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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Twilight by Stephanie Meyers

~ a “modern” heroine… who disdains marriage… while embracing a controlling boyfriend...

~ semi-erotic, inherently violent, vampire-sex at the honeymoon...

~ Werewolves bonding with babies and comforting us with a classic pedophile defense: it’s about an uncontrollable bond/love, not sex (Move along folks, nothing creepy here)...

~ a teen daughter who sleeps all night with her boyfriend down the hall from her unsuspecting dad...

~ a girl who negotiates with the boy to have sex without the benefit of marriage...

~ a risk-taking heroine with no life outside her boyfriend whose attractions run strictly to bad boys...

You probably don’t need me to tell you there might be a problem here for tweens...

Stephanie Meyers hits all the right notes for her genre.

I thought she struck her most resonant chords with two universal human desires: sin and sex.

Let’s start with sex.

Ever notice that the man-of-the-hour sweeping the hearts of the nation’s women is best-known for (besides being a vampire)… his sexual restraint? It’s a major apologetic point for no small number of moms. Sure, Bella and Edward sleep together, but there’s no sex. Sigh. What a guy.


I like to think that a generation of women sold a Pill designed to help them be sexually available 24 – 7 in direct contradiction to their natural cycle, just might be getting … tired of it? Oh, the glimmer of hope that a weary world just might be ready to hear John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

The other option would be that we’re morally awake enough to recognize the importance of sexual restraint while simultaneously morally-challenged enough to hand our tweens a novel with role models whose only claim to chastity is… vampire sex will kill you, and I love you enough to refrain. Gee, thanks.

Now, onto sin.

The very thing that makes the Cullens so sympathetic is the very thing that makes embracing the Cullens dangerous.

No one walks the earth without temptations to do wrong. The Cullens’ mastery over themselves in resisting human blood is admirable. It speaks to the struggle of everyman.

The Bible uses the number 6 as a symbol of evil not because it is all-bad but because it falls short of perfection, which is symbolized by the number 7. The Cullens are a fine illustration of the concept. The problem is not that the Cullens resist their temptation; it is that they resist it and they beome... no, not saints, but glorious vampires.

It’s another case where 6 doesn’t quite stretch to 7. And it’s that little twist that bugs me: It’s still a monstrous thing to desire to suck human blood.

Bella’s father’s solution? He’ll get used to it.

Sorry, Charlie.

I just can’t cozy up to that one.

SAFETY RATING: Tweens: abstain.


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