Nataliya's Reviews > Twilight

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
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Since, according to the news, the sun is about to set on the Twilight movie franchise (because this stuff is apparently news-worthy), I will take this opportunity to share my favorite Twilight-bashing resources with you, my friends.

*

But wait, you say! Shouldn't I take some time to actually *review* this book?
But dear friends, is there really a need for yet ANOTHER Twilight review? Because if you somehow still have no idea about this book series, I would love to borrow your tinfoil hat. I'm serious.
Besides, nothing in the universe can ever compete with this very thoughtful review by Bird Brian.

Anyway, how about the story of my relationship with Twilight, this Twinkie¹ of literature?
¹ Twinkie, because it's addictive to many and yet lacks any kind of substance/nutritional value besides empty calories. You watch, when the world is destroyed in nuclear explosion, cockroaches and Twinkies will be what's left on this planet.

Also, I think I may have borrowed this comparison from the one and only Cleolinda Jones.
Once upon a time, 5-6 years ago, I was sick with the nastiest flu and therefore was lying in bed browsing the Interwebs in the state of cough-syrup-induced befuzzlement, when somehow, via a combination of inexplicable links I came across the site that popped my Twilight cherry with the best parodies that I have yet come across:

Enter Cleolinda Jones , whose incredulous snark of Twilight recaps made me the happiest person on this planet for a while:
Introducing the immortal recaps of Stephenie Meyer's wish-fulfillment creations, featuring 'fursploding', 'sparklepires', and this brilliant wrap-up of the series:

"And they sexed happily ever after in their magic cottage while their half-vampire toddler slept in the next room, and it was the best series starting with a teenage girl in love with a mysterious boy in her class that ended up with a teenage girl defending her growth-accelerated mutant hybrid baby from an ancient clan of evil vampires with her magical psychic shield that I ever read, THE END."
Cleolinda did not stop here, however. She did watch all four Twilight movies and - bless her selfless heart - treated us to her trademark Movies in Fifteen Minutes parodies of them, which, dear reader, you can find here:
Twilight in Fifteen Minutes
New Moon in Fifteen Minutes
Eclipse in Fifteen Minutes
And, finally, Breaking Dawn in Fifteen Minutes (Part One)
-------------
Meanwhile, there was Dana who was appalled by the lack of respect for basic grammar (not to mention decent storytelling) that Twilight books showed. And therefore she created... wait for it... wait for it...
The best Tumblr ever - Reasoning with Vampires
I owe so much of my grammar refreshers to Dana's keen eye and never-ending patience. And, just for a taste of it, I hope I'm allowed to share my all-time favorite from this Tumblr (which I will take down immediately if there is any problem):


--------------------
While Dana was hard at work correcting the grammar and awful writing of Twilight, the guys over at Rifftrax.com (formerly of MST-3000 fame) were busy creating the parody mp3 tracks, that when played over the Twilight movies finally achieve the goal of turning those into hilarious, although not always PG-13, films.
Among other creations of pure comedic genius, they brought us their version of the infamous Edward's lullaby, which you can see here on YouTube, complete with the following immortal lyrics:



"I want to chomp into your throoooooat.
And watch you bleed out on the floooooor.
Then I'll bathe myself in your life essence
as you die.
Tear your heart out of your chest
and crack the bones
and suck the marrow out.
Slice into your brain for sandwiches
and maybe have an omelette made of--"
---------------
It was only a matter of time until Mark Oshiro of 'Mark Reads...' fame decided to put himself through hours of horrified suffering, documented over here, at Mark Reads Twilight.
-----------------
On the other side of the Interwebs, Dan Bergstein of SparkLife decided that his time would be best spent 'Blogging Twilight'. I will not give much away by stating Dan's version of Bella's daughter's name (which can kick the original name's behind while hopping on the left foot with both hands tied behind its back): OPTIMUS BEYONCE! (Take that, Renesmee!)

