Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Wait. Do I have the right version of this book? Because everyone I know who has picked it up has fallen into an immediate trance-like addiction. I'm on page 110 and with every page I am more and more mystified at how any one in the world would give a flying fuck about any of these characters.
Flat and one-dimensional hardly begins to cover them. The writing is what I'd expect from a not-very talented twelve-year old.
Okay. I opened the book at random for this sampling:

"Don't be afraid," he murmured, his velvet voice unintentionally seductive. "I promise..." He hesitated. "I swear not to hurt you." He seemed more concerned with convincing himself than me.
"Don't be afraid," he whispered again as he stepped closer, with exaggerated slowness. He sat sinuously, with deliberately unhurried movements, till our faces were on the same level, just a foot apart.
"Please forgive me," he said formally. "I can control myself. You caught me off guard. But I'm on my best behavior now."
He waited but I still couldn't speak.
"I'm not thirsty today, honestly." He winked.

So first off he's unintentionally seductive. How would the other character know he was being unintentionally seductive? And then he's more concerned with his own feelings than hers. Again, how would she know?
And then he's speaking "formally." What is that?
And then he winks.
And how do you sit sinuously? I thought sinuously had to do with a sort of movement. Not with sitting.

I keep thinking about Stephen King's advice to writers (and no, Stephen King is hardly the world's best but compared to this author, he's freaking Leo Tolstoy) about adverbs. "They are not your friend," he says. If you took out every adverb in Ms. Meyer's book, there would be about ten pages to it.
And every bit of writing advice I have ever seen has said, "SHOW, don't tell." She tells. Over and over again. Frequently changing the mood, the voice, the EVERYTHING every different paragraph.

Really? Some one from a publishing house read enough pages of this tripe to get to the good part? How far do I have to wade into the brown, muddy waters to get to the good part? Is there a good part? Because I'm about to toss this aside and get on with my life.

Part of my perfect weekend was listening to the Poisonwood Bible on tape. Now I have read this beautiful book by Barbara Kingsolver before and it has been a complete and utter joy to listen to it. Now THAT is a good book. It was written by someone who knows how to use language, how to tell a story, how to use voice and setting and who has powerful things to say and the resources with which to say them. Barbara Kingsolver makes me want to strive to use words the way she does. She makes me sit up and pay attention. She makes me completely envious of her abilities, her talents, and the way she can create a world and gently slip me into it, seeing the Congo through her characters' eyes.

Ms. Meyer?
She sort of makes me want to laugh.
But I just don't care enough.

Okay. Let me have it. Tell me why I should give this book another ten pages, much less go on to the end and then read the next three books in the series. Because right now my eyes start to boil in my head every time I open it up.

"She opened the book and found her place in its thick, white pages. As her eyes traveled down the sinuously arranged type of the words, she began to wonder, the velvet voice of her mind speaking to her slowly and forcefully, WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?"


  1. hmmm glad to hear another take on this book. i haven't read it, but i know TONS of people who have and they absolutely loved it. but i can tell you that almost ALL of these people didn't seem like it would take much to entertain them, if you know what i mean (and they were all very young college students). they were all about reading something shallow that had sexual stimulation - atleast that's what i heard out of their mouths. it did make me curious but it sounded really teen-ish to me... so whatever. i still haven't been convinced to pick it up...

  2. isn't that a book aimed at teenagers? Probably why it's so stupid.

    I think the "sat sinuously" part means he sat down sinuously..I imagine a vampire with his feet/legs slowly curling around him like a snake :lol:

  3. LOL! I haven't read any of them or watched the movies so I can't have an opinion on how much it sucks or how great it is.

    Regardless, this post cracked me up! I have a feeling that these thoughts would be my own! ahahhahahha!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Chuck it. Reread some old Anne Rice instead. What good is a vampire novel with no sex or homos?

  5. *blush*

    I never said it was literature.

    I'm afraid this means you've grown out of your teenager, Ms Moon. You have crossed the border into MAture Country and there's no going back. Nope, if it didn't grab you then it ain't gonna. This is no bad thing, you can hold your head high, unlike me.

    Just for the record, I love Barbara Kingsolver too. She might be my favourite. I've still got a place forthe teen vampire schlock though, for better or worse.

    I won't try and convince you it's good, I know it's not good, but I like the emotional articulacy and immediacy she creates. I think that's what it has going for it, along with the dangerous and negative co-dependent model of Romance that less emotionally healthy ladies than you still harbour a secret attraction to!

