See? New post in a couple of days. I'm getting better at this. :D I've had a break from school due to my being sick again so I've had time to catch up on schoolwork, emails and twitter.
I have been meeting many cool Catholics on twitter. Someone was smart enough to compile a list of all the Catholics on twitter (on Tweet Catholic) and we've all been "following" each other. It's great to see how nice everyone is! If you have a problem, you'll get at least two people replying to you within the minute. I've had my twitter account for about a year and some change but I've only started updating regularly in the past 2 months. If you want to be added to the list, or see who's on it, please visit their site. :D I'm somewhere in the 120s. You'll recognize my username (nerdwriter) and name. Oh, and please feel free to add me if you already haven't. :D
One thing I've been meaning to write about for months is my review on the Twilight book series. I already sort of reviewed the movie but not the books. I need to say that I saw the movie before I read the books. I seriously try to keep away from these type of fads but I caved and saw the movie, then read the books. As I said with the movie review, I was surprised. I actually liked the movie more than I thought I would. It was tame compared to the books. The books were... wow. I actually read the entire series (four books between 500+ and 700+ pages) in a week. (side note: This was all before I headed back to school.) I was going to do a book by book review but that would take forever and I won't have time for it in a long while. Instead, I'm going to give you guys my impression/review on the entire series.
I liked and disliked the series at the same time. I loved, loved, loved that it was surprisingly pro-abstinence and pro-life. Yes, underneath all that lusting Bella did, and despite her numerous attempts to get Edward to give on his "not until marriage" deal, it was kept very PG-13. In fact, Edward kept reminding Bella (often annoyed at her persistence) that he wouldn't even consider it unless they were married... and even then, he wasn't too keen on the idea because he could hurt her. But, as I said earlier, there was way too much lusting and I can definitely see reviews by others about it not being suitable for young teenagers. The last book was quite intense (I actually got physically sick from reading it because of the gruesome details). There were a few redeeming qualities though. Bella and Edward got married in the traditional sense, with a pastor. They waited until their wedding night to get intimate (and, thankfully, Stephenie Meyer just implied it and didn't go into great detail about it). AND when Bella gets pregnant (don't get me started on this), Edward and most everyone else is wanting Bella to "get rid of it". Bella refused to get an abortion, and even got her "sister-in-law", Rosalie, to protect her against any possible attacks. Bella got close to dying during her pregnancy, and especially during the too graphic birth scene, but she refused to have the abortion. She would coo to her stomach that she loved him/her and that nothing would make her change her mind about giving birth. I greatly appreciated the fact that Stephenie put this into the novel, especially considering how many young women have read the books. Bella's love of her child mattered more than her life, which many women in real life have also done. I've read several articles on Catholic women diagnosed with cancer and other illnesses, whom all gone through the pregnancy and have died either during childbirth or shortly after. St. Gianna Beretta Molla is an excellent example of this.
Sadly, beautiful messages such as that were seem to be overshadowed by other events in the series. Besides the lusting, which I've already mentioned and which is ever present throughout the series, there are some serious issues. First, a lot of graphic and detailed images that are put into your head. I would be weary of my younger adopted sisters on reading the first couple of books, and I would snatch the books out of their hands if they got the last two in their hands. Particularly, the last one where there's way too much sexuality for their own good -- both implies and described. There were a few other things that bothered me. Bella was too wrapped up in Edward. So much so that when he left, she fell into a deep depression and was just completely unbearable. I honestly think it's completely unhealthy to have your world revolve around someone that intensely. Edward, though I liked his character more than Bella's, was also very possessive (sometimes on an unhealthy, creepy level) of Bella. I understand that they felt an intensity in their relationship but it was too overdone. It gives girls the wrong ideas and will give them fantasies that THIS is the type of relationship you should have.
I can't count how many times I've heard girls fantasize about having a Twilight style romance. It disturbs me to the core. In a recent article of the Busted Halo (called Twilight Zone), Marie Pitt-Payne is quoting as saying she believe the books are "an equivalent to soft porn … for girls." I have to say, I agree but only when it comes to the last two books. The first two books barely squeak by as being very intense teen novels. The last two, under 18 beware! If I didn't keep reminding myself to look for some redeemable qualities in the books (trying to find some things that could be viewed as positives, such as the underlying abstinence and pro-life messages), the messages (up to Bella's pregnancy and the birth of Bella and Edward's daughter) would've been completely lost. It's very easy to get sucked into the romance and I can see how women are falling for Edward (and the movie's actor, Robert Pattinson) left and right. But, I think they should remember that a) it's a fictional story and, b) like most fictional stories, that's not how things work in the real world.
In the real world, Bella and Edward's love affair doesn't exist. Heck, they don't exist. To try to replicate it is dangerous. As I often say, if a man wants to win my heart, he must first find his way to the Lord. I think it is incredibly important to know yourselves and have a relationship with God before you enter a serious relationship. Also, it is NEVER a good thing to play with temptation. Seeing just how far you can push it, which is what Bella often did with Edward. She pushed his buttons, trying to get him to cave, until he got so upset she dropped the subject. Playing with fire will get you burned. Have people forgotten that lust is one of the Seven Deadly sins? Also, there's too much idolatry of another person. I can probably find all Seven Deadly sins in the book if I looked hard enough.
This entry is getting really long so I will try to wrap it up. In a nutshell, do I recommend these books? A definite "NO!" to the younger readers. To the older reader I'd say, if you really want and if you can't help but read them out of sheer curiosity... read with caution and know yourself and your faith before reading them. While there are good moral messages in the book, it's mostly lost underneath piles of things that you'd probably go to confession for (if you think about it too much). Again, read if you must but I'd put up a caution flag on it.
Alright, well, I think that's all I can really say on it. I tried to give you guys the gist of it because I know I tend to write more than I should. What can I say? I'm a writer. :D I'm going to go enjoy the next hour of my night (to bed early) and think about my novel. It's coming along well and all I need to do is finish writing it. I already have enough material to complete the story. I think I might have a sneak peek coming up in the near future too... ;)
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!