Sparkly vampires, crazed book reviews and scary statistics! Oh my!
Okay, so I have these friends and they like to read. It’s nice to have friends who like to read. One day said friends came up to me and introduced me to on this new series of books about vampires. I’m sure most of you have probably heard about the “Twilight” books by Stephenie Meyer. For those of you who have not, the stories are about a human girl, Bella (main character) who moves to a really rainy part of Washington state, where she falls head over rain boots for a vampire named Edward. Don’t laugh, in these books vampires “sparkle.”
There are currently three books in the series, soon to be four (Breaking Dawn comes out on August 2nd). So after I read these books I started to wonder… where are the fundamentalists? It seems like all popular fantasy books for young people come along with fundamentalist Christian criticisms. Out of curiosity I started to search for opinion pieces done by Christians. Here is what I found:
(WARNING: some of the links contain spoilers if you have not read Twilight. My blog will not)
The first thing I came across was a book review on a site called Teen Lit Review. This is a book review site for Christian teens and their parents. They have a mission statement and everything!
“Our mission is to provide Christian-oriented reviews on pre-teen and teen books from all genres in order to aid parents in choosing the most appropriate books for their children. The reviews are centered around the books’ content and are rated for suitability.”
Their review on twilight was really funny. They review books with the intent of pointing out “positives, spiritual elements, violence, language, and sexual content.” I will quote the language review since it is the only one that does not give away parts of the book.
“Language: H*** and different forms of d*** are mentioned a few times. At one point, Bella “internally curs[es] Jessica to the fiery parts of Hades” for telling another student a secret.” (Oh my dog!)
The sexual content portion of the review was also quite amusing. They also felt the need to point out Bella’s use of cough medicine to help her fall asleep. After ruining the book for the reader by revealing half the plot, the site has a recommendation portion, which I would also like to share:
“Recommendation: Even though I greatly enjoyed the book, I think that is a bit too intense and that Bella and Edward’s relationship could quickly and easily become very physical. It however does not result in premarital sex although their relationship is extremely passionate. Their behavior towards each other seems to be quite obsessive as well. The electricity between Edward and Bella was very mesmerizing. The book drew me in in such a way that my mind took their relationship way beyond what was actually written. This is a subject that hits very close to home for me. I love to read a good love story, but I would prefer a more God-centered tale that teaches about God’s perfect plan of intimacy within the context of marriage. I want to teach my daughter to have a pure heart and mind. Although the book is extremely well written and engaging, I am not able to recommend it to teens.”
(I would like to mention that Edward will not have sex with Bella until they are married.)
I also found another book review with a Christian that liked the books. And on this site I also found a fun comment about this poor person who got addicted to the series…
“After I read them, I had a very, very hard time. I experienced a lot of mental spiritual warfare and I literally felt like I was locked in the story. I immediately discerned a spirit of witchcraft on these books and it made me angry because I loved them! But I literally had to get them out of my house, that’s how bad it was.
She then seals the deal by quoting God on the matter:
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” -Isaiah 5:20
“The biggest thing that stood out to me was the way vampires are portrayed as “good” in Twilight and witches and wizards are portrayed as “good” in Harry Potter. It is NOT about the content of the books, people. It is about the deceptive spirit behind them. Open your eyes.”
Well, I have opened my eyes and I see a lot better now. Books like Harry Potter and Twilight help create new readers.
“Less than one-third of 13-year-olds are daily readers, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. Among 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20-year period, from nine percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004.”
After looking at statistics like these, we are going to need all the help we can get.
I am happy to see that only a few fundamentalists are taking up arms against Twilight. But why Harry Potter and not Twilight? Is it because the Twilight series is not nearly as popular as Harry Potter? Is it because vampires are not in the Bible, while witchcraft and wizardry is clearly a big no no? Do the Christians need more time to act on this new fictional story? Or is it just because the Harry Potter series is better fiction then the Bible and the Christian community is jealous? The world may never know…
So here’s my review of the books. The series was cute and I enjoyed them. There was one thing that bothered me. The vampires live forever, and the author attempts to send the message that living forever is not all it’s cracked up to be. One of the vampires, Edward, implies he is bored with his life before he met Bella. The movie Twilight, which will be released in December, claims “When You Can Live Forever, What Do You Live For?” I have a small problem with this. You mean to tell me that these vampires have been living for hundreds of years and don’t feel the need to help the human race? Not only do these vampires live forever, but they never sleep. Come on, educate the vampires put them in a lab 24/7 and figure crap out! Cure some diseases and solve world hunger for goodness sake! Nothing to live for!?! My posterior!