Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Oh Bella...OH Bella...oh BELLA...OoooOOHH!!!

Fellow blogger-in-arms SamuraiFrog was recently casting about for a book he wanted to read and summarize snarkily on his blog; when he wondered if Twilight might fill the bill, I saw an opportunity to prevent that awful, awful book from sullying my personal library one minute longer. I offered, and SamuraiFrog accepted, and thus it was that I mailed him my copy of the damned smelly thing. A few weeks later, he began summarizing the book. A sample of his impression:

You know, I can already tell why this book is so popular--Meyer is such a vague, unclear writer that literally anyone could be Bella Swan. She's so bland and lifeless that she becomes a template that any reader can graft their own identity onto and, in a flash, Bella is soooo just like them. It really appeals to that part of a person that's narcissistic and wants something really special to happen to them. Bella's not a flesh-and-blood, three-dimensional character, she's Stephenie Meyer's one-dimensional wish fulfillment. She's anyone's wish fulfillment, if this is your sort of thing. The book might as well be written in second person like a Choose Your Own Adventure: "You go to a new school. People are fascinated by you, because you are clearly better and more interesting than them. Why doesn't anyone understand you? Not that you need people to understand you to be special, of course. You're a beautiful swan!"

But did his impression change at all when he got to Chapter Two?

After a lengthy, uninteresting treatise on Bella's first experience with snow--it's mushy, weird, and irritating--and whether or not she likes the local library, we find Edward returned to school. Now he's suddenly personable and talkative. They do a lab assignment together that Meyer not only manages to make seem like total dry-humping, but makes it hard to decide which character she's more cloyingly precious about. Both characters are just oh-so-super smart. Bella's done the lab before, but that's not enough for Meyer--Bella was also in AP biology at her old school and is just naturally a genius and an underachiever at the same time. (She's read her current English assignment, Wuthering Heights, several times before, but will read it again just for fun.) Edward is apparently the smartest kid in the class.

"Dry-humping" is a perfect term for these scenes, as I recall them; even moreso the forest scene that finally convinced me the book was complete shite. But I do recall this odd habit Meyer had of making Bella the smartest kid to ever set foot in Water or Tree or Town or Ville or whatever the hell the name of the town in Twilight is. (I also recall the annoying meme in the book in which big-city Bella has already learned what the students in the one-horse podunk town are just now getting to.)

Anyway, SamuraiFrog is doing one chapter a week, on Sundays. He's done Chapters One and Two already. Snark directed at a worthy target is always fun!

1 comment:

Mimi said...

I keep bumping "Twilight" down in my "to read" pile, but I think it's just about gotten to the top.

With such a review, how could I not?