Okay, you had your chance. You still reading this? I warned you—because I can assure you that you will not like what I have to say. And to any non-regulars out there who are rabid fans of the series—if you come into this entry and try to start a fight with me or anybody else, I won’t put up with it. I mean it—just DON’T. You stay over in your LJ and like Twilight while I stay on my LJ and dislike Twilight, and the world will be a better place. I won’t wank over there, and you return the favor and don’t wank over here.
Now, onto the main meat.
I am somebody who doesn’t like to hate something without fully knowing what it’s all about. For instance, I never make a decision to spork a fic until I’ve read the majority of it. I never exert enough energy to dislike or despise a Suethor until I’ve read up on their fics, profiles, diaries, LJs, etc. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon of hating “Little Miss Mary”, “Subjugation”, or “Celebrian” until I’d read them completely. Sure, I’d seen summaries, comments, warnings, and even some sporkings/scripts, but until I read them, I didn’t fully commit to hating them like every other sensible person on the planet.
So, the more I thought about it, I realized that my hatred of Twilight was a bit unfounded. After all—I’ve never read it.
Now, it’s no secret that I hate Eragon. That is not unfounded. I’ve (mostly) read Eragon, so I can say without a doubt that I hate it. Paolini is a hack, and even worse, he’s a stuck-up and conceited hack who named one of his novels after Grignr from “The Eye of Argon” and expected me to like it. I hate Eragon, and a strongly dislike its author. I’ve got legit reason for this—I’ve read the book(s), read the interviews, and seen the movie.
As for Twilight? All I’ve ever read are humorous summaries or parodies, with the occasional direct quote
Now, it’s hardly fair to base hatred on what some disgruntled fans or outright haters say. And yet, I found myself doing it. What can I say? Based on what I saw, it was easy to hate. So, I decided. I’d do it. I’d grit my teeth and do it.
I am going to read Twilight.
Now, keep in mind that what I’m about to do here is pretty much the same thing many others have done, and probably in a much funnier fashion than I—buttfacemakani and her very famous statement of “Twilight just farted in my face” comes to mind. This is not unique, nor is it special. But it’s my two cents. It’s my proof that I read Twilight. I didn’t just listen to people who hated it—I read it, and formed my own opinion. And keep in mind that I tried as hard as I could to keep all of the previous things I’d read about it out of my mind and go into this was an as un-biased mindset as I could manage.
So. Here we go. Twilight: My thoughts and notes as I read the novel. I’m not literally sporking it, where you take a copy of the PDF and insert comments, I’m not scripting it or summarizing it—I’m just giving you what I wrote down as I read the book, and letting you see my thoughts on the thing unfold as they came up. So it’s going to be a bit more of a collection of observations and comments than a real spork or review.
Keep in mind that this is my first…er…“spork” of an actual published novel. So forgive me if it’s amateurish.
--Automatically, I’m pissed off with the preface. For one, it’s first person narrative. I despise first person narrative. I can count on one hand the number of things I’ve read that were first person narrative that I actually liked. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas comes to mind. Ah yes, the way Thompson uses first person narrative to make sure he’s as unreliable as possible, so you don’t know what’s a hallucination and what isn’t—oh, right. Twilight. Meyer, you’re already batting zero with me, as you’re making me want to put your book down and read another one, and your preface isn’t even a page long. As for the preface itself, you’re already setting up your character to be the typical selfless harlequin romance heroine. “I am sacrificing myself to protect the love of my life!” Oh. Like that hasn’t been done before.
Chapter 1 – First Sight
--“I was wearing my favorite shirt. (insert description of shirt).” Er—Meyer? Do you have ANY IDEA how many times I have read that description in the introduction of a Sue in countless fanfics in countless fandoms?
--Okay—you’re going to Forks. You’ve been avoiding Forks for your whole life, and now you’re moving to Forks to live with your dad. I hope for your sake you’re going to explain this, otherwise I will strangle you.
--So, lemme get this straight—you’re put upon when living with your mother, as you apparently have to take constant care of her because she’s an idiot. And now you’re going to Forks, where you’ll be put upon because you hate it. At this point, I’m guessing she’s moving to Forks only because it’s constantly gloomy and rainy, and will be the appropriate backdrop for her while she is prettily angsting—after all, you can’t appropriately be an angsty teenager somewhere that’s sunny and a popular vacation spot.
--If there’s one thing I hate in writing, it’s time hiccups. And this one suffers one—one second, we’re listening to her whine about getting onto the plane to go to Forks, and the next, she’s actually in Forks. And she’s still whining. I’m gonna assume now that whining is gonna be a big motif of this particular story. So…you’re still batting zero, Meyer.