*
The lovely original artwork is included with the recaps, by the way.
--------------
And finally, I have to pay my dues to the lovely and spot-on video parodies by Nathaniel Jones - complete with a breathtakingly funny voiceover narration that EVERYONE (and I mean it!) has to experience at least once in life:
Twilight: The Broodening
Twilight 2: Broodening Harder
Twilight: The Broodening 3 - Electric Broodaloo
----------------

Anyway, dear friends, we have almost survived the years of Twilight epidemic. Now it's just Twilight fanfics left to darken our days. But that, too, shall pass. Right? Right?
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 82) (82 new)


Lhara There's the wave of Twilight fic being turned into novels. And 50 Shades doesn't look likely to die out anytime soon. But we'll forget about that! Thanks for this!


message 2: by Nataliya (last edited Nov 13, 2012 01:58PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Nataliya Lhara wrote: "There's the wave of Twilight fic being turned into novels. And 50 Shades doesn't look likely to die out anytime soon. But we'll forget about that! Thanks for this!"

Oh, I know, but I'm hoping that one of these days people will finally realize the awfulness of all of that!

Someday anthropologists will be scratching their heads when examining the literary preferences of this time...


message 3: by Lisa (new) - rated it 1 star

Lisa Thanks for the recap of Twilight resources for people who just don't get this series (I refuse to call it a saga because it isn't one). I love Reasoning with Vampires. I stumbled upon it a while ago but had forgotten about it. The grammar lessons are invaluable. :)


Nataliya You are welcome! All this wealth of Twilight snark just begged to be shared.

Speaking of SAGA: Here is a true saga-like recap of Eclipse from the great Cleolinda (all hail her name!):

"EDWARD CULLEN was a mighty sparklepire, and of the greatest fangirls; and now he heard that Victoria, That One Vampire Who Demanded Vengeance For Her Slain Lover, Even Though He Was A Severe Asshole, And I Don't Really Know What Else She Expected To Happen When He Kidnapped The Tasty Beloved, Yea, To Torture And To Eat Her, had got her gone from South America, where Edward the Bronze-Hair spent the Second Song of the Saga looking for her even though that totally wasn't where she was because he kind of sucks at that whole thing, out to the Far Ghetto of Seattle, where she made to raise an army of her own. Supersparklespeedy were his doings thereon; he gave his forests and his mountain-lions into his not-kinsmen's hands, and betook himself to the highest mountain, or at least a pretty high mountain, unto the camp-tent of his beloved, where she made out with the Unthroned Wolf-Chief, but we're not going to dwell on that right now because I don't want to throw the Saga against the wall again; but despite his valiant efforts the Vengeful One followed after, nor was she unaware of his goings."

Continued here.


Megan All those links to youtube videos are hilarious! I read these books and looking back I hated everyone of them but kept getting the next one hoping it would be better. I can't wait for this series and movies to end but then I saw somewhere that they are already planning on remaking the movies already...


Nataliya Megan wrote: "I can't wait for this series and movies to end but then I saw somewhere that they are already planning on remaking the movies already... "

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh God, why? Why?


Megan Nataliya wrote: "Megan wrote: "I can't wait for this series and movies to end but then I saw somewhere that they are already planning on remaking the movies already... "

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..."


That was my reaction exactly! It has been long enough can it just be over?! Please!


Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) I love LOVE Cleolinda - so awesome to meet another fan of her humor. I found her with the Troy in 15 Minutes parody, but I think her Twilight ones are her very best. This was fun, Nataliya!


Nataliya ☆Jessie☆ (Ageless Pages Reviews) wrote: "I love LOVE Cleolinda - so awesome to meet another fan of her humor. I found her with the Troy in 15 Minutes parody, but I think her Twilight ones are her very best. This was fun, Nataliya!"

Woo-hoo!!! A fellow Cleolinda fan :D
I love all of her m15m parodies - "Cousin, just cousin" bit from 'Troy' was quite awesome.
Have you read her 'Movies in 15 Minutes' book?

I still harbor hope that someday she will pick up where she left off in her Secret Life of Dolls...


message 10: by Reynje (new)

Reynje That tumblr is amazing!