    Yes, Bella's annoying, repetitive and one dimentional, not to mention a horrible role model and Edward is alarmingly controlling and maudlin. But I still don't care!!

    I think your response is wholly appropriate, perhaps one day I'll reread it and agree, but til that day, sigh, sexy vampires...

  6. downtown guy, ah, that's what the fanfiction is for, it's got both!

  7. CMe And Eden- Yes, I know it's directed towards teens but I have had adults tell me that although the writing isn't the best, it's so much fun. I am not finding the fun.

    Court- So far I'd say you're better off without personal knowledge.

    DTG- The author graduated from the English department of BYU. This says two things: She's a Mormon and BYU has a sucky English department.
    Yeah. Give me Anne Rice's crazy vampires. Mmmmm....

    Ms. Jo- Have you read any of Anne Rice's vampire books? The early ones? The Vampire Lestat and Interview With A Vampire? If you haven't, give them a try.
    And yes, I suppose my teenagerhood is over. Sad but true.

  8. Truth be known, I have read three of the four. And the only reason I have gotten that far is because I have rule that if I start a book, I have to finish it. Basic storyline, meh, okay. Writing? Terrible. The Danielle Stelle of the teen set. Becuase both of them suck at writing, yet make billions of dollars doing it. Life? Isn't fair. don't waste any more of yout time. In my opinion.

    And oh, what is wrong wiht liking Barbara Kingsolver? To put her in the same category as the vampire wierdo author is akin to blasphemy; she is a real writer, has written some really great essays in addition to books, and kicks ass. Even literary people think so.

  9. I'm with DTG. Give me sex and homos...and vampires. Just no Zombies. Zombies are NOT sexy.

    I also have seen people literally drool over this book. I'm funny about female writers. USually, if it isn't Vonnegut or read alot like him, I'm not interested.

  10. my vote is; get on with your life, ms moon!

    my # all-time-choice when it comes to a display of literary GENIUS, with a breathtakingly moving voice is the nigerian(?) writer, chris abani.

    his novella 'song for night' is hauntingly, devastatingly, beautifully written and so deeply honest. tee hee.

    please please please. get it, read it!i PROMISE you will thank the universe for guiding you to its pages.

    if you don't like it, i'll send you a hand-made chicken made from recycled sweaters. i will i will!

    p.s. my comment word verification is *nuffins*...as in "that book 'twilight' has NUFFINS to offer a clever lady such as yerself"

  11. Kori- I used to have that start-a-book-must-finish-it rule too. Then one day I realized life was too short.
    And I am certainly NOT putting Ms. Kingsolver in the same catagory. I don't even think she and the Twilight author are from the same planet. I highly admire Kingsolver's books. She is an amazing writer. I agree with you completely on that. And it is so ironic that Stephanie Meyer whose writing is, to put it bluntly, horrible, has probably made more money from this series of dreck than Barbara Kingsolver will ever make in her life from all of her writing.
    Life ain't fair.

    Ms. Trouble- I like Vonnegut too but there are certainly other authors I love.

  12. Adrienne- I have written down Mr. Abani's name and the card will go in my purse so that I can find a book by him (hopefully, Song For Night) and get it from the library or buy it. I promise. I am done with Twilight. I promise that too.

  13. Chuck the book! And thank you for the review. Now I know not to read it. Don't you often have the same problem with very popular books, though? I never could work out why people gushed so much over Dan Brown or Harry Potter. (Still finished them both - they were both badly written, yet vaguely entertaining. Plus I wanted to understand all the references made to the story that people were making. I quit after the third Harry potter, though - that would be taking it too far. So maybe don't chuck but read diagonally?)

  14. Mwa: I'm a voracious reader, and not generally of complete crap (in fact, here are all the books I have read in the last year and a half: http://epicdystopia.blogspot.com), but I fully enjoyed the Harry Potter series. They got better as they went along. The first was just a children's adventure novel, but by the end they were fairly violent and bleak, but with worthwhile characters.

    Dan Brown, on the other hand, pretty much just fails to be worth reading.

  15. Oh my lord, Ms. Moon-that last sentence nailed the whole vampy vampire thing right at it's heart and made me bust a gut laughing. I must admit i'm wading through the murky annoyance of the second book...still not sure why. Although I will say that despite outward appearance, I do feel as though I'm still a prepubescent 12 years old. So I guess I'm the audience for which this poorly written series is targeted. I tell myself that it's better than watching Desperate Housewives or Jon & Kate +8. Uses less electricity too

  16. I read it because I got it for my birthday from a friend who wanted to get me addicted. I got through it but it was so very basic, and just not all that interesting to me. Plus...all that reference to blood drinking and stuff was just gross.

