5.24.2008

Stephenie Meyer Sucks the Blood out of Literature

Erin read "Twilight" a few weeks ago, and gave me a library copy she wasn't using so that I could check out what she was digesting at a fairly alarming rate. I won't bore you with the details of the phenomenon I'm sure you're already addicted to or avoiding like the plague. Needless to say, this is the biggest thing to hit literature (at least in terms of financial success) since Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban first broke the boy wizard into the Muggle limelight.

After trying valiantly to get past the first chapters, all I can say at this point is "WOW."
What a load of grammatically incoherent, sexually repressed, Mormo-Victorian manipulation. I tried to pull my hair out after the first chapter, the syntax was so perplexing. There were times I had to read, reread, parse her sentences and finally edit them in my mind to make sure I was REALLY understanding what she was trying to say.
If this book had come to me from one of my ACT-prep students, I wouldn't have been so surprised. But from a thirty-something who has sold gazillions of copies of her novel and has been lauded as the American J.K. Rowling?! Pish posh, I say! Preposterous!!! Doesn't somebody EDIT these things? Or at least proof read them?
I have several problems with her writing style, so I'll break them down into manageable chunks and pray that the tweeners surfing the blogosphere comment to their hearts' content.

GRAMMAR
One stake out of Six.

That's BAD. Horrible. Want to start your novel out the hard way? Make four of your first five clauses unbearably passive:

"My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue. I was wearing my favorite shirt--sleeveless, white eyelet lace; I was wearing it as a farewell gesture. My carry-on item was a parka." Page 3.
Way to start a grocery list of "BE" verb monotony. The vampire was scary. But he was sexy, too. She is nice. I am scared. "BE" verbs are boring. You catch my drift.

But it doesn't end there, either. SHE MEANDERS LIKE THIS THE REST OF THE WAY! My favorite teacher of all time, Suzan Lake, taught me the two most important writing lessons of all time way back in the 12th Grade:

(1) "Passive writing is lazy writing--make your writing 90% active and 10% passive, and you'll be well on your way."

AND

(2) "Edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit."
Stephenie could have written that first paragraph more actively, more elegantly, and much, much better with something like the following:

"Mom drove me to the airport, the Phoenix sun smiling down through the perfect, cloudless blue. With the windows down, the wind tugged at my favorite sleeveless shirt. This could be the last time the white eyelet lace would see the sun; tucked away as a carry-on, my parka sat waiting."

Not Austenesque in its structure by any means, but IMHO, a heckuva lot more engaging.

SYNTAX and SENTENCE STRUCTURE
Zero stakes out of Six.

Dismissing her egregious BE verbage and passivity, I CANNOT get over Meyer's love of confusing sentence structures. This example made me want to put down the novel and chew some gum so I'd stop grinding my molars:

(1) While saying goodbye to her Mother, who tenderly promises to be there for her always, Bella notices something: "...I could see the sacrifice in her eyes behind the promise." Page 4.

OK, what I think she's trying to say is that (a) behind the promise, Bella could (b) see the sacrifice (c) in her Mother's eyes. But how it's structured actually, it sounds as if her mother's eyes are placed behind the promise and there's a sacrifice within them. Took me two or three reads to make sure what she was trying to say was what she actually had said.

When I have to reread something in a novel to make sure I caught its superficial meaning, that's bad. Mucho bad.

(2) "Flying doesn't bother me; the hour in the car with Charlie, though, I was a little worried about." Page 5

There's a little principle in the English language that we all try to abide by--it's called reflection. Whether you're conscious of it or not, you do it. And good writers abide by it. Essentially, within your sentence, and usually your paragraph when writing, you should ALWAYS maintain the same verbe tense (with some small exceptions that you need to clearly mark out) from verb to verb. Re-read the above sentence....

First clause--present tense. Second clause--past tense.

That's like me saying: "I want to grab a pencil and edit the book as I'm reading; I was on the verge of boring holes through my eyes with my fingernails." You can probably understand what I mean, but it would be clearer if I said "I wanted to grab a pencil and edit the book as I was reading it; I was on the verge...."

(3) "Charlie had really been fairly nice about the whole thing." Page 5.
Really?! Was Charlie really fairly nice? He had REALLY been fairly nice?! Are you sure? Thanks for emphasizing it for us.

And really, couldn't you have put "really" in a different place, Ms. Meyer? What about "Charlie really had been fairly nice" or "Charlie had been really fairly nice?" Why not? Put two adverbs in close proximity to each other, and you get into trouble... really, truly, you do.

Alright, enough grammar staking.

WORD CHOICE or JANE AUSTEN YOU AIN'T
Two stakes out of Six.

Even though Bella may be a teenager who grew up in a really fairly progressive city--Phoenix--and is now living in the Pacific Northwest, she has the lexicon of an eighteenth century Oxford scholar and has no qualms about utilizing it.

Unrealistic? Yes. In a modern-day, tween vampire novel? Maybe not. Grating? Absolutely.

Here are some examples:

1. Forks, the little town on the Olympic Peninsula, isn't quaint, little, or small, it's "inconsequential." Page 3.
So...like some kind of weird time-space differential twilight zone, no consequences ever result there?

2. The gloominess of Forks isn't persistent, overwhelming, or depressing, it's "omnipresent." Page 3. Sometimes, the Fork gloominess creeps up on you while you're reading the Sunday funnies and shouts "BOO!" really loud. But you're not scared, just annoyed because gloominess is always there.

3. "...it was sure to be awkward with Charlie. Neither of us was what anyone would call verbose." Page 5.
I promise, only verbose people use the word verbose.

4. Bella doesn't bring her Arizona clothes to Washington; not because they're too skimpy, or unsuited for the rainy, cold Forks weather.... they're "too permeable." Page 6.  
I thought only microbiologists, contact lenses, and Gore-Tex advertisements used the word permeable. Apparently teenage girls from Phoenix do, too.

5. Bella and her mom didn't put together their money to get Bella some, but not too many new winter clothes... they "pooled [their] resources to supplement [Bella's] wardrobe, [which] was still scanty." Page 6.  
Yes, Stephenie, and I'd like you to do a tetra-annual report on that in order to better utilize our brand and create a sustainability of buzz words that make us sound more possessed of intelligence than mayhaps we be. Mwa-ha.

6. Finally, Bella describes her new red truck as "bulbous." Page 8.  
Indeed, in the late 90s, before his career really took off, MTV's Xibit custom fitted the truck to resemble a tulip in an effort to get his show "Primp my Ride" into production. It wasn't until Xibit dropped the "r" in Primp that MTV finally gave it the green light.

OVERALL

I hate that people compare this lady to JK Rowling. Don't get me wrong--I don't hate Stephenie Meyer. I just despise her writing--and am slightly offended when anyone attempts to legitimately compare her to Rowling. If her writing were as immaculate, goldenly inventive, and captivating to all ages, sexes, and personalities as Rowling's, I'd at least concede some kind of similarity. But it's not. Not by any stretch.

And I'm saddened by what people will read in order to get a quick buzz out of literature. No thinking, analysis, introspection, or even grammar to worry about. Just a sexy, recast Victorian novel that appeals to the High School Musical crowd. Because it's got vampires...but it's safe vampires. Because there's no (overt) sexuality, no (explicit) nudity, no (really) naughty words, no meaning... just safe entertainment.

Blah.

Rather than as a comparison or colleague, Meyer serves better as a contrasting foil to Rowling, showing that while the two may share a similar financial success rooted in reinventing some traditional genres-- the played out Victorian Vampire Novel and the surprisingly still relevant Orphan Grows Up, Learns Magic, and Saves Everyone Story--they are vastly different.

Where Rowling is fresh, inventive, and so carefully plots, structures, and layers her books with a sophistication that only deepens as Harry gets older, Meyer is content with--and perhaps succeeds in--titillating her readers with action, overly gorgeous characters, and superficial, safely non-sexual foreplay at the expense of character development, depth, and good writing.

Now, in deference to Meyer, she is a multi-millionaire with a legion of fans so loyal to her writings, she could slap a dirty limerick down on a napkin and it would lead out the New York Times Bestseller List for weeks.

But that may be the most frustrating thing-- instead of exploring great literature, probing the depths of the myriad genres and sinking into the human experience that good literature walks us through so effortlessly, fans of Meyer's work seem blissfully content with her brightly packaged, obscenely good-looking story that, at its core, lacks a soul.

Like Bella, they're falling for a literary vampire, trying in equal parts to please them and suck them dry.
Where's my garlic?

236 comments:

1 – 200 of 236   Newer›   Newest»
Barb @ getupandplay said...

I laughed the whole way through this post. Not a guffaw, per se, but a gently rolling chuckle. I have to agree with you- the writing is sub-par. I feel as if she's stuck in week 4 of an 8 week writing workshop. The work is unfinished and unrefined. I fear her editors used the category of "young adult" literature to excuse the poor writing. (Unlike, Rawling, whose "children's books" are actually great works of literature.)

That being said, I have to let you in on the secret to the success of the Twilight series. Even as a happily married young woman, when reading this book, I felt those twitterpated feelings of my teenage years. Meyer is able to capture the distinctly girlish skill of dissecting the smallest glance for three pages (I have done this. All girls do this.) I would venture to say that the majority of women who read these books are transported back in time to the giddiness of their girlhood love. Bella (as whiny and poorly written as she is) resonated with me. So I overlooked the lack of stimulating writing for the stimulating time warp qualities of Twilight, et al. (I would liken it to reading Us Weekly or watching The Hills- I like it in spite of myself and my better judgement.)

EBV said...

Beautifully said, Barbara! Why can't more people be cognizant of this? Nothing wrong with having guilty pleasures. Hey, when I was 12, I read all of the Dragonlance novels that I could get my hand on. I loved them! Still have a soft spot in my heart for them...but would I ever compare them to Tolkien or Martin?

Nope.

Thanks for posting!

Shelly! said...

Thank you. Thank you doesn't even cover it. I feel so grateful for this post that I feel like offering up my first born child - but I've already had him and I'm quite attached.

Barb is right though -for some reason these books have taken women back to a place in their hearts that they either haven't been, or wish to remain. I did not find a connection with Bella - possibly because I couldn't make it past chapter four.

What is depressing for me is that there are an incredible amount of women, much like Austen-ites, have not experienced love or even 'twitterpation' and have written their future emotions with the words from Twillight.

And in the end, I have to say as liberal as I can get with personal choice, I find it interesting that so many people are finding romance (be it with Twillight or Moonlight on tv) from characters who suck life out of each other.

Do you think you could abbreviate your post, stick it in a pamphlet form and either go door-to-door or hand it out at the airport?

EBV said...

Would love to proselytize this message, Shelley. But alas, I fear for my very life when it comes to women, emotions, and supernaturally attractive vampires.

However, thanks for your comment! Beautifully written and said, as always.

And while I appreciate the offer of a child, I'm sure Willard is much happier with you and Eric. Hope the Bennions are well!

Anonymous said...

Great piece!
I grew up in Forks and was really excited to read Twilight. Not only were her completely inaccurate descriptions of Forks a big disappointment, the writing was awful!
I found out later she found Forks via a Google search and did not visit until after Twilight was written.
Who knew such little research could pass muster with a publisher. Hmmm.

gurrbonzo said...

BWAHAHAHAHA. Very nice...and Primp my Ride is pure genius. Besides the bad writing, the underlying issues KILL me. "Sexually repressed Mormon-Victorian manipulation" is exactly right. Their relationship is all about sexual repression and barely containing their desires AND the only thing Bella has going for her is that she smells good. Good thing our Beehives are getting the message loud and clear...good heroines are selfish and irrational, and there's nothing more romantic than pseudo-abusive relationships with controlling men who you can't say no to and who want to kill you. Ugh.

Apparently our dear Steph knows what teenage girls like: a mysterious, dangerous hot guy. So who can fault her for capitalizing on it? But BARF.

Marie said...

Thank you for this enlightening post. I've now been told by my sister, and sister-in-law (both teenagers) who each read this book that I should not read it. That it is dumb and pointless. But I wasn't able to probe deeper into what dumb and pointless meant. Then I was told by two neighbors that I should definitely read this book. That if I like Jane Austen, "Pride and Prejudice," "Sense and Sensiblity," "Emma," and "Jane Eyre," then I was sure to love this book, and that it's a MUST read. I understand more what they meant now. And I am also sure I love those classic novels for a MUCH different reason than they do. (oh, and did I mention they'd only seen some of those movies, and hadn't read any of the books?)
So, Eric, thank you for enlightening us all, so we don't all have to delve into our own analysis through reading these rather unprofitable books. (oh, did I say they didn't make a profit? I meant, they wouldn't profit me...)
And I especially agree with gurrbonzo about what we are putting in young girls heads. Relationships are already hard enough, why add to our unreasonable expectations, fantasies, and overall dysfunctionaly picture of romance.

Catherine said...

I guess that's why its called "chick-lit" and not "Eric-lit". :)

Barb, I think you hit the nail right on the head.

Natalie T. said...

The twilight series is perhaps the silliest writing I have ever read. I wish I could get the 3 days I lost to those books back. Fabulous post, it is a sin to compare Meyer's "writing" to Rowlings.

