In Defense of Twilight

7:00 AM


Today we're gonna talk about Twilight, so swallow back those immediate protests and let's get to it.


 I want to talk about a thing that annoys me.

No, wait.

I want to to talk about a thing that makes me angry. 

If you know anything at all about the book community, or even if you're online for very long, you know that Twilight by Stephanie Meyer is one of the most hated books...well, one of the most hated books out there. We make fun of it constantly. We bash it consistently for being poorly written, containing flat characters, showing an abusive relationship, just being stupid in all ways. Hating Twilight is the thing to do.


Here's the problem with that: If I had a dollar every time I heard/saw someone say "I haven't actually read Twilight, but...", followed by some criticism of Twilight, I would have enough money to bribe at least one of those people and get them to shut up about it and not read books in silence already.

Everyone look out, Aimee's ranting in a heated manner now.
Okay, so maybe I don't actually know what I'm ranting about in regards to Twilight. Maybe I'm trying to defend something that is stupid, and hey, I kind of despised Harry Potter and enjoyed Twilight quite a bit so I can't possibly be intelligent enough to have this opinion. (More on the Harry Potter expectations another week.) But there are two problems I have with the whole Twilight thing that I want to address: 

First of all, if you haven't read Twilight (or any other book, for that matter; this rant applies to all books), you don't get to say things about Twilight, even if you've heard them from someone else. You cannot criticize a fictional relationship or fictional characters or anything about that book until you've actually read about them yourself

Second of all, if someone enjoys a book that you think is really stupid, even if a bunch of people think it's stupid or wrong or whatever, you let it go. Books mean different things to different people. I think Divergent is pretty stupid. If you like Divergent, good for you. You get to like Divergent. I don't have any right to explain to you why that book is dumb and you shouldn't like it because that's how I'm seeing that book and guess what? It's none of my business. So: Have your opinions about books, by all means. Discuss those opinions. Do not shame someone for liking a book if you happen to strongly dislike it.

So in other words: 

Not even sorry this time. 

There's not much else to rant about here, I guess, now that I've gotten that out. I have lots of issues with the book world and that's one of them. As you've probably guessed by now, I've read Twilight. And the following books. I actually really enjoyed them. Still enjoyed them. I was emotionally invested and yes, there were lots of flaws, and yes, I laugh at some aspects of them, but I enjoyed them. I thought there was value in them.

Read your books. Enjoy your books. Don't paint people as stupid for enjoying other books.

Don't apologize for liking Twilight, or any other book. Don't feel bad about it. Read stuff you enjoy.

Let's all be friends.

ADDITION: It's been pointed out to me in the comments that the movies are part of the reason why someone might hate on Twilight, which is very true and depressing and brings me back to another thing: don't judge a book by its movie. :)

30 comments

  1. I haven't actually read Twilight, but ...

    This post kinda makes me want to. I dunno, but a couple other people have pointed out that there are layers to it most criticism ignores. It's not a genre or premise I'd read normally, but I think several years back I read a few pages of New Moon and enjoyed it kind of? (I also started reading again from the beginning and got bored, so well. I really have no clue.) But I AM looking forward to that Harry Potter post.

    PS: I refuse to retract criticism on that line where there was a lot of redundant laughing.

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    1. I would give it a try! I don't think it's the greatest book of all time (and there are definitely some laugh/cringe-worthy moments like the one you mentioned) but I'd suggest that everyone read it at some point so they know what they're talking about when they try to talk about it. xD It's not as bad as everyone says and there are indeed lots of layers. I don't care if people dislike it; I take issue when people have an issue with something they've never even read.

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  2. *flaps arms with happiness* YES AIMEE. YOU TELL PEOPLE THESE IMPORTANT THINGS K? K.

    I mean, I guess the whole premise to this "Twilight" business is that it is somehow different than most other books. In my opinion, if Twilight is the worst book you've ever read you should consider yourself lucky. Because forrealz. DO YOU KNOW HOW TERRIBLE BOOKS CAN BE? Like, I'm not even talking about like, plot. There are books I have ended up with that didn't get proofread or formatted correctly—clearly nobody gave it a second look before publishing. And if you think Twilight has Mary Sues and stereotypes.... well, it is nothing compared to others. Ha.

    Anyway, I wholeheartedly agree with you. :) At some point I want to talk about Twilight in-depth in relationship to the specifics of why I care about it (and why, at the very least, some things people criticize are not criticized in the exact right ways). But it would probably take a whole week of Twilight posts and I dunno how well that would go over with anybody. *sigh* Anyway, thanks for this, Aimee! It made me pleased :)

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    1. As soon as I saw the title of this book I was like 'Heather would love this', and I was right! :)

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    2. I've been needing to talk about this for SO LONG because I keep seeing it and it's escalating and ugh. There are lots of books out there that are so, so much worse, you're right. (Also, if you wrote a week of Twilight posts I would be very excited and cheer you on.)

