I’ll tell you straight up – when I was 11, I was a huge Twilight fan. I read the books in a matter of about 2 weeks (and it would have been shorter if I could have gotten the books quicker), I’ve watched every movie except Breaking Dawn: Part 2, I had my fair share of Team Edward versus Team Jacob arguments (Edward, duh) and I wanted to be a Cullen. Truthfully, I was over the craze when I read New Moon because the book was literally just Bella moping around and attempting to kill herself every couple of pages so she can see Edward in some form. Also by the time the Eclipse movie came out, I was just going along because I had been on the ride for so long.
However, when I was first read the series, I didn’t see any of the problems rooted within because I was still only a kid who knew nothing about feminism or misogyny and had no one guiding me (to this day, I’m basically still the one who’s guiding my parents along). And so, I blamed Bella for the problems in the story. Literally and not literally.
I literally thought Bella was the problem character and was, very simply, pathetic. I should mention that at this time I was still in the phase where I sometimes struggled to disconnect fiction from reality so I saw Bella as a living, breathing human with nothing in her life besides a boy who’s like the embodiment of overcast days and dead flowers. And in the non-literal sense of blaming Bella, I blamed Kristen Stewart for her acting out of the role though I realize now it wasn’t her, but the role gave her nothing to work with.
Never once did I stop and think to blame Stephenie Meyer. I mean, that’s who I should have blamed for the character flaws, the lack of plot outside the love triangle and Edward’s brooding and the fact that I, as many of my friends did as well, blamed Bella for a ridiculous situation Ms. Meyer had placed her in.
Now that she’s trying to go back 10 years to cover up the fact that her book plot structure and characterization were messy, I think she looks incredibly ridiculous. It would have been easier for her to just admit that yes, she wrote a book where she puts a male in a position of power over a female and this female has to be saved constantly because she’s weaker and the only way the female can get out of this situation is by becoming a part of the same species as the boy (but the boy fights back against giving her this equal footing for THREE AND A HALF WHOLE BOOKS until he’s forced to when she’s near death). And then, even when she gives women power, everything is still male-oriented. Overall, the books rub me the wrong way now and now she wants to prove it wasn’t a female thing, but a human thing.
She’s literally trying to save her ass from ridicule ten years after production by doing something that will probably just get her more criticism.
In all honesty, I’m curious to see whether the new book is good and worth the read or if it’s still just following the formula of an already beaten-to-death plot.
UPDATE: The day after drafting this post, I actually picked up the novel and I shit you not – it’s literally the same book from 10 years that now just reads a little better. The worst part is, she changed how the fight scene was written to the point that the visual present in the first version had disappeared and I got a different vibe from it (meaning the female vampire tracker was clearly powerful but was not at the same level of sadism or force as James; but then again, it could have been the over editing she clearly did).
Did I hate it? I don’t know. Do I think it was a good idea or portrayed well? Frankly, no. I think she would have been better off to shelf this idea and release whatever series she’s been promising for 5+ years. You know, prioritizing.