Nataliya Reynje wrote: "That tumblr is amazing!"

That's right. Dana is my hero for taking on that task!


Ceecee Thanks for the resources. It's hard to get out of that tumblr!


Nataliya Ceecee wrote: "Thanks for the resources. It's hard to get out of that tumblr!"

I think I spent several hours on it once I discovered it. It is addicting!
It's almost scary to imagine all the time I've spent on all of these sites - but the enjoyment I got out of them was so worth it!


message 14: by Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews) (last edited Nov 13, 2012 05:54PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) Nataliya wrote: "☆Jessie☆ (Ageless Pages Reviews) wrote: "I love LOVE Cleolinda - so awesome to meet another fan of her humor. I found her with the Troy in 15 Minutes parody, but I think her Twilight ones are her ..."

Yes! I read and really enjoyed the book. And I used to inhale her Lost recaps - her humor is always a hit with me.


Nataliya The little bits I know about True Blood are all thanks to that woman. I haven't read her Lost recaps though - maybe it's time to start now!


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Because if you somehow still have no idea about this book series, I would love to borrow your tinfoil hat. I'm serious.

Actually, I have managed to learn practically nothing about Twilight (she's Bella - like my dog, he's Edward and he's a vampire). Please stop trying to make me know more :-)


Nataliya Derek wrote: "Actually, I have managed to learn practically nothing about Twilight (she's Bella - like my dog, he's Edward and he's a vampire). Please stop trying to make me know more :-)"

Well guess what - you already know pretty much all there is about this action-packed book! Except for the bit about the truest love that has ever been loved, truly.

I'm not even joking.


message 18: by Rakhi (new)

Rakhi Dalal I have seen the movie once but I don't even dare to read the book :)....


Nataliya Rakhi wrote: "I have seen the movie once but I don't even dare to read the book :)...."

Don't! Don't read it. It's like a parasite trying to suck your soul out. Believe it or not, even that trainwreck of a movie was a huge improvement on the source material, mainly because it added some semblance of a plot to the story that was 99% lovestruck angsty gazing.


Jeremy Chenevert it sucks that so many people don't like the twilight series I read all 4 and throught they were okay books. I heard there is going to be a twilight spin off movie series with Jacob and the wolf pack.


Nataliya Jeremy wrote: "it sucks that so many people don't like the twilight series I read all 4 and throught they were okay books. I heard there is going to be a twilight spin off movie series with Jacob and the wolf pack."

As I see that you gave them 5 stars, you clearly thought they were more than just okay books. Different strokes for different folks, right?
In the meantime, I will be quietly hoping that no spin-offs or remakes (or, in all honesty, badly written fanfics sweeping the nation) are in the works. On the other hand, there may be many out there who would love to see the abs of teenagers apparently allergic to shirts - the sight I could (and will) do without. And finally, as the silver lining, maybe there will be more hilarious recaps and parodies as the result of this self=perpetuating Twilight culture.


Erin (Paperback Stash) I'll try it sometime just because it's a huge book I haven't read. I hate the movies.


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Erin wrote: "I'll try it sometime just because it's a huge book I haven't read. I hate the movies."

There are a ton (quite literally, I'm sure) of huge books I haven't read. imo, most of them could do with being edited down to being not-huge books. And there are enough huge books left over that I still want to read, that I don't think I have to resort to Romantasy (is that a real word in English? - I got to spend some time in Frankfurt a couple of weeks ago on a layover, and saw in a bookstore that Twilight and the like were shelved as "Romantasy", and thought that was pretty clever).


Nataliya Romantasy - that is perfect! Whoever came up with that deserves a cookie :)

Btw, if Twilight had been edited down, there would be nothing left. Because it's all fluff, no substance. Basically, Romantasy.


