Excerpt from the Diary of Kelly Taylor:
Brandon Proposed. Dylan bought me a trip around the world. Decisions, decisions…
Remember on Beverly Hills 90210 (the original one not the next generation one) when Kelly had Brandon and Dylan competing for her affections and Brandon showed up with an engagement ring while Dylan gave her plane tickets around the world? And she met them both on the beach after much agonizing over who to go with and she said the famous words “I choose me!” And walked away? That is EXACTLY like the third Twilight book except that Bella Swan? Is no Kelly Taylor and doesn’t have the stones to pick herself up and walk away.
This whole book she struggled with “Oh I love Edward! But I love Jacob! But I want to be a vampire! But I love Jacob! There’s a vampire trying to kill me! Whatever will I dooooooooo??????” Lord, she’s pathetic. I mean Kelly had an eating disorder, a coke addiction, got shot in a parking lot, got amnesia, joined a cult, dated Steve Sanders and many, many other tribulations and she came away from it all able to realize that Massive Soul Sucking Co-Dependency was not a healthy lifestyle choice and she walked away from the whole thing. Walked. Away.
You hear that, Bella? You can just walk away from guys who want to own you and use guilt, controlling behavior, witholding of sex, and assault (Hello, Jacob? Wait ‘til she says yes before kissing her! Or she’ll press charges. Oh wait, no she won’t because her father thinks it’s ok for teen-age boys to force themselves on his daughter and he’s a cop. Nice. Very good values. ) to get you to do what they want. You are a complete person all on your own.
I’m pretty disgusted with both Jacob and Edward in this book. And Bella’s father. And really all the male characters who seem to have more than a passing resemblance to Bill from Big Love who tells the women in his life what to do and flips out when they show backbone. Maybe I’m going to Big Love -land because I know Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon but it’s hard not to see that Bella spends an awful lot of psychic energy trying to please men. And that is not a lesson we should be impressing on young girls who are already unlikely to report sexual assault and partner abuse. And I really don’t like the way Edward dismisses Bella’s feelings about marriage and makes it a contingency for her getting anything she wants out of the relationship. You know what that’s called? Douchebaggery.
It’s possible that I might be taking these books and the message they send too seriously, but it’s hard not to use a parent’s eye when observing cultural phenomena. And my feminist hat never comes off.
One thing I will say is that Stephanie Meyer can really build suspense. Maybe to excess sometimes. There’s a LOT of building to major events in these books and it’s good enough that keep turning pages, even as I hum “A little less conversation a little more action” under my breath. And for once we actually got a vampire fight! FINALLY! I was all jumping up and down on the sidelines when Edward and the werewolf were going after Victoria and yelling “Rip her up! Tear her up! Alll up! RAWR!”
Then Bella went and capitulated to everything Edward wanted, all while bemoaning what she was doing to Jacob and I got all stabby again.
Next up: Breaking Dawn. Do I get my happily ever after?