Thursday, December 10, 2009

At the Edge of Mediorce: Twilight

At my teen step-daughter's behest I finally waded deep into the morass of Twilight. Having seen just enough of the film to fully embrace mocking it, she felt I was doing the material a disservice by not reading the book and thus I have read the book.

Strangely enough, the bat-shit insane synopsis I also read of the fourth book makes me want read it more than the material itself.

Author Stephanie Meyers quickly catches the voice of a petulant teen, as heroine Bella moves to north-western U.S. to enable to her mother to tour with a new beau. Martyring herself early allows Bella to morosely meander her way through her new school in a tiny town. Her father, the town sheriff is kind, in a bland, cardboard, set-dressing way. Once ensconced in a cocoon of teenage self-pity, Bella stumbles across a dashing enigmatic classmate, Edward, who immediately catches her eye, though he rebuffs her.

Tangled, tortured romance ensues for a short time but slides into a glorious perfection. It is in fact, so perfect, that a literal deus ex machina walks out of the woods to force conflict into the idyllic relationship.

Twilight is a near perfect tween romance, exploring a chaste yet passionate first love, the oxy-moronic bad boy who poses no threat to the girl. Competently plotted and written, it captures the inner monologue of the stereotypical teen without venturing into revealing depth or purpose. Shallow and meandering, it pales in comparison to other works in the pre-teen/teen fantasy genre, especially when compared to the sparse but lyrical prose of a J.K Rowling.

I had hoped that by reading Twilight I would be given insight into the mind of teenage girl, instead of I was given insight into the manufacture of a book attractive to the mind of a teenage girl.

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