Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CHROLS--Twilight Progress Report 1



Hey Fellow CHROLS... Finished Twilight yet?

I finished it a few days ago. For the first couple hundred pages I was going a bit crazy being inside Bella's head. I couldn't believe all the angst and second-guessing herself and her feelings and Edward's feelings and all the other high schoolers' feelings and all the rest that apparently goes through a teenage girl's brain. I had to check with Hope to see if it was pretty accurate, which she assured me it was. Yikes. New respect for anyone who makes it through their day with all of that going on!

Things got a bit better in this way after they declared their feelings for each other and the plot turned toward the Cullens and then the other vampires who they meet up with. The action wasn't all that compelling from that point on, but I'll have to say I kind of liked the Cullen stuff (maybe have to rethink the acronym for our little group?). The theological/philosophical issue of overcoming one's nature, striving to be something higher than one's biology encourages one to, is always worth chewing on, and my guess is that theme will continue in the coming books as we meet werewolves and Bella continues to make her choices. I was actually surprised by her being so desirous of being turned so early in the game. I sure as heck hope that Hope wouldn't ever be that boy crazy after just a few weeks that she'd be willing to leave everything behind to follow him into his world.

In that same vein (pun intended), I can't say that I'm all that impressed with Bella as a character so far. She's smart and articulate but her klutzy stuff is a bit overplayed for my taste, and I'd like to see her actually NOT need rescuing quite so often. She's a companion for Edward who has been lonely for so long, but does she really bring much of anything else to the table for the Cullen family? What can/do they learn from her and her particular qualities. Her blood smells really good but I'd like to think it will be more than that as the books unfold.

Overall, I can't say that I'd for certain keep reading the series if it weren't for our Thanksgiving Day New Moon plans, but I'll definitely have at least that one read between now and then. Thanks for encouraging me to venture into Forks at least this far. I'll keep you posted as I look around some more.

20 comments:

Haley said...

Glad you enjoyed it...a little. The whole Bella thing..this is the best way I know how to explain it: I think the whole thing about her being weak and klutzy is just playing on the fact that she doesn't really see herself the way Edward sees her. She can't figure out why he loves her so much, and vice versa. She seems weak physically because it is such a contrast to Edward. He feels compelled to protect her and that draws him to her more, even though her greatest danger is himself. He struggles with this endlessly (Midnight Sun which is Twilight in Edward's prospective really helps give more insight into this. It's not finished but the manuscript is on stepheniemeyer.com if you are interested. I love it!) But yes, the Bella thing can get a little annoying but it really is vital to the book. She seems so weak and vulnerable but she ends up saving the day multiple times. The other books definitely will help you understand it more so read all of them! It's weird that you wrote this today because earlier today I was wondering how the CHROL's were doing!

Amy said...

Dan, you need to do more book reviews! I loved it. I totally agree with you (and I think Haley explained it well) that Bella can get annoying. My biggest complaint, I think. The first book is important to "hook" everyone. It's not terribly deep, but the books definitely improve as you keep going.
I hear you about the fears you have about Hope. I've had those thoughts, too. Stephenie just makes Edward just a little too perfect! I think our girls have enough sense to separate reality from a fun story. I hope so! Anyway, glad you read it and somewhat enjoyed it (enough to at least reconsider your group name--I knew you would!). Enjoy New Moon!

Emily said...

Glad you got through it Dan. I had many of the same thoughts as you while reading it, and it is no secret that I am not a Bella fan. I still pull for their relationship, but she drives me bats more then a few times in the series. My favorite character in the series is Carlisle. Well no, Edward is my favorite character, but Carlisle is most compelling. He probably would be my favorite if the book was centered around him more. His goodness and strength and ethics make for a great character, and I find his history fascinating. I like all the Cullen's histories a lot. I give Stephanie Meyer high props for her imagination and ideas(The Host is a great platform for that too and what makes that book another great read (that, and the most interesting love triangle I've ever come across).
Anyway, for me, Twilight is interesting because of Edward and his struggle. His not wanting to be a monster and internal struggle of falling in love with his food is all very cool.
All that being said, I am a girl and can be a sucker for a good love story and Twilight has that too.
Oh yeah-- there is also a very soft spot in my heart for the whole Bella smelling good to him thing (or her being his singer- which you (Dan) will find out about in the next book), so I like that a lot too.

Emily said...

I forgot to add Dan that the first half (at least, maybe more!) will do NOTHING for your respect of Bella and her character. Consider yourself warned and hang in there, the vampire stuff at the end is cool and Eclipse is by far my favorite book of the series. Good vampire action and a great character book.

Neaners said...

