Saturday, October 11, 2008

In Love With A Vampire

New Moon
Breaking Dawn

If you have not heard of these books, you have either been living in a cave or are lucky enough to have little to no teenage contact. This series of seemingly harmless titles has for the past three years sent dreamy eyed teenage girls swarming the bookstores like bloodthirsty vampires would a blood bank.

Teenage drama books come and go with the tide but these are special .. so my teens said, and as I do not consider myself above a good read at any age level, I brought home a copy of each and braced myself for a lot of blood and gore .... Alas ! Wrong I was, instead I was treated to several s-t-e-a-m-y make out sessions. What the??? All of the sudden I felt a little embarrassed, the same way you would feel watching a steamy love scene sitting next to your kids. Is it getting hot in here?

If you haven't read them, don't. I'll sum it up for you. Girl meets vampire. Girl falls in love with vampire. Girl and vampire decide to wait to have sex until marriage (and until she can become a vampire herself) but decide that anything just short of the deed itself is okay.

What's sad is that the whole "my boyfriend's a vampire and saves me from monsters" gives teenage girls an unrealistic view of boys and men who happen to be human beings, not saviors or sex objects, not to mention the fact that the vampire boyfriend has this girl holed up in her house and will not allow her to see her friends. So let's not be surprised when our teenage daughters find some abusive controlling jerk to latch onto.

Sorry, Meyers fans, but these books are full of some pretty frightening stuff that really has nothing to do with the vampires in them and are not much better than a trashy romance novel.


Aimee said...

OMG! You hit the nail on the head. So wonderful to read a post not extolling the saint-like virtues of Stephanie Meyer!! I tried to read Twilight... only got about halfway through, and was ready to vomit. Just.don't.understand all of the Mormon Mommy bloggers so in love with all things Twilight.

Cheryl said...

OK, I'll stand up and say, I have read all 4 books and I enjoyed them. I am not a trashy romance novel reader, but I did enjoy these books.

I wouldn't say that I am among the Mormon Mommy bloggers who are crazed by them. I don't buy or wear Twilight paraphernalia. I don't scream or swoon when I hear the name Edward. I don't even pine for the day that the movie comes out and probably won't even go see it. I thought that the books were well written and I got caught up in the plot, not hung up on the teenage fascination with true love and all it's dramatic ups and downs. I had no patience with Miss Swan's despair with the exit of Edward or her pathetic love triangle. I did enjoy the perserverance and conflict of making the most of the bad that life gives you and choosing to live a life in the best way you know how.

Loosen up ladies. This craze will pass and before we know it, the world will be off on another adventure in obsession!

ray said...

Ambie, may I suggest getting the value sized box of chastity belts and maybe some firearms for the next 10 years. Surviving in a house with that many girls of hormonal age has got to be a more amazing feat than anything that guy does on "Man vs. Wild".

Cheryl, I agree that crazes come and often don't go until they've become extremely overdone. But the type of curiosity and feelings these books stir in adolescent girls is a little more worrisome than with say, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. I know there is so much more trash out there and these books are mild by comparison, but I still just really hope the craze has passed before Maya comes of age. Until then we'll stick with Ramona Quimby and Anne of Green Gables.

Cheryl said...

I remember my Grandmother telling me the same thing about Gone With the Wind. She thought it was going to ruin an entire generation of young idealistic girls.

Our job as mothers is to help our girls learn to differentiate between what's real and what is truly fiction. Having strong male role models is a plus too.

When I was the YW president, one of the girls was hooked on those cheap paperback romance novels with the half naked, flowing haired guys on the front. She had some mighty peculiar ideas of what she was looking for in a husband. I even had some discussions with Bishop Carson about it. It was pretty sad.

I can see that when these books are read with such frequency and intensity, that it can really distort ones sense of reality. I just didn't get those vibes when reading these books. All three of my girls read them without showing any adverse signs. Of course, they are past the tweenie and teenie stages.

Ambie, I like the chastity belt idea!! Do they have those at Costco?

Ray, hang in there, Maya has a few years! When she gets about 11 or 12 move her on to Pride and Prejudice!

Heather said...

I personally love these books and I cannot wait for the movie...However, I am a 30 year old very happily married woman who knows her husband makes Edward look like pee-wee Herman. With that being said...I would not allow my teenage daughters to read them. Especially those 12 and 13 years old. A little too steamy. But to each their own. I raise my children, not other peoples.

Tim said...

After I read this blog and the subsequent comments, I started remembering that Kristen has had her head buried in a thick book she borrowed from her friend at church. She finished it in record time, only to be lent another one that she is devouring with equal fervor.

So tonight, I got real curious as to the title of the books, thinking, "it couldn't be the ones Ambie & Ray are talking about..." I just looked at the title, and HOLY CRAP!! It's the trash that you're talking about here!

What to do now, what to do now... Jo?

ray said...

Tim, I suggest holding your nose and reading them, or have Jo read them, and then decide what to do/talk about with Kristen. She is, what, 11? The fourth book especially gets a little, er... heavy. Read it, then decide.

Ambie said...

chastity belts.. now whose bright idea was it to get rid of those? Truly a novel idea. If Costco did sell them surely they would sell out in this day and age.

Tim, two of my teens read and reread and reread. I just threw them out of the house not to long ago and am happier for it. I figure no mother wants her son being viewed as some real life substitute unrealistic romance for some swoony teenage girl.

What ever happened to the classics?
Cheryl, reading the books, for me was like eating the frosting off of a Costco birthday cake. Pride and Prejudice is much more gratifying.

ray said...

I think you can get chastity belts at "Virgins R Us"

Ambie said...

ha! Clever Ray

Kristine said...

Let's not forget the disaster that is the main character. Bella is a two dimensional character who has no business calling herself the protagonist. She's completely spineless, and has no identity outside of her vampire lover. No personal strength, no individuality. I can't get into a book that makes me want to kick the protagonist in the face, and I don't love the idea of her being a character that young girls are identifying with. I don't think that it's going to be the downfall of society or anything, but I sure don't see the widespread appeal.

Ambie said...

Amen Kristine