The Twilight Saga consists of four books written by Stephanie Meyer.
Book 1: Twilight (2005)
Book 2: New Moon (2006)
Book 3: Eclipse (2007)
Book 4: Breaking Dawn (2008)
I recently updated the ‘About’ page to this blog. On this page, I discuss how I don’t usually censor books my children read besides age-appropriate censorship. The reason behind this is I find my children to be more open and honest about the content in the books they read. If they feared my controlling/monitoring, then they start hiding/lying. Instead of me controlling and them lying, I thought open and honest discussions about books and how it relates to their Catholic viewpoints would be more meaningful. For me, this is the main reason behind my blog.
While I was contemplating this I asked myself, “Are there any age-appropriate book(s) I wouldn’t allow (or want) them to read?”
I remembered The Twilight Series. I would highly encourage and maybe control my children, especially my daughters, in not reading this series. Luckily, my daughters were very young when the Twilight craze occurred, and I am hoping this never becomes an issue.
If you haven’t read or heard about this series, The Twilight Series consists of humans, vampires, and werewolves and their interactions, mainly how vampires and werewolves do not get along. The main plot throughout the series is a romance that consists of a love triangle between a female human (Bella) and two possible beaus, one being a vampire (Edward) and one being a werewolf (Jacob).
The main reason for censoring this book is the portrayal of love for young teenagers, especially females. The entire romance is a very unhealthy relationship, and yet it is shown as being the purest type of love. Let me explain:
- I have always struggled with the vampire/human romance, which is common in this genre. The vampire tends to be hundreds of years old stuck in a teenage body. While he looks 17, he is hundreds of years old and is dating a 16-year-old. The dynamics are the vampire being domineering or controlling with the intent of protecting the younger one. There is this fine line where I wonder, is this statutory rape or a new type of pedophile?
- Edward is a very controlling boyfriend. The book portrays the relationship as a supernatural connection, and they can’t help themselves. Edward tends to stalk her, he controls what she is allowed to do, and who she is allowed to see. The plot suggests these behaviors are healthy in a relationship when supernatural love is involved.
- Bella is by far the weakest heroin in the hundreds of books I have read. I would argue the weakest heroin in literature! Not any female role model I want my daughters to admire.
- Edward sneaks into Bella’s bedroom at night, without her knowledge, to watch her sleep. You read these scenes from his thoughts and point of view, so it all seems loving, caring, genuine, and sweet. I am not sure there is a woman on this planet who would enjoy waking up to find a man (even one she loved) had broken into her home to watch her sleep. She would find this creepy, and would not think it sweet.
- Eventually, Edward, the vampire, has to break-up with Bella, the human, because his vampire family wants to suck her blood. After the break-up, he leaves the area to make it easier on both of them. Edward has this vision of her falling off a cliff. He immediately believes she committed suicide. Apparently, this is an appropriate response for a teenage girl after a break-up?!?!?!
- Since Bella is the weakest female ever to be written, she does fall apart after the break-up. She stops living life, going to school, talking to her father, having friends, and she doesn’t even know the day of the week. She stays in bed and is depressed because a boy broke up with her. Not a message, I think, should be encouraged to high school kids about break-ups.
- Then the thing that gets her out of bed and living life again is another boyfriend. Apparently, as a high school female, you can only function if you have a boyfriend.
- Edward and Bella eventually get married. She has to give up every aspect of who she is as a person to do this. Her humanity. Her relationship with her father and friends. Her future goals. She must assimilate to being only in a relationship with Edward, and that becomes her entire purpose.
- They become teenage parents. Teenage parenthood is not something we should idealize.
- When Edward and Bella get married, this leaves poor Jacob without her. Jacob then falls in love with their daughter, who (don’t even ask) ages fast and is a teenager. Jacob falls in love with the daughter of a girl he once dated. Just no. That is not okay.
I never understood why this series was so popular, especially among a generation that considers itself to have stronger feminist values compared to the previous generations. The entire portrayal of love in relationships is not healthy, and not one I would like to send to my teen daughters.