So, was talked into reading twilight. You know, the mormon tween vampire book? Too many mature, savvy, intelligent women whose taste I respect recommended it. “The next Harry Potter!” I kept hearing. (And I loved Harry Potter. Not like read-the-message-boards-dress-up-to-see-the-movies loved, but read all seven, bought the last one the day it came out. You know.)

So, I read the first hundred pages, and I wasn’t impressed. Edward is obnoxious and Bella is whiny. “I know, but it gets better!”

I read the second hundred pages. Still not really excited. Her figuring out he’s a vampire not that interesting when you already know.

“Chapter thirteen is when it really gets good.” So I read through chapter thirteen. Better-ish. Now that he’s “out” there’s more neat stuff like mind reading and super-fast running going on.

By this time I’m halfway through and figure I may as well press on. While it’s 500 pages (well, 498), it’s written on a 5th grade level so it’s going quick. And chapter fourteen to…I don’t know twenty-one or twenty-two, definitely more interesting. Powers! Explanations of weird stuff that happened at the beginning! The whole hunting-tracker-chase-mom-fake-out!

And then in the dénouement, back to witless banter and ham-handed foreshadowing. (I literally rolled my eyes and groaned at the epilogue.) Sigh.

There’s just not anyone to root for. Bella’s snotty and petulant with low self esteem. Edward is rude (brooding?) but we’re supposed to buy him as the heart throb because the narration never stops gushing about how adonis-like he is. But the descriptions paint him as pale with bronze hair (I guess a brassy red?), yellow eyes, and cold skin. Um, yum? No! And I guess he gets sparkly when he’s in the sun. Sorry, the gliterry vampire is just not stirring my inner tween.  The only time I felt really captured was when Bella was, well, captured, and I thought she might die.

And what about this great love story? He seems to love her because she smells awesome and he can’t read her mind, like he can everyone else. (The lesson girls? The classic play-hard-to-get.) Also she’s clumsy and gets herself into trouble, and he seems to enjoy saving her. (Another lovely message for young women.) She loves him because he is super hot and…um. Also because her heart beats really hard when he kisses her. I think that’s about it.

So, yes.  Who do I see about the refund on my four hours?

For some reason, I always think of a girl in college telling me about this video she watched in Spanish.  It was basically just a girl saying things she liked and disliked.  A picture of cake? She squealed “Mi gusta!” A pile of dirt?  She sighed, “No mi gusta.”