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  • August 2010
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Vampires Suck; Not Another Book Review

Today’s media is great. Speaking of the movie industry, whenever there is a massive, multi-billion dollar movie made that is widely popular; there is always a team of haters patiently waiting for their time to shine. Star Wars had Space Balls; all the popular teen movies had Not Another Teen Movie (and many more); and now Twilight has Vampires Suck.

The days of bashing Twilight are simmering out, but I thought I’d voice my opinion here anyway. My wife was a Twilight fan for quite some time. Apparently, my looks of disapproval, heard by divorce lawyers everywhere, had gotten the best of her; or she grew up, not sure which. She obsessed over the books, obsessed over the movies, and went as far as battling pre-teen girls for the midnight showing tickets. To each their own, but she finally grew out of it (thank, God.) Not that I don’t have my own quarks she must deal with, but that’s neither here nor there.

A friend of mine (shout out) bugs me every day about how much she loves Twilight. It’s all in good fun, but I decided to dedicate this post to her on why I won’t, and can’t read it.

To set the record straight, I am in no way bashing Stephanie Meyer, I am actually a bit jealous, but happy with her success. Here is the first paragraph and my breakdown. (Source)

My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue. I was wearing my favorite shirt – sleeveless, white eyelet lace; I was wearing it as a farewell gesture. My carry-on item was a parka.

First of all, the first sentence is incredibly weak. I know from the start I won’t like the writing style. It doesn’t grab my attention, it doesn’t snag me by the throat, and it doesn’t even give me something interesting. How about start with a vampire bite, immediately. I may be more interested to continue. Then she continues on about the weather. Don’t start with weather, please, I don’t care about weather but now I’m told the actual degrees. Also, the third sentence can be broken down to two separate, strong standing sentences. There is no need for the semi-colon.

Now that we’ve trudged through bleakness, I get to learn about the clothing of a character that I don’t even know their name yet. And the last sentence of the first paragraph, more clothing. Here’s where ninety-five percent of the male readers are put off in record time.

I tried, I really tried to continue from here and it is unfortunate I couldn’t get much further than the first chapter. Reading it hurt my eyes, literally. Every other sentence was chopped up in dashes, colons, and semi-colons. I like seamless execution. I want my eyes to never leave the page. Overall, I want to be told the story like it was coming from the mouth of the author. In real life, full sentences are not spoken in the middle of another full sentence; unless in certain circumstances.

As I continue reading further through the first chapter, I’m clogged down with emotion-stating dialogue enders (wow, not sure any of that made sense, but I’m leaving it). When stating how a character said a particular piece of dialogue, “he said” or “she said” is perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged. “Said” is the only word I don’t mind being repeated three-gazillion times throughout a novel. “My mom said to me”, “I lied”, “She insisted”, “I urged”, and “He said, smiling as he automatically caught and steadied me” are telling me how they feel. Show me through what they say and how they say it, don’t state exactly how they feel. It takes away from the reader.

Again, this is my personal opinion of the first chapter of the first book, as it continues on gaining new readership and loyalty. To that I say kudos to Stephanie Meyer.

I am now off my soap box. Good day.

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