The books are why we should all love Stephenie Meyer. It’s not just that she created these amazing characters, but she has helped lead an entire generation of kids back to reading.
When I was a kid, I was always a dreamer. Never one of the “in crowd”, I spent a lot of my time in high school reading. I was fascinated by the sexual tension in Lolita and Stephen King’s use of metaphors. I was swept up in the romance of Gone with the Wind and the gothic perfection of Jane Eyre. I credit my early obsession with books with my choice of becoming a writer later in life.
As I got older, I became a step-mom and then a mom; I noticed that teenagers didn’t read like that anymore. Even in school, instead of reading Hemmingway, the kids just watched a movie. I could see the love of literature dying right before my eyes and with it the imagination of an entire generation. Teenagers were becoming vapid-eyed Goth robots that didn’t have an original thought between them.
Just when I thought all was lost, Twilight came on the scene. Twilight sparked the interest of these intellectually dead souls and hooked them. Suddenly, much like Harry Potter with younger kids, teenagers were reading again. All the kids were talking about were these books.
Suddenly kids were debating the literary merits of Twilight over Harry Potter (I am Switzerland on that one). They were arguing if Edward was the perfect man or the perfect stalker. Parents and teens were discussing if vampires should sparkle or not.
To me it was an amazing miracle. Not only were teenagers reading, but they were thinking! Suddenly it wasn’t just about if Bella should be with Edward, but that love didn’t have to equal sex, the value of self-sacrifice, and if the idea that love could conquer all was really true. Words were being thrown around like symbolism, theme, and metaphor by kids that didn’t look old enough to spell them.
It still amuses me when people criticize the books as poorly written or not “real literature”. Stephenie Meyer has captured the attention of young America in a way that “real literature” had not, so how poorly written could the books be?
Reading is cool again and Stephenie Meyer is the reason behind it. It shouldn’t matter if you like the Twilight books or not. She tapped into the imagination of a generation and pulled them back from the brink of creative apathy. That is why all of us should love Stephenie Meyer.