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Nataliya wrote: "Romantasy - that is perfect! Whoever came up with that deserves a cookie :)"

Germans have always been good at turning phrases into words: "cookie" is probably something like "sweet-doughy-confection-that-I-can't-resist" in translation, but I was really impressed with the fact that they did it in English. I had actually looked at the shelf because "roman" just means "novel", and with the English connotations, I was wondering if "romantasy" was actually English.


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Jeremy wrote: "it sucks that so many people don't like the twilight series I read all 4 and throught they were okay books. I heard there is going to be a twilight spin off movie series with Jacob and the wolf pack."

"it sucks": of course it does, Jeremy. It's a vampire novel. (Sorry, but I can't help myself).

Honestly, I don't object to anybody reading Twilight. It's not (I think - I'm honest, I haven't read it and don't plan to) my cup of tea. But I attended a lecture by the Canadian journalist & editor Robert Fulford a few years back (ok, more than a decade) where he talked about reading and encouraged people to read _anything_ - including Harlequin Romances (and this is from someone who's considered to be part of the Literati), and I completely agree with him: reading is better (much better) than not reading. I've known people with two post-secondary degrees who don't read anything. I'd rather spend an evening with someone who reads Harlequins, or comics, or Twilight, than people who don't read fiction at all.

In fact, I'd rather spend an evening with Robert Fulford, and I had his brother as a high-school English teacher (and we did _not_ get along - but then I stole his bedroom furniture, so I guess we're even...)


Nataliya You are completely right, Derek - reading anything is almost always better than no reading at all (I can think of a few examples to the contrary, but that's not relevant to this discussion). I only sincerely hope that books like Twilight will serve as stepping stones to reading for people who otherwise would not have picked up a book - that is, stepping stones to anything of better quality. In that case, I can make my peace with these books - while reserving the right to make fun of them mercilessly (and support others who do, too!)

The bedroom furniture stealing story made me curious... Do tell.


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Nataliya wrote: "You are completely right, Derek - reading anything is almost always better than no reading at all... I only sincerely hope that books like Twilight will serve as stepping stones to reading"

I haven't talked to the local librarians about Twilight, but when I read the Harry Potter books, I did, and they were all thrilled. Kids who'd never read were picking up the books, and parents who'd never read _to them_ were reading them too. From then on, JK Rowling could do no wrong in my mind! I think Meyer is probably nearly that important.

OK, the bedroom furniture... You know that was just a teaser :-)

There's three high-school teachers involved. The English teacher and the guidance counselor were getting a divorce, and as soon as it was finalized she was going to marry the Music teacher. He (the Music teacher) was probably the most important person in my teenage life, so when he wanted people to help him move, I was right there... Then he told us that his girlfriend had got the bedroom suite in the divorce settlement, but that the ex- wasn't letting her have it, but we knew that the ex- was off visiting _his_ girlfriend. Three or four of us (fortunately, we're way past any statutes of limitiations...) proceeded to break into the house and liberate the entire contents of his bedroom. I still have absolutely no idea if she really had a legal right to the furniture, but I'm sure they wouldn't have lied to me :-)


Nataliya Rowling did get millions of non-readers to read, and I suppose Meyer tapped into the rest of the non-reading demographic. But, having read the works by both authors, I still cannot equate them. I happen to agree with Stephen King, who famously said: "Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."

That bedroom furniture story strikes me as quite funny. You can actually say that you've tasted the life outside the law because of your admiration for your music teacher! Now how many people can ever say that?


Casey Anderson I know many teenagers who had no interest in reading whatsoever until they heard about Twilight. They read Twilight, which is a pretty long series for non-readers. Now they've discovered the joy of reading and continue to do so with better books, and some of the same quality. I have to applaud any book that introduce youth to reading. I think we need books to bridge that gap. Not everyone can start out with Moby Dick or War and Peace.

I read them myself. I enjoyed them to a certain extent and I enjoy the movies. Mostly the wolf aspect. I still think Bella's one of the weakest women in literature. However, I'd read the whole series 3 times over before I so much as read the back cover of the "classic" Tess of the Dubervilles again.


