These days it isn’t much of an hot take to call Bella Swan of Twilight unlikable. At this point it is pretty much excepted across the board but as I go back and reread the Twilight series for our Pop Cultural Homework I am reminded how unlikable her character is from the very first chapter. We meet Bella as she moves from Phoenix to Forks. Every thing she says about Forks drips with condensation and disdain. She talks as she is being punished and going into exile even though she is the one who chose to do this so her Mom can travel more easily with her new husband. She laments the fact that she’ll miss the sun and wonders how anyone can possibly live here. She goes on and on about how awful school is going to be because these small kids are just going to gawk at her big cityness. Girl get over yourself. You’re from Phoenix not Los Angeles. She dismisses everyone who says anything kind or encouraging to her living here. Every single person she encounters on her first day is nothing but kind to her and yet she can’t be bothered to acknowledge them. She doesn’t bother to learn any of their names or follow along with the conversation. She only decides to take part on the discussion to ask about the Cullens and once she gets her answers she tunes everyone out again. No wonder she and Edward are meant for each other because they are both so wrapped up in their own self absorption that they don’t have room for anyone else to exist. I know Kate and I will go more into this and more with our reviews but yeah I just really can’t get over Bella here. How did I read this series over and over again and not want to throw the book across the room?
As you an see my reread is going great? How are you all doing? Years removed from your first reading, what strikes you the most about Twilight now?
In 2005, Stephenie Meyer released her first book, Twilight, and it took the world by storm. Kate and I are not ashamed to admit that we got caught up in. Over the last 12 years the Twilight series has gone through so much. Sequels, movies, backlash, Robsten stans and true the books are completely flawed but they also ushered in a whole wave of YA books. After the success of Twilight publishers went all in on Teen novels looking for the next big thing. It could be argued that book series like The Hunger Games, Divergent and so many more would never got the great light if Stephenie Meyer hadn’t been able to prove that books written for a teen audience could make money. So if the legacy of Twilight is remembered for anything it should be for that. Fans of the books may have remembered that around the time that back in 2008, Meyer’s was working on a companion novel named Midnight Sun. It was the events of the first book but from the perspective of Edward. Readers would finally get to see inside his head and truly know how he felt and struggled. We would get to know what he did when went to Alaska for a week to escape the temptation from Bella. The fandom was excited! It was not meant to be. The partial manuscript was leaked online and eventually Meyer’s herself released the unedited chapters and put a hold on writing. There have been rumors for years that she had begun working on it and even that she was ready to release it but again it didn’t happen. The release of the Fifty Shades of Grey novels is rumored to have delay her even longer. For the uninitiated, Fifty shades started out as a Twilight fan fiction from the male perspective that turned into a phenomenon of it’s own. Why do I bring all of this up now? If you haven’t heard, Stephenie Meyer’s announced today in the year of our lord 2020 is finally going to released the full novel on August 4th. Admit it, you’re kind of excited to read it as I am. I mean, there has been very little to look forward to this year so while this wasn’t something I we were desperately looking for it may be what we truly need in a year full of hardships and tragedy. So who’s up for a Midnight Sun read-a-long this summer?
ROAD TRIP!!! For my part of our October read. I’m reading the sequel to Carry On. I’m interested in what happens next for Simon and Baz but also for how Rainbow does with her first sequel. Let’s do This!!
Also I just got the title reference. I’m a bit slow.
I had an ear infection in December, which made it so that all I wanted to do was lie in bed and stare at the ceiling and ponder how terrible my life is. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake has been keeping me company during this terrible time. My ear is on the mend, finally, and I’m getting a chance to listen to book 6 of this series.
In today’s installment, we find out what happened to Jonathan Harker. We also hear more about Dr. Seward’s most interesting patient and Lucy starts keeping her own diary!
The music for the recording is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). (Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). And, the text is by Bram Stoker.
The first time I read Sunshine was 10 years ago right after the release of Breaking Dawn. Let’s just say that Breaking Dawn left a lot to be desired. I can’t remember if it was Kate who suggested Sunshine or if it was our friend Elizabeth but it was one of those “read this if you want to read a good vampire novel after a really bad one”. I did and it is. I loved it as much now as I did back then. It was just as suspenseful, mysterious, funny and kind of sexy even if there isn’t much of a romance going on. Rae “Sunshine” Seddon is as normal as one can be living in New Arcadia after the Voodoo Wars. She makes the best cinnamon rolls at Charlie’s Coffeeshop. Her whole life revolves around the coffeeshop. Things change when she decides to take a drive out to the lake and is kidnapped by Vampires and is sucked into an old school feud between two very old and very different vampires. She also discovers that she isn’t so normal after all. She happens to be the daughter of a powerful sorcerer and has powers of her own. When she saves herself and Constantine with her sunshine power her life is turned upside down. She deals with it pretty well with a lot of dark humor and a great supporting cast. Constantine is everything that Edward is not. He doesn’t try to pretend he’s anything that he isn’t. He’s considerate and thoughtful. Many times he could have taken advantage of Sunshine but doesn’t. In the end he realizes that he needs her as much as she needs him. As for their relationship status, who knows. There is definitely a connection between them. It’s more than just the bond from healing each other but also surviving multiple traumatic events. They are definitely two friends who have a deep respect for each other and continue to challenge each other. Let’s go back to Sunshine. In someways it’s unfair to compare her to Bella because Sunshine is an adult and Bella is not. Sunshine has more life experience that when she makes decisions she knows how much is going to effect her and the people she cares about. She also sees that she is an impossible situation that doesn’t give her any good choices to choose from. She is self aware to know herself but also what is going on around her. While Constantine does take up a lot of time and thinking he doesn’t become the center of her life. She keeps her family and friends close and many of them actually help her to understand what is going on and give her the tools to defeat the evil vampire. Her support system is truly key. Not just to help her through killing vampires but also help her heal from her traumatic experience too. I think that’s important part of the story. Constantine is a powerful vampire but he couldn’t take on The Evil Vampire on his own. He needed Sunshine. Sunshine would not been able to deal with what happened to her without the support of her stepfather, Charlie, her boyfriend Mel, Her Mom, Her landlady, Yolande, her friend Aimil, her other friends and SOF agents, Pat, Jesse and Theo. Whether or not they knew it, they all played a roll in defeating The Evil Vampire and keeping Constantine and Sunshine alive. It was a group effort but also a reminder that no matter what is going on in your life. You are never truly alone. So yes, Sunshine is a great vampire novel and deserves more props.