Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banned Books Week: Twilight

You know I am a full supporter of the freedom to read when I do a blog post about a book series I don't particularly like. Twilight is a brainless entertainment, it served its purpose for me as a form of utter distraction just after a friend unexpectedly passed away. In all honesty I think that

  1. The characters are flat and undeveloped
  2. There isn't much thought behind it
  3. Edward is kind of an obsessive creeper
  4. Jacob is a whiney teenager
  5. The writing is just... bad.
There. I said it. I am not a Twilight fan. I think with banning books some people who are supportive of removing books from libraries and the likes would say, "Don't you hate that book? Don't you think no one should read it?"

Well, I don't like the book, but do I think my opinion should prevent others from reading it? No! I honestly applaud any author who gets teenagers or kids to read. I feel as if we're in an age where people who are still in school are more interested in television and playing video games then they are in reading. And that's so very sad because there are many books out there that are wonderful and need to be read! 

People who read Twilight and only Twilight then proclaim it's the best book evarrrr annoy me though. But does that mean the book should be banned? Again, no. 

Anyway, enough with the Twilight ranting. You all have heard of the series, many of you have read it, and last year it was the fifth most challenged book in the United States. Want to know why? Well, it's sexually explicit, has a religious viewpoint, and it's unsuited to the age group.

I try to keep this blog as G-rated as possible but allow me to say, just this once, that the reasoning behind this book being challenged is utter crap. Let's hit each reason head on.

  • Sexually Explicit: Where is this sexually explicit stuff? Bella can't wait to hop into bed with Edward but he refuses over and over and over again. He's very much the gentleman in that sense. You know that two other characters are always at it but it's not described nor really brought up. Out of all of the young adult books I've read this is honestly one of the few where sex isn't the main topic. How can this even be listed as a reason? Three out of four of the books are all about how Bella wants to have sex and Edward says no. And when they finally do have sex it's when they're married which most people agree- if you're going to do it, at least be married. So how is this wrong in any way?
  • A religious viewpoint: Okay so Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon blah blah blah. This book in no way made me want to change my religion. I feel that the House of Night series FORCES a religious viewpoint on the readers while Meyer's book is pretty much completely lacking of the subject. She never preaches her religious viewpoint and I was left for the majority of the time thinking, "Do they celebrate Christmas? Why doesn't she mention any holidays in the book?" There is a lot of talk about whether or not souls exist and whether or not becoming a vampire will damn you to hell but that is kind of a common topic amongst vampire lore. If you're a vampire, are you inherently evil? 
  • Unsuited for Age Group: The only time I think this could possibly be correct is in the fourth book when Bella has pretty much *SPOILER ALERT* most disgusting pregnancy I've ever read. But other then that... this book is so mild compared to the majority of young adult books out on the market. 
Sometimes you see the most ridiculous of reasons for a book to be challenged or banned. Sometimes those books coincide with the popularity of it. Look at Lord of the Rings- the book had been a published item for fifty years before a church decided to burn it in 2001. 2001 was when the first movie released and everyone went Lord of the Rings crazy. Twilight is having a similar effect where people are going bonkers over the movies and merchandise. You wonder if this book wasn't made into a movie or if it didn't have such a huge pull of fans if the people who are challenging it would have even noticed it's existence. 

Really, when I read the reasons this book was challenged I laughed out loud. This joins the idiotic league alongside Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh. I am not a fan of Twilight, but all opinions about whether or not I enjoyed reading the book aside, I don't think this book deserves to be challenged. It's harmless and it's getting kids to read. Why is it that whenever there is a ground breaking book that gets teens and kids interested in reading someone has to try and destroy it?

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