Haters, prepare to kiss my sexy white booty.
I have seen it go down time and time again: Some windy-wallets (read: Victorian slang for pompous windbag) poops all over the Twilight series with whine whine whine about how dumb it all is, and then when I ask which of the books they’ve read, the answer is … none. Maybe they saw one of the movies. Maybe they read part of the first book.
OK, fine, they didn’t like the bit they saw; it didn’t inspire them to keep going; that’s legit.
But DO NOT be talking like you have some greater understanding of the series. You don’t.
The plot arc from book one to book four is wildly grand and the changes that the characters go through are transforming. You cannot see what the end looks like from the beginning.
More importantly, if you think you’re too damn cool for Twilight, think again. I’ve got yer reasons it’s awesome right here.
NOTICE: From here on out, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS (dear God, how have you not read Twilight yet?), so if you’re the sort to be sensitive about spoilers, you have been warned.
1. Bella goes from a sappy, soppy dishrag with a serious case of the mopes to a 100% badass heroine who saves the world, and she does it by her own choice.
I will give you this: Bella, at the beginning of the series, is LAME. Without a doubt. She’s an annoying frump. I almost couldn’t get through New Moon. All she does is whine and sulk.
Buuuut, you know, she lost the love of her life. Go through a rough breakup or two and you might have a leetle more empathy.
More importantly, she pulls it together in Eclipse. And does what any self-respecting girl does after getting dumped — starts hanging out with some other hot guy.
Bella also sets out to improve herself. And man, does she ever. She rips it up in Breaking Dawn like a total BOSS. She trains ceaselessly to understand and master her powers so that when the time comes, she can save the whole freaking world. AND SHE DOES.
Nobody rescues her suddenly out of nowhere (I’m looking at you, Frodo). She fights hard for what she wants, and she makes her own success. There is nothing accidental about it. Bella chose it, and she made it happen.
Related: Why It’s Totally Cool to Have Heroes
2. The vampires sparkle.
Yes, I know, I know, the haters think Light-Brite vampies are a reason to laugh it up. I guess some people like their vampires to have nasty blood breath and gore-drippage. But there’s a long tradition — especially in teen fiction — of sexy vampires, and why wouldn’t there be?
They’re like humans 2.0.
Meyer is firmly in the sexy vampire camp, and for that, the sparkles are total genius.
Think about it this way. You’re a writer, and you want to write a story about vampires (who can only be out and about in the night) and teenagers (who mostly have curfews and parents and things and as such mostly have to be out and about in the day). I HAVE TRIED THIS. It is not easy. So, you look for a way to get your vamps outside in the daytime.
The vampire as a creature has been around for hundreds of years. Many, many different things have been done with the legend. There are a billion tropes that have been played out a billion times. There are many other writers who have found ways to allow their vampires to be out and about during the day. I am all for this, as a rule. Play with tropes. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Give me a NEW vampire story, and I’m all yours.
And that is EXACTLY what Stephenie Meyer did.
Lo, her vampires’ difficulty with daylight is not because they shrivel and die. It’s because they’re so hot you need sunglasses to look at them. Totally original, totally logical, AND makes the vamps sexier than ever.
TOTAL GENIUS, I tell you.
3. It’s sexy.
There has been a lot of backlash over Meyer’s religious views. One article called the series “a thinly-veiled religious screed against sex” and accused her of romanticizing abstinence.
Umm . . . what? Are all the teenagers having torrid casual sex now? Cause I was a virgin until I was 20, and it wasn’t because I didn’t like doing sexy stuff (in fact, in high school I often felt like the sluttiest girl on the block because I liked making out with my boyfriend so much, and none of my friends seemed to understand).
No, I waited because it took that long to find somebody I trusted and loved enough to want to do it with. That didn’t make it less sexy. Just the opposite.
Waiting to have sex and getting to know each other does not mean being a prude or being religious. It builds sexual tension and can make it even more exciting and hot. AND it makes it safer, too — especially for a bookish teenage girl who may be terrified of it.
Somebody on a comment thread laughed over Edward having said that if he wasn’t very, very careful, he could crush Bella’s head by accident. But that is part of what makes the whole thing so very sexy — the level of danger she’s in by being with him at all.
It means they both have to take extra care with their time together, with their relationship, with how they interact. They have to pay more attention to how they’re dealing with each other in every moment. They cannot afford to take each other for granted. What’s at stake is too important: it’s Bella’s life. What could be sexier than that?
It’s also good drama.
4. The scale is epic.
This is not just your average pair of high schoolers getting busy. Bella is advancing the evolution of the SPECIES. The stakes are as big as they can get — the entire world.
If you’re one of those people who’s made fun of Twilight, and you made it all the way here, congrats. There’s hope for you yet. Now get thee to a bookstore.
As for the rest of you, never be ashamed of your taste in fiction. So-called “lowbrow” just means “exciting story.” Next time someone hates on you, you’re armed and dangerous.
P.S. I focused on the books here because I’m a book geek and I do think some of the movies could have been better. But Breaking Dawn the movie had me on the edge of my seat for nearly the whole damn thing. The ends of my sleeves were soaked with sweat by the end. I laughed, and I sobbed. If anybody’s too “cool” to get into art like that, they’re missing out.