Rant of the week: The vampire books by Stephanie Meyer are quite possibly the most overrated books of all time. Many have been comparing her to J K Rowling, but please. At least Harry Potter has witty dialogue, and an abundance of colourful, believable, solid three-dimensional characters. At least J K Rowling (70% of the time) writes decent – dare I say – literature. Well, I won’t go so far as to say literature. But she writes decent, nonetheless. Twilight is written like poorly-composed fanfiction; half the book is angsty, indecisive monologue. Every line screams, “I was penned by an internet fangirl!”
This is a book not to be touched with a five foot pole unless you wish to support the contamination of all that is pure and good about literature. Okay, maybe I exaggerate slightly; however, it really aggravates me when people herald her as some sort of literary genius. Take, for instance, this review from Goodreads.
Stephenie Meyer is really starting to piss me off. I’m actually ANGRY at her. Why? Because she’s the great untapped potential of our time. She was born with such an innate gift for storytelling. It’s uncanny. I mean, as a storyteller, she’s one of those six-out-of-five-stars kind of talents. But as long as her writing clocks in at the zero mark, she’ll never reach greatness. HER INTERMITTENT GENIUS IS KILING ME!
Right. Sorry, but untapped potential of what and whose time? Not ours, hopefully. Because if she’s the great untapped potential of our society, then our society is going to the dogs. I hate to sound like some sort of literary snob, but in my opinion, the Twilight books are pure pop trash. They aren’t the worst books ever published, but they sure are overrated, and they aren’t nearly as good as people make them out to be. I’ve read the first book, and I’ve read The Host. The stories were compelling enough, but in a read once and forgettable way.
The only reason why my mind can’t be put to rest is because it’s brought up again and again in the media, in blogs, in my friends’ conversations – this book is everywhere, when I’m clearly happy to forget it. Sure, she’s a YA writer, but I’ve said this again and again: I don’t think poor writing is excusable anywhere, regardless of the book’s intended audience. If young adult fiction is written poorly, I hate to think of what will happen in the coming generations. Why must people underestimate children/young-adults? Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, may I remind you, was first and foremost a children’s book, despite his supposed political insinuations. Think of the childrens’ classics – Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl. None of these writers’ work would be considered literary, but they are far from being poorly written.
I suppose I have more pins to poke with Meyer’s fans, rather than Meyer herself. Why, why are so many Twilight fans held in the grip of these abysmally mediocre books? I am really quite confused at all the attention Meyer has been receiving. And before people start retorting that I’m – gasp – jealous of Meyer’s talent, let me just say that firstly, the whole ‘oh my gosh, you’re, like, just so jealous” argument is so old, and in nine out of ten cases, not at all accurate.
Secondly, I’m not saying these books are bad. Well, I actually think they are, but my argument today is that they are Overrated with a capital ‘O’. I can’t grasp why these mad fans can’t differentiate between a book that’s likeable, and a book that’s good. I am extremely fond of Harry Potter, but I have not once proclaimed that J K Rowling is ‘the great untapped potential of our time’. I acknowledge that there are gaping plot holes, and that the series is, at most, an imaginative pastiche of archetypal texts such as Lord of the Rings and British school-dormitory books. J K Rowling is a great storyteller, but she is not a six-out-of-five-stars type of writer. She just tells good stories.
Conclusion: Stephanie Meyer is overrated. Not the worst out there, but extremely overrated. Possibly more so than J K Rowling. Please, fans of Twilight, don’t delude yourselves that Meyer is the ‘great untapped potential of our time’.