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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer, Stephenie Meyer The Twilight books are one of those series that have now inspired both deep love and intense rage in people who have read them, heard of them, seen the movies, or seen the parodies and is one of those things that are now, for better or for worse, ingrained into our culture.

I remember when I first read these series. My little sister had the whole box set in her room but hadn't read them herself (even now, she still hasn't read them) and I saw them one day, asked her, "Hey, what are these?" and decided to try them out.

And I devoured them. I did. I don't remember how long I took to read the entire set, but I'm a pretty fast reader and I'm pretty sure I read them all straight through. I've even found the Midnight Sun partial draft and read it.

I was taken in by the love story, I was fascinated by the vampire world (and later the vampire/werewolf world), I could (scarily, now) see bits of myself in the main character, Bella. So I get why the books are loved so much. They appealed to that part of me that is a dreamer, a wisher, a lover of fairy tales, grand declarations of love and old-fashioned Disney movies. I remember thinking that the tone of the books fit well with Taylor Swift songs. You know, the ones where she always dressed up as a princess.

But, you know, I get the other side. Where Edward is a creepy 100-year-old stalker preying on a teenage girl, and Bella is the helpless Mary Sue that comes to wholly base her life on her boyfriend. Is this romantic? Or diagnostic of extremely unhealthy psychology?

It's, well, both. In a way. And same as you should discount books that are submerged in cynicism and realism, you also shouldn't completely dismiss the ones filled with romanticism and fairy tales. Because sometimes you need a bit of one or the other, and it's okay to get a mixture of both.

So, final verdict on this series? The first book is good as a love story, the rest of the series is a bit of an over-extension of the dramarama. And if you want something with a sassier protagonist, check out the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.