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  3. This post is very relevant today, because I swear people hate things just to hate them. I have no opinion on the Twilight books because I have never read them, but I did see one of the movies and can say it wasn't for me. I won't be rude to someone who does like it because it is simply a matter of different taste. Thank you for putting it so perfectly, besides Stephanie Meyer has more money than I ever will. So she did something right.

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    1. Peopleee. :/ The movies aren't a very accurate representation in general but yeah, it's not a story/genre for everyone, in the same way that Harry Potter isn't the story/genre for me, which is 100% okay and not something to bash.

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  4. YES!

    I haven't read Twilight before. But I don't go around telling people it's the most terrible book out there because I HAVE NOT READ IT! There are so many people out there who tell me to never read it, but then they confess that they haven't read it? That doesn't help me decide if I want to read it or not. I consider their opinion invalid and unfounded. How can you have a plausible opinion if you are uninformed?

    What really makes me angry is when people talk down to others who don't like the same things they do. They are different people.They can like what they want. I can like what I want. All is well in the world. We're different for a reason. We all have different tastes in genre and content and just about everything so obviously we're not all going to like the same things or even for the same reasons. And there is nothing wrong with that. I do not have to conform to the likings of someone else and they don't have to conform to my own.

    There is a difference between discussing and bashing.

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    1. Thank you! There are so many books I've not read that I'm tempted to go ahead and judge but I need to keep my mouth shut because I don't have anything to say about that. xD And different books mean different things to different people, so I think that like you said it's important to know the distinction between having an opinion about a book and bashing someone else for seeing more in that book. *nods enthusiastically*

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  5. I have to say, I'm not a fan of Twilight and I adore Harry Potter, but I think everyone's entitled to their own opinion, and I especially hate how people seem to think it's okay to say that anyone who likes Twilight must be stupid or have a terrible taste in literature. It's just not true--storytelling is so subjective, and one of the best things about it is that everyone will have a different opinion about the same story. Great post!

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    1. Right! It's completely an individual thing and since I can't say what someone got out of a book, I should probably just give my opinion and move on. It would be great if we could all be a little more civilized about it. :)

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  6. Good for you Aimee! You know what, I actually loved Twilight when I read it! I thought it was the coolest thing ever...but I was surrounded by people that didn't, and though I never confessed I did like it...I kind of merged into their opinion.
    On the other hand, let's be honest, I think at least 60% of the reason people hate the books is because people probably just hate the movie...
    Yeah, Kirsten Stewart probably would make you hate Bella if you've never read the books...I don't know where I'm going with this, but if I didn't read Twilight and I just watched the movie and was basing my opinion off of that...yeah I'd probably hate Twilight.
    I think that may be another factor that ties into "I've never read it but.." It's not fair when people claim they've basically read the entire thing by solely watching the movie, which I've witnessed. Tie that up with the ribbon of people who bash about it and have read it, and there's your hate package.
    SO GOOD FOR YOU AIMEE. We can be so easy to influence, have our opinions swayed--at least I do. So I'm glad you wrote this post because it's true: we're all complex human beings like God wanted us to be, and therefore we will all have different interpretations, understandings, and beliefs. Therefore no book is the same to anybody, really.
    Brava!

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    1. Oh my gosh, the movies. xD They make me laugh every time -- and yes, I've seen them multiple times. Because they're cheesy and ridiculous and not accurate but *I enjoy watching them occasionally*. :P I do agree that that has something to do with it. Thanks so much for this comment! I totally agree.

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  7. This is actually really true! I read twilight and it was fine, although I mainly read it because all my friends loved it (I was in 6th grade so *shrugs*). I started reading New Moon but I got bored, I think. And I LOVE harry potter (even though I've kind of grown out of it.). But I think you're absolutely right in telling people not to hate on books (or anything really... people, TV shows, food, ) they don't know. Thank you for this post!

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    1. I think that was around when I read it, too...I've read the series once or twice since then and still enjoyed it, and I'll probably read it again sometime soon, and I don't see any reason to feel like I have to defend myself over that. It's not cool in the slightest to hate on someone for liking something you don't, especially if it's a book. That's the one thing that'll definitely get me flailing and ranting angrily.

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  8. Awesome post! I used to be one of those people who bashed Twilight without knowing a thing about it, and I'll admit, that's dumb. If you've never seen it or read it, you're not allowed to have an opinion. The end. And even if you have, you shouldn't make others feel bad for liking it. Twilight might mean a lot to them, and shaming them for enjoying the story is just plain rude.

