When you think of the YA paranormal genre these days one of the first series to come to mind is Twilight. I guess this would have something to do with the fact that the series has sold over 116 million copies worldwide. Or that the books have spent over 235 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list. For some, this will either dredge up warm fuzzies or inflict a migraine. In many ways, Twilight is an awesome series and a terrible series all wrapped up in one. Why? Because it inspired some people to pick up an actual book and read. And that’s awesome. But it’s also terrible for the awful characters, mixed messages, and jumbled plots. In late 2009, I would have fallen with the former.
Oh, don’t look at me like that. I know this might sound strange based on my current views on the YA genre with its insta-love and co-dependency romances. But it’s true. I’m going to be straight with you here. When I first read Twilight (just the first book) I loved it. Hear me out on this because Twilight and I started a rather interesting journey together. Firstly, I broke an ancient rule: I saw the movie before I read the book. Now before we go any further it’s important to understand something about me. At that time I wasn’t that big of a reader. It’s not because I didn’t love to read. Au contraire, I LOVED to read, but I was suffering from Post-Potter Depression. It’s very serious, you see. I had devoted so much of my youth growing up with Harry in Hogwarts, drinking butter beer, cursing Malfoy, and fighting Death Eaters. Then, when we *finally* defeated old Voldy it was just OVER. After I gave Harry my heart and soul and sweat and blood and TEARS and he just left me with this gaping hole in my chest and and and….dear Gandhi, I sound just like Bella Swan right now, don’t I? Co-dependency is NOT healthy. Sheesh. Anyways, you get the point, so, let’s just move right along.
I first heard of Twilight through the DVD commercials in the fall of 2009. Ya, you read that right. I had no idea what it was, let alone that it was a book first. I kept hearing the commercials on the radio and seeing them on TV. They played it like crazy. I remember thinking, “What’s with all the hype?” Well, I discovered it shortly after the DVD release. One day, while I was visiting my best friend the commercial came on and I asked her if she had seen it. She proceeded to tell me no, but her sister LOVED it. This piqued my interest a bit and at that point I resolved myself to adding Twilight to my red box list. Weeks passed and one night I happened to have the house to myself while the husband and kid were gone. I was bored and decided to rent a movie from on demand. It was the perfect time to check out what everyone and their mama’s goldfish were talking about. My initial reaction wasn’t love at first sight. Don’t get me wrong, I did like it, but I thought it was strange and some parts didn’t even make sense to me. It was getting late, but the husband and kid still weren’t home, so, know what I did? I watched the movie again and I ended up liking it much better, but there still were too many plot holes in the story. I needed more. I felt excited about reading a book again!
The next day, I checked my library’s website to make sure there was a copy available. There was exactly one left. So, I packed up my kid fast and drove on over only to discover someone had *just* checked out the book. This made me insanely angry. The very kind librarian explained to me that I could be placed on the wait list. I grudgingly told her no while whispering where she could shove her stupid wait list. Seriously, there is no reason a book, I had yet to read, should conjure up those kind of dark emotions from me. Thinking about what I did next still shocks me to this day. I drove over to Wal-Mart like a madwoman and purchased Twilight and New Moon.
Fortunately, they were on sale so I didn’t feel too bad about the purchase. But if there is one thing you should know about me it’s that I don’t usually buy my books unless I have already read it before and know that I would read it again. Otherwise, it just feels like a waste of money. But, I was obsessed, of course, and as I always do with my new obsessions, I got carried away.
I went home, started Twilight, and finished the next day. I LOVED it. So, naturally, I devoured New Moon as well. I didn’t love New Moon. LOL. Frankly, it pissed me the hell off. Edward was gone for more than half the book! WTF, Stephenie! But still I needed more. And before I knew it, I was once again speeding to my local Wal-Mart. I decided not to try the library again, taking a page from Edward, “I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly.” I mean, I already owned the first two, might as well buy Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. *shrug* I ended up liking Eclipse much better than New Moon. Interestingly, I didn’t really care for Breaking Dawn. Any who, I finished the series in a weeks time and called up my best friend. I informed her that Twilight was so super awesome and she should read it. I think my exact words were, “It’s Harry Potter good.” I’m surprised J.K. Rowling didn’t smite me herself for that blasphemy. But you have to understand I wasn’t reading a lot then and therefore had nothing else to compare it to. I was going off raw emotions, which had nothing to do with the flaws I chose to ignore at the time.
However, since my rose petal glasses have fallen off (actually, they’ve been gone for some time now, I’ve just been super busy with life), been stepped on, and left to rot in a dusty little corner, it’s the perfect time to re-read Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. I’ll still be reading books from my TBR shelf on Good Reads, but I’ll bounce back and forth between those and Project: Hindsight. Questions to ponder: Will I be somewhat biased towards it since it rekindled my reading flame? Will I wonder how I ever could love such a book? Will I still love it. Let me answer that one right now…no. Considering Twilight gave birth to Hush, Hush, Fallen, and Halo (amongst others), and I hate them, let’s just say, “fat chance.” Nowadays, any book resembling Twilight either makes my stomach churn or makes my toes curl…and I don’t mean in the good way. I suppose the correct question would be: Will I even finish it? LOL. Well, they say hindsight is 20/20, so, I guess we’ll see…
The conclusion to Project: Hindsight can be found here.