  17. I haven't read it either, but I think it's odd that my bro thinks it's just fine for his 9 year old daughter to read... I'm a bit conservative about letting 9 year old girls read about seductive cute vampires. I mean, it's bad enough most of us go through the bad boy stage as it is, but to glorify it before she even knows about love lust and sex... Whatever.

    I say put it down. (physically!)

  18. Mwa- I'm chucking. I read most of the Harry Potters out loud to my daughter HoneyLuna while she gave me hairdos. This is one of the best memories I have. So I enjoyed the experience immensely and they are fun books to read out loud. But I don't think I ever read the last two because she grew up. Darn.
    Dan Brown? Well, he can weave a tale but he doesn't tell it so well.
    I read the Da Vinci Code but never bothered with any of the others.

    Adrienne- I would like though, to see a rooster made from recycled sweaters.

    Michelle- Well, keep your inner teenager amused. Nothing wrong with that at all.

    SJ- Vampires are endlessly fascinating but I like the older ones best, I think. I will say though, that Christopher Moore's You Suck was entertaining.

    Ms. Fleur- Nine years old? Hmmm...

  19. I have had no desire to read these books, despite most of my friends telling me I'd love them. I think at this point, it's sort of the principle of the thing. I used to have a hard time not finishing a book I've started, but I think if it's not interesting, there's no use finishing it!

  20. Of COURSE I've read Anne Rice. All of Anne Rice. Twenty years ago, dear god.

    See, I love the good stuff too, don't write me off. I just have an appreciation level for enjoying the craptacular too.

  21. OMG, I luv it, I just textd my BFFs about it, it's sooo deep, I mean look at those words, big and adult like.

    Even trash novels can be well written, but those, those are just marketing ploys.

  22. Ginger- I'm right there with you on that one.

    Ms. Jo- I love "craptacular."

    Magnum- You're funny, boy.

  23. Oh Mrs Moon, this has made my day.

    Which is equally true and sad, but so it is.

  24. XBox- I only live to serve, sir.

  25. I have not fallen victim to the Twilight mania nor will I especially after your review. I think you should torch the book and read something that will make you happy. Or you can just watch the movie and skip the stupid book all together. And anytime you make your way my way you are more than welcome to hold my baby.

  26. I cannot comment on the Shitelight series, I am not going there.

    I CAN, however, comment on The Poisonwood Bible and Barbara Kingsolver, and My oh My Ms. Moon, how I did LOVE that book...I read it earlier this year, when I needed something heavy and deep and it delivered so well. And it made me think about so many things on so many levels. L-O-V-E-D it so much, so much.

    And Stephen King. While he may not be the best writer on the planet, he is definitely one of my favorites. A very close to the top and probably tied at the top favorite. I will be sad when he is no longer here to write books for me to devour.

  27. This post has just made me want to go read some more of this book. I'm on the third and still liking it. I'm a young'un, so I get to use that excuse, right? Hehe, well that probably doesn't justify it, but at least I know it's crap and fully accept that.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. That delete was me.

    Anyway, you wouldn't have had to write a thing (although I am glad you did because it was quite funny) because your facial expression behind that book says it all! Ha!

  30. I think for a lot of younger readers (who care nothing about language), what they look for in a book is plot - preferably one that reminds them of a video game. My daughter and son-in-law read this garbage.

  31. You know, I'm reading an old Barbara Kingsolver book right now, that I believe is the only thing I don't have (or own) by her. It's called High Side in Tucson and as I was reading the other day, it struck me how much your writing reminds me of hers...all that emphasis on nature and love of anything outdoors and feeling most at home outside with the plants and the trees. She was raised not far from where I grew up here in KY.

    And I will say that Twilight begins to have somewhat of a plot near the end. So I had to finish it at least and see what was happening there. You should stick with it and see at least how it ends, but then again, I almost always have to finish any book I pick up.

    And um WHAT - you didn't finish the last two Harry Potters?? Ok, so the Twilight vampires are lame but I love, love Harry Potter and the last book is the best. You should definitely read them!

  32. Well, the way I see it, Honeyluna, if we can read it and recognise the lack of writing finesse and dodgy values, and still enjoy it, we win, eh?

    I won't go into detail, but Twilight has got me back into bed with my husband after a year and a half, so I'm happy.

