Breaking Dawn Part 2: The End is Nigh

The first time I read the The Twilight Saga, I devoured it in just a few days. All four books. And when I got to the end of Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final book, I cried in spite of the happy ending. I became so enamored with the story that I was sad that it was over.

At the time, the first film had already made it to DVD. The wheels of this massive machine were fully in motion. Knowing that all of the books would eventually be interpreted visually, I couldn’t help but wonder how the characters, scenery, and memorable moments would play out in the movies. But none more than Breaking Dawn. Would the final film be able to capture the essence of that happy (yet sad) ending in the same way? Continue reading

Why ‘Twilight’ is all right with me

This post is Part 2 of G3′s response to Twi-Hater nation. Check out V.’s previous essay here.

Every other week or so, an anti-Twilight zinger presents itself during my regular pop culture and social media consumption, usually followed by a stream of ha-ha-Twilight-sux commentary from people who are vigilant about telling us that a harmless work of young adult fiction is total crap. It’s the meme that won’t die. You could set your watch by it.

Chances are that the person with the strongest opinion, the one who’s so sure that Twilight is the worst thing to happen to feminism, literature and film in the 21st Century, has never read a single book in Stephanie Meyer’s series. If you have done so and loathe Twilight, carry on. You’ve earned your right to judge.

I read two-and-a-half of Meyer’s books, which were fine, saw the first two films, which were solidly enjoyable, and then decided I was done. A Twi-hard I am not, and I’ve made it known that parts of the story got on my last nerve. Continue reading

Bella Swan, Kristen Stewart and the Twi-Hater Nation: Part 1

Breaking Dawn, Part 2 opens Nov. 16, and if the past is any indication, the hipster, armchair critics are already crafting withering tweets and curating the Internet’s finest Twilight-bashing content to share. It’s become abundantly clear over the years that, in their own way, Twilight’s most incessant critics are just as invested in this phenomenon as the Twi-hards they’re fond of mocking. The first Twilight novel was published in 2005, but the ire that the franchise inspires is as strong as ever. V. has been an ardent, proud fan. E. is indifferent. But they both agree that the persistent hating is ridiculous, way past its expiration date and not a little bit sexist. Today, V. looks the critics squarely in the eye, and tomorrow, E. explains why she’s had it up to here.

I have heard an innumerable amount of insults being a fan of Twilight. It has mostly died down among my friends, but about four years ago … I was THAT girl. The 30-year-old mom in love with Edward Cullen.

So boom.

I took the criticism in jest. Mostly. But I noticed something. Continue reading

Heroic Hotness: Edward Cullen

Edward Cullen: The Romantic

“My life was an unending, unchanging midnight. It must, by necessity, always be midnight for me. So how was it possible that the sun was rising now, in the middle of my midnight?”

Those are the thoughts of Edward the moment he fell in love with Bella. In Twilight lore, the instant they are turned to vampires, they are like stone. Their human memories fade, but they remain exactly as they are forever. The “self” is frozen. Only one thing can change them. It is rare and only happens once. When a sparkly vampire falls in love, they are permanently altered, and the love never fades.

For all of Edward’s flaws, his unconditional adoration of Bella totally, effing hooked me. Let’s factor in the phenomenal beauty, impeccable turn-of-the-century etiquette, the romantic cadence of his speech, a century’s worth of education, Mozartesque musical talent, super-strength and speed, and yes, the mothafucker sparkles. I love me some Edward Cullen. I love him because he loves so unabashedly. In the Twilight-verse, that’s how vampires roll. I think it’d be hella beautiful if fearless love was more common in the real world.

Edward Cullen by Colleen Peck

A Note About The Art …

The beauty of prose is that your imagination illustrates the story, and often times nothing can really hold a candle to that. The mind does our bidding, and creates our version of beauty. When reading the Twilight novels, I had an image of Edward and all of his glory. Being the art junkie that I am, I scoured the interwebs looking for a drawing of him that suited my ideal. I found a million and one drawings of Robert Pattinson. Well, he’s not Edward. He’s Robert. Even the graphic novel wasn’t much more than a generic, manga-hottie Edward.

I wanted an image of Edward, as he was described in the book, and that did justice to my imaginings. Then, I came across this gem on deviantART. The tortured expression, marble complexion, reddish-brown hair, golden eyes, and perfect proportions; THIS is Edward Cullen. Thanks to the artist, Colleen Peck, for creating such a magnificent rendering of a character I adore.

