A girl in my youth group lent me her copy of Twilight in 2007. She raved about it and said it was the best thing she’d ever read. After I read it, I could instantly see why this book is such a success, despite all the writing rules Stephanie Meyer breaks. Forget vampires, this is a romance novel.
There is a controversy over this series. Nothing as noisy as the Harry Potter one. In fact, more Christians are supporting this series because of one thing: Bella and Edward don’t have sex until they get married.
My only problem with that green light is this: it’s only because of Edward’s turn-of-the-century morals that they don’t go there. Bella is more than eager to. Twilight appeals to a girl’s God-given desire to be loved by the perfect guy. So girls relate to the plot because it meets that need. But Bella and Edward don’t have a healthy relationship that teens should be looking to emulate. Bella nearly despises herself, never measuring up to Edward’s perfection, going so far as describing him as an angel or a god. The longer they’re together, the more she wants to be just like him, change who she is for something she thinks is better. She actually wants to die to be happy. And there’s a lot of talk about how perfect Edward is. But this guy eavesdrops, gets Bella to lie to her friends and family, and comes and goes as he pleases from her bedroom window, sometimes sleeping in her bed. So not a good plan. This is not purity or integrity in any form. So the real danger in the Twilight books is the same danger that comes from women reading too many borderline-sensual romance novels. They’re all about feelings and desire, painting a false view of what true love is.
Stephanie Meyer had the potential to take this series somewhere really cool with her do-vampires-go-to-heaven theme. Sadly, she ditched that subplot and never came back to it. So God doesn’t play a role in Bella’s world. Her relationship with Edward is all that matters. It’s an obsession. She wants to die to be with him. Forget her parents and friends and college and heaven. All that matters is what she wants. Isn’t that the culture we live in? It’s all about me. Didn’t Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, have that same philosophy? “I am and there is none besides me?” Kind of a dangerous mentality to encourage in teens, in my opinion.
Two Christian vampire novels released in 2008. Next time we’ll look at one.