Twilight – my dirty little secret

05 · 22 · 09

By @geekgirls

When it comes to reading fiction, I usually venture no further than my local comic book shop. This past holiday season, I was presented with a copy of Twilight from a good friend of mine. I heard only a few reviews at that time, mainly from movie commercials, but had decided that this book was intended for simple-minded teenage girls. I had concluded that the story was trite and intellectual insulting, all before I had opened my hard cover copy.

I don’t remember exactly how I decided to start reading Twilight. Maybe I ran out of comics that week, maybe none of my TV shows were airing, I can’t be certain. But after letting it sit on my shelf for over a month, I finally picked up the novel and began to read.

Upon opening the book, I was pleased to have discovered the first piece of evidence validating my initial opinion, in the unnecessarily enormous printing. Not only did I not need to wear my reading glasses, but I’m sure my neighbor from across the street could enjoy reading it with me. Further examination revealed the elementary reading level and near abuse of colloquialisms. It was boring, obnoxiously indulgent and I felt I was beyond this type of reading material. (My literary background includes Dante’s Inferno when I was 14…for fun!) After reading through 20 pages, I began verbally offering my aversion for Twilight every chance I got and advised everyone who was still a virgin to this popularized piece of garbage to steer clear.

For some reason, even though I was convinced that this paperweight disguised as literature was a disgrace to bookshelves everywhere, I continued reading. I suddenly found myself deeply relating to Bella, conjuring forth uncomfortable memories of my own youth and delicately placing those feelings into each line of copy.  I felt tension and anxiety every time Bella fell; infatuation when Edward spoke; and annoyance when Eric or Mike interrupted moments with Edward. I was utterly and nauseatingly engrossed with the story and characters, and irrefutably ashamed.

Despite my self-loathing, I was hopelessly compelled to continue reading, knowing that I could only continue in complete secrecy. Every night, I would excuse myself to the bedroom under the falsity of an early slumber in order to receive my next dose of Twilight. I couldn’t put it down and was too ashamed to disclose the real reason behind my lethargic performance during the day. I only wanted to finish the story so I could return my life to normalcy. Confident that I would be able to finish the story in only a few nights, due to the large print and elementary vocabulary, I never expected to have been caught!

I was curled up in my corner of the bed, surrounded by blankets and pillows when an unexpected burst through the door exposed my dirty little secret! I realized then that I had no recourse, no defense to excuse my previously concealed preoccupation. I decided to admit that I had succumbed to Twilight’s allure and was now completely imprisoned by its story.

As expected, I endured a wrath of laughter and mockery and was forced to retell my embarrassing journey at every social gathering. A few times, I even caught myself defending aspects of the book that outsiders sought to verbally attack. I felt that I was intimately invested, an authority on this novel, and therefore could not withstand any criticism as it was perceived as a personal attack.

Since my indulgence was already discovered, I returned to reading the book in order to finally put an end to this madness, only to find that I had unknowingly possessed only the first book in a series of four! Determined to extinguish my contemplation of purchasing the remaining books, thereby continuing this unworthy new pastime, I immediately found the first teenage girls I knew and forced them to reveal their knowledge of this incredibly addicting series. Thankfully, the girls divulged every detail of the books, satisfying my Twilight demons. I was finally free…

…until the movie was released on On Demand.

Suspecting that the movie would severely disappoint and fall short of my expectations, I rented the movie nevertheless. The amateur acting, rushed sequences and indolent special effects only furthered my resentment toward this wicked creation. The movie successfully attained a new level of appallingly low-standards and was somewhat reminiscent of a terribly produced Sci-Fi Channel movie.

In brief, I loved and hated Twilight for very obvious reasons, though I no longer feel compelled to deter one from reading the book, or series. I can understand the appeal and the unbelievable over the top promotion of the series. It is a gift and a curse. And I sincerely apologize if I have offended anyone with my opinions or my story, but I appreciate that you have read through my experience. 

(and I can’t wait until the next movie!)


  1. I love Twilight. Book and movie. I read about Twilight online and was probably one of the first to buy the book the day it first came out. I finished it the same day I started it.
    I went to the midnight showing of the first movie and nothing will keep me from going to the next three.
    I know what my obsession is rooted in. It’s my obsession with teen fiction and rom-coms. I watch so many movies so constantly and I love movies that surprise me but more often than not, I want to watch a movie that doesn’t surprise me. Sometimes, I want things to be predictable. And that’s exactly what teen-fic and rom-coms do. Two people meet and through a series of events (clever or idiotic) they end up together. And THAT is what Twilight does. It’s horrible writing and but the story is about romance between a vampire! And there are werewolves! AND IT’S A DOOMED LOVE!
    I wouldn’t be able to hide my love of Twilight. I own up to it, am not ashamed, and repeat pretty much that entire speech to anyone who makes fun of me.

  2. I, too, held resistence. When it comes to reading, I usually have a bipolar choice between (ostensibly) objective scientific journals and quick-read comic books. Twilight simply did not fit on my reading list. Needless to say, once i finally picked it up i could see the reason it is so addictive. After several involuntary cringes and eye-rolls, I was able to settle into the atmosphere and just enjoy it. I finally watched the movie last night and found 1 or 2 scenes perfectly fitting. The rest, not so much. Still, i’m not ashamed to carry around New Moon [what, a little social ridicule never stopped me from being my nerdy self].

  3. I guess it’s akin to eating cashew nuts, moorish, you just can’t stop. And as enlightening as your article was I just can’t bring myself to read it. I still haven’t read the Da Vinci Code and love Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen as I do I couldn’t make it through the first twenty minutes of the film.

  4. That was a badly constructed response, hours and hours animating have broken my brain but you get what I mean. Must away to sleep.

  5. Oh, man. You just described my experience with the book perfectly. I discovered them almost accidentally a few months before the movie came out and devoured them voraciously. Like stuffing a giant piece of angel food cake in your mouth.

    I thought the movie was good overall, with the exception of some huge clunky moments (like the revealing of the sparkling skin, which was laugh-worthy, and those dumb flashbacks of the vampires in olde tyme clothing).

    I was laughing out loud in my car on Wednesday when I heard this piece on NPR about how more men should read Twilight: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104347311&ft=1&f=2

    Funny stuff.

    And the release of New Moon is totally on my calendar already. DORRRRRRK.

  6. I was about 20 pages in when I realized if I kept reading I’d get physically ill from the amount of loathing that was building with in me. I put it down and returned the book to the owner and said NO THANKS. (A friend was beaming about it, lent it to me, so I took a chance) I was an awkward teenager too. I that sat in the corner of the lunch room reading Issac Asimov and drawing dragons on my folders…but Bella is no kindred spirit to all nerdy females. She’s a dolt by my estimation. There was no addiction – None of the ‘Oh, this isn’t so bad’ compromise. It’s crap with good PR – that’s the only thing I can admit is brilliant – the rediculous hype. Afterward, I felt like running to my large library of fantasy books and apologizing for bringing that waste of paper in to my home.

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