SteveJJohnson said...

Thank you Eric. My wife tried to lure me in to reading these books with her. She tried to sell them to me with talk of vampires and werewolves and the like. I didn't think I would fall for it, but now I'm sure I won't.
Thank you for helping me save my precious time.

romney & ashley said...

Eric, it's Romney. I'm very glad to hear that things are going well in the romance/dating department... if you can call that a "department". I found your blog and wanted to say hi and that I will be checking up on how things are going. Ash and I also have a blog at www.themichiganbranch.blogspot.com.

Marie Davies said...

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Look. I agree Meyer is not the best or cleverest syntaxer in the history of literature. But. BUT. The storyline is incredibly intoxicating. Excuse me. The storyline induces feelings of incredible intoxication. Which sentence is better. The passive voice one. Dork. Anyway, I love Edward Cullen. Love. Such a phenomenally alluring love interest. Anyone who can think up a romantic hero who reaches that level of dreaminess deserves to be lauded. And thanked. I had sweet sweet dreams about dashing vampires for a week. So good, in fact, that I'd wake up and have a smile on my face for the rest of my day. Can't wait for book four.

gac said...

wow, Marie Davies, please look for spare change down a garbage disposal.

EBV said...

Marie-- thanks for the straw man argument. Or should I say, straw vampire argument. When writing in the first person (which you were not), passive voice is intolerable. It's bearable in the third (which you were writing in), but only just.

You could have written that the story sucked you in, or left you feeling intoxicated, or a whole plethora of other things. But by giving me two options and dismissing the "active one" in favor of the "passive one" you fail to prove that passive voice is better. I can give you 30 versions of your sentence that would actively evoke imagery, feeling, and even REAL intoxication. Much more so than simply telling me that the story IS intoxicating... show me that the story is intoxicating, don't tell me.

I proudly bear the badge of Grammar Dork! ;)

On another, more important note, I'm sorry that an unatainable, impossibly attractive work of fiction made you feel so...romantical.

But just remember how you felt about Edward the next time some guy compares you to a Playboy model.

Kyle said...

I agree with almost all of it my friend, Rowling this author is not.
However...I must take issue with your criticism of the word inconsequential.
You know very well that it does not mean there are no consequences in the place, but rather that the place is of little consequence or concern to most. It may not be the clearest choice of words, but that one seems arguably artful to me.

The rest of your criticism... Spot on!

EBV said...

Well spotted, Kyle. That legal eye of yours is sharp! Mostly, I was trying to make a funny, but instead became unintentionally...ironical. ;)

Kari said...

Roommates and friends alike were shocked when I said I thought these books were only about sex. Not having sex, but thinking/wanting/describing how hot someone is - pages on end -makes a book all about sex, I tried to explain. To no avail. I laughed out loud when my roommate told me she liked these books because they were so "clean."

Anyway, thanks for feeling the same, and for being able to parse the awfulness of the writing in a way that I can't. I knew it was bad, I just didn't know why. :)

p.s. I had the vocabulary of an 18th century writer when I was in high school. Got made fun of a lot for it, but it does happen.

sally said...

Eric,
Hi it's Sally, maybe you didn't know that sometimes I read your blog. Surprise! Anyway, I am so grateful for this post. It describes exactly how I feel about these books...but can never articulate.

I don't know much about proper grammar, and I'm admittedly a little nervous that this post is rife with unforgivable errors, but eh - oh well. Law School, more specifically Jane Wise, squashed any confidence I had about my writing abilities in the first year. So, I'll just forget all about any rules and use inappropriate punctuation, etc. throughout the rest of the post.

First of all, I think gurrbonzo makes the BEST point of all : "there's nothing more romantic than pseudo-abusive relationships with controlling men who you can't say no to and who want to kill you. Ugh."
I couldn't agree more and this is the argument I make every time... well, every time I'm arguing with someone about why Edward sucks (no pun intended)and why Bella should OBVIOUSLY be with the werewolf hahaha. Ok, yes, I've read them! I'll admit it! But with every turn of the page I was simultaneously embarrassed that I was reading such a ridiculous high school version of a trashy romance novel and frustrated with myself for not being able to stop reading. I stopped noticing the sub-par word choice and sentence structure after the first chapter.

But honestly, I don’t keep reading because these books rekindle any teenage memories or anything for me... I think I keep reading because I’m just thinking, “Surely, this is going to get better. SURELY, this book will send out a better message than this to the next generation of young readers…” But so far no luck with that. Instead, when I’m reading the book, I'm just 100% pissed off at how stupid and unlikable the heroine is. I can't believe anyone would compare her to Jane Eyre - give me a break. Jane Eyre was written about an independent young woman in a time when it wasn't acceptable for women to be independent. If anything Stephanie Meyer is taking a step in the opposite direction. Bella is completely dependent. She can't function without Edward- she does everything he tells her, and can barely do anything for herself- besides cook dinner for her dad every night and do his laundry. Great. But, I mean I suppose that is a woman's place. *GAG* I threw up a little bit just writing that.
.
I've decided that a better use of my time this summer will be to re-read books that I loved as a kid. Sure they are at a 4th or 5th grade reading level- but who cares, I think they will still be awesome! So far the list includes: James and the Giant Peach, The Chronicles of Narnia and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Sorry for the long, grammatically incorrect post, Eric!

EBV said...

Beautifully written, Sally. Loved it! I'm usually not a stickler for grammar unless someone is trying to get published. Thanks for reading!

whittemore family said...

First off, my sister Julie Tidwell recommended your blog to me. Just thought you should know so you don't think you have a blog-stalker on your hands. I guess she thought I might find your blog clever and amusing. She was absolutely right!

This post in particular is outstanding! You certainly dictated how I feel about these books. My personal review of the Twilight series: entertaining if you push aside all logic.

Oh how I could have used your literary gifts at book club! I would have printed and distributed it to my fellow book clubbers (with your permission, of course).

I look forward to your future posts!

Alison said...

Thank you, thank you!!

I made the recent mistake of re-reading this series these past few weeks- just after I completed an AP English Language course this past year as a junior. I agreed with everything you said! I also find it great that you targeted specific examples for us to all giggle at.

I'm also one of the few Twilight readers who had been to Forks and Port Angeles before ever hearing of S. Meyer. I think her descriptions of the towns could have been much better, and they were a bit inaccurate. (It really does not rain THAT much in Forks! Good grief!)

I'd also like to add that another major issue I found in these books was the fact that Stephenie Meyer over-explains everything. I found this very frustrating and somewhat insulting as a reader. If I now had the opportunity to tell Stephenie Meyer three words that essentially encompass all I've learned in my english classes, they would be, "SHOW, don't TELL!"

Thanks again --Alison

AlliSMiles said...

ha. you make me laugh a lot because i had many of the same issues with the book. ms. meyer is a cousin to my mother-in-law, and it's really funny because my mil has offered to do editing pro bono (she used to be an english prof), but the publishing house won't have it. alas, we must suffer through the horrid writing problems. i must admit that i have enjoyed these books almost as much as the harry potter books for the storyline alone. i think the creativity of the characters and the idea in general are brilliant and so innovative that for once i actually got beyond the language itself (a hard thing for us editors) and devoured the story. one of your other posters put it well--it truly is "intoxicating."

Anabell said...

Okay, i'm going to point out that Mrs. Meyers is compared to J.K Rowling by their wide fan base and affects on their readers. They are not compared through their writing, in which you point out through almost this whole page. I am aware that people are entitles to their opinions but i will also point our that there are many ways of writing and apparently, Stephenie's writing hit home run.

Lauren said...

I love you.

EBV said...

Lauren-- I'm flattered. But... who are you?

Anonymous said...

I read the Twilight books a long time ago. I originally checked the first book out of my local library, read it, and found it a readable book. However, I find everything readable, so don't take offense at that. I never found it worthwile to take the time to read the next two books. But several months later, my friends peer-pressured me into reading them. I read them, and promptly began rooting for the werewolf instead of the vampire, to the anger and argument of my friends. Ha ha to them!
Not being a humongous grammar freak, I didn't really feel the need to dissect every sentence of the book. But what I did feel was a sense of repetitiveness. Meyer basically repeats the same things over and over: "Bella loves Edward. Edward is a vampire. Vampires are cool. Bella loves Edward. Edward is a vampire. Vampires are cool..." and so on and so forth. I really didn't feel any suspense. In the fourth book, Bella will marry Edward and become a vampire! Big whoop! (That was sarcastic, obviously.)
Now, in Harry Potter, Rowling manages to say something different every time, on a number of different levels, so every time I read the books I find something new. I feel embarrassed when Harry is embarrassed-sometimes so badly that I skip over that section-happy when Harry is happy, scared when Harry is scared, and so on. I feel suspense and excitement, as I'm sure you all did. Come on, who here honestly knew whether he would live or die?
Twilight just doesn't do this for me. I really don't feel compelled to lust over an imaginary vampire in an imaginary town. Because although the real Forks and Meyer's Forks have the same name and location, they're different places. I have, at points, wished Harry Potter was a real person-yes, I admit it-but I feel no need to wish that the repetitive, boring romance of a whiny girl and one-dimensional vampire was a real thing.
I'm ashamed to say that I will read the fourth book, when it comes out. But only because I want to see what happens to the werewolf. I could quote you the rest, right from the book, word for word, without reading a single letter.

natashaisbored said...

I am extremely appalled that Stephenie Meyer's books are so beloved by my peers (I am a teenage girl). Not only are they boring, repetitive, and not a sign of good writing, I don't think they give girls good ideas about romance and healthy relationships. Call me old-fashioned or uptight, but I think every girl should FREAK OUT if the guy she likes, but doesn't really know, is was watching her sleep.
Bella also feels it is insanely hot whenever Edward bosses her around (Don't get me wrong-I would so be grateful if some guy saved me from getting hit by a car). He could kill her at anytime. He sometimes manhandles her "for her own good." She is absolutely nothing without him.
I think having these characteristics in the most popular book relationship is not showing girls at what point a relationship is really not healthy. I fear this may lead some girls to believe abusive relationships are romantic.
I know there is an unhealthy appetite for dark and cynical and dangerous and sexy guys, but people who are looked up to shouldn't use it to make money, they should show girls a romantic love story with a nice safe guy.
I have to bring up Stephenie Meyer's religion. Bella thinks nothing "overtly sexy" and uses very little profanity. Is Meyer trying to spread her religion (Mormon, as if you couldn't guess)by making her main character a modern example of a sort of chaste person?

P.S. To all the 5o y.o. women who love Edward, you're lusting after a 17 y.o. boy. Ew.

Anonymous said...

I read Twilight when it was first released(well, it wasnt popular then). I was still in middle school. The first few pages bored me. Bella is so depressing. I'm not big on grammar but the writing was indeed horrid. It lacked depth. Its insulting to compare Twilight to Harry Potter. HP is way more magical and interesting. It took Edward and Bella forever to kiss and it just annoyed me. Now I'm in highschool and all of my friends are rabbid Edward and Jacob fangirls. I cant even hang out with them without them bringing up the cursed book. I dont understand! Twilight is like reading a vampire fanfiction on Quizilla and Fanfiction.net. Sure, its a unique idea but gosh darnit, Anne Rice could have pulled it off better. I smell a Mary-Sue!

Marjorie said...

I do not have words to express how much I loved this post. I recently was lent a copy of "Twilight" and read the first hundred pages today, followed by a brief scanning of the next hundred. I was so disgusted by the obviously poor/clichéd writing that when my best friend came over I felt the need to vent and search for sites with the words "Stephenie Meyer sucks." You came up, and thank God for that. What a lovely analysis of everything that is wrong with her writing and this phenomenon, especially in comparison with the genuine genius of the Harry Potter series. I love you.

Anonymous said...

I downloaded the audiobook for my cousin who was mistakenly informed that Twilight is the next Harry Potter (i.e. the next big thing in YA lit). I tried listening to it and I lose braincells with every sentence that comes out of the headphones.

You're right about the way it was written. Young adults still have some learning to do and as such, this book can be detrimental to their mental capacity.

I'm linking your post.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, bravo! I must applaud you for this post! Being the young teenage grammar freak I am, I had to go back and decipher many of the sentences that throughly confused me. A headache forms whenever I have to do that.

I simply don't feel the suspense and romance in this book. Plus I don't get how the females at my school find the Edward Cullen in the book charming. I know some teens that could do better than Meyer.

Anonymous said...

Love the post. I don't see the appeal of the story either. Plus, am I really the only person that thinks it's a little creepy that the love story is between a teenager and a 200-year-old?

No wonder, there's no sex. That's called "statutory rape" and I'm pretty sure it's a felony in most states.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to have found this forum. This is the first time I have ever commented on anything over the internet. Never has anything been so motivating for me to go and look for "negative" feedback about a writer. But Stephenie Meyer CAN NOT write. IMHO, any book that allows you to skip chapters entirely and not miss a thing, says something about the author. Her books are seriously lacking. Someone mentioned the attention to detail, I say to much detail bores you to death and you find yourself anxiously awaiting death. I have never met Stephenie Meyer, so in no way are my comments about her personally, just her inept writing. Take lessons from Vince Flynn, excellent author. The info you get from his pages are needed for the whole story, not wasting your time nor just filling pages with worthless, meaningless, POINTLESS words that carry on through the boring scenery.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't have said it better. Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

Though you only critiqued 'Twilight', your analysis is an effective criticism of the entire series - erm - saga.