    I think we could do with opening a window - all this dissing of stupid teens is making the air a wee bit stuffy in here...

    Hopw is My Middle Name, as to your comment, I'm not being defensive here, ok, well maybe I am, but I've a degree in English, a Masters degree in Anglo Irish Literature and I'm a qualified English teacher, and not a bad one. I'm fairly confident I look for more than a plot in a novel. Just because you can find nothing to take out of a book that has come to have a mass appeal doesn't mean that there is nthing to be got from it, or that it's worthless.

  33. Mr. Shife- I do so very much want to hold that baby.

    JustMe- I don't read everything Mr. King writes but I have read a few really fine ones. My god but he is prolific! And I'm on the next-to-the-last tape of Poisonwood Bible and I can hardly stand it. I want it to go on for years.
    Even though I've read it, the listening is a joy.

    HoneyLuna- You are loving the craptasticness of it, right?

    Nicol- I thought that was a pretty funny picture myself.

    Ms. Trouble- Each to her own, dear. And isn't that the joy of choices?

    SJ- Well, thank you for saying my name in the same paragraph as Barbara Kingsolvers. That is a huge compliment.
    And I know, I know. I do need to finish up the Harry's. Perhaps HoneyLuna would come home for a month and give me hairdos while I read out loud.

    Ms. Jo- "I won't go into detail, but Twilight has got me back into bed with my husband after a year and a half, so I'm happy."
    I don't know that anyone would need a better recommendation than that.

  34. you don't have to finish a book that's not doing it for you (just like you don't have to clean your plate!i'm still learning that one...) vampire novels are dammed sexy so they're bound to have mass appeal - i prefer my vampires a little more full blooded so to speak so am unlikely to read or see twilight, but i don't see anything wrong with loads of 'not me's' enjoying it. unfortunately for writers mass appeal rarely seems to coincide with well written, more like well marketed. anyway, thank heaven for the number of books most of us have access to now (and for diversity and for most of us being literate) we can all find something to our taste! as you would say ms moon we are blessed indeed :-)

  35. This is a funny post. I have not read any of these books, but of course I have been urged to do so by others. Oddly enough this post has only served to further my interest.

    I guess there is no saving me from myself.

  36. For some reason I can't post under my wordpress ID today.
    The book must really suck if Ceara won't read it. The kid reads everything.
    I'm with DTG, a little Anne Rice is what's in order.

  37. No, I agree. Total crap. I didn't like the movie much either.

    Maybe you have to be young and semi-illiterate, due to all the texting and gaming to appreciate it.

    Okay, that was mean, but it's how I feel.

  38. I really liked the books, all four of them. I have to admit that I only began reading them because one of my students was in the hospital having chemo and it was the only thing that excited her. We would read her pages and she would absorb them. Then she would finish her chemo and not remember what we read so we had to read them again. We bought her tickets for the big TwiCon conference the first of August to celebrate her finishing chemo. So maybe that is why they mean so much to me. I do know when I finished the books I missed the characters. I bought the authors other adult sci-fi book and hated it. I could not even get through the second chapter.

  39. the only thing I know about twilight is the young girl star, who was given an MTV award for her performance, and she looked drunk...and her hair was in her face...and she was boring and rude..and then..she DROPPED the award on stage.

  40. Lady Lemon- I think you should read them. Why not?

    Rachel- Really? Ceara won't read them? Huh.

    Ms. Bastard- That is a valid opinion. A lot of people I know didn't like the movie nearly so much as the books.

    Sarah- That is a beautiful story and I understand why you have a place in your heart for those books.

    Laura- Heh-heh.

  41. I'm late to the party, but "What good is a vampire novel with no sex or homos?" is the best thing I've read all day

  42. Steph- No one can turn a phrase like my very own Downtown Guy.

  43. I think you've broken your Cher comment record...forget nature, i think pop culture is your blogging future :) Hehe.

  44. SJ- Damn. I think you're right.

  45. And the acting in the movie is even worse than this! I haven't read the book but am always hesitant of anything that the whole world goes crazy over, usually means it totally stinks.

  46. just remembered i forgot to say my vote goes to dracula and nosferatu is a must see

  47. Joy( Babble On) said you write beautifully ( oops another adverb) and you do. I'm going to add you to my list to read more often.
    As far as this book, a number of friends have the same opinion you do so I'm not gonna even crack a binding.

  48. Mr. Berryblog- So nice of you to stop by and say such nice things. I visited your blog and you have a most interesting mind, sir! I will visit again.


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