The Twilight Saga, by Stephanie Meyer: The merits of reading past book one

December 9, 2008 at 2:25 pm (My Propaganda) ()

I wrote this note to a friend of mine, she’d heard from other friends that she’d be smart to stop reading the Twilight Saga after book one, because the rest of the story was a disappointment. These are my thoughts on the matter.

Book 2 is, I believe, the root of the problem that some people may have with the rest of the series. The tone of book two is drastically different than the light and giddy tone of book 1.
The story in book two deals with loss, heartbreak, apathy, betrayal, and numb sadness for the first 3/4 of the book. For someone who has ever gone through something very difficult, relationally, it is very difficult to read and maintain objectivity. I have, and I found it hard to read and stay upbeat. It hit too close to home, one might say.

Therefore, some folk may be disenchanted with the tale, attacking it on whatever level they feel they can justify, to pay it back for the negative feelings, or to shield others from them.

I gave the series to a little girl this year for Christmas, it was her Christmas Wish. The series is all the rage among her peers right now, and she wants in on the clique. I wrote on the title page of the second book, along with Christmas wishes, that she shouldn’t be discouraged from finishing the book because the tone is so gray. Finish if off, I encouraged, it ends happy.

Because it does. The redemption is fantastic, and is made complete at the end of the series, book four.

I had no problems with the writing style, and saw no difference in writing quality across the four books.

The story doesn’t (IMHO) go places too strange or fantastical to be believed, within the setting/world it’s in.

The awe and wonder I felt as I turned the last pages were more than enough to justify the emotional difficulty I had in getting through book 2 in one piece.

Another thing to note is that the author has very good information on her personal website, on each of the books, talking about various writing and publishing issues, including cut bits and outtakes of sorts. She speaks of focus groups reading book 2 before publishing. She urged them to read it twice. Because the first time through, the impulse (I felt it too) was to skip through the pages until the good feelings came back, thus missing the beauty and redemption of an important part of the story. I read this comment of hers after having already read through book 2 and 3, and I emphatically agreed with her sentiment. Give book two the benefit of the doubt, it is redeeming in the end, slow down and experience it for what it is!

Ok, just wanted to get that off my chest! Hehe.

I do love the series, the story, the characters, the world she’s created with a passion, but I’d like to think it’s not the same sort of passion as the 12 to 16 years set. *grin*

If you still don’t read them, that’s your prerogative, clearly, but I’ve had my say!

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