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you on the subject that Setphenie Meyer's writing sucks. But I think she should still get credit for the werewolves. Because they rocked my socks. =] I'm a 14 year old girl who only read Eclipse and Breaking Dawn for the werewolves... and fell in love with Seth.

SM knows what the little teenage girls want- cold and mysterious, or outrageously HOT.

Alex said...

Amen.

Surprised you didn't mention anything about how perfectly perfect Edward was, though. Someone needs to point out to Meyer that the world 'perfect' isn't an actual description, much less a plot device that can absorb 95% of a novel.

Really, did anything happen for the first 400 pages of Twilight? I only seem to remember that Edward was really, really perfect...

Anonymous said...

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I loved these books! When did it become a bad thing to just simply read for pleasure? Why do books have to be ripped apart? My philosophy is simple... If I enjoy it, I enjoy it! The same goes for movies. Critics can rip a movie apart, but what does their opinion matter to me, it it brought me joy and entertainment? These books have brought me hours of entertainment and joy!!

Anonymous said...

You're my hero. I agree with everything you said absolutely.

Anonymous said...

you are my hero...twilight was one of the worst books i've ever read...yes it was certainly a ok plot but meyer is one of the worst authors...the thing that scares me is that she has a degree in english literature!!

Anonymous said...

if u guys are here and wasting your time writing about a stupid book it makes me laugh!!! to be honest hu cares why waste ur time reading it then!!!! seriously

XM Leah said...

If people want to read Twilight that's fine. I have no problem with people reading it. My problem is when it gets compared to Harry Potter. How does something like this become so popular? It's terrible when the actor needs help portraying his character because he has no idea how to emote beautiful.

SMeyer isn't even a good person about this. If you don't like the book it's your fault! You misunderstood the book. It looks like she can't handle criticism. EVERY writer gets criticism, even the best ones.

mada said...

Well said, nicely done, and proof that the characters, lack of plot and abusive relationships aren't the only things wrong with Twilight.

Bravo!

Momo said...

"P.S. To all the 5o y.o. women who love Edward, you're lusting after a 17 y.o. boy. Ew."

Actually he was 17 in 1918 so...

I guess you will understand when you get to be 50 and your mind still feels 20.

I'm 35 and I don't lust after Edward as a 17 yr old but a vampire should have a depth of age (which he does NOT!) so I could see how some people could lust after a young vampire. Youth is beautiful, after all.

Edward's vapid. Bella is a codependent little girl in "lurve" with Edward's "prettiness." To a teen girl, love = a hawt guy. That's definitely very EW. Teen girls have been mocked for decades because of their ridiculous behavior when it comes to boys. Twilight is a testament to the idiocy and immaturity of teen girls everywhere.

There's a book called, "But I Love Him," which I think everyone who reads Twilight should read.

Hey, doesn't Twilight kind of read like an Afterschool Special?

Finally, did you all LOVE the ending where James is "taken care of" off screen? Heh! Can you imagine this happening in any other story?

HARRY: I seem to have been knocked unconscious! What happened?

RON & HERMIONE: Dumbledore took care of Voldemort. Yayness!

HARRY: Whew. Let's go to the Yule Ball!

RON & HERMIONE: Yayness!

Kelly said...

I cannot tell you how much I appreciated this post. I mean, really, but not fairly. Seriously. You have no idea.

First, let me state for the record that I am female. I am 30. So, I do not subscribe to the belief that I have to read trash in order to feel excited or young.

Secondly, what really got me about this post was the bit about JK Rowling. You have exactly put to words how I feel about the comparisons. When I read the Harry Potter books, I DID feel young again. I felt excited and couldn't wait for the next volume. I mourned those who passed in the books because they were introduced to me as one would introduce a friend. The settings were places that I dreamt of going and reminded me of all those days spent daydreaming as a kid, imagining places such as Hogwarts.

I bawled til I couldn't breathe through my nostrils during book 6 and 7 because we, as readers, experienced true loss. She made us hurt. It was beautiful and touching and I will always be grateful for Rowling's world. She has truly, truly made a place where people can go nightly in their dreams.

But this....author. It would be fine if people just read the books and did what they did and that would be fine. But the comparisons to Rowling honestly upset me because THERE IS NO COMPARISON. None of these characters are as confused about their destiny as Harry. None of them are as bullheaded as Hermoine. None of them are as fallible as Dumbledore. There's no self-sacrificing Dobby. There's no Sirius looking for redemption, Lupin wishing for normalcy or Snape trying to atone for his dark past.

Nothing. None of that. How can you compare it? It's not a fair comparison. Because in none of these books was there ever a scene as heartwrenching as when Harry looked in on his parents in the moments before their deaths.

Sorry if I'm a bit wordy, but this was a fantastic post. I truly thank you for putting to words what's upsetting me so much about this book series.

I'm now going to check out your reading list and reviews. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello. I just had to post. My 15 yr old daughter bought this book a few months ago. She felt it was the most vapid and contrived piece of trash she has ever read (her word: Shallow). Then I read it to see what she meant. She was so right-Mr. Boyd, you have got the whole thing dead-on correct. This was painful reading. I read it just to see how/if it was resolved. As someone else posted, it was just too repetitive. And others commented that they felt transported to when they were teenagers. NO, I don't think so.

I've read books that I've considered guilty pleasures before, but this wasn't pleasurable at all. I won't mention names because the book is widely derided/loved by millions as well and would derail this topic. In comparison to JKR? That's so idiotic that I just won't go there. That this is so widely popular is truly scary. Thank you for putting so eloquently what I had trouble verbalizing. I KNEW it was horrid, I just couldn't explain why. Thanks again.

barboid

Anonymous said...

for the longest time, I thought I was the only person on the planet who didn't buy into this twilight bullshit, or drool over a fictitious character like he's a real-life rock star. Thank you for showing me that I'm not the only kid in the world with taste!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I read your blog and all of the posts that followed with interest. I agree with mauch of what you and others said about SM's writing style. Then I read your profile. Listing "Anchorman" as one of your favorite movies completes negates any credibility you have as a critic of any kind.

Luna said...

Personally, I thought the first pages were the worst. They just didn't flow at all...

But then I stopped caring about the grammar/writing style when I saw all the abuse and stalking.

Anonymous said...

I TOTALLY AGREEE. wadefreek stephenie is so gratuitous in her descriptions of Edward. BLEARGH. its disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Excellent critique. Just wanted to add one small opinion that I had: the whole series would have been a way better read if it weren't heavily manipulated into a cash cow. Four books? The entire plot fits in one novel at the most.
Plus, aside from the excruciatingly long descriptions of useless details (which all sound like someone in a writing class who is assigned to describe what they did that morning), the type was heavily margined, large print, and double-spaced. The epicness of the "saga" is manufactured.
I would have preferred the abridged version.
oh, and one more thing, Girls: Edward is an insecure, manipulative, controlling, immature 90 year-old who relishes in captivating mediocre young girls with no talent or self-respect.

Gonzo's Chicken said...

Eric, just for your amusement: my husband's cousin's husband is your cousin JP Feinauer. His wife referred my husband to your blog and he subsequently referred it to me and I'm writing this post on my husband's computer. How's that for a twisted road?

I have to say that I totally judge anyone who calls themselves a Twilight fan. ESPECIALLY my married friends. It's an honest insight into their level of self esteem and how much they value their real-life romantic relationships. I cannot understand how lusting after a "perfect" fictional male in your mind is acceptable, when you've got a perfectly good, real life, warm-blooded man around to whom you have already committed - it borders on adultery, don't you think? (I've got girlfriends who want to name their sons Edward - how do their husbands feel about that?)

Here is my real concern, though. Women have been addicted (yes, addicted) to romance novels for a good long time now. If this kind of sexual teasing is being sold to a much younger audience successfully, you can bet there will be a flood of morally irresponsible authors writing more trash like this just to cash in.

I believe that writers should be held responsible for their work just like everyone else. Shouldn't there be a checks-and-balances system for the entertainment industry? Sigh. I guess the only protection I can really offer my daughter is to read whatever she is reading, and then have discussions about it.

Brilliant post, I'm glad you took the time. I'll bet it was fun writing.

Anonymous said...

Gonzo, while I can't STAND Twilight, I find your assessment of the women who like it as adulterers to be over the top and downright sexist.

Let me state once again, I think Twilight is one of the most horribly written pieces of garbage that has sold as a "bestseller" in years. That being said, I find your post as idiotic as anything that Meyer writes.

I think you need to be honest with yourself about what it is exactly that you're hating here. Most of us are hating the fact that this crap is being heralded as literature. It personally just sounds like you're hating a bunch of women for the sheer fact that they are, gasp, women. In fact, I've got to say that your post sounds like that of a person with horribly low self esteem.

BTW, Jim Henson called. He says that Gonzo's chicken, Camilla, is offended by your post and wants nothing to do with you.

ebv said...

Hey, let's be somewhat civil here. Gonzo is a common name in some cultures.

As to your points, Twilight is drivel. It may be a symptom of a larger problem in our society, but I won't go that far with it; especially not to the level of adultery. Certainly, some women may carry their obsessions too far. But who am I to judge, especially when I don't know what goes on in the minds and souls of the women who obsess about this stuff... (thank goodness... staring into the abyss allows the abyss to stare back)

Anyway, thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Gonzo from the Muppets was "famous" for his affiliation with chickens.

But to the point, the adultery thing is WAY over the top. I hate, hate, hate, Meyer's work, but in no way do I believe that people who enjoy the books are guilty of adultery. Just as I don't believe that people who read Puzo's books are guilty of being mobsters.

Anonymous said...

I love you! The books completely suck. How can anyone even compare that garbage to JK Rowling's world she created? It makes me laugh when people say that Twilight gave them hours of entertainment. I can't see how it did since it was basically 500 pages of NOTHING. I started reading Twilight when I got curious as to what everyone was so excited about. And I gotta say, the book was terrible. So, so boring. And it doesn't portray a good message for teenaged girls, which is unfortunately the majority of SM's readers. How she even got her books published is an unfathomable enigma to me.

Anonymous said...

The writing may suck, I can't be a critic of that, since I'm no writer. But I am a reader and these books obviously draw some pretty strong feelings from people. I read the first 2 books because of all the brouhaha over them. I found myself hating Bella. Everything was so repetetive, the main theme being "Bella is clumsy, Edward is gorgeous, Forks is boring". I guess my main complaint is Bella's obsession with Edward. She had no reason to live but for Edward - the second novel was way over the top when she got so depressed because he left - Get over it - get a hobby - go for a jog or something. That's not healthy, nor should it be promoted to young girls that their lives should revolve around anyone!
Bella was a seriously flawed character and the fact that these books are bestsellers is a sad commentary on our society. I ended up bashing Bella at every opportunity and ruining the books for my poor daughter.
I can't fathom that ANYONE would compare these books to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. the Harry Potter books are genius and these idiotic books are just plain crap.

Anonymous said...

I hate her. She uses my style of writing with second rate grammar. She dedicated her books to bands. She writes her first book in six months and gets published whereas I write for five years and haven't had a single copy on the stacks. JK Rowling should not be compared to her. She used a new idea Stephenie Meyer...I cannot go on.

Mana said...

I just lol'd.
I'm emailing this to all the twi-tards I know.
You made my day.
Really.

And besides this, if you want good vampire lit, go read Anne Rice.
Wonderful lady she is.
;3

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that between the first and the second book, they could have made a book of Bella being completely Depressed and annoying?
I've read the whole series and seen the new movies and i'm still repulsed.
how could ANYONE compare SM to JK Rowling?
What idiot does that?
its also quite sad how all the little girls out there are BEGGING their boyfriends to bite them like a vampire.
You should see the things that have happened at my school.
and not only that.
I think there are about 20 girls out of 2000 who DON'T have a Twilight book in their backpack.
Sad huh?

Carl Miller said...

To the anonymous poster who followed Gonzo's Chicken:

First: Jim Henson is dead, he didn't call unless you have clairvoyant abilities that nobody is aware of.

Second: I must say that I agree with her. Girls reading Twilight is the same as boys reading Victoria's Secret: it's just soft porn (unless you are actually reading it for the articles).

Didn't Christ say that he who looks upon a woman to lust after her commits adultery in his heart? Why would it be different for a female?

Third: How was Gonzo's Chicken sexist? She simply said that women being unfaithful to their husbands in their own heads is immoral. If she had stated that it was OK for guys but not girls, that might be sexist. Her post was clear that she felt some people read the book to feel sexual excitement; she didn't say that all who read the book are immoral.

Finally: I suppose you posted anonymously because you were ashamed of your own thoughts. Coward.

Anonymous said...

I Concur, thank you for pointing out just how badly written this book is, not to mention how it rapes vampire mythos.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I'm in high school, and I finally succumbed to my curiosity when I read this book for the first time last night. I had expected to be insantly blown away and absorbed into the book, as I was when I first opened Harry Potter. Instead, I was immediately turned off by just the first few pages. I had to reread them about 5 times to comprehend what the author was trying to say, and this pattern continued throughout the rest of the book. I'm astounded that a publisher even looked at this more than once. It's just SO BAD - every minute detail is described, the dialogue is awful, and trying to decipher all of Meyer's garbage is a lot of hard work for something that's supposed to be enjoyable to read. Most importantly, it's boring; the actual plot of the book consists of random events that take the story down a winding lane. There are pages I just skimmed over because actually trying to read them would give me a headache. None of the characters are easy to relate to, or make you sympathize with them in any way.

Anyone who actually likes this "book", if you can call it that, must truly be braindead. I'm hoping that the people at my school don't actually like it, and are simply following whatever is popular at the moment; right now, its worshipping at the feet of this 400 page migraine.

Rose said...

I, like you, read the first couple of chapters in amazement. I found it excruciating to read but then as i continued through the pages i found Twilight growing on me. I then had the realisation that, yes it wasnt the most remarkably well written book but i didnt care. Sometimes theres value in just enjoying a book even if its a trashy, teenage, vampire romance.
I resolved to take a deep breath sit back and stop picking at strangely frazed sentences and odd word choice. I found it quite refreshing that nothing happened for the first 400 pages. Sometimes you need a break from stories that go all to fast. On word choice, yes sometimes it seems that Stephanie Meyer was just picking random words out of a thesaurus but Bellas language helped differentiate her from the teens of today, making her special and unique.

Thankyou so much for this post, I am always delighted to hear peoples opinions on said topics.

Anonymous said...

I was quite disgusted whilst I was reading this post. You sound as if you personally hate everyone who has ever bothered to read the book.
I totally agree that the Twilight books should never be compared to Harry Potter; they are no where near as captivating or well written. But they do the job. To anyone who is not reading them for the sole purpose of dissecting them later, they are actually a fun read, that, like it or not, millions of people (and not just pre-teen girls) enjoy.
You wrote for ages about the sentence structure of the first few pages. Yes, it's not how it would be written in a particularly "serious" or "adult" book, but let’s face it; this is how the vast majority of teenagers talk. Fact.
You also mentioned the vocabulary that Bella used: I think you'll find that many teenagers which read often (which it is mentioned several times that Bella does) will use more sophisticated vocab than their peers.
So yes, it is not the most sophisticated or well researched book every written, but it is fun, enjoyable, and well worth reading if you are if you are just reading for pure enjoyment, not so that you can dissect it later. It's a really great holiday read :).

ebv said...

12/30 Anonymous: You were disgusted with my post and then try to end your comment with a smiley face? Thanks, but no thanks. I don't read to dissect things later. It's just that her structure and word choice was so bad I couldn't get around it. As to teenagers using words like verbose and bulbous? Even adults who use those words in every-day speech get laughed at. :D

katariina said...

while reading the eclipse, i felt a distinct urge to whack edward's head off with a huge club. i would have wanted to do the same to bella too, but as that wouldn't have benefitted my plans to bring jacob and bella together, i agreed to settle with forcing her to understand her wimpyness by roaring some carefully chosen words in her face. you can probably notice, that the only character i feel any compassion for is jacob. i am sorry about this, since i know from reading stephenie meyer's posts, that this was not her intention; loving her two leads she obviously would want the readers to feel the same, motherly caring for them as she does.
another thing that pisses me off is the muteness of the characters. why wont bella say anything? she obviously is burning to see jacob, but is "restricted by edward's stony hold on her". generally, i'm always frustrated by any kinds of communication problems (although i realize that they are often necessary for the structure of the plot - the whole heathcliff-catherine-drama would never have happened if the two of them had just spoken to eachother, and i greatly enjoyed reading wuthering heights). in summary, if i were bella, i would yell my throat dry to the sadistic, manipulating, overprotecting fiancée of mine, until he let me go.
otherwise, the plot is catchy; i couldn't lay the books down once i'd started reading. for a teenage girl like me, i believe it's like porn for men. i mean all the sexual tension is simply overflowing. also i caught myself in doing the exact thing some preceding comments had warned me about: fantasizing about "true love" and other crap like that. and i guess the mormon author has succeeded in making me -a devoted agnostic- to reconsider my decision to jump in bed with the first by passer (not literally, of course). considering the above mentioned, and even though i have certain problems with her style, stephenie meyer has earned some respect from me as an successful author.
thanks and my apologies to the grammar freaks for mistakes or strange words (not native).

Cassandra said...

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!That article rocked and Susan Lake must have been AWESOME! There are these girls in my homeroom who are just like "OH I WANNA MARRY EDWARD CULLEN!" It's really annoying. By the way, Bella is a Mary Sue! Right now, a friend of mine and I are in a library and my friend is asking some girls what they think of Edward and AARGH!!I NEED TO COMMIT SUICIDE NOW!

Cassandra said...

Also, there are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many adjectives.

Chesna said...

Hello, and thank you for this! I first heard of Twilight when it hit theatres, and decided I'd go see it because of my love for vampires. It was a disappointment.

I borrowed a copy of the book after wards, and I couldn't even make it through the first page because of the style of writing just couldn't keep me focused on it.

So, today I cam across this article and read through the whole thing laughing.

Thanks again!

sherrilina said...

Interesting article--I think that some of it is unfair towards Smeyer, as much as I dislike her writing (like in word choice--I don't see a problem with Bella using the word "verbose," or some of the other examples that author pointed out--I feel like there are a lot of worse examples of word choice to choose from, like describing Edward as having an "incandescent chest.")

I also have a problem with the way that you go to the other extreme in raising JK Rowling on a pedestal I don't think she merits. I mean, JK is a decent writer, yes, and better than Smeyer--but "immaculate, goldenly inventive, and captivating to all ages, sexes, and personalities" it most certainly is not. OOTP in particular is anything but "immaculate" writing wise, between Rowling using "bracingly" almost as often as Smeyer uses "chagrin" and being so repetitive at times that in one spot she says Harry couldn't endure the stares and whatnot from people (or something of that ilk) as he goes to bed on one page, and then wakes up on the next page thinking the exact same thought. JK Rowling could have used that "edit, edit, edit" rule the blog writer suggests that Smeyer listen to just as much there. The last two books also had tons of bad writing, with examples like the chest monster or “The suddenness and completeness of death was with them like a presence.” Rowling is no Proust either. You can read more about its flaws here: http://www.ferretbrain.com/articles/article-146.html

This quote is also ridiculous: “Where Rowling is fresh, inventive, and so carefully plots, structures, and layers her books with a sophistication that only deepens as Harry gets older.” Only deepens as he gets older? Honestly, I feel like the plotting of the books went significantly downhill in the last few books. HBP did not seem very sophisticated to me at all (and no, not for “X ship happened and X ship didn’t” reasons), with more time spent angsting about who was snogging than Voldemort. And finally to say that JK carefully plotted the last book is a joke—if she was that careful about plotting, she would have introduced the idea of snitches remembering touch in book 1 when Wood was explaining the rules, or would have introduced those complicated wand ownership rules a hell of a lot earlier in the series. She also wouldn’t have made the final battle dependent on sh*t dumb luck and a fistfight—namely Harry happening to wrestle Malfoy’s wand away from him in Malfoy manner to become the “true owner” of the super!wand—because if that one little event hadn’t happened, all the choices and love and self-sacrifice and crap in the world wouldn’t have helped Harry against that AK, and Voldemort would have won. That is deus ex machina, folks, not careful plotting and structures and sophistication.

Now I’m not saying that DH wasn’t a decent book—it was, I liked most of it, and I think some people have been too extreme in their dislike of it. But it does have its flaws in writing and plotting and characterizing and the rest, as do books before it, and to raise up HP as great literature and JK Rowling as some classic, amazing author is just as ridiculous as comparing SMeyer to Jane Austen. Yes, JK Rowling is a better writer than SMeyer obviously. But not by as much as you are claiming.

Anonymous said...

Sherrilina,

Why do I get the feeling you are Smeyer in disguise?

Get over it. Rowling is 10000000x the writer Smeyer is. The sooner you realize it, the happier (and more intelligent) you'll be.

Jefferson said...

Thank you for your review of these books. You're absolutely correct about Stephenie Meyer's books. They're awful pieces of garbage that don'e even remotely compare to anything written by J.K.Rowling. Stephenie Meyer can't even comprehend the basic concept of verb tense or even elementary level grammar. The fact that her books are so popular only proves how uneducated and illiterate the American people in general have become over the years. 50 or 60 years ago, this tripe would never have been published. It's sad how the collective American IQ has fallen.

Anonymous said...

After reading most of the Gossip Girl books it was a relief to read the Twilight series. Although it was very repetitive and lengthy (due mostly to adjectives galore), I enjoyed reading books that did not namedrop a designer in every second paragraph.
Thankyou for your comments, which have made me realise the importance of a good writing. Although Stephenie was able to capture the emotions of her young readers (I was in love with Edward for a while..) it is a more shallow read than I first thought. The movie only compliments this theory.
At first I thought it was a bit sad that you read the book purely to analyze grammar and structure, but your work has honestly brought me back to reality, making me realise how buttered up these books are for the intended audience, and not much else.

Anonymous said...

Several posters have stated they read the books for enjoyment and ignore the poor writing. I say this is impossible. For example, as a fan of fantasy novels, I attempted to read the "Sword of Shannara" by Terry Brooks. While it was a fairly good book with a decent (though largely recycled) storyline, I constantly found myself thinking "horrible word choice" or "this sentance does not flow". The book could not come alive for me because I was constantly critiquing the author's work. The fact is poor writing reads bad. Those who justify poor writing must not know what good writing truly is. I have as much respect for people who read a book despite its horrible writing as I do for anyone who tries to defend their assertion that said movie is better than the book, which is too say not very much.

Anonymous said...

This was pure genius! I actually found myself nodding my head numerous times. I'm still in high school so I am forced to see at least five people carrying that book around each day and it just puts in perspective how many teenage girls find joy in reading a book where the main character is highly dependent on men and can't seem to "live without" them. Has no one ever heard of feminism?

And as for girls being able to put themselves in Bella's pov, I could never see myself as making her decisions because a) she gives up her family by becoming a vampire just so she can be with her 'true love' b) because she attaches herself to another man when her first leaves her for her 'own protection' and c) because she automatically accepts her first man back into her life after he has left her and she had already fallen for another guy (who is conviently forgotten when lover boy comes back). I'm sorry but I would have definitely conducted myself in a much different manner.

One more comment I would like to point out is that what I realized when I went back and reread the series, was that the conversations between Bella and any of the other characters were emotionless! They didn’t describe what expressions the speaker had or what type of voice they were using. They were essentially detached and impassive. Boring!!!

Thank you so so much for the wonderful post. And I hope that some of the Twilight fan girls read this and calm themselves down about the basically emotionless series.

Anonymous said...

Why are you all so bothered about how the books are written? Twilight is a story, it doesn't claim to be great literature and as a classicist i understand that the story is the most important part of any piece of written work. If someone that can't write music conjures up the most amazing song and can only hum it for people to hear it does that mean the music should be left unheard? I read Twilight and I became lost in the world Stephenie Meyer had created, she suspended my disbelief in a way that made me unaware of her 'literary mistakes'; literature is first and foremost for the purpose of entertainment and I am well entertained when reading the series. Maybe you guys should stop secreting excrement on people's work and just leave them alone

Anonymous said...

To the author of the post:

I am glad that superior people such as ourselves can look down and belittle writers who make writing mistakes. We know that Rowling did not and does not make mistakes to merit the need of an editor. I do not care that Meyer produced these books in a rather quick fashion. She should be perfect. Rowling released her books fast and they do not contain a single mistake. Do they? Who cares if she did, she is a god. I am still amazed at how original Rowling was and is: Little insignificant Harry Potter starts off as a nobody, and through the magic of 'fate' became someone great. Mmmm...I loved that new taste.

*_*Antoine*_* said...

Bravo sir. Bravo!

Lynne said...

Thesaurus abuse, sloppy sentence structure, Mary Sue protagonist, writing that tells and doesn't show, purple prose, pages and pages of obsessive descriptions of someone's beauty, dismissal of less-attractive human characters are on my short list of what I despise about these books. And Eddie Sparklepants meets several criteria for abusive partners, but because he's beautiful and rich and "loves" Bella, readers all give him a pass. If Mike Newton or any of the other human boys had stalked Bella, broken into her house, dismantled her car's engine, had her kidnapped, stolen not only the gifts he had given her but also the photos she'd taken of him, held it over her head that he was physically stronger and could snap her like a twig, readers would be hanging him in effigy. Bella is a blank until she meets Edward, she is blank after he leaves her, she finds another boy to fill the void (because after all, no girl is complete or valid without a boyfriend), dumps him when the man of marble perfection returns, sits around helplessly while other people fight for her. She is not a role model, nor is her relationship with Edward something impressionable young women should aspire to.

I found the first HP book a bit cutesy and precious, and Rowling falls into the new-writer's trap of using too many adverbs, but by the 6th and 7th books, she's amazing. And Rowling's story and characters held me from the get-go. Something Rowling was always good at was dialogue, which is important for characterization. Meyer? "You're intoxicated by my very presence." Ick. Puh-leeze. She's written five books and her prose hasn't improved one iota. She calls herself a "storyteller," which apparently excuses her from actually developing any writing skills.
I could go on for pages.

I loved your comment about sucking the life out of the fandom. One of my fellow teachers owns seven Team Edward-themed T-shirts, she's made a pilgrimage to Forks, she's seen the movie six times, she has one of those Team Edward tote bags. I hope she hasn't purchased the body shimmer. And she's an English teacher.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother, amen.

Dreamer said...

I *blush blush* did enjoy Twilight, because it's a pretty good read about what goes on inside a teenage girl's head, and it was nice to have someone to empathise with. The way it was written was nice and slow and easy to deal with. I love the classics, but that doesn't mean they can't be a bit wordy sometimes. (Bad grammar, I think. Oh well.) I don't know that I'd buy it though. It doesn't belong on my shelf.

I *deepest blush on the face of the planet* didn't notice her poor writing skills until they were pointed out to me. I want to die of shame cause of that. Especially since I want to be an author. Gosh, I'm worried about my own writing skills now.

I did like the lack of swearing in the book, but as for 'clean'? Nuh-uh. It is, as Kari said, all about sex.

And controlling relationships. Since when does Edward get to 'let' her do anything?

One thing's for sure, I'm taking care to make my heroines strong ones, after this wake-up call.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic. I am seriously wondering if editors actually perform their appointed tasks now, after I googled 'analysis of Meyer's work'. I do like to think, though, that Meyer is a diamond in the rough. There's gotta be hope for everyone, right?

Anonymous said...

Now imagine yourself as a teenage girl who is forced into constant contact with obsessed Twilight fans. Even my English teacher loves the series. Thanks for making me feel a bit less crazy.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. Twilight is a piece of crap, and I'm ashamed of the fact that Stephenie Meyer is compared to J.K.Rowling. Stephenie only WISHES she had J.K.Rowling's talent!!! J.K.Rowling is an AMAZING writer, whereas Stephenie is... HORRIBLE. I can't wait until the day when this fad's buzz is gone. I have had ENOUGH!!

Anonymous said...

Primp My Ride was pretty funny, I'll give you that.

So Meyer's not the best writer in the world. Her grammar and word usage can suck at times.

But

her imagination and storytelling prevails.

And a good story is a good story. Anybody can learn to write but if a person can bring a character like Cullen to life the way she did, they have a spark.

I wouldn't malign her. Don't hate, congratulate. And if she's selling millions of books, she's doing SOMETHING right. Prime example: You seem to have a decent command of the English language, and you're still stuck on a free blogging sight bitching about a best selling author.

I'm just sayin.....

Lynne said...

*clears throat*
*climbs up on soapbox*

To: Anonymous who hasn't the courage to post under your real name to defend SMeyer and her crap fiction and says we should not hate but congratulate:

Popular is not synonymous with quality.

I can name you bazillions of examples of mediocre-to-bad that brought in millions. On the short list are Twinkies, McDonalds, Britney Spears, Dan Brown, and movies starring Will Farrell or Adam Sandler.

*steps off soapbox*

Anonymous said...

Lynne,

I may be anonymous, too, but don't forget to mention how the above anon equates success with bank figures. The most successful people in history didn't have a coin to their name. Good to know that the anon poster defending Meyer thinks so little of Jesus, Gandhi and all those other little guys with no money.

Ari said...

Cheers. Stephanie Meyers is a terrible writer, and I say this as a person who still read all four books and attended the film.

For me, it was a guilty pleasure and nothing more. Anyone who says this woman can write knows zilch about literature.

Ari said...

-- and she was obviously so unremarkable to me as an author, I can't even remember how to correctly spell her name. :D

Jen said...

Woah -- why does no one understand what "passive voice" is? The following is an example of passive voice:

"My favorite sleeveless shirt was worn by me."

versus active voice:

"I wore my favorite sleeveless shirt."


I see what you're saying with the "to be" verbs, but that is not what passive voice is. You're referring instead to overusing a verb, and that's not good for anything either.

I agree with you about Meyer's writing (especially sentence structure...), but why would anyone slap the "literature" label on Twilight? I wouldn't even bother, because it's simply not literature.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever listened to Stephanie Meyer speak? To put it mildly, she has a very limited vocabulary. This disturbing but undeniable fact occurred to me while listening to her comment on the movie adaptation of her book. I'm afraid that the massive success of this book is yet another indication of the dumbing down of American public education. There is no way that this caliber of writing would have cleared the editors of a major publisher in the America of the 1950's,60's or 70's. Parents please steer your children to the great classic masterworks of literature.

Anonymous said...

Granite, topaz, cement.... Words you will only find used more often in a countertop pamplet. A Home Depot kitchen remodel flier, a good imagination and you too can have a wet dream.

Ariana said...

I just flicked through this book about an hour ago, and found it to be exactly what I expected: a load of nonsense. The idea is basic, for one: bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks meets Mary-Sue, is inconceivably attracted to her, she spends the rest of the book wondering what he sees in her (and so do we), and then in the last hundred or so pages a plot actually pops up about some other bad boy wanting to kill her. Really, Meyer? You could find nothing else more appealing?

Twilight is repetitive, not to mention it drags. Edward's beautiful, Bella's in love with him, Edward is beautiful, Bella's in love with him. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum. Also, I have no exact quotes, but there's a part where Bella eats and Meyer feels the need to state that Bella washed her bowl and spoon - nice to know, I was so worried that she was sloppy - and when Bella is looking up vampires, the narration of how she checks her email and then goes "to her favourite search engine" is really just too much. Get with the program. She Googled.

Much is made of Bella being clumsy and awkward, but it's really all for two purposes: to let awkward little teenage girls identify with her and ooh and aah over the fact that hot sexy Edward still likes Bella even though she's a klutz, and to be used to resolve the end of the novel. It's not a characteristic, not a quirk. It's a plot device.

The writing itself is just plain bad. Edward is heavenly. Glorious. Marble. Granite. His chest is incandescent and his arms are scintillating. (Eh?) Bella, of course, is Little Miss Wonderful - she's super brave, near fearless, Edward can't read her mind, and naturally her blood just smells so good. Well, aren't we special?

I'm all for unique, flawed heroines, but somehow I think Meyer missed the mark here. And I wonder if I dare to even get into the fact that Bella is vapid, unappealing, and emotionally distant. She feels things happen to her. She realizes she's crying. She hears herself scream. She has no personality except to love Edward. And Edward is an appealing love interest for teenage girls because he's brooding, dark, beautiful, and dangerous...without being dangerous at all. We know from early on that Edward would never hurt Bella, and that takes any and all fun out of it. Edward is safe, and I suppose that's why he's a teenybopper favourite.

Anyway, light reading is light reading. I personally didn't find it entertaining, fun, exciting, or anything else positive. I laughed solely at the problems I saw in the book, and not at the book itself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this.
Now I know I'm not the only crazy person for not liking Meyer's books. Everyone I talk to thinks I'm crazy for thinking this way. I'm 16, so I get 'booed' at a lot for not liking her books. I thought her whole book could've been summed up in a chapter or a lot less than what she wrote. The English teachers that I've talked to all liked the Twilight saga which I found ironic. Anyways, thank you again for writing this blog piece about how horrible the Twilight book is and also how terrible of a writer Stephanie Meyer is.

lismarieb said...

What if the word "chuckle" were left out of Meyer's books? I think without that and the "crooked smile", the books would be half their size. It is frightening that this "saga" has such frenzied mass appeal. I am saddened at the systematic "dumbing down" of the next generation. Thank goodness there are still some people out there who recognize the alarming message these books send out. From the sub-par writing to the dangerous message showing girls that "true love" is being submissive, masochistic and worshipping the "beautiful creature", wondering all the while how he could be meant for you.

Diane said...

I think the comment by Luna is perfect: "Personally, I thought the first pages were the worst. They just didn't flow at all...

But then I stopped caring about the grammar/writing style when I saw all the abuse and stalking."

I'm all for romance novels and 'beach reads' and reading to escape from every day life. However, the idea that love is based on perfection is frightening to me. That stalking is ok if the stalker is beautiful. Abuse is ok if you love the person. I just can't get past this aspect of Twilight and so the poor writing, for me, is inconsequential.

What I love most about your blog post is that the next time I warn someone of the poor writing, I have a place to point them to that says it all. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Unlike most of the commenters here, I am a 13-year-old Twilight addict, yet when I read this I was actually quite intrigued! It was interesting to see some complaints, considering all my friends do is rave about how awesome the books are. And to be honest,I agree with many of the complaints. I was baffled that she could write four thick novels and not really use many big words. There isn't much to interpret there, true. And they are certainly not the works of a literary genius. But what draws me to them is the emotions that they stir up in me, many of which I can closely relate to, and experience on a day-to-day basis. As many of you have said, it captures these emotions and presents them in an intense way. As Stephenie Meyer has said in some of her interviews, it is all about the teenage girl audience; people like me. If you are not a teenage girl, it is quite hard to appreciate or even understand this type of literature.

Anonymous said...

Hey this is the 13-year-old again and I would just like to add that I am in agreement with the comparisons to J.K. Rowling. She is an amazing author with much more creativity than Steph and definitely a higher intelligence. But I would also like to say that the reason I feel the books are so popular is the fact that many adults don't understand how strong a teenager's emotions can be, and this novel demonstrates that we DO have these feelings, loudly and clearly. It makes us feel like we are not alone in our little world. And that's not to say that it's not unhealthy, I'm just trying to clear some confusion.

Anonymous said...

dude that fucking movie killed all the good songs in it

Janet said...

Eric,

We are certainly on the same wavelength throughout this entire post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I think that the real issue is that it is a good story that people can either relate to or want to relate to.

I, for one, was dead set on, as you said, avoiding it like the plague. My little sister had read Twilight before it became really popular, but when I heard that people were comparing it to HP, I refused to read it. In retrospect, what a silly thing that was! She bought the movie when it came out and I agreed, under coercion, to watch it with her. I came to the obvious conclusion that it is nothing like HP at all and finally caved.

I honestly did enjoy the story, because what girl doesn't want to find someone who they're mysteriously drawn to, and who can't get enough of them? I, too, however, was SO annoyed the entire time I was reading. All I could think about was that someone else could have done a much better job of conveying the same basic idea. Didn't she go to school to study English?

Also, to the anonymous poster who came before me, what does the music in the movie have to do with anything, dude?

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how many times Ms. Meyer used the word "chagrin" in her series? It's one of my trivia question.

Kara said...

-hugs tightly- I love you for posting this.

Meyer's writing? I do not.

Anonymous said...

I liked Twilight. I do think that there could have been better choices of words, but it is written in the perspective of teenagers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this whole thing! Proof that I'm not crazy! lol

Well, if Stephenie Meyer can publish something, anyone can.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Well, you (Anonymous, 2nd comment from the bottom) clearly would have trouble noticing grammatical errors, so I don't think we can mark your opinion very valid.

blooddrivendream said...

To begin with (and not entirely to the point), the "Jane Austen You Ain't" section made me a tad defensive. Over half the examples you gave were of words I (a 17 year old girl) would use in my head. Though, perhaps I would not use them out loud, simply because the usage is not entirely appropriate and it would sound awkward.

I enjoyed your analysis of the writing. Personally, I never looked into it that carefully. I sensed bad writing and began to skim the novel.

The bad writing would have been fine were there to be other positive attributes to the novel. I could not find positive attributes. I could easily read a paragraph long summary of the plot and I would not be hungry for further plot intricacies. Edward is not a captivating character, in any way. He is not alluring. He is creepy, in numerous ways and for numerous reasons.

Anonymous said...

I got past SM's bad grammar and excessive vocabulary, and I actually enjoyed the first book. What really makes me despise these books and their author is the content! This is setting a horrible example for all of the young people(including boys) who read her material! In my opinion, Edward is the ONLY thing SM got right! How Edward waited almost a hundred years before he found the right "one" was the only thing that kept me from tossing the book right out the window!(or giving to my dog to chew on) She would have had a wonderful, (clean) and promising career ahead of her(though she still has a promising career ahead, but a horrible reputation)if she hadn't thrown in the unnecessary content! If the series had been clean, I admit I would still be reading them.

Anonymous said...

The Phoenix sun can't smile down at you. We call that anthropomorphism. So much for your status as grammar Nazi....

Anonymous said...

For that matter, white eyelet lace can't see the sun....

Ugh.

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

No, Meyer is no literary genius, but neither are you.

Anonymous said...

I won't bother to correct your definition of passive voice, as that has already been addressed by another.

Ariana said...

Anonymous @ 5/20/2009 11:55 AM -

Edward is the only thing she got right? A man who treats Bella like a child, pulls her onto his lap all the time, even picks her up and carries her places as though she isn't perfectly capable of walking? Because, you know, that doesn't at all subconsciously communicate the inherent weakness of women.

I find it strange that people could dismiss the appalling characterization, grammar, and plot, and even the astonishing and obvious lack of good writing and appreciate the content of the book. What content? A vampire chooses to live off animals instead of humans. Said vampire falls in love with a human. We've all read it and seen it before. Most of us have even had better ideas.

Imho, I don't really see anything redeeming about Twilight.

ebv said...

Anon--

What's wrong with anthropomorphism? It's not grammatically incorrect in any way... nice try to flame me, though.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

And I DO realize that my definition of passive voice was a bit flawed, but thanks for pointing it out...again. My point there was not to give a definition of passive voice, but merely to point out that overuse of the "Be" verb can often lead to it.

Instead of cruising around this post (which is over a year old), why don't you do yourself a favor and go read something really worthwhile?

Anonymous said...

Eh. Throwing out the anthropomorphism (which is in my opinion naive and egregious), your rewrite still sucks.

And while I stumbled upon your immature observations by accident, you can't seem to let your post go after more than a year.

Anonymous said...

You realize, of course, that you did NOT demonstrate how overusing the "Be" verb can lead to passive voice? The passive voice is not used in your example even once.

Anonymous said...

If you like, we can also discuss spelling: for example, "verbiage" versus "verbage"? I imagine if I had the stomach to read your entire post, I could blog on ad nauseam about all the errors you made.

Do I think Meyer a writer of distinction? No. But were I you, I would think carefully about tearing apart a published author when your own arguments are rife with ignorance of the English language.

Anonymous said...

THIS is passive voice:

"I was driven by my mother to the airport.... My favorite shirt... was worn by me; it was worn as a farewell gesture.”

Anonymous said...

Sorry: that would be, "[I]t was worn by me as a farewell gesture." That is passive.

What we saw in your example was equal to "it was worn as a farewell gesture." That isn't passive: it's just tedious.

Anonymous said...

On second thought, "it was worn" does qualify as passive voice. You don't have to specify a subject for it to be passive. But that said, the example you provided still does not exhibit any signs of passive voice.

ebv said...

Smile.

Touche, Anonymous. You are correct. My rewrite stunk, but mostly because what I was trying to rewrite already stunk (and because I spent a grand-total of five minutes doing it). And I was off-base on passivity. More on that in a sec.

However, before you flame the flamer, I suggest you get your facts straight. "Verbage" is, indeed, a word. Just because your spell checker doesn't recognize it, doesn't mean it ain't so.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/verbage

Oh, and for the record, I get emails for any comments left on here, so when your post popped up, I simply had to respond.

Seriously, I appreciate your zealous defense of Meyer. You are right when you say I should be more careful when criticizing. The comment I made on "passive voice" has been itching at me for months, but I didn't do anything about because, well, I already published it. And people commented on it. And I didn't want to go back and revise history.

Thanks for putting my toes to the fire. I won't back down from my stances on Meyer's literary abilities, but I'm more than impressed with the passion you've thrown into this. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

yeah...
stephenie meyer is horrible at writing.
Jk rowling is so much better at writing.

Anonymous said...

Hey this is the 13-year-old AGAIN, and I keep looking back here to see if anyone has made a comment about my comments but no one has! I'm only going to add one more detail about my view on all this. It's about Edward. I do not like his character very much either. Sure, he's the perfect guy...if you like being handled like a special needs child all the time.[giggle] He is definitely over controlling of Bella, as some of you have said. This annoyed me the throughout the entire story, but what is worse is that Bella thought nothing of it!!! She simply accepted the fact that Edward had complete control over her. (Ugh) I think Edward would make a perfect husband for someone who is crippled or otherwise physically handicapped, but not for anyone else. I don't see why all my friends (along with everyone else) think he's so great...But then again, I am the one who skipped a grade.

Anonymous said...

13-year-old chipping in again just to say, great job ebv for handling that overly-critical Anonymous like a gentleman. I couldn't have done the same the way he/she was firing those criticisms at you!

Me said...

OMG you are awesome! :D Thanks for pointing out all these things. ;D

Anonymous said...

LEAVE MEYERS ALONE. WAT DID SHE EVA DO 2 U? U DON'T HAVE 2 READ IT. SHE IS AWESOME. SO WAT IF SHE MADE MITAKES BOUT GRAMR IT DON'T MATTA. UR JUST JELES COZ SHE HAS A GOOD VOCAB AND U DON'T. WHEN U PUBLISH A BOOK THAT PPL AROND THE WORLD LUV U CAN BAG IT THEN. IF I FOUND OUT WHER U LIV I WILL KILL U WIV MY VAMPIRE POWERS. JERK.

IF U HATE THE BOOK SOOOOO MUCH WHY DID U RITE I LONG ESSAY ON IT? BESIDES IT SOUNDS LIKE U DIDNT EVEN REED IT!

JERK

HiroNakamura said...

Well, I think the post above - the one in all caps - is pretty much indicative of Meyer's target audience. I think that says it al.

ebv said...

Wow. Just...wow.

Anonymous said...

The Twitard that just commented probably couldn't even understand half of what you wrote... I was scanning through the comments to see if I could FIND 1 LIEK DIS!!!11ONEONE!! What good is it having "VAMPIER POWERRS!!" when you write like a person who was probably illiterate two weeks ago?

WWP said...

Anonymous on 6/25:

I know what you wrote is a joke (and it's pretty dang funny) but the rather terrifying thing is that you could have lifted your parody from numerous fan boards and comment section in the Twilight Universe. There's quite a few fans who both reason and write in exactly the manner you're poking fun of.

RuthAnne said...

Hey Vogeler, RuthAnne here. You know we've had the Twilight convo before, where I have desperately tried to play the devil to your advocate ... (The story is compelling even if the writing is ... um ... spotty!) ... but I saw YET ANOTHER PERSON had posted on your blog, and realized today is the day I give up.

Confession Time: I've secretly agreed with you all along.

I really, really wanted to step up to the plate for Twilight, but my heart was never in it.

I've just got to admit what I've known to be true for some time: I'm just another well-justified hater.



(By the way, "vampire powers" is pretty much the coolest thing I've ever heard. I'm off to use them on my bar studying.)

ebv said...

Welcome to the party, Ruthanne! I'm so happy to hear that you're one of us... :D

Hope said...

I guess I found this delightful blog WIF MY VAMPIRE POWERS, couldn't agree with you more, I haven't heard people comparing meyer to rowling, the book's good fun though, I'm glad I finally found something I could read with my brain turned off. there's close to none plot - I still remember going through all the harry potter books when the last book told us the tiara had appeared before, that harry had actually come across it once upon a time. With twilight, nothing.

I actually found it funny, puzzling, and annoying when meyer actually started writing from the eyes of Jacob, as if she wanted to make sure that the readers notice she can't write outside first person. There's even going to be a new book, midnight sun, or something like that, which is Twilight from EDWARD'S point of view. Hope you would take the time to scrutinize that book for us as well please, although the publication date isn't set yet.

Emmy said...

I loved this! I can understand where your'e coming from-Stephenie Meyer herself isn't too bad, her writing is just... poor. I mean, I a'm thirteen and I write better than her( which admitdly isn't very hard.) While I think her grammer is terrible, that isn't the main issue. Her characters lack development, the story lacks plot and build up, and the combined result is crap. I mean, basicly the whole "twist" was the james thing that was introduced about 3/4 of the way through the book-even in the movie they corrected this because it needed to come in sooner-at least some hints to prior to their random arrival would have sufficed, and would have fitted together quite nicely at the end. Or she could have made the characters a little more belivable- to me edward sounds like he's in his late forties by the way he speaks, and Bella has the maturity of 30 year old housewife- seriously, she's a teenager! Teenagers do not shop and cook for their fathers! Thats so sexist! It's basicly saying that just because Charlie is a shit cook, means Bella has take carry the burden. Which is crap! And don't get me started on Bellas stupidy! Argh stupid little whi y brat, puting her life on hold for some stalkerish creep. Seriously, If I had a boyfriend who climed through my window to watch me sleep, I would be filing for a resraining order, not cooing at his sweetness.And as for the cullens-Well, emmet just seemed like a filler character to me. Well, I would love to rant on about hore badly written twilight is, but I think Iv'e exeeded my welcome! If anyone wants to rant with me drop me a line!

blueskiess said...

I generally like her first three books; Twilight,New moon and Eclipse. However, it's not her writing that I dislike. It's actually her I dislike. Bella is completely based on herself in every aspect except for Bella isn't fat. Every single way that Bella is described, brown hair,brown eyes,full lips,widows peak,narrow chin etc etc. Is all based on Stephanie herself. Being a fan of the books myself and taking this long to realise has made me feel utterly stupid. How self obsessed can a person be? I read the first 12 chapters of Midnight Sun, found it very sweet and endearing for it was by the perspective of Bellas love interest, the Vampire Edward Cullen. Well, He goes on about how much he loves Bella, how lovely and attractive she is. She's fantasing about her self and going on obviously how she sees herself is just, plain weird and off putting. Bella is just Stephanies fantasy of herself, why would I want to read that?

Cait said...

A friend of mine sent me this critique today (to discourage my reading Twilight, which I have been planning on doing for some time, as I like to form my own opinions), and I must say that aside from being hilarious, it is generally pretty good commentary on bad writing. I have to disagree with your condemnation of the use of "to be" constructions, however. It is generally considered good practice to avoid using them as much as possible, but I think they are quite acceptable, especially in first-person narration. Yes, it is boring to read long paragraphs that heavily rely on "was" and "am," but these words can actually make narration snappier and more informal (imo, more believable for first person).

k88 said...

Thank you for posting this.
I read your post before I saw the movie or read the book, and it had pretty much put me off either. But my friends were watching the movie at a party and I watched it and fell in love with Edward Cullen... how ridiculous. People kept telling me that the book was so much better, and that it's even more romantic, blah blah blah, and I resisted as long as I could but eventually caved. I'm about half way through at the moment.
The end part of your post completely sums it up - the book is exactly like the vampire! The content is very pleasing, but the unbelievable crapness of the grammar is sucking me dry, leaving me weighing up whether I want to hold onto it because the intensity of the narrative gives me pleasure, or burn it becuase destroying such bad grammar would give me pleasure!
I have to say that overall, I like it. I just keep telling myself that it's kind of... cute... the way she is doing the best she can to tell the story with the measure of ability she's been given. Her enthusiasm for her story almost makes up for the lack of quality in her writing.
It won't be going anywhere near my greatest novels of all time list, but it has all the sweet, trashy allure of a particularly emotive romance novel.
And Edward Cullen.
I have wondered if the translators who will have translated the Twilight series into other languages have cleaned up the grammar. I wish someone a bit better at English could clean up the English version ;)

McG said...

I don't know if anyone commented on this again, since I didn't read all the way through the responses, and I feel sick defending Stephenie Meyer, but as a recent high school graduate I have to say that I used words like "verbose" and "trepidation," etc... on a fairly regular basis. Of course, at my high school that's not the kind of thing that would get you laughed at, and I recognize that my high school is a fairly unique environment, but at any rate my only point is that some teenagers DO talk that way. I found the incessant lack of contractions much more irritating (few teenagers I have ever met, including myself and my friends, would ever say "I am" instead of "I'm").

On another note, reading these books made me value my own romantic relationship a lot more, which I recognize is not usually the case for teenaged girls. I'd rather have someone to keep me warm at night and take life day-by-day than have some crazy person who would commit suicide if I happened to get in a car accident or some such thing.

Oh, and the Harry Potter comparisons are just absurd. Harry Potter is a full realized concept, and truly transporting. To the extent that the "Twilight" series is at all transporting, it's not transporting me to anywhere I'd like to go.

Anonymous said...

Stephen King wasn't wrong when he said that Meyer can't write worth a damn. Hell, I'll say it. She can't write worth a damn! I had to force myself through the entire first book. Bad writing should never be mistaken for good writing. Period.

I'll admit that Meyer' idea for her story was definitely there, it just didn't translate itself so well into her writing. She's just someone who got lucky due to hype. that's all Twilight is. What really surprised me was that someone even DARED to say,"It's this year's Titanic!" That's a total overstatement. Twilight is nowhere near the greatness of titanic. PLEASE. I've read other vampire stories that are much better than Twilight.

I will admit that The Host is a much better written story.

Egg said...

You meant to write "all right," and "close proximity" is a redundancy (is there such a thing as distant proximity?). Otherwise, spot-on.

I was tempted to start a drinking game when I read "Twilight." If I'd taken a swig every time Meyer used the word "incredulous," I would have been three sheets to the wind by Chapter 10. And could I please hear one more time how perfect and gorgeous Eddie is?

There's not a single redeeming thing about this series. The writing is atrocious, and it singlehandedly sets feminism back by about half a century. It saddens and frightens me that so many young girls worship this noxious "saga."

Anonymous said...

wow you guys are all grammar dorks. go get a life losers.

Angel said...

Dont hate because you can't make a book you dorks.

Anonymous said...

You don't "make" a book. You write it. Unless, of course, you're a bookbinder.

See? This is Stephenie Meyer's fan base. And you wonder why she's successful. Answer: she writes to the lowest (and I do mean lowest) common denominator.

Angel said...

Do you really think i care if i put make or write? Am i getting anything for what i am writing here? I didn't think so.

Angel said...

damn go get laid you have no life

John said...

you guys are nerds and the nerdiest people i have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

I'm a sixteen year old teen and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why every teenage girl in my school is obsessed with Twilight. I first read the book two years ago and it wasn't anything much. Stephenie Meyer tends to go on and on and on about Edward's 'liquid eyes' and how beautiful he is. I agree with EBV, J.K.Rowling is way ahead in the writing department.

Twilight is pretty typical really. Girl meets boy, boy turns out to be a sexy vamp, they fall in love, there's an action scene where the girl gets into trouble and gets saved!

I'd much rather read something by Markus Zusak or Eoin Colfer or Jonathan Stroud or Meg Cabot. Gah. Stephenie Meyer just single-handledly destroyed the scary mysterious facade vampires have had for so long. ( Come on, have you ever heard of shiny vampires?)


- Jackie.

Luis said...

Hey man, that's an awesome review on poor writers. I'm from Brazil, and to train my english - I used to work in a museum - I used to read a lot of literature books in English. I told everyone I knew that readed a translated Meyer's or Rowling book how poorly written it was - besides the storys being really stupid and repetitive, but your writings here is way beyond anything I could write about it. Right now I'll just e-mail the link of these pages to pepople who disagree with me... Thanks for the good writing and keep up the good work! Greetings from Brazil

ebv said...

Obrigado, mesmo, Luis. Vc eh de que parte do Brasil? Passei uns 2.5 anos em Sao Paulo e Manaus. Um abraco para um leitor intelligente! -eric

Anonymous said...

Luis, I disagree with your assessment of Rowling. Is she the best writer in the world? No, but she's an amazing storyteller and visionary.

Meyer on the other hand is a poor writer. She writes passive prose that features one-dimensional characters and shoddy plotting. Unlike Rowling who has easily created an epic that will eventually become as classic as Narnia, Rings, OZ or Wonderland.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether anyone feels that Meyer's writing is poor or good (and of course, you are entitled to your own opinion); I find that much of the celebrated literature today is quite the opposite of Meyer's - that is, overly concerned with grammar and writing style at the expense of plot (lack of plot = literary snobbishness.) It can go both ways, I think - too much emphasis on writing style versus too much emphasis on an 'attractive storyline.' Here's the thing: anyone who has the determination to finish novels in the first place deserves praise, because I'm guessing most of the posters here aren't novelists themselves. So really - go write and publish your own successful books, if you feel the current bestsellers aren't up to par, before ranting about them, because writing is a pretty hard thing to do.

Anonymous said...

"I find that much of the celebrated literature today is quite the opposite of Meyer's - that is, overly concerned with grammar and writing style at the expense of plot (lack of plot = literary snobbishness.)"

This is bullshit and if you read any of this "celebrated literature," you'd realize how erroneous your statement is.

Anonymous said...

It's not erroneous. But I'm glad that you have different opinions of celebrated literature than me - without it there would be no constructive debate. I'm merely pointing out that all authors - whether literary authors or bestseller authors - put a lot of effort into their work, effort which deserves respect, just like you and I do. If you wrote something, I would respect your books - regardless of what people people thought of the grammar or plot - simply because I respect authors in general, as they've really put their heart into their work. And authors like Meyer should not be exempt from that respect, regardless of whether people like her books.

Anonymous said...

Meh, I didn't like the books. I can't stand a book with bad grammar. Every time Twilight actually managed to draw me in (fool me once, fool me twice) it always punched me in the face with a 'chagrin' or one too many 'handsom--err, beautiful(s).'

On another note, I find it really, 'really' funny how a lot of Twilight fans defend the books by saying something along the lines of (I'll put it mildly), "Twilight is a good read because it captures the mindset and emotions of a teenage(girl)perfectly." Then they argue,"Those who don't like it don't understand what it's like to be in love and blah, blah, blah, teenager." With that said, I know this counts for about half the population of the Earth, but...wasn't every female living on the this planet Earth a teenage(girl)at one time and experienced emotions like 'this and that?'

*Looks around* I'm just saying.

Other then that, I adored your post. Glad to see some people aren't afraid to stand up and voice their opinions from time to time.

Cara said...

This was a great analysis on the grammar of the book. As a secondary school student, in an all-girls school, I saw my friends go mad about the book, and the whole Twilight craze bloomed in front of me. It was horrific.

Apart from the horrible bombardment of adjectives in almost every single sentence written, the plot was plain hilarious. And not in a good way.

A sparkling vampire who climbs into your bedroom window to watch you sleep? And you're not freaked out by him? What? My brain cannot comprehend this.

And Bella Swan was the most absurd character I've ever come across. Somebody needs to remind her that she lives in modern times, and nobody would blink if she say, spoke/thought like a modern person living in the 21st century.

elfie said...

I'll just say that Twilight would have been a fabulous fanfic, and it should have stayed in fanfiction.net, along all those "fluffy" fics with hundreds or thousands of reviews that state "OMG this is just awesome, plz write more!"

Hey, it already got the perfect Mary-Sue disguised as an Anti-Sue.

Lynn Crain said...

What a great blog post!

I had been lucky because I hadn't read the books nor had any plans to do so because I have found books which are hyped this much usually don't deliver. Then my daughter-in-law absolutely insisted I took the time out of my own writing schedule to read them.

I think I read only one hundred pages before I started t skim. I know I skimmed the other books because I found it deplorable writing. My
editor(s) would have shot me if I present them these stories as we have a four page checklist used to clean up our manuscripts before we submit our final.

The trouble I see with this is basically, some teenagers talk this way and therefore they can relate. It doesn't matter if it is correct their dialogue is a plethora poor English. Stephanie Meyer has used this to propel herself to the top of the literary heap. To be honest, I will be surprised if she is here in another ten years. Trends will have changed and teenagers grow up to wonder what they ever saw in the books they read.

IMHO, there is nothing comparable between this woman and J.K. Rowling who you can see get better with each book. Now that woman is a genius.

Yeah, I told the DIL I didn't like the way the woman wrote. And as expected, she told me if I could write like her, I would be such a success. I just smiled because I love my DIL and I didn't want to disappoint her with my response which bounced around my head.

You won't catch me dead writing a piece of drivel like this one. Ever.

Thanks again for the wonderful blog!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Sorry about the missing words, spacing problems and general weirdness of my first post. Google is not being nice to me tonight.

Still great post.

Lynn

ebv said...

Thanks, Lynn. I can understand the Google frustration. :D

Thanks for dropping in. Hope all is well.

Kelly S said...

This is a magnificent post; I, too, was reaching for the nearest sharpened pencil when I tried to read Twilight. The writing is just terrible...for all of the above reasons and more.

And I don't buy the "but it's a good story" excuse. I think it's a decidedly bad story--a downright dangerous story, in fact.

It's a book written for and successfully marketed to teenage girls about a teenage girl who is so "in love" with her boyfriend (who repeatedly and aggressively demonstrates his physical, mental, and emotional superiority to her) that she would rather die than be without him. I'm pretty sure that's close to the textbook definition of an abusive relationship.

And, yeah, I can't even begin to imagine what Bella's "bulbous" truck might look like. A giant red clump of garlic on wheels? At least that would be ironic...

schoepeo said...

I agree completely with the author of this post. I arrived at this page because I had actually typed "Stephenie Meyers sucks" into the search engine in an attempt to find some like-minded writers. I have been completely baffled by the success of the Twilight series as teen literature, however I am not surprised by the success of the film adaptation.

I watched the first Twilight movie without any prior knowledge of the series. I fell in love with the movie and immediately went to the bookstore to read what had to be a great literary adventure. Much to my dissappointment, the novel was horrible. I never finished it. I couldn't get past the grammar and superfluous dialogue.

All of the characters sounded the same and by reading the description of Edward I would have thought him to be a skinny nerd who happened to like blood; not the sexy and mysterious Edward from the movie.

Basically, I think that Stephenie Meyer was very lucky that a sexually repressed studio exec liked her book enough to translate it into English and share the story with the masses.

Without the skills of the screenwriters, a lot of creative license and some attractive actors; this would be just another failed attempt by an inexperienced writer trying to be the next J.K. Rowling.

Anonymous said...

*sigh*
i am forcing myself to finish the third book at the moment,simply terrible.
i fin the movies more bearable,at least the much needed editing is there.phew.

Keisha said...

This was very well done and SO right. I'm no fan of J.K Rowling or Harry Potter, but Stephenie Meyer's writing is simply awful.

Anonymous said...

bunch of jealous english freaks---can a person just write a story without all the grammar crap---bet any one of you on this site would put your sig on her books as the author---money and fame you'll never have--even with your great grammar!

Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that 'I was wearing a blue shirt' is in the active voice. I'd suggest that you check up on your own grammatical knowledge (or lack thereof) before bitching about other people's writing.

Anonymous said...

blah blah ... its so funny that you are criticizing the book yet YOU READ THE WHOLE THING!! people dnt read boring books..books are for entertainment. shes not trying to win the nobel prize... so jump off her case

Anonymous said...

These Twitard defenders are hilarious. Can't help but notice how most of the defenders can't properly structure a sentence. Cute!

Anonymous said...

"Can't help but notice how most of the defenders can't properly structure a sentence". where's the subject of your sentence? i'm sorry that I don't use perfect English when commenting on a blog and instead use internet jargons. You need a life. Stop criticizing this woman. she's richer than you and way more powerful. Stop hating on someone else's creativity simply because you have none because you are so busy hating.

ebv said...

Umm... please read my posts and comments more carefully before commenting yourselves. I think I pretty much spelled it out in the first paragraph of the post that I didn't make it past the first chapter. Hence, all of my criticisms came from... The first chapter.

And, to the Anon above: Yes, I realize that some of those sentences were not passive. Please see exchanges in the comments above.

As a special treat, I hope that everyone hits this link. Now. :D

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/08/firelight-snls-twilight-p_n_349897.html

Anonymous said...

I admit- I am not an English major, nor even close. I agree that Twilight and the rest of the series had little character development and so on and so forth, but I just don't understand why (besides grammar-wise)her writing was terrible. Please don't chew me apart! I read all the books and (unfortunately) loved them. The movies brought me to my senses, but I still like her style of writing. I guess it's just so plain and simple and frank that I enjoyed it. I know this is a confusing post, but why are women attracted to her writing? What makes it so interesting (and I don't mean plot)? I think her writing is very light and carefree, almost funny, so is that why it is considered bad?

Anne said...

I am attempting to write a book (just because) and I am having difficulty developing a writing 'voice'. Naturally, I turned to other books for inspiration. I read the first Twilight book and agree that the plot, the characters, and the grammar were all bad. However, I honestly thought Meyer's writing (at the top when you complained about the multiple 'was's) was more appropriate and engaging than yours. Am I simply the only one enthralled by bad writing? What specifically (NOT grammar)is bad about her writing?

Anonymous said...

Well, let me answer you, Anne:

The dishes shouldn't be washed by you.

You should wash the dishes.

Furthermore, no one cares that you're washing the dishes. Don't feel the need to tell us about this mundane task.

Got it?

Vanessa said...

Hello,
I want to start by saying that I have read the whole series, shocking? I think not. I started reading the books soon after finishing Wuthering Heights, so you can imagine the drastic change that was. I am up for both, classic and modern literature but in this case I have to agree with you.

I read the books and often found myself shaking my head thinking "how can this be? I mean, they edit the books before publishing don't they?" We all now know the answer! Since I was six I started writing, I have piles of the most embarrassing poems and short stories that a little girl could write, but it is the passion for the art that makes me keep them; to constantly remind myself that it was my dream since I can remember.

I admire the structure of your blog, and by far more the effort you take not only to disagree with someone but the careful detail to explaining your reasons.

I found myself fond of the books and soon after the movies (i did watch both) And I kept telling myself: "Well perhaps I do not know anything about reading anymore. After all she did study literature" I heard people say how an awful writer she was and did not quite know what they meant (though I had notice the terrifying grammar and awkward sentence structure) until I found this enlightening blog! :)

I read them all again, and realized that not only did the writing bothered me, but the story and characters infuriated me.

Vanessa said...

Continuing...

The first time I read them I related to Bella in many ways. 1) I was born with coordination problems and was never much of a dancer. 2)We both had a boyfriend and best friend longing for attention 3)we both hated high school.

What I am getting at here, is the fact that when I read the book I had feelings and experiences similar to her. I wasn't paying close attention to grammar or sentence structure, I was not even considering the description of the characters but instead I portrayed myself and people around me to them. It was any girl's fantasy to have both an Edward and a Jacob in real life competing for your love. Though my Edward did not sparkle and my Jacob was no where near handsome and Wolf; but I still had them. I realized one day how similar the real ones were to the book. My Edward was a controlling boyfriend who despised the fact that I had anymore friends (I was literary not able to see them without him around) And My Jacob was also like the one in the book, Immature, controlling and they both played the pity card pretty darn well. I was torn between two love (I am laughing while writing this) what would Bella do? Ha ha ha, no way. I finished the last book and notice something that I did not like, everyone was happy and got their way, even Jacob. Are you kidding me? Perhaps I am much of a lover of a good tragedy. I snapped out of my Bella mode I guess, and realized that I was in real life. No way could I marry My Edward and have a kid whom My Jacob would love, and still be near me. I sent them both to the curve. Yes I did!

