I have to say, I don’t know whether I am proud or terrified to admit that I was a pretty serious Twi-Hard back in my twelvie days. There was something about a star-crossed romance between human and vampire that struck a chord and compelled me to devour the entire series like food. Back then I was young and impressionable, set out to prove that I was mature enough to handle the books that were placed strictly in the ‘Senior Fiction’ section of the school library. My teachers knew I was an advanced reader, and with no knowledge of what lay between the pages of that mysterious black book with the apple on the front, they willingly handed it over and let me check it out. I don’t know whose fault it was―the teachers for letting me read it, or mine for finishing it.
For those of you who are yet to enter the blessed Twilight gates, count yourself lucky. Or unlucky―it’s fundamentally a matter of opinion. Twilight explores the relationship between a devastatingly average teenage girl named Bella Swan, and the gorgeous yet strangely isolated Edward Cullen―who happens to be a vampire. And…that’s sort of the entire plot. Sure, there’s plenty of romance, supernatural creatures, evil vampires trying to kill the good vampires, bloodlust, gore and semi-predictable twists, but all in all this series doesn’t live up to the hype that surrounds it now. Bram Stoker would be turning in his grave if he knew that Twilight had transformed vampires from garlic-hating immortals that lurk in the shadows, into extremely attractive teenagers who sparkle in the sunlight. I mean, seriously, who is going to be afraid of someone who glitters? Did Edward think Bella would run away screaming when she saw his diamond-encrusted chest? News flash dude, chicks DIG that stuff! Twilight has forever glamorised the world of the supernatural. Even the werewolves are hot. Not that I was complaining when the movies came out―Taylor Lautner can rip off his shirt any time thank you very much!
On top of that, there is a main character that is everything we have been telling future female generations not to be. Bella Swan feels weakened by her supposed soul mate, who protects her constantly, gets very jealous, and at times physically abuses her. He treats her as an incompetent female, and whenever he gets angry Bella assumes it is her fault, and never believes herself worthy of Edwards love. Next to him, she feels ugly and worthless, even if Edward tells her otherwise. In terms of young adult fiction, the time of defenseless damsels has passed, and readers are turning to the stronger protagonists of Katniss Everdeen and Tris Prior to model themselves after. Had Twilight revolved around a character with a little more backbone, I suspect the novels would have maintained their popularity for a longer period of time.
For my final verdict, I can conclude that the Twilight Saga’s time has passed and gone, leaving in its wake a trail of positive and negative comments and impressions. Although some may argue that this series has ruined the supernatural forever, I commend the books for completely transforming a genre and creating something new, which is what we all strive to achieve as authors. It is a series that needs to be put on the Must Read list, as it was an important milestone for young adult fiction, even though you may be blinded by the sparkles erupting from Edward’s chest.