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Casey wrote: "Not everyone can start out with Moby Dick or War and Peace. "

Ack! I've ready Moby Dick, and I'll stick to Miéville, thanks, and I don't expect I'll ever get to War and Peace.

I read Tess of the Dubervilles in high school (before meeting aforementioned teachers...) and I wouldn't reread the back cover, either :)


Nataliya Casey, I'm not advocating starting with the classics, especially for teenagers. I've hated my share of classics when I was the age of the intended Twilight audience.

I just hope that at least this series will be a stepping stone to a better kind of popular literature (and not to 50 Shades of Grey type of books - shudder) - after all, there are quite a few quality popular books around, just waiting to be read. But I guess we have experienced the unexpected popularity boom for both Harry Potter and Twilight in the last decade and a half - and I don't think any of these sudden explosions of fame could have been predicted. I guess people want to read what they want to read, even if it leaves so many of us completely baffled.


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Hmmm. I'm starting to lean towards giving Twilight 4 stars, unread...


Nataliya Derek wrote: "Casey wrote: "Not everyone can start out with Moby Dick or War and Peace. "

Ack! I've ready Moby Dick, and I'll stick to Miéville, thanks, and I don't expect I'll ever get to War and Peace.

I re..."


I'm rereading both Melville and Miéville now! War and Peace is meant for people much more cerebral than I ever was - I slogged through all six million pages of that book.


Nataliya Derek wrote: "Hmmm. I'm starting to lean towards giving Twilight 4 stars, unread..."

O_O Let's see what it takes for you to up that hypothetical rating to five stars! ;)


Arielle Walker Megan wrote: "All those links to youtube videos are hilarious! I read these books and looking back I hated everyone of them but kept getting the next one hoping it would be better. I can't wait for this series a..."

OH GOOD LORD please no!!!


Nataliya Arielle wrote: "OH GOOD LORD please no!!!"

I think it's a ploy by dollar-driven Hollywood masterminds to continue the corruption of innocent children and their romantically inclined mothers. Ah, the horror! Tinfoil hats may be our only solution to this planned mental onslaught.


message 38: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich The Wuthering Heights picture at the end just made my day. Hilarious. Also the bit about the birds and raindrops. Can you believe this woman is an MFA prof? They must have been handing out degrees there.


message 39: by Tom (new)

Tom One person's take on the Twilight Experience, complete with synopsis of 4 of the novels--

http://lucylou.livejournal.com/566295...


message 40: by Rakhi (new)

Rakhi Dalal Nataliya wrote: "Rakhi wrote: "I have seen the movie once but I don't even dare to read the book :)...."

Don't! Don't read it. It's like a parasite trying to suck your soul out. Believe it or not, even that trainw..."


Thanks Nataliya! Some of my students(20 something girls at college) are Edward Cullen fans, and in love with the series. I am at loss with words whenever they try to talk me into.


message 41: by Nataliya (last edited Nov 15, 2012 05:00PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Nataliya s.penkevich wrote: "The Wuthering Heights picture at the end just made my day. Hilarious. Also the bit about the birds and raindrops. Can you believe this woman is an MFA prof? They must have been handing out degrees ..."

Wait, whaaaaat? Miss Meyer is an MFA prof? I refuse to believe that.

Speaking of Wuthering Heights - every time I came across a frequent reference of it in that book (as well as Romeo and Juliet, by the way) I just wanted to take the author aside and politely tell her that constantly mentioning classics in your work does not make your work any more classic or respected.


message 42: by Nataliya (last edited Nov 15, 2012 04:57PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Nataliya Rakhi wrote: " Some of my students(20 something girls at college) are Edward Cullen fans, and in love with the series. I am at loss with words whenever they try to talk me into. "

You know, I find it hard to fathom how anyone can be a fan of Edward Cullen. Sure, I understand that most of women will have some longing for a bit of romance and devotion, and even for a bit of protectiveness. But Edward Cullen takes these traits to the extreme, which results in the very controlling, manipulative and unbelievably codependent relationship - which, t make it worse, apparently fits all the signs of an abusive relationship, which is because it is indeed an abusive relationship. Edward is domineering, has a condescending paternalistic attitude towards Bella, withholds information from her supposedly for her own good, dictates who she can and cannot be friends with, disables her car when she tries to see a friend Edward disapproves of, lies to her, continuously reminds her of her weaknesses and flaws, blames her for the situations she has no control over, disregards her wishes, uses his family to basically kidnap her and hold her against her will... Need I go on? And to top it all off, both of them seem to be obsessed with preferring suicide over separation - a healthy emotion, isn't it? When people say they love Edward Cullen, I'm always tempted to ask whether the fact that your boyfriend chivalrously opens car doors for you really outweighs being in an unhealthy relationship.


Jeremy Chenevert I love the books/movies but I will scream if there are spinoffs or a tv show I'll hang myself 5 films are enough.


message 44: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Nataliya wrote: "s.penkevich wrote: "The Wuthering Heights picture at the end just made my day. Hilarious. Also the bit about the birds and raindrops. Can you believe this woman is an MFA prof? They must have been ..."

I'll have to fact check myself, but I had a prof once tell me that. I hope not. I see on her wiki that she got a B.A. from BYU but nothing about her teaching. Hopefully just a false alarm.

SO true though! If an author uses it cleverly as a metaphor or allusion, or to expand on it, then I see it as okay but not to just try and sound smart ha. I hear that in music all the time too. Referencing a Johnny Cash song does not put them on the same level!


Nataliya Tom wrote: "One person's take on the Twilight Experience, complete with synopsis of 4 of the novels--

http://lucylou.livejournal.com/566295..."


I love it! That first panel is EXACTLY how I ended up reading the whole series - the horrified fascination. In my defense, I did not spend any $$ on these books - thank you, library :)


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Nataliya wrote: "Wiat, whaaaaat? Miss Meyer is an MFA prof? I refuse to believe that."

Well, you can be a Fine Arts prof without knowing anything about writing. My next door neighbour is one (Graphic Arts), and I think she's probably pretty good in her field, but the closest she's ever been to a writer is when Toni Morrison had an office down the hall when she was a writer-in-residence at Rutgers (I think - New Jersey, anyway).

Still, I would guess that if her wiki says she has a Bachelors degree, she might have been a tutor or teaching assistant, but definitely not a prof. Even to get an Adjunct Professorship (basically, access to the university library), she'd pretty much need at least an Honorary D.Lit.


Nataliya Well, it seems that internet agrees that the prof part never happened (thank god for small favors!) My belief in higher education has been restored.


Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) s.penkevich wrote: "Referencing a Johnny Cash song does not put them on the same level!"

Ah, but being _referenced_ by Johnny Cash was gold. I came to Trent Reznor's "Hurt" from Cash's cover on American IV. Amazing stuff.


message 49: by Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) (last edited Nov 15, 2012 04:47PM) (new)

Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) Nataliya wrote: "Rakhi wrote: "I believe the entire purpose of The Ribs is to suggest that none of the species of Bas Lag are native, and that all the inhabitants are somehow introduced, and possibly just part of a..."

Nataliya! You're leaking from an entirely different part of GoodReads [for those completely baffled, what Nataliya actually quoted there is from _my_ words in a Group Read of Perdido Street Station!]


Nataliya "Hurt" seems to me to be one of the few cases where the cover is stronger than the original (another one that quickly leaps to mind is Nirvana's cover of 'The Man Who Sold the World'). I think it's the decades of weariness and real-life experience of pain Johnny Cash was able to convey that made that song from just interesting into heartwrenching. Hearing Johnny Cash sing that song, especially that line 'everyone I know goes away in the end' and 'beneath the stains of time the feelings disappear', delivered from the weight of the years on his back - those lines just do something to me every time, they make me choke up. Reznor's original lacks the emotional punch. There's such a different quality in the 'what have I become?' question in the two versions - regret and pain in Cash's cover versus the detachment in Reznor's original.


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