Monday, December 27, 2010


I pick on Stephenie Meyer a lot in my private life. It's mostly just jealousy because she has had such huge success selling such blatant mediocrity. Most writers who bitch and moan about her books are probably feeling the same way. They're pissed. I've been reading her books this holiday season as a sort of 'research' project, and I am annoyed at how I am compelled forward to read what is inherently predictable and utterly absurd.

I have to face it... for a pre-teen, these books are f**king brilliant. I had to suck it up and admit that yesterday, when I bought yet the next installment to read. Like most romance novels, the premise is simple... but girl A with boy B, give them lots of passionate feelings and then drag out the 'union' for as long as possible, and present it with as many challenges (contrived or not) that you can throw in to make it interesting.

He's a vamp. 'I'm too dangerous for you, young lady yet I cannot stay away' boy. She's 'special'... ordinary but not... something the simpering teenaged girl readers can relate to but with something exceptional that makes her attractive to this extraordinary piece of moody, broody, angsty and sparkling perfection that is the boy. It is excruciatingly trite, the whole thing... the vampire family, the teen-yearning, the angst, the never-ending and very contrived discussions about why this could or could not work... the hapless and clueless and wolfy second-runner-up... a few random crises to give the book some measure of momentum, and the heroine needing constant rescue. It's barfworthy. It's perfection.

Stephenie's writing style is simplistic but with just the right amount of sophistication (she must have a fabulous editor) that it draws the reader in; even cantankerous, jealous indie authors like me, who can only dream of that kind of readership for their work. Add in the enigmatic titles, the pretty covers... you've got a decent product... I cannot deny that this is really a brilliant scheme.

I have to say though, I watched the twilight movie the other day in 12 parts on youtube, and I found the movie to be a bit better put together than the book. Namely because the book concentrates mostly on Bella and Edward's angsty and passionate interchanges for the duration, and the murderous vamps just sort of randomly appear as if action is an afterthought... but in the movie, they are hinted at from the beginning, and made to let you believe that the murdering vamps could possibly be Edward or his family. Despite the movie sucking pretty badly, it at least got that right.

The whole vampires playing baseball thing had me in stitches, I admit. Okay, the whole thing had me in stitches... this is no Austen, that is for sure... It's pulp as much as my stuff is pulp... but I'm still reading it, and still buying her goddamn e-books... so that says a lot.

Next up... The Harry Potter series. A girl's gotta know. ;)


  1. Unfortunately she dug up a good story, from somewhere inside that grey matter between her ears, and managed to put the bare bones of it down on paper.
    Sure... she doesn't fill it in and shape it out half as nicely as many other talented authors could but that doesn't really matter. When one has a good story to tell it could be told as an impromptu bed time tale or a well rehearsed camp fire story and it wouldn't matter. Whomever is listening will always want to hear it through to the end.
    I think what happened in her case is that the story suited the author. It's a light, predictable, and familiar structure and it's told by someone who can handle such a tale.
    King couldn't write Twilight and Steph couldn't write the Gunslinger series. -shrug-

    Here's to Cheesy Vamps, B movies at 2AM, and scads of other guilty pleasures. -grin-

  2. That's reasonable... And I've been quite entertained so far, however I am now at Breaking Dawn... and this last book is completely appalling! OMG! Lawling my butt off...

  3. Have you noticed certain phrases or uncommon words used over and over yet ? It made it really hard for me not to throw the books across the room at times.

  4. Ummm.. sure sure. This book four is actually so horrid, it's difficult to get through.

  5. Glag.
    Ok, I admit, I was like fifteen when Twilight came out and I drank it up. I had fantasies about Edward. I started wearing glitter sparkles.
    But I mean, come on.
    (SPOILER ALERT) A vampire/human hybrid baby who can talk at the ripe age of like one month?
    An ex-lover werewolf/shape-shifter who falls in love (and I do mean in the sexual way) with said baby?
    She went way, waaaaay too far.
    Besides, after True Blood came out and I saw what a real vampire could be (read: Eric Northman) whimpy angsty little Edward just looked pathetic.
    She's just preying on a pre-teen's love of angst. And angst she gave them.