    That said, I have now watched all the movies and read all the books, so I feel entitled to my opinion, lol.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. Exactly! I don't have a problem discussing the series/book with someone who read and disliked it, but I don't believe that opinion is valid until you've actually...read the thing in the first place? :P

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  9. I read the first two books if I remember correctly. They did completely draw me in. And it wasn't until later (namely, I watched the first movie) that they seemed dumb to me. Yeah, it's funny to hear people rant about them, but I have to admit I enjoyed the book at the time. I was the target audience when it came out. I don't know if I could sit down and read them now or finish the series. But your point will always stand. It's annoying when people trash a book they know nothing about except what other people have said.

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    1. And that's perfectly valid! I'll never see them as the best books ever written, and I think there were lots of low points just like there are in a ton of books. I think it's okay to dislike books or think they're dumb (I think that a lot xD) but NEVER okay to bash somebody for liking that same book. *nodnod*

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  10. Yeesssssss. Thank you. To be honest, I really liked Twilight the first time I read it. When I go back, I don't really like them so much, but I don't think it deserves the bashing it gets. Heck, I thought it had pretty diverse and interesting characters. Maybe not personality wise, though.

    I think the main reason that people hate Twilight is /because/ of the movies. They did a greeeeaaaaattttt job at emphasizing the cheesiest aspects of the story (I guess it was kind of accurate, though...) and combined it with a pinch of bad acting. And there was also the whole "Team Edward/Jacob" thing, which is enough to make anyone hate it.


    Sarah Clay
    www.knowingthepower.com

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    1. Yesss the movies oh gosh. xD I've seen all the movies purely to laugh at them, so I have to say I enjoyed them. The cheese is glorious.

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  11. Right on! I read Twilight back when it first came out and it certainly was NOT horrible. I definitely have read much worse. Generally, I think it's so much better to just talk about books we love than bash the ones we hate. Although I'm a total hypocrite for saying that because I've written a couple of nasty reviews in my day, haha.

    With the risk of looking like a completely annoying blogger, I want to leave a link to a post I wrote about book shaming that expresses my thoughts on this exactly: http://splash-of-ink.blogspot.ca/2014/08/im-bad-bookworm-and-my-thoughts-on-book.html

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    1. Right? I'm not the most fond of Twilight, but as books go -- and especially YA books -- it could be way worse. I love your post on it! :D There's a lot of subtle bookish shaming that goes on and it's not cool.

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    1. You're very welcome! Thank you for commenting :)

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  13. Great post dear! Have a wonderful weekend:)

    irenethayer.com

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  14. I can't share any opinions on the books because I haven't read any, but I actually liked the first movie and I really want to watch the rest at some point (although I am a little scared of the books for some reason--not really sure why). But I know that I grew up in a household with parents who would judge books by their covers and at first I did the same because I was following their example so I was this annoying tween bashing Twilight and Harry Potter even though I had no clue what I was talking about. And it took me a while to realize that even books that seem to be universally acknowledged as the stupidest things ever still hold redeeming value for some people. Like, I love Divergent, really love Divergent, but I get why other people would think it's stupid. I really didn't like Matched and yet their are people I respect who love it and I don't necessarily get why they love it but I think it's cool that they love it, and I've realized that I'm much happier when I free myself to not care about what other people are reading and liking.

    I know a family who never watched Tangled because someone told them it was about a rebellious teenager who runs off with some guy and abandons her mother. And they took that piece of info they were given and based their entire views on the story on that alone and never gave the work a chance, which was really sad. I definitely think it's super important to read a book before judging it or sharing your opinions about it, although I do think there's something to be said for obvious problematic books like 50 Shades of Grey, because while I don't want to express judgments on books I've never read, I feel like that would be an exception.

    Anyway, sorry, that was pretty rambly. But thanks for getting me thinking!

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  15. You know, you have a very, very good point here. I'm not interested in the Twilight series (paranormal romance is not a genre I like to read), BUT I am a fan of Divergent, which as you mentioned is considered "dumb" by a lot of people. :) And why do I like Divergent? Well... not because it's expertly written or thought-provokingly profound. Honestly, I would agree that it IS dumb, in some ways. But I still love it, because I personally identified with the main character in a very deep way. That book challenged me to face my real-life fears, and I actually DID become braver after reading it! For that reason, it WAS profound, for me.

    Point being... I understand that everyone has a different experience when they read a book. And I respect that. :)

    Also, I totally agree with "don't judge a book by its movie" because UGH the Divergent movies have all been AWFUL!!! :P

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    1. (Also I realize this is an old post, sorry xD)

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  16. I LOVE TWILIGHT!!!!!! I haven't read the books because my mom isn't okay with me reading them yet, but I really want to. I've seen the movies on (mostly on Clearplay) and I love them. To all those Twilight haters I have two words: bite me.... Lol

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hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.