There seems to be no shortage of complaints about the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. She’s not the greatest writer, she contradicts everything we know of vampire lore, her books send out a bad message to young girls about marriage and children, and that’s only naming a few. I suppose with success like hers you’d expect her critics to be harsh, but let’s look beyond the book and really explore the Meyer effect.
Fact #1: Meyer brought teenagers back to the bookstore! It’s an amazing accomplishment considering that book competitors are iPods, text messages, Facebook and Twitter. She brought them in by the droves and now they’re not just reading Twilight books! I talk to readers all the time that say they started off reading Twilight and then moved onto other young adult fantasy authors. Meyer, in many ways, has been the gateway drug that led teenagers to other amazing writers like Cassandra Clare, Melissa Marr, Holly Black, and Scott Westerfeld.
Fact #2: Meyer gave us a new version of tired theme. You may not like her vampires, but you have to admit that they’re original. Vampires in high school that don’t drink blood, sparkle in the sunlight, and want to be human. This goes against everything ever written by Bram Stoker and Anne Rice. Not to mention that none of those books ever appealed to teenagers. You’ve got to give this girl props for giving us a new perspective on both vampires and werewolves.
Fact #3: Teenagers are writing because of Twilight. I know of many readers that got the writing bug after reading the series. They’re tons of websites dedicated to Twilight fan fiction. Young readers writing their own versions of the popular series. Of all the things my daughter could be into, I’d much prefer her interested in creative writing. I couldn’t care less what the subject is, just the fact that she’s writing and using her imagination is enough for me.
I hope you take these facts into consideration before you jump on the hater bandwagon. I’m not a Twihard, but I do consider myself a fan of the series. Do I think she’s the best fantasy writer out there, hmmm no. Do I think that her books could change the world and bring about world peace, emphatically no. But, in my opinion, she does deserve a high five and a little slack from the critics.
Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can read her advice for aspiring writers on her blog The YA Fantasy Freak or you can follow her on Twitter.