There are all kinds of breakups. The kind where screaming and crying ensue. The kind that makes your lips curl back in disgust even years later. And then there's the quiet kind. You may not even realize it's happening. You go about your daily life together happily enough. But one day you look at your love and realize that the wonder has gone. The beauty has faded. Reluctantly, amicably, you go your separate ways left only with happy memories and look out upon a fresh new world.
A rather melodramatic opening paragraph, I know, but it describes my feelings towards Twilight as of late. I've been a huge champion of the Twilight series since I began blogging three years ago:
I Love Twilight and I Am Not Ashamed
Totally Twilight Month
I loved the books and I loved the movies. I wasn't blind to the series' flaws, both in writing style and social implications, but the story, the characters, and the romance swept me away.
Almost five years have passed since I read Twilight for the first time. The books have been a big part of my life ever since - re-reading, fanfiction, merchandise, the films, and more. But lately, when I think about the series, I feel nothing. It's as if the sparkly luster has all faded off.
Interestingly, the drop-off of my interest coincided with the release of Breaking Dawn 2 last November. It wasn't a conscious decision to fall away from the series when the movie came out. Actually, I'm bit irritated that the timelines match up. My subconscious apparently viewed Breaking Dawn 2 as the end of a literary as well as a cinematic era. I bought the Breaking Dawn 2 Blu-Ray when it came out as a sort of self-obligation. I haven't watched it again. I also was excited when New Moon came out in graphic novel form in April, but I still haven't bought it. I still haven't bought the Breaking Dawn 2 soundtrack.
In many ways, I continue to love Twilight. It was my first paranormal romance, so the "magical" creatures and the forbidden romance still feels fresh and new to me in a way that books no longer do after I've read hundreds of vampires, witches, werewolves, and zombies fall in love over the past several years. On the other hand, Bella and Edward no longer make my heart sing.
What held my attention longer - and still does to an extent - is the vampire mythology that Stephenie created. Twilight's "sparkly" vampires is usually more the target of mocking than of admiration, but I think they're fascinating. Different than any other vampires I've read about (the advantage of Stephenie not being steeped in vampire mythology). Even the "sparkliness" is fascinating - the idea that their stone-like bodies glitter in the light's reflection makes sense in a way and is also a unique twist on why vampires avoid sunlight. For all the eyerolling on the wimpy, glitter-fanged creatures, most people forget that the Twilight vampires are extremely violent. They have impulsive urges for human blood even when they want to be pacifists, they always kill their "meals", and rather than putting their victims into a drug-induced haze, humans are in inconceivable pain as they are sucked dry. And unlike anything else I've read, the Twilight vampires cannot be killed in any way, shape, or form by humans. Humans are utterly defenseless sheep.
See, even in a breakup post, I can expound pretty passionately on Twilight's positives. And I'll continue to defend Twilight as a concept even if it doesn't maintain the same prized place on my bookshelf. I still think that Twilight is an important piece of YA literary canon. It's okay to have read Twilight or have tried to read it and to dislike it. But it is not okay think that Twilight is inherently bad. Or that people who like Twilight are less intelligent, less well-read, less sophisticated.
I have come to the end of my journey with Twilight, but I am still not ashamed to have loved this wonderful world that Stephenie Meyer created. On the other hand, if Midnight Sun is ever released, I'll be the first in line.