Friday, June 11, 2010

An unProfessional Opinion

I plan to be professional, which is why I capitalized the p instead of the u.

Last night after reading most of Stephenie Meyer's new book, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (I think that's right) (and it should be against the law to be forced to leave the bookstore when you only have a quarter inch left to go), I informed my parents that the Twilight Saga is an unfortunate blip in Stephenie Meyer's career but that with time she'll overcome it. (I'm assuming that she wants to. I could be wrong. I don't think I am. We'll have to wait and see.)

They laughed at me. How serious I am is directly proportional to how hard people laugh at me. (But someday they'll be sorry... they'll all be sorry.)

But seriously. By a random fluke of chance, Stephenie Meyer's first book (and its sequels) hit it big time, not only making it onto the bestseller list but gathering a cult, fans, and establishing a firm place in pop culture.

This is not a good thing.

I've already talked about how awesome The Host is. Possibly the difference between The Host and the Twilight Saga is that The Host is adult fiction. The Twilight books are YA fiction. Have you skimmed the YA section recently? Do I really need to go farther? (If I ever, of my own free will, write YA fiction, by law I'll have to scratch the 'of sound mind' part out of my will.)

But I think it's more than that. Twilight was Stephenie Meyer's first book. A very good first book, but still a first book. That Twilight was published and basically won the lottery (so to speak) is an unfortunate fluke. The Twilight Saga is basically Stephenie Meyer's learning curve, out there for the whole world to see. And like any learning curve, it went off the road in places. (I know about going off the road even if I'm note technically qualified to give a Professional Opinion.)

I was worried that Stephenie Meyer would never overcome this. Sure, she wrote The Host, one of the best books ever (yes, I am aware that it's a romance; shut up) but that was a while ago. I had nightmare visions of an endless series featuring Bella and Edward and their kid (what was her name?). I mean, all the main characters are immortal- there's no reason the story ever has to end. Besides the fact that, you know, stories that don't end lose everything that made them good when they started.

It's happened. Look at Anne McCaffrey and her Pern books. If you watch anime, remember OnePiece and Bleach. None of those stories were allowed to end because they hit it big, won the lottery, whatever, and success strangled all the good out of them.

Having read most of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner puts my Stephenie Meyer fears to rest. Because I know how the book ends. Bree dies. There isn't a happy ending for her. Knowing that should make it easy to say 'oh, it's time to go? I'll put this down then'.

They practically had to pry my fingers off of it. My parents have their evil moments. (Sure, I could have bought it, but I let go of money even less willingly than I let go of books. I'm going to wait for it to go to paperback. And you just lost all sympathy, didn't you? I can tell these things.)

But if someone can write a book about someone who's going to die, and you know they're going to die, and still make it next to impossible to walk away- well, that person knows how to write.

Which is far more important than any number of fans or movies. I'm glad that Stephenie Meyer isn't going to let the bestseller list get in the way of success.

(But I hope she branches out more. I'm getting just a little tired of vampires. Why doesn't she write something about witches? Or vampire hunters? I would totally buy a book about vampire hunters. Especially if it's about the hunter that kills Edward. I don't like him, Sam I Am.)

(On a not completely unrelated side note, there were parts of the later Twilight books that I enjoyed. They weren't completely evil. I liked Jasper. And Seth. And Jacob, right up until the last half of the last book. I don't hate you, Stephenie Meyer! Write more awesome books! End of side note.)

1 comment:

  1. Darling niece - if you were on Facebook and kept up with me, you would have seen that you can read the Bree book ONLINE for FREE at Go finish it! It's great! Now I'm hoping she does another one based on Fred.

    And yes, first books often have some kinks to work out. I actually think 'Eclipse' is my favorite book of the four in the series. That scene in the tent . . . hoo boy. (: