First of all, a disclaimer, if you are a HUGE Twilight fan, you might want to look away. I have some rather frank opinions and if you are of the opinion that the world of vampires and gorgeous men begins and ends with Edward Cullen, you and I are not going to see eye to eye. So let me preface my words below with the note that they are MY OPINION. You are entitled to "sparkly" Edward all you like.
That being said though, I'm only a half way through the first book. I do plan on reading the rest because if nothing else they are entertaining as long as I am willing to turn my brain off.
Now there are four kinds of writers and books. There are good writers who are something worth reading and write reasonably well. The books are usually read once and get a 'well that was worth reading'. They aren't something you really recommend to other people often, but they are worth the paper they are printed on. But with me, if I buy one of these, I read it and resell it - no big deal. There are GREAT writers who are amazingly entertaining. They create fabulous character who are believable and you read the book without wanting to put it down. My latest great writer I've been enjoying is Tamora Pierce - for her amazingly strong and full of control female characters that she writes. You can see and feel the books from beginning to end. There are also classic writers - people who are timeless for various reasons - the themes and language that are presented to us. You've read them in high school and college and blah blah blah. The last kind is the okay writer. These are the people who are published by some miracle of publishing that let them get a contract for a book. It is one of those crazy flukes of the world wherein the undeserving get what others might deserve.
I'm afraid I have to put Stephanie Meyer's books in the category. It was an intriguing idea when vampires were just becoming 'big' again. So of course it was purchased. Besides the fact that teenage girls are so gullible and more willing to swallow Edward and his sparkliness. That and they all see themselves as 'Bella' the 'plain' who suddenly becomes beautiful. (In case you're interested, I'd also stick JK Rowling in this category - for most of the books after 4. She did well until then, but honestly?! Yeah.)
So part of my issue with the books has to do with her writing style. I admit, I'm not a brilliant writer. I could use a great deal of polish, but I'd like to make sure that Stephanie takes an introduction to the descriptive paragraph. That and I'd like to show her the benefits of a thesaurus. Just how many times can one use the word smoldering in two pages?! Seriously - I counted at least five. That and brooding. I'd like to let her know that I don't think those words mean what she thinks they mean. And I've yet to meet a teenager who knows how to look 'smoldering'.
Maybe it just comes across as horridly written because it is written from the point of view of a teenager. But just because it is written 'by' a teenager doesn't mean you should sound like one as a writer. It just makes me want to take Stephanie in hand. This is also probably why I don't write in first person because unless you are AMAZING at it, it sucks. Big time. I think I'd buy the whole story a lot more if it was third person. Probably because I could never see myself as Bella. Not in a million years. I'm not (a) gullible, (b) an idiot, (c) gullible, (d) amazingly stupidly trusting or (e) gullible.
Aside from my issues with the writing, which can be ignored, I don't get the whole Edward factor. I just don't. Seriously - the dude is the LAMEST vampire ever. EVER. Maybe it's because I'm only half way through the book. Maybe it's because he's only supposed to be a 'teenager' or something like it. (Though I don't get how you can be 'teenagery' when you've been 'dead' over 100 years, but hey, who am I to judge?!) Seriously - he SPARKLES in the sun!!! Now I like my bling and sparkle as much as the next girl, but in SUNLIGHT?! *shudders* And he's so LAME. I mean, who admits to being a vampire?! He knows her, what, two weeks and she says 'Oooo, you're a vampire' and he's like, "well, dude, of course" but in some cool vampiric way. *bangs head against random surface* Didn't he go to vampire school?! You know, where they tell people to deny deny deny?! Maybe you don't have to deny if you are into only eating animals. *bangs head again* They only eat animals?! Look people, it's Moonlight all over again. *rolls eyes*
What happened to vampires just being vampires?! They're evil. They're not nice and yes, they will suck you're blood. They're not like Draco Malfoy and leave room for 'doubt'. THEY ARE EVIL. The end. Maybe I just like my vampires evil. (Not that I happen to like vampires in general - they just aren't my things.) Just like I like my men in charge. I should NOT walk all over you. You should be in command and sarcastic and cunning and intelligent. You should NOT be a milk toast vampire. Maybe it's just me. I don't need a tender hearted man who is cute and sensitive and SPARKLY.
If I am going to fall for a vampire, he's going to be far more like Jean-Claude from the first few Anita Blake novels. I say only the first few because after that they dissolve into a massive orgy and if I'm going to read porn - I'm going to read porn, not a novel trying to be disguised as porn. Jean-Claude was cool though. He was tall and dark and French and hideously over-bearing, but seductive and lethally sexy. He's the kind of vampire you'd risk it for, just because. I also happen to love Harry's brother from the Jim Butcher books. I also like Jim Butcher's take on the vampire lore - the three courts of the vampire: red, black and white. Red is pretty horrid, but black is all the traditional vampire lore. But then the white is a totally different breed - living off of lust and sensuality instead of blood. I think it is an interesting take - probably not an original idea, but interesting nonetheless.
Though really if I am going to select a fictional man to fall in love with, there is a huge variety to choose from in my opinion - and most of them better than Edward. I'd probably start with Ramses from the Elizabeth Peters books. Then any of the Mallorys from Johanna Lindsey's works. Mitch Rapp from the Vince Flynn books. Eragon from the Inheritance books. Most of the men in Tamora Pierce's works, though I have a fondness for the Rogue from her Bekka books.... The list goes on. What do they all have in common? They are strong and sarcastic in general. They like to think they are in charge, even when they're not. They are intelligent and egotistical to some degree. I'd probably hate them all in real life....
But as I said, I will read the rest. I'm intrigued and while reading the summaries on Wikipedia is faster, it's not have as intriguing.
Then I'll have things to blog about if nothing else.