They were both controlling me, one pressuring me to leave the other and that other making absurd plans about "our" future.

It was odd how they both wanted to be with me so badly but none cared what I wanted! I graduated that year and have kept myself busy with school, books, friends and more books!

I am afraid that intentionally or unintentionally, the book is sending a bad message for naive girls either going through something similar or wishing to. :(
so, so sad!

Thank you again for your blog, it was good to finally let all this burden out

Vanessa said...

PS.
I apologize for the errors, my computer is hating me today!

Anonymous said...

"The Phoenix sun can't smile down at you. We call that anthropomorphism. So much for your status as grammar Nazi...."

Actually, that's not anthropomorphism. That's personification. Anthrophomorphism is giving an animal or a deity human characteristics. Personification is giving something inhuman, human characteristics. The sun is not a living thing. Therefore, the sun smiling at whatever it sees fit is personification.

And EBV, nice post. I really enjoyed reading it. Harry Potter owns Twilight any day of the week. Twilight is not even a book; it's just a cruel mass genocide of poor, defenceless pine trees.

RIP, you poor, poor trees.

- Jay

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed watching New Moon with my wife. High school grammer question for you experts are you suppose to write - he quickly ran or he ran quickly.

Anonymous said...

To the grammar question:

Actually, the quickly in your scenario is unnecessary. The subject of your sentence is already running. There's no need to specify that the running is quick as that is the nature of running. So, it would simply be: "He ran."

ebv said...

Anon @ 5:49:

Where you place adverbs (quickly, forcefully, angrily, etc.) is almost always a matter of choice. However, you should always take care to place them near the verbs they modify.

In your two choices above either one is grammatically correct, but both may have a slightly different meaning. "He quickly ran to the car" might put more emphasis on 'quickly', where "He ran quickly to the car" may put more emphasis on the running.

Clear as mud? I hope so. :)

As a personal preference, I think I prefer "He ran quickly." Just me, though.

ebv said...

...and now that I read anon's take, I totally support that. The "quickly" is probably redundant. Unless your subject has a penchant for running slowly. :P

Zovesta said...

Ha-ha! That was a fun read... fun AND true.

I don't mean to impose, but I am constantly worried at my stories dropping to Twilight level. Would you perhaps mind reviewing my story, or at least a few chapters, to help me set the story straight. I completely understand if you don't want to, of course. :)

Alexander said...

You've got to hand it to Steph Meyer, She is living proof that anyone can write a novel. Even brain-dead, slack-jawed, monkey people with the writing skill of a barnacle.
Way to go Steph :D
You've written a series of trash that can now be used as expensive toilet paper! I say this because that's the only reason why I can see anyone buying the mistake ridden drivel that you call a piece of literature.
Twilight fans: Want to read a proper book that Meyer tries so hard to be like? try Jane Eyre, once you've read that you'll then see how crap Meyer's "books" are!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Twilight is definitely an awful series. As for all you twitards coming here to defend your books, the author of this blog has freedom of speech and can say what he wants, you fascists. No one is jealous of Meeyer, we just feel sorry for her because of her terrible writing skills.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of terrible writing skills, I spelled Meyer "Meeyer". Whoops.

Anonymous said...

I can honestly say this is the best laugh I've had in a while. Well done my friend. If you were wondering how I found this blog I just searched "Stephanie Meyer is a shit writer" in google and this came up.

I love you for this.

Don't judge my grammar either :P I'm not likely to try and write a book so it doesn't phase me. I, unlike Meyer, can recognise my own grammatical errors.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. I've been trying to force onto my friends how SHOCKING the grammar and just general writing is, reading New Moon was like beating myself in the head with a brick.
And the people who say Twilight is better than Harry Potter... can't have read Harry Potter. It's ACTUALLY interesting =P

Cassandra Cullen said...

Thank you! Finally, someone who sees the books as I do! As someone whose last name is truly Cullen, Twilight gets on my nerves more than most people. Oh, it's so cool that a group of lame vampires have my last name! I wish I had your name, it's awesome!
No it's not!!! Although people don't ask me to spell my last name as often...

My sister, 11, is obsessed with Twilight, whereas I am a hardcore Harry Potter fan as well as a LOTR fan.

This is the first time a book has caught her attention and the first time she has been so excited about books. This makes me happy and horrified. It's great that she's reading but it's horrible that the book she reads is so poorly written and shallow. Yes, it's good that young girls are reading but does it have to be such trash? I would prefer her to read HP because those books are captivating, well written, the characters are so life-like and you really care about them.

I asked my boyfriend's sister why she liked the books so much. She said because she can relate to Bella, with her one guy that likes her but she's not into him more than a friend (Jacob) and the guy she is so in love with but there have been issues (Edward). How can anyone relate to such a depressing, annoying whiny character? So the guy left you-get over it! Don't end your whole life just because you don't have your perfect boyfriend around.

Anonymous said...

This is pure genius, and very, very true. Being almost thirteen and female, I can seriously say that the only emotion that stirred up inside of me during the course of the entire saga was sadness at the way the world is ending up, if such trash is being published.

I am forever trying to make my Twilight-obsessed friends see the truth of the matter, but they just say something along the lines of 'you need to have the right MIND to understand the awesomeness of Twilight.'
More like no mind.

I am also a big Harry Potter fan and so it infuriates me that writers like SMeyer are being compared to geniuses like JKR.

I could go on FOREVER about why and how much I hate Twilight, but I would probably be reiterating what you all just said.

Thank you for this post, It made my day. :)

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail right on the head.

I absolutely agree with all your points, especially with the issues concerning grammar. Most of her sentences were very incoherent; the type that I am forced to take five minutes to reread to make sure I comprehend.

I am a user on IMDb, and often I find myself visiting the "Twilight" movie forums. From my experience of chatting with the other users, I have found that majority of the fanbase defends the series as if it was their last possession. Worse, they cannot even listen to reason and won't accept opinions like this extraordinary and well-crafted post. Quite frankly, I find it sickening.

Thank You. This is very gratifying to me, because I am the only 15 year old I know who dislikes the series...

...unfortunately.

-Bianca

Nest1089 said...

I CANNOT tell you how much I agree with you! THANK YOU so much for verifying my feelings in all aspects of possibility. I am simply STRUGGLING to get through the last book and was wondering since the beginning if anyone felt the same way.

Oh, there is a God.

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced that if Stephanie Meyer is not the anti-christ, she does play a pivotal role in the revelation.

JordanESC said...

As one of the eight lonely, preyed-upon teenaged girls at my high school who are NOT obsessed with Twilight, I must commend you. What pissed me off about her and even Anne Rice is that vampires used to be somewhat unique, or at least vintage and ignored. I used to be obsessed with them and read all of my mother's demonology books and volumes of myths and legends. Now it's exploited, common: a dilution of popular fiction and quality which rivals that of Amanda Ros's writings.

Horror was my best friend, and as I grew up, the eroticism of vamps became a 'bestie', too. And then Twilight hit me between the eyes like a rabid squirrel. Oh GOD, the pain of my closest friends surrendering themselves to such a drag on the mind! For years they tried to get me to read the blasted books. At some point I convinced a few of them that I was gay and would only be interested if Teen Vampire 1 and Teen Werewolf 1 got a cabana in Rio and started "sparkling" on the beach. After a review of Breaking Dawn, I realised I was half-right (seriously, Meyer?!)

I am terribly sorry you had to suffer your daughter's fan-girliness. My mother forced me through several genuinely GOOD [actual] horror movies, topped off with some Tom Robbins and a mother-to-daughter chat about the evils of mass-produced, eyeball-deteriorating, teenaged-Mormon-targeted "literature". It hit the spot quite nicely, and I've been quite adament about not even touching the books, let alone reading them.

You remind me of my mom, so you must be a cool person. :)

Anon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You'r genius. You wrote a very good article, girl!, with all the points and excellent arguments

You know, I'm 14 years old, and I really love to read. Most of the people of my age just don't mind about it, but when you talk about Twilight they became like "OMGZYEAHISTEBESTBOOKEVER!11!!EDWAARD -". And so, I try to say some logic things like "you know, Bella is kinda a bad character..:", "¿Would you like to have a boyfriend who stalks you like Edward?", "Bah, Meyer is not a really good writter" and so. But nothing happens, it's really annoying. They just get upset with me and don't listen what I say. So, yeah, i'm almost the only girl who is not damn crazy about Twilight and so. It's nice to read this articles, at least I know i'm not that wrong xDDD.

By the way, I should say "Sorry" for my bad English. It's not my mother language and I'm not really good at it.

Anonymous said...

great article! i loved it. just in case you didn't know stephanie meyer studied english literature. yes, she did. i was going insane when i read that. really, its so sad.

Karrven said...

this is an amazing article
I've been saying ever since this series came out that it sucks. I'm glad there are others that believe that :P

And stephanie meyer studied literature?!
:S

Darryl said...

I hated the movie....Can't see why I'd want to watch a vampire movie where no one gets eaten... But I still relly enjoyed the book. Just like the Hardy Boys books I read growing up that I re-read and re-read, they didn't have great grammar etc, but they were exciting books. Maybe we shouldn't rag on the author when she is still bringing lots of joy to kids - AND GETTING THEM TO READ. Better than just playing video games and wathing movies...

Rosmarinus said...

Hello!! Great post. Have to admit I read Twilight and, well, notice some of the mistakes you point out but didn't bothered me so much because my mental changes to the story line while I was reading were way too much entertaining that the book itself.
But when someone compare Meyer to Rowling or call her the new Anne Rice, I WANT THEIR HEAD AND BEATING HEART ON A STAKE!!! The real problem with those books are that they are bad written in english and awfully translated and written in spanish (spanish is my native language), so the issue is now global!!!

Sorry for the "I" and "to BE" attack, english isn't my native language and I'm always trying to improve it.

AnonymousFifteenYearOldWriter said...

I know? Didn't anyone edit this? I'm still waiting for Little, Brown to publicly announce that they only accepted the book as an experiment on how shallow society has been. And worse off, she doen't even listen tp criticism such as this. She's stuck in the first minute of a writing workshop, where no one had had a chance ti say ANYTHING about your writing.
Or maybe it's over, and she just sat there the whole time with her hands over her ears shouting "LA LA LA, I can't hear you!"
I'm betting on the latter.

Sari said...

Hahahaha that was brilliant. This is exactly the thing I've been trying to say, only I couldn't find the words. So I say to you, Jolly Good Show!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. Twilight has an immense amount of problems, and although grammar and syntax are the least of these, it's good to know someone pointed them out. No, the grammar and syntax are not the least problematic thing about Twilight simply because they're few and far between, but because despite how awful Meyer's prose is, it can't compare to how poor she is at general story telling.

I could have forgiven her atrocious grammar, the fact that she clearly writes her stories with an open thesaurus on her lap, and even the fact that she Wikipedias everything and calls it "research." What I can't forgive is how incoherent her "story" is. Twilight as a series doesn't simply have plot holes, it has chasms of inconsistency the size of Jupiter.

How this tripe made it past any editor is beyond my comprehension. There are two possible scenarios here. Either...

a) Her editor simply didn't care and let Meyer get away with literary murder. In which case, shame on him or her.

...or...

b) Her editor actually did everything in his or her power to make the story cohesive. In which case, I can't even begin to imagine the absolute mess Twilight was before editing.

UGH!

Comparing Stephenie Meyer to J.K. Rowling? No. Absolutely not. Stephen King was right when he said Rowling is a gifted novelist and Meyer simply can't write worth a darn.

Weirdo-chan said...

Very well said. I have tried to read Twilight myself. I failed to do so and that in itself is a big indicator of how bad the book is. I usually finish a book, no matter how boring it might be. Now, i've read a couple of the comments that has been posted below... and i'm starting to find this entire phenomenon a bit, excuse the poor choice of words, facepalm-worthy. I have read TONS of fanfiction stories, who are just as good as, if not better than, the Twilight "saga" and if people get so worked up over the "girlish charm" of this "Vampire" (they are NOT Vampires) story, then i can only guess how they'd react to some of the better stories that i've come across on fanfiction.net. Really, i can name a few stories who i'd pick over the Twilight saga any day. Don't get me wrong, Twilight is an allright book. It's given me hope that i can publish some of my own work some day. I write just as good as SMeyer does, haha, and i'm 15 years old and diagnosed with high-functioning autism. With some practise and concentration, i'll be much, much better than Meyer by the time i reach MY 30s. But all in all, it's not really the books that bothers me, nor does the boring movie. It's just the hype and the fans... has anyone heard of the attacks? Seriously, Twihards, Twitards and Twimoms can be very, very, VERY crazy if they're obsessed enough.

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