--I’m getting the impression that both parents are not exactly rolling in funds. And yet, whenever Bella here visits her father, she all but forced him to vacation in California so she would be able to avoid Forks and be able to bask in the sun like a lizard. If there’s one thing California’s famous for, it’s the fact that it is very, very expensive. So, either that’s a plot hole, or Bella’s such a bitch that she’ll gladly take advantage of what is obviously a parent trying to treat his daughter so that she’ll like him better than her mother.
--You sigh much more about how bad you have it, Bella, you’re gonna wind up sharing a room with LotR doppelganger Farmer. And see here, missy—my first car was a dirt cheap, junky little Sundance that was probably third or fourth or maybe even fifth hand. Maybe even more. And one or more of the previous owners hadn’t been exactly loving to the car. But you know what? It was free. My parents paid for it. And I never once complained about it. NOT ONCE. Can’t see you doing the same courtesy. That’s the real problem with first person narrative, Bella—as it’s all from your POV, I can see your thoughts and your reactions and I’m only five pages in and I want to slap your ungrateful face.
--“It’s beautiful” to “wah, it’s too strange.” Can you say ANYTHING without adding on a big “but…” to it, dear?
--Another time hiccup. Meyer has no time for the passage of time—we have to get to Edward and his hotness!
--*sigh* There she goes again. “Oh, I love my truck, as it turns out! But woe is me anyway.”
--You know, you’re the one that made the choice to move in with your father. So stop complaining about every little thing you see.
--Ha! I was right—she totally moved to Forks just so she could cry Single Tears™ against a nice gloomy backdrop.
--OOoooooOOOOOoooo, you’re new high school will only have 357 total students, whatever shall you do?! Well, suck it up, kiddo. I went to a school that was so small we didn’t have a middle school, meaning I went to elementary school for nine years and jumped straight into high school once I graduated. And my graduating class was the largest in the school’s long history—with a grand total of 26 students. And I know for a fact mine isn’t the smallest out there. And guess what? We had some people from the city move to our town and start going to our school. And we small-minded country bumpkins were NOT wowed by the city slickers that strode confidently into our midst, nor were we all that curious about them. So, Bella, you’re pretty much talking down to me, one of your readers. I don’t particularly appreciate it.
--Har har, I c wut u did thar, Meyer. “See? My character’s not a cheerleader or a super model—that makes her totally not a Sue.” Well, it doesn’t work, because not only do you use very flattering terms to describe her (even though she supposedly doesn’t think much of herself—and yet another reason to hate first person narrative, because anybody who describes themselves like that needs to be smacked a few times; Gethsemane, anyone?), but it also most assuredly made her so unique and special. Even though she’s from a sunny area, she somehow managed to be beautifully pale.
--Okay, I take that back. Bella apparently has skin made of Saran wrap. Tip to aspiring writers: “Translucent” is not an appropriate term to use when describing somebody’s skin. While one synonym for “translucent” is in fact “clear”, the word “clear” also has multiple meanings. The meaning in this case would be “see-through”. And, as Hellraiser proved in 1986, a face where you can see the veins and muscles and arteries is NOT very sexy. The fact that Julia sucked on his finger anyway does not count.
--I diagnose you with clinical depression. They have pills for that. And therapy.
--Never mind. You have a bad case of feeling sorry for one’s self. That I can cure very easily myself. *arms self with a flyswatter and advances menacingly*
--OKAY, I GET IT, IT’S GRAY IN FORKS AND IT MAKES YOU MISERABLE. THAT’S BEEN ESTABLISHED. IT’S BEEN BEING ESTABLISHED FOR THE PAST SEVEN FRICKIN’ PAGES.
--Is she ever going to stop complaining? Seriously. She complains every other sentence.
--“Warmer than you’d hoped”? Just a few pages ago you were complaining that it was too cold in Forks!
--Okay, question, here—is Forks some kind of backwater hillbilly community consisting of one very large family tree? Because there is simply no way that everybody in the world would automatically know who Isabella Swan is, nor would she be the topic of everybody’s gossip. I was rather hoping that all the stuff I’d heard about Twilight was an exaggeration, or just people who hated it making it out to be worse than it really was. I can see I was clearly very, very mistaken.
--You know what, Bella? You can do what any kid does when they start a new semester or a new class or a new ANYTHING at school—everybody goes through the “walk through the halls with a map” routine. You can just endure it and not whine about it.
