enough, but gotta give her credit. She did what a lot of us would love to do.
#88 - November 10, 2009, 10:24 AM

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Haven't read Twilight, & never really thought about it. I don't read a lot of paranormal books unless I know the author (except for Harry Potter, but I was dragged into reading those at first...). I don't really get the vampire mystique (in fact, just from hearing about the books I'm guessing I'd find the werewolves more appealing than the vampires). But it has more to do with the fact that I have huge lists of books on my "to read" list that are more important to me than that one, and until & unless I can get around to all those, Twilight isn't going to find a slot on the list! I'm more concerned with reading books that are more like the genres I write in (realistic or wacky contemporary YA & MG), or that are written by people I know. It's not like I'm not reading YA, but the books I write are never going to be like Twilight, my bank account will be sad to hear. ;-)
#89 - November 10, 2009, 10:36 AM
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 10:38 AM by Alison »

Nobody ever has to read any book.

That said, I read Twilight. I do not love Vampires. I certainly would not kiss one. I am very fond of body heat and a heart beating against my own when I kiss someone.  :love

But I do love people of all kinds -- and people of all kinds and ages loved Twilight. I read it to figure out why.

And you know what I think? I think the elegance (or lack thereof) of the prose did not matter a jot to the readers. The blend of character and story did.  The same was true of the Harry Potter books.  And Dan Brown's books. And the books of every other mega-bestselling author you can name. People liked/loved the characters and connected to the story.

People absolutely *crave* story.

This gives me hope, as I am nothing but a storyteller myself. I have no hope of being refined or terribly polished.

But I write for people who are just people.  :yup  The ones I love.

eab
#90 - November 10, 2009, 10:58 AM
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 11:02 AM by Auntybooks »

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