Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vampires, what's up with that?

I know it's been a while, well all right, a long while since my last post, which was also my first post, and I apologize.
This post may offend you. Just a warning.
But only if you like bad books.
Recently, I have been embareced in bookstores to even be seen in the section of books set aside for people of my age group, namely: the young adult section. Granted, some decent books remain, but I can't help longing for the days when The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders and such like were the most popular "teen" fiction books around. And I didn't even exist in those days. Now you walk into the young adult section and this is what you see:

Now maybe I'm judging books by their covers, but...really? I think the main problem with these books is that they were written by people who have forgotten what it means to be young, thus they turn to how teenager-dom is presented in the media, which was in turn created by people who have forgotten what it feels like. Thus the genre feeds on itself. And possibly is creating, not abolishing, the lack of avid teen readers. But I could go on like this forever. It will have to be a different post. On to the subject of the post at hand:
The main perpetrator of this, and the one I take most issue with, is possibly the most famous: Twilight. I read Twilight, it was fun, it was fast, it was a guilty pleasure. But once you take it seriously, and start to look for symbolism and deeper meaning that's not there, and get offended when it's not someone's favorite book, you've taken it to far. Once you won't be happy unless you're boyfriend is Edward Cullen, it's too much. Girls, just a thought, but your boyfriends are probably going to want to do more than just watch you while you sleep. And, while vampires do have a certain "bad boy" appeal, I'd take Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff anyday.
Apart from the books prevailing disconnect with true teen life (the charactors are flat, the highschool doesn't exist, the romance is unbelievable), there is the problem of the way Bella can't exist when Edward's not around. Neither of them are individuals, they are basically codependant. That's not healthy. And when this dependence filters through the pages and into the readers, so that they can't exist without Edward, then that's become a problem. A disgusting, dehumanization, of thousands of preteen girls. They can't exist without a vampire lover. They need their vampire love to save them. If you absolutely have to read a book about obsessive love, why not read one that doesn't have the side effect of, when taken to far, turning you into an idiot? Read Wuthering Heights. At least that's well written.

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