Teenage angst is overrated

There’s a book I want to read called Nightlight.

It’s a parody of Twilight written by The Harvard Lampoon. How can one understand the parody or the satire though unless that person understands the subject behind the parody and satire?

Therefore, for research and better understanding, I am listening to Twilight. Audiobook was the only format left in the library to check out and I’m actually glad I got that version. I can listen to it in many more situations than I could try to read a book. So I’m getting through it more quickly than if I were reading page by page.

I’m not sure I get the hype behind the book, but I’m only on Chapter 12. Maybe reading it, and being able to make up your own voices in your head, and read it to yourself your own way, gives it a spellbinding quality. I’m just not feeling it with the audiobook. Firstly, why is Bella swooning over Edward when he’s forever mad at her and picking on her? He’s constantly giving her angry looks and chiding her for being so clumsy, and yet she’s still so in love with him that she’s ready to die? Admittedly going to extremes here, are we telling our daughters that it’s ok to have men emotionally abuse us if we feel enraptured by their mysterious, brooding, loving hatred? Otherwise it seems that she has a clear head on her shoulders. Are we supposed to chalk this up to teenage infatuation?

Secondly, why do they keep scowling at each other if they’re both supposed to have this animal attraction towards each other. I get his dilemma of wanting to be with her yet wanting to protect her. What’s a little harder to comprehend is her neediness for him. But OMG, could it be reiterated any more? I’m sick of Bella’s deep desire one minute, deep uncertainty the very next minute and deeply irritated attitude the next. At one point Edward comments about how odd he finds it that she’s not afraid, and she admits to the reader that she has no fear. Then that very night, she’s at home doing laundry talking about being afraid. They both have multiple personality disorder.

Maybe I grew out of the teenage angst a decade and plus ago. Maybe I just don’t want to read about people going through it. It seems labored and contrived at this point in my life. I just finished The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Esther’s depression was actually severe clinical depression compared to Bella’s teenage angst that she labeled depression (after reading Plath I cannot even consider what Meyer calls depression to be so*), I still felt burdened by my dislike for her character. It’s much easier for me to want to slap Bella out of it though. I can’t fault Esther knowing that her author and creator was not mentally stable and therefore couldn’t write as such.

Anyway, I expect the hate mail to start pouring in (do people still troll the blogs looking for fights? We’ll see). And I thoroughly expect to enjoy Nightlight.

*Maybe Meyer has Bella talking about being “depressed” using the term lightly like we all do.

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16 thoughts on “Teenage angst is overrated

  1. I read Twilight to see what the hype was about and I was left with a confused feeling as well. I just don’t get it.

    I’ll have to check out this Nightlight book…if it is the opposite of Twilight I think I might enjoy it πŸ™‚

    p.s. seems like the snowstorm wasn’t much of a snowstorm, huh? Maybe we could meet up this weekend? I’m going to the basilica for mass tomorrow at noon πŸ™‚

  2. I will probably just send you an email about this…

    but I hated Bella and thought the same thing you did in the book. I felt differently after watching the movie and actually understood her character more in the movie than when I first read the book and hated her whining all the time.

    it could just be me, but I realized after reading it and watching the movie… that she is like almost all teenage girls and most adult women as well. INSECURE… even in good relationships women have this ridiculous tendency to compare and feel inadequate, even if their husbands say a 1000 times a day how wonderful they are…they are insecure like Bella.

    Because we work with teens we did an outreach around this and it gave me a great platform to talk to girls about their self worth and who God made them to be… and we also talked about how there is nothing physical in their relationship which is great and hollywood is always using sex to say it is a good relationship when all they do is talk (and kissed a couple of times, but nothing like hollywood describes relationships).

    I am probably not making sense… it is all in my head, just not coming out in my comment…. but i am interested in the parody book πŸ™‚

    • Vicki says:

      No, you made sense. That’s probably why I feel less and less in touch with the youth of today. We used to work with youth, but I’m losing touch with them and their ways. It is so good that God has people like you and your husband who are called to transform them!

    • Vicki says:

      It was funny, especially the first part of the book. I think the parody might be based on the movie, which I have not seen, because I didn’t understand the last 1/4 of the book. Either that or I slept through the reading of that part and then nothing would make sense πŸ™‚

  3. I’m one of those who enjoyed the series (well, not the second book so much) but I can totally see where you’re coming from here…. even more so after watching the movie adaptation of the first book. I have to admit that the parody sounds really funny. Now if I could only convince our crappy library to purchase it.

    • Vicki says:

      I convinced my library to purchase it, give it a shot!

      Now, the library in Montgomery was a different story. I asked them to purchase Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and they not so kindly declined, questioning my taste and judgment.

  4. Ugh. I read the first 3 Twilight books shortly before the insane craze. I liked the first one, but after I read it, I was like “What the heck is wrong with me! That was terrible!” But… being me, I had to finish the series… and it just got worse. They send such a terrible message to teen girls everywhere, and they’re so poorly written. I work in a used bookstore and I cringe everytime someone comes in looking for Twilight.

    • Vicki says:

      Yeah, maybe in writing to a younger audience she didn’t fulfill her potential as a writer. I homeschool and hope to use classic books with a higher reading level for my daughters to teach them how to read and understand well.

  5. I read all four books at the suggestion of several friends who LOVED them. Meh. If I had never heard of them and casually picked one up, I probably would not have read the second. Heck, I might not even have finished the first. They just weren’t that engrossing. But because there is such ravenous praise for them, I trudged through all of them. I still don’t get it.

    I read her other book The Host and really enjoyed it. So she *can* write, Twilight just isn’t a good example of it.

    • Vicki says:

      I wonder if the host is written for adults or younger audiences. I just commented to another commenter that maybe she “dumbed down” her writing for YA…

  6. You know – I feel the same way about Sookie as you do about Bella (I’m currently reading the Charlaine Harris Novels about Sookie Stackhouse, which is what True Blood on HBO is roughly based around). After reading the 3rd book, I thought maybe Miss Stackhouse ought to obtain some sort of prescription for her bi-polar tendencies. I love him. I hate him. I love him. I hate him. OMG MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

    • Vicki says:

      Yeah, I’m just not into that weakness in a character right now. Maybe at a different time in my life, or a different calendar season even, I’d be more tolerant.

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