I wish Twilight wouldn’t ruin everything

This morning, on my one-week-behind Sarah and Vinnie podcasts, they read the top baby names for 2010 (2011? not sure how this works. is it one year behind, like taxes? or is it somehow of this current year, even though we’re not even halfway through?). Anyway, the top baby name for girls is Isabella. Sarah said that’s from Twilight, which, while it is the name of the protagonist, it’s certainly not “from” Twilight.

The top baby name for boys is Jacob, and then Sarah and Vinnie and everyone went, “Riiiiiiight, that’s from Twilight too,” knowingly. But Jacob has been on or near the top of the list for years. I refuse to believe that has anything to do with Twilight. But with the rise of popularity of names like Macy and Bentley, which both come straight and irrefutably from the MTV show Teen Mom, everyone assumes there’s this pop culture explanation for all the popular names.

I have always intended to write a confessional about how I own all four of the Twilight books and have read them more than once. There’s just something irresistibly juicy and terrible about them. Yes, I know Bella is a total mary-sue character. Wikipedia defines “mary-sue” as “a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the author.” This basically describes Bella, who is one of the worst role models for young girls.

Some good female role models in literature right now:

  • Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series
  • Katsa in the Graceling series
  • Hermione in the Harry Potter series

I am hard pressed to say why I read the Twilight books the second time, and why I will read them again sometime in the next year. There’s something about the storyline of the two strong protective guys fighting over the girl in the middle, that’s strangely captivating. The story is actually not terrible, as plot lines go. She manages to wrap up all the storylines she starts. It’s so easy and so quick to read.

It’s like eating ice cream out of the carton with a spoon. It goes super fast and then before you realize it, you’re halfway through and you barely remember any of it.

I generally don’t open my mouth about Twilight. I find that I don’t fit in with the groups of Twihard fans (yes, that’s an accepted term), but neither do I fit in with the people who disparage the books for utter trash. (I do think there has to be something good about getting so many tween girls to read, and enjoy reading, a 4-book series.) I have to find the middle ground, where I can fit in.

Wanted: A book club to occasionally read the Twilight series (all the way through, once every 18 months – 2 years). Requirements: You must agree that Bella is a terrible flat unlikeable character, but still read gleefully. Team Jacob preferred, but Team Edward understood. Fanfic writers and shippers need not apply. Please send a list of your top 10 favorite books, and a letter about your first experience with Twilight, and the best explanation you can come up with for why you like it.



Filed under Being a girl, Books

2 responses to “I wish Twilight wouldn’t ruin everything

  1. I’ll stand there in the middle with you. I’ve read them all. I kicked and screamed and then read the first book in less than 2 days (fast for me). Bella is a terrible role model but you’re right. Girls are reading, and reading ravenously.
    I’ll join your book club too:)

  2. Dennis

    How do they know people are getting those names from Twilight? Couldn’t it just as likely be a resurgence in interest in the queen who financed Christopher Columbus’ journey and the grandson of Abraham who became Israel (or the demigod from Lost)?

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