--“No one was going to bite me.” You’re a riot, Meyer. But, I must give her credit. Meyer actually doesn’t have anyone bite her in this particular book. No, she feels she must drag it out over the course of three and a half very long, very tedious books before the actual chomping occurs.
--Give me one good reason a plain black jacket would have ANY reason to stand out in a crowd full of high school students! What, is this the Forks School of Clowning?!
--Tell me, Bella. You’re worried about your pale skin. Well, according to you, the sun never shines here, and the people here are apparently so insular they never go anywhere but Forks and never meet anybody except other people from Forks. Did you really expect people to be tanned? Do you not know how tanned people happen?
--You know…I thought teachers were pretty well trained not to make students feel singled out or embarrassed about their names or looks, etc. Not Mr. Mason! No, Mr. “I’m Gonna Gawk At Your Totally Shocking Name Because Up Here In Forks We Don’t Have Names Like Isabella” Mason was sick the day they taught that lesson. Well, Miss Beautiful Swan, try going through life named London Bridge, or my personal favorite, Urethra, and then maybe I’d feel sorry for you.
--Okay, now you’re just pissing me off. I came from a small school, bitch, and then I went to a big one, so I’ve seen it all. Stop making it out like small schools are just soooooo inferior to your big schools where everything is just that much more awesome.
--Thank you, Throw Away Character #1, dubbed Eric. Your job today is to fawn over Bella so she can appropriately rebuff your unwanted advances, all while moaning about how put upon she is, and how on earth does she hold up under the strain of all these people falling in love with her? You’re already performing admirably, as she’s had time to mock your appearance by calling you pimply and oily. After all, there’s nothing like having nerdy losers dogging your every step so you can satisfyingly crush them.
--…dude. You’ve written these characters as mole people. “Oh, I wonder what it must be like in a place where there’s sun…” Jesus Christ on a pogostick!
--“I don’t have time to remember your name or listen to you blah blah blah about everything. I’m too busy being prettily angsty about everything.” And I’m supposed to like you, somehow? You know, ostensibly, this could be Meyer attempting to establish a flaw—namely, that Bella is a self-centered little snob who thinks very little of anybody who isn’t her (or suitably hot). That could be an effective character flaw—her arrogance gets her in trouble, the school kids basically act like any school kids would if somebody from the BIG CITY quite obviously thought of herself as so much better than these cave-dwelling country bumpkins…but I know for a fact that doesn’t happen. Like any good throw-away character, they just keep coming back for abuse at the hands of Bella Swan, they are so enamored of her. Well, screw you. That doesn’t happen in reality.
--Sooooo…people gawk at you, and OH, it’s just so horrible, oh the humanity, you’ll never fit in because you’re so different. But it’s perfectly acceptable for you to gawk at people and point out their differences to everybody else and how they don’t fit in? Sue double standards. I see ‘em all the time.
--Now that I’ve read it, I fully understand Makani. “This is Edward Cullen and he is beautiful.” Yeah. He’s beautiful. He’s more beautiful than beautiful. He’s what beautiful strives to be. He’s perfect. No, he’s what perfect strives to be.
--“Her voice held all the shock and condemnation of the small town, I thought critically.” And your voice holds all the shock and condemnation of the big town, I think critically. Bitch.
--So. Everybody knows about the Cullens, and everybody gossips about them. And it was very established that the Cullens do not eat lunch. Wouldn’t somebody…wonder about that, at some point? What grade are they in, anyway? What grade is Bella in? How long have the Cullens been here? Why am I asking questions I know I won’t receive answers to?
--What is WITH this town?! “Anyone who is not from Forks must be scrutinized by every member of the town, and if they show the slightest bit of difference in our ways and culture, they will NEVER EVER BE ACCEPTED!!!!” I mean, I know there are towns like this, but their high schools—if they’ve got them—are usually only 49 students strong! These guys ARE mole people!
--Edward doesn’t date, eh? My slasher mind automatically jumped to conclusions. I mean, don’t the most gorgeous of men always turn out that way in clichéd stories like these?
--“…his unusual hair.” See? It’s totally appropriate that he be played by good old RPattz and his Hair of Power. *lusts after it*
--Okay, I get it—you’re just way ahead in all of your classes and you’re gonna leave all these losers in the dust with your knowledge. Anything you can’t do? Oh, that’s right, you’re cutesy clumsy. My mistake.
--“He was so mean. It wasn’t fair.” Okay—that just made me start laughing out loud. Of all the things to have Bella say, you had that come out of her perfect, pouty little mouth. Push Edward down in the sandbox, Bella! That’ll for sure win him over!
