I gave into temptation and downloaded New Moon a couple days ago. Even while converting it to HTML format so I could read it on my web browser instead of in that crappy little text window, I finished it this morning.

Good god, Bella is one stupid bitch, and I want Edward to die more than ever.

Seriously, I don't know why she kept mooning after him and shutting herself off from everyone when he purposefully treated her like shit to keep her from coming after him. And the whole comparison to Romeo and Juliet made me gag (not only because it's trite and cliche and all kinds of stupid, but because I also really hate Romeo and Juliet). Not to mention Bella's stupid "Oh my god those vampires are eating innocent people how can that human lady work for them hey why won't you make me a vampire Edwaaaaaard?" reaction at the end. GOD.

The only thing that made reading this book even remotely worth it was Jacob, and Bella kept pissing me off through the entire thing. I was fine with the Bella/Jacob pairing, even if I DO hate her and want her to die, but the fact that she pretty much betrayed Jacob by following the vamps when she KNEW they're his arch-nemeses - by nature, though at this point it's also his choice - to go follow Mr. Perfect when she KNEW Jacob was completely in love with her, just made me want to strangle her. And then just automatically forgiving Edward for the shit he put her through with "I knew you loved me all along!" - it just completely made any sympathy I ever felt for her throughout the book shrivel up and die. Jacob - at least pre-wolf Jacob - was so obviously better and safer for her.

I will never, ever, EVER understand the attraction that some people (characters AND fans) have to the brooding, mysterious, beautiful jerk-ass. Because that's what he is - a complete, irredeemable, all and out jerk-ass. And the only reason she/they love him is because he's supposedly the paramount of physical perfection, and he's secretive and aloof and pushes the love interest away, at least at first, and therefore he's even more alluring (which goes into the attraction to things we can't have). Apparently it's enough to overlook the temper and the controlling attitude and the fact that he never tells her what's going on, treats her like a small child to be looked after, lies to her, goes against her wishes (seriously, if your girlfriend tells you she doesn't want to celebrate her birthday, just give her a damn CD and hang out with her for the day, don't drag her to some elaborate party that she's protesting the entire fucking time), doesn't respect her enough to let her make her own decisions or discuss things with her before he makes his own - he's pretty and kissing him is soooooooo much fun! It's okay that he causes no end of heartbreak and crying, because the idea of being in love with him is too appealing to let go of. It's the only reason she exists, so of course she has to be in love with him.

I'm not even talking solely about Edward at this point. Half the shoujo manga I've read has a set-up like this (Ceres: Celestial Legend or Fushigi Yuugi, anyone?), and there's ALWAYS the normal, decent guy who is totally in love with her and would actually make her happy and never, ever do a thing to hurt her unless it was a horrible accident, and he ALWAYS always always gets walked all over, used, pushed away, treated like dirt... and never seems to give up and move on.

And the girl never actually makes a choice, because the formula is always the same:

Girl meets Mysterious Guy. Girl falls in love with MG. MG pushes her away, realizes his feelings for her, they start dating or whatever. MG leaves for some stupid selfish reason. Girl goes into shock and turns into a weepy mess because she's a co-dependent idiot and can't live without him. Average Guy supports her, helps her, has obvious unrequited love for her that he is usually completely honest about. Girl says no at first, then gets closer to him and either falls in love with him or gets close to it. Then MG shows back up and Girl ALWAYS RUNS RIGHT BACK TO HIM, no matter what it does to poor AG, and is shocked if/when he's not cool with it.

I just don't understand what on earth is so appealing about some poor, naive girl willingly shackling herself to a cold, distant, emotionally abusive jerk-ass whose only redeeming qualities seem to be appearance, kissing ability, and pure unadulterated stubbornness. Am I abnormal for thinking that the well-adjusted, decent-looking guy who actually cares what I have to say and won't force me into a state of co-dependence is the better choice here? Because this damn scenario is so popular I'm starting to think that half the female population of the world is completely and utterly nutso.

I... am also somewhat interesting in reading Eclipse, just to see how bad it gets, but I don't know if I can take much more of SMeyer turning Jacob into the bad guy because he opposes Edward and Bella's Pure, Perfect True Love.
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amadeupname: (subtle)
( Jul. 11th, 2008 02:52 pm)
I brought three English-language novels with me to Germany, and ever since I finished A Feast for Crows I've been dying to find some more. The other books are Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and a collection of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft, and while they're both good, neither author's writing style really lends itself to light reading. (I often have to read a section multiple times in order to fully understand it. Lovecraft's prose is a few shades purpler than I'm used to, and Hugo, much like Tolkien, is guilty of being incredibly wordy and throwing in fifty-cent words here and there. Also, the French names keep throwing me off.) I also brought two books on German culture, which - while interesting - are rather dry in places, a copy of The Little Prince in German, and a couple of my German textbooks. So I've been a little desperate the last couple days to find something that interests me and is fairly easy to pay attention to, and in that desperation I remembered that some kind denizen of LiveJournal had emailed me a typed copy of Stephanie Meyers' Twilight during fall semester.

Now, initially, I had some trepidation about reading this book. Most of the feedback I'd gotten on it was either fanatical and glowing (from people whom I know like the sparkly, Sue-ish fantasy/romance stories) or hateful and full of vitriol. I've also been told a couple things about the two main characters, which reinforces the "Mary Sue romance" I'd initially thought of. I also asked Kitty her opinion of the book, since she said she'd read it on the plane, and when I mentioned that Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon she said, "Well, that explains a few things," which didn't exactly fill me with a lot of confidence about the book.

I've read the first five chapters, and so far it seems like fairly straight-forward YA brain candy. I pretty much lived on the stuff from late elementary school to early high school, so it's familiar territory that doesn't leave too bad of a taste in my mouth as of yet. The foreshadowing is pretty clear without being TOO horribly obvious - it would be easy to tell what Edward was even if I hadn't already been told before I started reading. And while I'm not extremely fond of Bella, she hasn't yet filled me with annoyance. Then again, I'm only five chapters in - page 71 out of 334 - so there's plenty of chances for me to start hating her and Edward and every single character and plot contrivance, etc.

At the worst, it'll be pure dreck that I can delete with no regrets, and at best, a guilty pleasure. I'm fairly positive that there is no way it could ever be worse than what Laurell K Hamilton writes.
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