Friday, December 30, 2016

My Sadly Low Taste

Well, I've left myself get behind again and the pressure is on.  Let's see if I can scrape out some mildly entertaining reviews, despite the books no longer being fresh in my mind :) Back before Thanksgiving, I had still not gone to the library (well I still haven't), and, though I heart my Heyer of course, I was looking for something slightly more novel (limited of course, to my home collection).   After a survey, I ventured upon some long-untrodden ground - Twilight.

The background - back when the first movie came out, I got really into this series for like a few months. Watched the movie (more than once :)), read the books, online fandom, all that.  I was so into them, I bought the books for rereading.  But I think I only got about halfway through the second before my interest wained, and I don't think I picked up the books again.  They really are atrocious - terribly written, over-dramatic, Mary-Sueish, sensationalist, even creepy.  But still. Romantic :) So I ventured on them once more.

Twilight (the first one), is really amazingly badly written - so bad it's good type. The prose is dry yet florid, there is very little story up until the end, and it's really weird that a 110-year old guy likes a high school student and a high school student likes a monster.   Sentiments like "if I weren't crazy, I'd say away" don't help this.  On top of that, there's the Mary-Sueness I mentioned, how everyone for some reason is just obsessed with Bella.  But with all, at some point, I just started enjoying the book.  Interestingly enough, I think that point was when the plot actually started to pick up, *after* the initial will-they-won't-they is mostly complete. I say interestingly, because usually, that's exactly what I enjoy reading - once they're together, it's kind of boring.  But with this, I guess the will-they-won't-they was just weird, and the follow up had some actual plot. I'm not saying it was riveting, but I don't know, there's something about it that keeps me, at least, reading.

Once I finished Twilight, I had to read Midnight Sun, of course (actually, did I even finish it? I might have read the two simultaneously).  If Twilight is basically fanfic, Midnight Sun is actual fanfic, but by the author herself - and my favorite type of fanfic, namely, guy's POV.  It is so much more romantic to read what is going in Edward's mind over Bella's.  But of course, not the most stellar writing. Not what I'm reading it for, hein?

So once I was fully immersing myself in the Twilight world, next step had to be the movies.  Of these, I had only seen the first one before, since the rest came out after my short-lived obsession was over (I've seen it more than once though).  The first movie is really bad - of course it's always fun to see characters brought to life, but it was just so dark, unnecessarily - and weirdly abrupt, like if I didn't know the story I don't know if I'd even follow half the conversation.  Still fun though - Robert Pattinson really isn't too bad looking, in used that movie at least ;)

So once finished with the book, the accompanying fanfic, and the movie, I moved on with the series (by the way, this was mostly done over Thanksgiving weekend, which is how I managed to have the time to fit all this in).  Next up was New Moon. This was one is the least fun, since Edward's barely in it.  But to my surprise, I found that I enjoyed it anyway - the plot thing again.  It is *so much* better written than Twilight.  Never was a huge fan of Jacob, and still am not, but the rivalry between him and Edward doesn't really exist (it's always Edward) so it's not too annoying from that point of view. Bella is as Mary-Sueish and strange as ever, but you know, you get to it. And remembering the short except from Edward's POV I had read earlier, I could easily imagine his side, which did make it more romantic. Basically, this book wasn't too hard to get through, and the ending certainly picks up.  Once I finished the book, I moved on the movie (maybe it wasn't in that order, might have started the next book first, but whatever).  This movie is *much* better than the first - actually mostly coherent, rather than just picking up random scenes from the book.  And it somewhat interesting to see some of the more mythical elements depicted - the Volturi and werewolves. Also, I hadn't watched it before, so it had the charm of novelty.

Book #3 - Eclipse - this is the one where I couldn't even remember what happened.  Basically, this is the story of Edward and Jacob fighting over Bella, but like I said, there's never really a question.  It's always Edward - and not only because Bella likes him better, but really he's just a better and cooler person. So that's fun.  And the book continues the trend of better writing/plot compared to Twilight.  Third movie same as second, much better than the first as well.

Book #4 - The whole first part of this book is wish fulfillment, so a bit silly, but eh, I can read about the vampire's fabulous lifestyles.  The second part of the book is a pretty fun plot, what with the gathering of the vampires and outsmarting the Volturi.  Movies (there were two for this one) reflected that - wish fulfillment in the first one, and more action in the second.  Altogether, satisfying enough ending.

I would say I thoroughly enjoyed my immersion into Twilight. Watching the movies definitely helped, as did doing the whole thing at once. This is the kind of thing you can only enjoy when you're so into it you can ignore all the flaws.  So don't know when I'll have a chance to do this again, but it was a fun experience.

Verdict: 3/5 (I really, really can't rate these books higher, I'm sorry :))

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