Over ten years ago, a relatively unknown author by the name of Stephenie Meyer published a book by the name of Twilight. This novel, and the sequels and film adaptations that followed, became a cultural phenomenon, starting a wave of paranormal romance novels. Although the craze seems to have died down (dystopian is all the rage right now, or at least it was a few years ago), the impact Twilight had on society cannot be denied. Because of Twilight, publishers realized that young people will buy and read stories about romantic relationships between humans and supernatural beings.
But you probably already knew that.
So why am I – a senior in college and a mostly respectable human being – reading Twilight? After all, aren’t there are lots of more important things I could be doing instead? Yes, there are. I could be searching for a job, working on assignments, playing basketball, sleeping, and watching all seven seasons of Parks and Recreation for the third time.
I’m reading Twilight because I want to see if it lives up to all the hype. Is it one of the worst books ever made? Is it the fourth greatest young adult novel of all time, as the users of Goodreads would have me believe?
I want to see for myself. People can say all they want about Twilight, but until I read it, I am going to withhold judgment. Now, I don’t recommend doing this for everything. Some people would tell you that smoking weed is great. I’ve never tried it, but I don’t plan on trying it just to see if it’s life-changing as people say it is.
I also want to broaden my horizons. I consider myself relatively well-read, but I’m always looking to expand. I could just stick to Tolkien and Stephen King, and that would occupy me for a while, but I want to become more well-rounded.
I just finished True Grit by Charles Portis, and I’m planning on reading Slaughterhouse-Five, Mark Twain’s nonfiction and C.S. Lewis’ non-Narnia books in the near future. But not before I finish the most popular young adult vampire novel of the 21st century.
I have dreams of reaching the young adult population through books someday. Whether that will happen remains to be seen. But there was something in this book that clicked with readers (at least, I’m assuming there was). I want to know what that was. Teenagers are scary, and I don’t understand them. I’m only three years removed from my teen years, but the world has changed so much since then. Vine and Hotline Bling and Snapchat? There’s only so much I can do to keep up with the times. So I’m reading Twilight to see if there’s something in it that holds the secret to attracting an audience. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
If this turns out to be a terrible book like so many people have said, then at least I’ll learn how not to write.
Either way, I’m looking forward to reading this book. You can follow my progress on this blog. Or don’t. I’m not a beggar.
And in case you were wondering, yes, I am Team Jacob.