Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not exactly into romance. I mean, I enjoy a good love story as much as anybody. I like that excitement and anticipation of wondering if Girl and Guy are going to get together (even though I know they will). I love remembering those little flutters you get when you first discover new love. Romantic comedies tend to do a great job providing this kind of entertainment.
I also enjoy adventure stories that just happen to have a little romance thrown in. It's only natural that a guy and a girl on an adventure might get close, right?
What I don't like are the really mushy, disgusting, angst-ridden love stories that are...just... beyond ridiculous.
For example, I HATE Romeo and Juliet. "If we can't be together we might as well be dead"? PLEASE!!! There is so much more to life! Yes, it might be hard. Yes, it might be sad. But you will get over it. You can make something of yourself.
Classic Shakespearean romance aside, I really like young adult fiction. I find this classification of books tends to be just the right balance of adventure and fantasy, romance and reserve. The romance in these books is often sweet and exciting and hopeful. Adult fiction seems too serious and, I don't know, heavy. I get enough of that in real life. I don't want to read about it.
That was my mindset a few years ago. I was browsing the YA section of the library and a couple of books stood out to me. I had already chosen some books to read so I just took note of the new books and went home. Each time I visited the library, these books seems to jump out at me. I finally picked one up and read the blurb.
Ah. Teenage vampire love? Never mind. Not my thing.
But by then I was seeing these books everywhere! I looked into them and found out that Stephenie Meyer is LDS. Finally, I gave in and read Twilight.
I was hooked! I raced through New Moon and Eclipse. I waited not-very-patiently for Breaking Dawn. I even dragged all my kids to the PX the day it was released so I could finally find out how Bella becomes a vampire!
I must admit, as much as I was devouring these books, I was also feeling kind of guilty. They were so sensual, so disgustingly dramatic. Even as part of me wanted to barf all over it, another part of me was almost ravenous for more. It was, honestly, disturbing.
Part of me was relieved when I had finished the series. The story was resolved. I had no desire to know more about the characters or their story. I was satisfied.
By this time, the movies were being made, people were going to midnight premiers dressed as their favorite characters. (And by "people" I mean women my age!) Again, I am kind of disturbed.
You see, when I was reading the books, I was genuinely impressed with the message. I felt (and still feel) that the parallel between controlling sexual lust and vampire blood-lust was brilliant! Stephenie Meyer had presented one reason after another for abstinence.
• It can be dangerous.
• You might lose control.
• Others could get hurt, even the one you love most.
• When you really care for each other you want to protect each other from those dangers.
• When the time is right, you will see that it was worth waiting for.
Even after all these years, I am quite impressed with this aspect of the story. For that reason, I want every teenager I know to read these books.
But then there is all that gross stuff. The smelling each other. The watching each other sleep. All that intense suffering and desperation. For a military wife, who has spent plenty of time separated against my will from the man I love, this was SO unacceptable! If Bella had been standing in front of me I would have slapped her. HARD!
Don't even get me started on the really irritating way Bella screws with Jacob and Edward. "I love you both. I don't know what to do! I'm just a stupid girl! Waa, Waa, Waa". Disgusting!
Of course the whole baby part of the story is just beyond horrible. I mean, I have had babies without drugs. I have felt that pain. Add to that the idea that your child is going to literally kick you to death, well, that is just a little too close to home! (And I won't even mention the cravings!)
Even though some of it was disturbing, it all made sense. It all fit. "Of course that is going to happen. That's what I would do." In some ways, that made the books even more unnerving.
And yet, there I was, in a movie theater on opening weekend with my 30-something-year-old friend watching Breaking Dawn 2, so focused on the screen I barely knew where I was!
Pathetic, isn't it?