G3 Review: Twilight – The Graphic Novel

This is a big week for the Twilight franchise with the release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon DVD and Twilight: The Graphic Novel. I pre-ordered both, and I’ve been hitting up the UPS site regularly to track my packages. I was beyond thrilled on Wednesday when I saw that the graphic novel had been delivered. After a minor battle with my daughter over who was going to read it first, my wait was … almost over. I acquiesced once I realized I was being a bit of a brat. (HEY! Don’t judge me. Twilight is a hell of a drug.) Besides, her bedtime is way before mine. I knew I’d get to be alone with my precious soon enough. Volume 1 offers up the first half of the Twilight story. Here’s the good, the meh, and the ugly. Continue reading

A Twi-Meh Comes to Bella Swan’s Defense

Can we stop with the Bella-bashing, already?

Don't hate me because my man sparkles.

Let me be clear: I’ve read three of the four “Twilight” books, but I didn’t love them. As my Twi-Hard friends know, I’ve got some problems with the co-dependent romance at the heart of the series. In the books, Bella Swan’s internal monologue eventually annoyed me so much that I passed on reading “Breaking Dawn.”

But though I’m less than enamored with Stephanie Meyer’s series, I’m over the constant stream of Bella-is-a-bad-role-model commentary that followed the release of the “New Moon” movie. Yes, the series is hugely popular, particularly with young women. But why does a character in a work of paranormal fiction have to be a role model for anyone? As writer Scott Mendelson pointed out, pop culture is filled with fictional male characters who make sketchy choices, but no one ever says they’re bad for boys. Bruce Wayne lives a double life and keeps even his adopted sons at arm’s length. Yeah, that’s healthy.

The series actually presents a good opportunity for parents to read the books along with their kids and, you know, communicate. A 12-year-old doesn’t know that love and obsession aren’t interchangeable concepts, but a 37-year-old parent is, presumably, equipped to explain the difference. When Bella plunges into a black depression after Edward leaves her in “New Moon,” that’s a great time to discuss the pitfalls of completely losing yourself in a romance — though that is what first love is like — and the healing power of friendship, as shown through Bella’s relationship with Jacob. (Though my husband made me laugh out loud with his assessment of Bella/Jacob: “I’m so through with her. She got dude all revved up, and then she’s all, [whiny voice] ‘I’m in love with a vampire.’)

There are certainly moments when Bella displays brave and commendable behavior, like racing back to Phoenix to rescue her mom when she believes she’s in danger. And as many, many others have mentioned, it’s nice in this day and age to see a portrayal of a passionate relationship that doesn’t immediately lead to the sack.

Stephanie Meyer’s bank account is proof that her saga tapped into something powerful, and millions of readers clearly see something in her moody heroine. If anything, she may have captured the endless navel-gazing of a teenager in love a little too well. But I think my friend J. summed it up best: “Women are kidding themselves if they think, at 17, they wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to be boo’d up with a hot vampire or a ripped werewolf.”

So let’s lay off Bella, and while we’re at it, let’s give young female readers credit for being able to appreciate “Twilight” for what it is: an entertaining fantasy. (By the way, my sources tell me that, in the end, Bella finds her strength and saves everybody. Sounds like a good movie to me.)

If It Pleases and Sparkles …

There are few things I love more than comics. They are rich with iconic characters that I’ve always loved, from Wonder Woman to the more obscure but fascinating anti-hero Lady Shiva. And oh, how I love the art; so many ways to draw a character, an emotion, an action. Add to that the stories and the ingenious writers who bring them to life every month. Comic books opened up a whole new world to me; Wednesdays at my LCS, lunches with my fellow aficionados, and blogging are my joys. If you visited my home and viewed my bookshelf, you would find, first & foremost, comics so good I had to get the trades (the issues are of course bagged, boarded and stored safely in their long boxes), some modern and contemporary philosophy, and some classic prose. But the most ostentatious thing on my shelf (drumroll): All four books in the Twilight saga.

Blasphemy you say?  Well, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been deemed a heretic. Why should this be any different?

I get a lot of flack for being a Twihard (that is the “official” term) from my fellow geeks. So do the millions of other fans of the series. I read blog after blog, article after article and hear endless podcasts about how much the geek world loathes the series and how it (and fans) didn’t belong at the cons. Frankly, I am over it. Continue reading