Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On my choice to read Steph Meyer's New Moon.

I received this comment recently on my post stating that I had just finished Stephanie Meyer's second book in the Twilight series. The comment:

Anonymous said...
haven't read it, but know it's this generation's "obsession" -- I have heard horrible things about it from a Christina perspective and strongly encourage you to rethink your choice of reading materials. If I recall from the synopses I've read . . . . it's all about a vampire obsessed with an underage girl with whom he wishes to have a sexual relationship? Doesn't sound all that wholesome to me.

My response:

Anon - I'm afraid I have zero idea who actually wrote this comment (one small draw back to allowing people to comment without their name). But while I see great intentions behind your suggestion and think all 'entertainment' should be carefully considered I would offer you a challenge as well. I tell my Mom so often when she makes statements about Harry Potter, Twilight, etc. that there is a level of unfairness in judging anything you don't personally know about. Twilight is actually the first book in...years? written to be a non-christian romance story in which they wait until they're married to have sex. While the vampire (being without the ability to 'die') is certainly older than the desire of his heart, Bella...it is HIS decision that they will not have sex before marriage which at one point he explains as his desire to 'protect her honor'. I give Meyer 'mad props' for this. While, not unlike Harry Potter, there is a magical, mythical element to the characters, I can appreciate the expression of imagination. I do feel, that parents should consider if their children are yet at an age to muscle through in their minds fact from fiction. But at 24, I think I have reached that point.

I take every comment I receive to heart. I really do. I went to someone I consider a Christian mentor of sorts, who is a part of my every day life and I asked her what she thought of the comment. She herself had just finished reading the entire Twilight series because her middle school daughter's friends were, and her daughter wanted too as well. Here were her thoughts, of which I am inclined to agree...

This person sounds exactly like I sounded prior to reading the books.

I found the story to be more about a deep devoted love. She desires to have sex. He says they need to be married and they don't have sex until they are married. They have a child after marriage. The family rallies together and unites when they face adversity. After reading the books, it definitely changed my pre-judged theories.

I don't think that Twilight is based on truth. I don't think it was intended to be a faith-based literature of any kind. And I appreciate concern on the parts of many Christians that I have read comments from, about the desire to keep 'evil' and 'fantasy' out of literature. But while vampires and ware wolves are certainly an odd choice for a romance novel, the stories themselves may be a far cry from what you imagine. I enjoy reading popular books because as people talk about them, I want to have an opinion that is based in my own knowledge, and not in word-of-mouth.

This post is not to endorse Twilight in any way, or to push others to read it. I in no way would push anyone to read anything they feel uncomfortable with, for any reason. If you feel, based on your own knowledge or anyone elses, that a book is not of the level of value you wish you expose yourself, then I would say don't read it. But in my experience, when you keep an open mind until you can find your conclusion for yourself, there are surprises to find.

I am not at this time reading the third Twilight book. Not because I won't someday, as I imagine I will finish the whole series someday. But for now, I'm reading 'The 10th Circle' by Jodi Picoult (my favorite author).

I continue to welcome your comments and I certainly welcome a challenge when you think I am doing something wrong. Thank you to the writer of this comment for your concern and your interest in my well being. I appreciate your heart.



H246 said...

Love your response :)

And I agree with your response to me that S. Meyer is successful!

Let us know how you 10th Circle is. I've heard mixed reviews!

Laura said...

This is why I love reading your blog (well one of the many reasons)! You handle responses, whether challenging or encouraging, so well.
Your response to my comment...life is definitely about balance, especially when it comes to the world of reading books lol.
PS-I'm loving the pics of your new place; it's looking awesome!

Anonymous said...

I stand by my original statement -- not as a fact, but as a suggestion to you.
Perhaps, I'm not as strong as you. I know that I am very easily influenced by my television/literature/and even music choices.

check out that link. While I understand your sentiments about not judging anything we don't personally know about -- I wholeheartedly disagree. I don't have to experience premarital sex to make a judgement on it. ok, I know - a bit extreme. I will choose to seek Godly counsel from those around me regarding life choices instead of trial and error.

a few things that stood out to me in the link posted above:
"In another issue of Time, columnist Lev Grossman writes, "It is the rare vampire novel that isn't about sex on some level, and the Twilight books are no exception. What makes Meyer's books so distinctive is that they're about the erotics of abstinence. Their tension comes from prolonged, superhuman acts of self-restraint. There's a scene midway through Twilight in which, for the first time, Edward leans in close and sniffs the aroma of Bella's exposed neck. 'Just because I'm resisting the wine doesn't mean I can't appreciate the bouquet,' he says. 'You have a very floral smell, like lavender ... or freesia.' He barely touches her, but there's more sex in that one paragraph than in all the snogging in Harry Potter.""
"I'll add that if it were up to Bella, marriage wouldn't have been part of the deal, either. She loathes the idea of submitting to the ancient institution, preferring the relative brevity of death to the agonizing eternity of matrimony. "I was sure that at least my mother—were I to tell her every detail of the truth—would be more strenuously opposed to me getting married than to me becoming a vampire," Bella thinks halfway through the third book, Eclipse. "I grimaced to myself as I imagined her horrified expression.""

Anyway, having said all that, please know that this was not meant to be a judgement call on you -- just hoping to open your eyes to why I feel I shouldn't read them.
Not to mention that I always love a good debate = )

Anonymous again -- so you don't strangle me.

Ebony Jewel said...

I think I may be the only person in the nation that hasn't read or has no desire to read Twilight. (Is something wrong with me?) LOL

My friends have been trying to convince me to watch the movies so that way I'll be up to speed when the new movie comes out, I just can't bring myself to do it & for no reason in particular...it just doesn't sound all that interesting to me I guess.

Strange enough, I felt the same way about Avatar, but was forced to see the movie & LOVED it. LOVED it so much that I saw it three times in IMAX! LOL

Maybe one day I'll change my mind about Twilight..