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Warning: Twilight bashing inside

August 17, 2009 - Betsy Bethel
I think there might be as many "Twilight" bashers on the Internet as there are fans of the book and movie. And the bashers aren't all male. I feel the need to get in on the fray.

I almost spit out my coffee when I first saw a Team Edward sticker on the back of an SUV. I think it's a safe bet that Mom bought the novelty item, although I'm sure her tween daughter thinks she is soooooo cool.

There now are Team Edward and Team Jacob T-shirts available for back-to-school at certain department stores. Operative words: "back-to-school." The first time I see a grown woman in one of these shirts, it will take Edward-esque will power for me NOT to pull it over her head hockey-style.

Yes, I have read the first book, and yes, I have seen the movie. I felt compelled to get in on this zany zeigeist, despite the warning bells going off in my head. One warning bell: Teen girls swooning at the mention of the name Edward. Another warning bell: Teen girls wearing vampire teeth in public, and Halloween is months away. Another warning bell: Three words: young adult fiction.

But nearly every female I know had read "Twilight," and was talking about it. And these weren't just moms of tweens and teens. Women, both single and married, both with children and without, were extolling Edward's virtues, and, ahem, drooling. I had to find out for myself what all the hubbub was about.

So last week I read the book, and last night I watched the movie.

At best, I can say I understand the draw for girls. That Edward is a cutie, although I like him better without all the makeup!

When I was 15, I absolutely loved "The Breakfast Club," "Sixteen Candles," "Some Kind of Wonderful" (RIP John Hughes), and the racier "Dirty Dancing" and "St. Elmo's Fire." I also read all the V.C. Andrews' books in the "Flowers in the Attic" and "Heaven" series. But it was almost a guilty pleasure. I certainly didn't want my mom to read those books or see those movies, let alone like them!

At worst, "Twilight" is wrong on so many levels.

So here goes. Here are my top 5 reasons why I'm not on Team Twilight, from least important to most important:

5. Vampires freak me out. Even if they do sparkle in the sun.

4. If Stephenie Meyer used the word "beautiful" to describe Edward once, she used it 1,000 times. Get a thesaurus, girlfriend!

3. It's just too unbelievable. I know it's fantasy, but there has to be some sort of credibility to it. I mean, there is no way the good people of Forks, population 3,120, wouldn't have run the Cullens out of town by now. Not even Washingtonians are THAT pale. And what about the flashy cars, the long school absences, the never eating and never sleeping. Surely someone in Forks besides Bella would have grown suspicious, don't you think?

2. Bella is exceedingly shallow. She is physically attracted to Edward. Fine. But then she allows her attraction to rule every subsequent decision. She is naive and foolish to think Edward will never harm her. I'd like to see a young heroine who is smart AND pretty AND makes healthy choices!

1. Most important, Edward is a coward. He knows he is a danger to Bella and yet he can't stay away from her. It seems he has super-strong will power to resist his bloodthirsty urges, but really he is a weakling. Instead of just saying, "You shouldn't be with me, Bella," HE needs to make the decision to end it.

I will probably still end up reading "New Moon" and the third and fourth books, just so I can keep up in conversations with my friends and relatives. I know it's all just fun and fantasy and it's great that girls are reading, yadda yadda yadda. And I must say I am glad that, at least in the first movie, everyone keeps their clothes on (can't say the same for "Dirty Dancing.")

I guess I was hoping for more ... substance. Maybe the second book will change my mind.

There go the warning bells again.


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