Guest Post: “Twilight” (by a 14-year-old)

December 16, 2008 at 6:23 pm | Posted in Book Blather, Fiction, Young Adult Fiction | 1 Comment

I’ve been trying to get a couple of the young bookworms in my life to do a guest post for me for some time.  Sweetie Junior agreed to share her opinions of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, which she described as “the best book ever written.”  (I replied, “Actually, it’s not, but it was pretty good.”)  (For what it is – but I didn’t go into that).  Rather than have her sit down and write a blog entry, we decided I should just use her Weekly Response homework about the book.

*spoiler alert*

What is your evaluation of the novel?

I read enjoyed this book.  The ending where Bella is being attacked is great.  That part is full of suspense.  I couldn’t put the book down it was so good.  Coming from me that means alot.  What I really loved about the story is how all the little parts lead to such a great ending.  This book was a little slow at first but I’m really glad that I read it in the end.  That is what I think of this book.

Do you remember having to fill in worksheets like this as a young person?  I remember having to do Comprehension Sheets in grade school, and they were the absolute bane of my existence.  I hated them even more than math, which is terrible because on my SATs I scored in the 99th percentile in literature and the 55th in math.  So it’s ironic that when I blog about books, I spend each day doing something – for free – that I would have avoided like the plague 20 years ago.  But enough about me.  There’s more here in Sweetie Junior’s homework.  Much more, in fact, as she was required to write a summary every 25 pages.  Here are some (spoiler-filled) favorites:

Bella goes off to Biology II.  She sat next to Edward Cullen who had been glaring at her during lunch.  He tried to lean far way from her during Biology.  Bella had made a wall between them with her hair.

I love this one – it ought to be printed on the back cover:

Edward takes Bella out to eat.  When they were driving home, Bella learned that Edward was a vampire.  Bella, however, was not shocked by this.  Edward said that he was very dangerous but Bella did not believe that.  She then tells Jess what happened that not [night?] during Trig.

Next is another brilliant summary that applies to a large percentage of the entire series.  Reading it, though, makes one wonder why the teacher, at least, isn’t questioning the content at least somewhat:

Edward kiss Bella.  She then can’t walk right so he drove.  He stayed at her house until Charlie got home.  When Bella went to her room Edward was there.  She then went to bed.  Edward stayed there the entire night.

Pragmatic, unflappable Sweetie Junior is probably psychologically ready to read real horror novels now:

James through Bella on to the glass mirrors in the studio.  He broke her leg.  He through her again.  This time she started bleed through her head.  James bites her.  Edward finds her then takes her to the doctors.  After she is better Edward take Bella to the prom in Forks.

One of the funnier more interesting things about the 25-page summaries is that the teacher has made some corrections, and either skipped or not noticed others.  It’s hard to know what to say about an education system that turns out a kid who consistently reads 75-100 pages a day, yet has writing skills at this level.

On the other hand, everyone has to start somewhere.  The only reason I made it out of the slums and into college was my passion for books, and I remember quite clearly how this passion was fed by the thrill of reading illicit novels that would have horrified my parents.  (Carrie, age 8; Wifey by Judy Blume, age 11; Lady Chatterley’s Lover, age 16; et cetera).  I suppose I’d be a hypocrite if I tried to discourage a kid from reading something I quite definitely would have read at the same age.

We’d better accept it, folks:  Stephenie Meyer is here to stay, and she gives young girls what they want.  She also gives us what we want, which is young people who are beside themselves with impatience to read one more two-inch-thick novel as fast as they possibly can.

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  1. For once, remarks about Twilight to which I give a hearty “amen!” Though I didn’t care for them and think the writing is crap, if this is what it takes to get teenagers excited about reading, then I’m all for it…and I’m hoping we can their newfound interest to springboard them into reading better books.


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