--Thank you, Throw Away Character #2, Mike. Your creepy fawning all over Bella is greatly appreciated, as it provides her plenty of angst.
--Coach Clapp? Poor guy—he probably never gets any tail at all with a name like that.
--Part of me is hoping that Edward merely senses that Bella is a Sue of epic proportions and he’s gonna rally his family to chew her to bits. But then I realized that a) he’s a Gary Stu too, and b) he actually does chew her to bits in Breaking Dawn and she not only survives, but becomes an even bigger Sue than before.
--“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, EDWARD DOESN’T LIKE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” *slaps Bella* See what you made me do?!
Chapter 2 – Open Book
--Makani was not completely truthful in her statement of “This is Edward Cullen and he is beautiful.” She forgot about “This is Bella Swan and she is beautiful.”
--It hasn’t been but one day since she first saw him. She didn’t even say a word to him. But already her entire life revolves around Edward Freakin’ Cullen. The song “Every Breath You Take” springs to mind. And yet again, an interesting plot idea spins down the drain—Bella Swan, self-absorbed female, becomes obsessed with the only person she deems worthy of her attention, resulting in something Fatal Attraction-esque. That could be genuinely creepy. But no, we get THIS instead.
--Meyer, it is never, ever a good thing when your story reminds me even remotely of the fanfic “Hogwarts Exposed.” And the way your protagonist, Bella Swan, describes everybody except pretty boy Edward and herself in the most unflattering terms possible in order to make the “protagonists” even more beautiful reminds me of “Hogwarts Exposed.” BAD BAD DOG. NO BISCUIT.
--You’re right. It is egotistical to assume that Edward took one look at you and now immediately plans his day around you. But, hey! You’re no stranger to being egotistical! You seem to think this whole town now revolves around you! But, to be fair, it apparently does.
--Charlie’s a sucky cook. ‘Kay, that’s reasonable enough. You get assigned kitchen duty. That’s okay, too. But your first meal to cook is STEAK? Dude…according to you, you all live on a modest budget. Geez…it’s never good to remind me of Eragon, either, Meyer.
--The disdain she has for her parents is just great. It’ll make it easier for her to completely detach herself from them and attach herself to Edward when it comes down to it.
--This isn’t character development or plot exposition—it’s a goddamned shopping list.
--Don’t you wish you were the Cullens?
--Boy—time sure flies in Forks. Flies, as in, we don’t hear about anything that happens in the inbetween.
--More jabs at the small town. *sigh*
--“Besides, I thought it was supposed to come down in flakes — you know, each one unique and all that.” That’s called irony, that is.
--So, the Cullens pretty much stick to themselves, and yet Charlie is indignant on their behalf that nobody will accept them? Well, maybe if they’d try to BLEND IN and act like HUMAN BEINGS…geez, it’s a wonder that the whole damned school hasn’t found out that they’re vampires. But, naturally, it takes super sleuth Bella Swan to figure out the mystery of the vamps! I guess the mole people are too busy being insular and all mole-y to notice that there is something seriously strange about the Cullens.
--Ah, the grand meeting. And it’s confirmed—the whole town has been hearing about Bella Swan for weeks and was so excited when she finally arrived. Just how does she hold up under all the fame?
--I’ve heard of only one case where somebody was reduced to giggling stupidly upon meeting somebody that wasn’t already established as some sort of celebrity. I can understand somebody blubbering like an idiot upon meeting Antonio Banderas after idolizing him for years. Blathering on like a dolt upon a first meeting? Not so much. Like I said—only one documented case in my experience.
--Ah, gad, it’s the electric touch—“Child of Grace” used that particular plot crap. Grrr…
--“Look at how awesome we are at labeling the appropriate phases of these cells. Nobody else does it like us.” Well, you know what? I went through the phases of the onion root cells superfast in my Biology class, too. Does that make me as awesome as you and Edward? Hell, no—I don’t sparkle.
--*sigh* Hyde and I were in Advanced Placement classes, too. Hyde was the head of her class nearly every time. I was the head of the class up until I went into a mental tailspin. That does not make us special snowflakes. It doesn’t make you a special snowflake, either.
--Ah, so we get an explanation as to why she “exiled” herself to Forks. Well, it’s piss-poor.
--Edward, lemme clarify something for ya. You say that she doesn’t show anyone that she’s utterly miserable in Forks. That’s a lie. A LIE, I tell you. She lets plenty of people know—namely, her AUDIENCE. We get to hear about it EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE OF EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER. That’s the great thing about first person narrative! She can remain stoic and put on a good front to the other characters of the story so they’ll praise her for being strong and awesome and all that, but can whine all she wants to the audience!