Great comments! You are all so articulate with your thoughts. I also was annoyed with Bella at first and her neediness. I just liked how Stephenie writes and I was interested to see what happened next and I do agree with Em about Carlisle. He is interesting and level headed. I can't wait to see how the volturi and he is portrayed more in New Moon. Only 10 more days! Enjoy the rest Dan!

Sue said...

Nice review Dan. I too found Bella a bit annoying, and she kind of annoyed me throughout the series. I wished she had just a bit more confidence and didn't second guess herself so much. I heard that there were a few lines that Kristen Stewart refused to say in the movie because she thought they were too ridiculous for even a teenage girl to say.

I very much liked the series as a whole. Thought the whole story line is interesting and the last 2 books are the best ones.

Cat said...

I found Bella extremely annoying at times too. But by the end, it all kind of makes sense. So stick in there! Kristen Stewart left out some lines, but left in "Your mood swings are giving me whiplash"? Wow.

Emily said...

Breaking Dawn had me on the biggest Bella roller coaster- my most supremely annoyed at her, and then finally, I ended up really liking her.
Haha on that line Cat. When she said that in the movie the other night I said, "no one in real life says stuff like that!" I HATE lines in movies like that. It's so unnatural and awkward.
FYI: in the book (Twilight) I found her klutziness a little over the top, but I still thought it was funny. Especially when she finds out that Edward watched her that day in Volleyball. That was funny.
And Haley: I agree with the fragile Bella/Edward thing, her fragility went a long way in his interest and need to protect her and created many plot points in the first book to keep them together. I do think SM could have done a better job with the insecurities Bella had with Edward's love. A little is fine and normal and ok, but I felt that issue went over the top a few times in the series- it seemed way over board and kind of insulting to Edward and his love (and made me mad and indignant for him).

Cat said...

Em, do you want me to drop your phone off after work tonight? San Diego Specials will be just fine.

Haley said...

Yeah I agree with everyone. I like Bella the best at the end as well, Em. I think the most annoying part is how mad she gets at Edward or anyone for giving her attention and stuff. I think that goes WAY overboard. Alice can kidnap me and give me a makeover anytime! I don't understand why she hates it so much. Sometimes she is just flat out rude to people and sometimes Edward and that bugs me a little.

Emily said...

If it's not too much trouble that would be awesome Cat- Rob and I are going to IKEA tonight, so I will have to see if the timing is bad, I'll let you know.
Also- I was planning on pork chops tonight, but that's ok, I'll just go ahead with the pork chops for Rob and I, make Scout her peanut butter sandwich, apple, daddy carrot and pretzels, and I'll just whip a batch of SDS up for you. Cool?

Cat said...

Yeah, that's cool. Just don't go to any unnecessary trouble.

Emily said...

Pffffffff- no trouble at all.

Dan W said...

Thanks for the encouragement to keep going everyone! Glad, especially, to hear that by the end of the series Bella becomes important to the Cullens in some important ways. Also to hear that I'm not that far out there to be annoyed by her insecurities, etc.

How about Matt and Ben, my fellow CHROLs? Have you guys begun to dig in yet?

Matt said...

Nope.

Chef said...

I'm about a third of the way through. I haven't had a lot of time for reading lately, but I hope to have it done by Thanksgiving. I know I haven't contributed much lately. Lately it's been pretty much work, get home, eat, get ready for bed go back to work. I still plan to give all of you an update soon.

Dan W said...

Way to go, Ben! Keep going with it! Matt, we'd love you to join in.

I'm now about 100 pages into New Dawn (I had a book club book to read in between Twilight and this one: Anathem by Neal Stephenson. Has anyone read it? Pretty dang interesting but only for certain tastes.) So far liking it okay. Edward has just left and she's all mopey. Can't believe how little Bella thinks of herself. (I watched the Oprah segment with Stephanie Meyer and it made me think that a lot of Bella may be quite autobiographical in that way.) Very sad place to be inside her head but I'll hold on for what you all say is coming in terms of her coming into her own sometime (like Meyer)...

Haley said...

New Dawn? Haha...it's New Moon. Get it right. Just kidding!

Dan W said...

New Moon. Breaking Dawn. I've been busted! Thanks, Haley! One should always get the title of something right before ripping (in a friendly, want-to-like-it-way) on it, eh? (Or maybe I didn't truly get it wrong and was simply subconsciously trying to shorten my reading experience by combining two of them into one?)

Pops said...

Good job, Dan. I had a hard time with New Moon. It did get better at the end and the third one rocks.

Hope to hear from you, Ben, about your job. Are you going to be able to get off for Thanksgiving and come up to the high plains eating station and hearts emporium?