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YA (literally) forever?

GalleyCat tipped me off to an essay in Atlantic in which Caitlin Flanagan rants against modern YA novels but raves about Twilight. I can't tell from the essay whether Flanagan has read the book or is actually reviewing the movie. But what her point seems to be is, old-fashioned YA was better because girls in it didn't have sex, they only dreamed about sex. Since Stephanie Meyer is an observant Mormon, there is no premarital sex in her YA books. She has said she thinks that's wrong and so Twilight is full of unresolved sexual tension.

But one point she mentions only in passing fascinated me. Edward, the vampire boyfriend, looks 17 but is really over 100 years old. Think about that! To me, the age thing makes the romance kind of icky in a way that goes beyond the whole "vampire blood sucking" thing. This guy has been around for more than a century and he's dating a girl who's not old enough to vote, let alone drink. Can someone claim to be an adolescent forever? By definition, I don't see this as a viable relationship. Either Edward is frozen emotionally and unable to progress beyond adolescence (not a good thing) or he's mature but attracted to dewy innocence. When it's creepy even without the blood-sucking, it's too creepy.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
Everyone's take on the vampire mythology is different, and not always what the reader wants. I feel Anne Ryce brought the 'forbidden romance' to the mythology, and people now just expect it to be that way.

I wrote a vamp peice, and got chastized because my vamp didn't fly. She used a car.

I think all YA relfects the time it was written and the author who writes it. But I don't think anyone has the write to say what is write about a genre or what is wrong. Nothing is written in stone.

Btw... I've heard mixed reviews about this movie.

Dec. 3rd, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
Really? I've only seen pretty much negative reviews.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me. Even the fans of the novel don't like it. One site I looked at, at least 50% of fans did't care for it.

Sad really. Some books just don't translate well to the big screen. Which brings up another situation for authors. Do we now have to write based on what it would like in a movie, in case our story does head that way?

Out of all the novel stories I have, I htink only one would do well. Everyone else would lose something in the process, which is what I think happened with Twilight.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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