Everyone's entitled to like or dislike Twilight. Maybe you think Bella should have ended up with Mike. Maybe you don't like the excessive description of the weather, the adjective overload, or how Bella describes Edward exactly the same way every time she sees him. Maybe you think their physical relationship should be more realistic. Maybe you happen to know that Nurse Cullen was a serial killer in the 70's and 80's, and that gives you a disturbing perspective on these things. Heck, maybe you're pro-choice and you think Bella should have had an abortion (it would have saved her kid from growing up with a name like Renesmee).
But those are dislikes. They're issues with the writing style, the world of Twilight, and the plot. I enjoyed Twilight the first time I read it, despite disliking some things. You can get past a dislike. It's much harder to get past a disagree.
I disagree with the principles in Twilight. Specifically, the kind of love the book seems to promote. Before you jump to conclusions, I don't think Bella and Edward should have had sex before they were married or anything like that -- my disagreement is much more basic. This saga is supposed to be the great popular love story of this generation (gag). But what does it say about love?
Bella sees Edward and is instantly attracted to him, and vice versa. I can deal with that -- love at first sight. It happens. They stay together despite the problems posed by a human-vampire relationship. Seems a bit masochistic of them -- but if they want to risk tragic deaths for love, fine by me. Bella wants to be a vampire so she can stay with Edward forever. All right -- undying love is taken a bit more literally than usual in this book, but I can stomach it.
It's New Moon where the problem begins. Bella dreams that she's old and hideous while Edward remains young and beautiful, and wakes up screaming. When Edward leaves her, she sinks into depression, faced with her own mortality (and human ugliness) as much as the pain of a break-up.
That made me wonder: why does she really want him? Sure, they're in love -- but they've known each other a few months while Edward's lived for a hundred years, and Bella is a normal girl who (despite what Edward and everyone else keeps telling her) constantly mopes about her looks. Either she's seeking attention or she really believes she's plain and boring. She has horrible self-esteem -- and having a devoted boyfriend is a way to feel better about herself. A future as a sexy, eternally young vampiress with a sexy, eternally young vampire boyfriend is a plus too.
Reality check please. I know so many people who do this. They need attention, affirmation, and affection because of insecurity -- so they find it in relationships, expecting the other person to fix everything. They don't know how to be themselves because they fear being themselves -- or rather, they fear being by themselves. Many romances deal with this kind of insecurity, but most don't end up endorsing it. For instance, Eat Pray Love is about exactly this kind of woman in this kind of a relationship.
Then there's the Jacob Problem. Uh-oh. Bella and Edward's relationship can't get any more intense -- so after book one, the only way to keep interest is to introduce a rival. Jacob Black is Bella's best friend who helps her during her depression and eventually becomes a love interest.
As a werewolf, he is also immortal -- he won't age as long as he keeps shape-shifting. BUT (key point coming up here) when a werewolf "imprints" on the person he's meant to be with, he will stop shape-shifting and grow old with them.
Growing old together, making sacrifices, learning to value the little time you have with your loved one -- isn't that what makes true love, well, true?
So which does our shallow heroine "beautiful swan" choose? Someone willing to sacrifice immortality and special abilities to be with her? Or the life of an eternally-young, always-beautiful vampire?
She chooses Edward, of course. Edward, with a body like a Greek god, whose protective qualities from the first book get more and more intense until he's more like a father than a boyfriend (add that to the fact that he's 109). Edward, with whom she argues constantly about what she's allowed to do. They never really built up friendship and respect before diving into their romantic relationship.
Just to clarify: this is not about being "Team Jacob." This is about being "Come on, seriously?!" Throughout the books and movies, Bella is obsessed with her appearance, age, and the possibility of immortality. What are you saying, Stephanie Meyer? Is love only for the young and beautiful? Do old couples and "ugly" people not feel love -- or do they just not deserve love?
In my opinion, time means more when you don't have forever.