--So, she just told her life story to some random hottie she just met and had first thought hated her. That is a very bad way to deliver exposition about your character’s motivation.
--Sweet of you to compare Mike to a dog. I can see why so many young girls like you and want to be like you. You know, Bella, in one of my favorite movies, Freddy vs. Jason, one of the characters compared a well-meaning boy who happens to have a crush on the heroine to a dog. Guess what happened to her? I’ll give you a hint—it involved Jason Voorhees and a machete. As with all the other things you’ve reminded me of thus far, it ain’t good when your actions lead me to start thinking of that.
--Tell me, readers, I need help—are there in fact gym classes that are not gender-separated these days? I never practiced with the boys when P.E. was required, even though Hyde did, but she’s older than me. Before I criticize that particular point, I want to make sure it wasn’t just me.
--One question—how the hell are they gonna make this first part interesting at ALL in the movie? It’s boring enough in book form—I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like on the big screen. These filmmakers have their work cut out for them. Eragon did, too—and they failed miserably. I’m curious to see if Twilight can pull it off. Almost tempts me to see the movie for myself, just to check it out. Almost. Well, that, and RPattz’s hair. I would pay the $6.00 to spend two hours with RPattz’s hair. Mmm…RPattz’s hair.
So far, I am so not impressed with Twilight. Meyer wasted little to no time establishing our main character, Isabella Swan, as she was so eager to get to the main meat of the story—the main meat being Edward’s meat. As such, we are given absolutely no time to decide if we even like Bella or not, and considering the circumstances, I rather lean towards dislike.
I mean, take everything that’s happened so far into consideration. As this is a first-person narrative, we get her running commentary on the world as she goes about her routine, and I know exactly what Meyer was aiming for with her character. She wanted Bella to be the withdrawn and world-weary heroine, forced to grow up too quickly due to the unfortunate circumstances of her life. The wry and sarcastic adult in the child’s body, if you will. Unfortunately, Meyer obviously has no idea how to properly write this. Instead, we get Bella Swan, typical whiny and put-upon teenager who wants the whole world to revolve around her so she can bemoan her fate of being the center of attention. Instead of a dry running commentary of the world and the people in it, we get an extremely annoying and endless monologue of complaints, most of which normal people just put up with without moaning about how awful it is.
And then there is the whole issue with Edward. As our narrator, and thus our eyes into her world, it is her responsibility to keep us interested in what is going on. And you know what? I can’t say I’m particularly interested in Edward—the initial description about him and his interaction—or lack thereof—with other people made me generally think he’s pretty much a handsome snob, and I have no interest in handsome snobs. But Bella sure is interested—from the moment she saw Edward, he was basically all she talked about, thought about, etc. And thus is the problem—we as the audience are supposed to be as fascinated by this specimen Edward as she is. And frankly, I’m not. I want to know more about Charlie, her dad. I want to know about why the town is so insular that the instant someone new comes to town, not only does everybody know about it, but everybody feels it necessary to stick their nose into the new person’s business. This particular plot device has been used successfully in other media—Edward Scissorhands comes to mind. But here, it’s merely a device used to ensure that Bella and Edward are both appropriately different—and therefore better—than everybody else so they can go off into the sunset and be awesome together and smug in their superiority. Yeah, Meyer, even if I hadn’t read reviews and summaries of your stories, I’d already know exactly where you’re going with that particular bit of plot.
And, lastly…you know, one could argue that it’s merely me being sensitized to the slightest bit of shabby writing due to my prolonged exposure to that which is bad and my lack of that which is good. However, that argument falls flat—because I constantly found myself thinking, “You know, I read a Suefic that had a phrase similar to that.” Or, “I once saw a Sue that thought that exact same thing.” Or, “That happened in a particularly nasty Suefic I sporked a while back.” And, my personal favorite, “God, this reminds me of Holly or Rose Potter.” Yeah, that’s right—at more than one point, Bella was reminding me of one of THE most hated Sues of the HP fandom, as well as one that’s rapidly moving her way through the ranks of my own personal most hated Sues EVER.
I rest my case that this ain’t shaping up to be pretty.
Stinger: “He was so mean. It wasn’t fair.”
( Chapter 3 - Phenomenon )
So, in case you didn’t notice, over the course of the next few weeks, my journal is going to be preoccupied with Twilight. I just hope I’m adding something new to what has already been said about it.