Disclaimer: I have read Twilight. I even liked the book. However, as you can see from previous posts, I have some major concerns about it.
I have a great teenager as a neighbor. Eden is a bright, caring, and articulate young lady. She is not defensive about my thoughts about Twilight (even when my shared thoughts with her dad could have become a bone of contention in their house). Instead, she has entered into conversation with me concerning the book, its high points, and its dangers. She has given me permission to share these thoughts with you.
Eden says: I think anyone 12 and younger should not read it. Eden agrees with me about the mature content. While she is 14 years old, wants to read the books (and has), and will see the movie (with her mom) tonight, she is able to say that the content is too mature for younger readers. She may not include herself in this category, but one can hardly blame her. She has already read all 4 of the books and has enjoyed them. We can’t expect total objectivity when one has already enveloped oneself in the material.
Eden is also quick to point out that people need to get a reality check. The character of Edward is a vampire. He is not real. We discussed how Edward is metaphorical (in my mind) of that “one guy” with whom some girls have the likelihood of becoming obsessed. For this “one guy,” these girls will forsake friends, family, fun, and – at least from what I hear about later books – their lives. This is sad.
The area of relationships with parents is something that I see as being a huge error of responsibility on the part of the author. Eden and I explored that as well.
Eden: Most teens do not like their parents, and I think that teen authors want to relate to their audience and make themselves seem like the “good guy.” At least that is what I think.
Stacy: Hmmmm….good thoughts. That does make me sad, though. Wouldn’t it be great for these authors to show teens how to have a good relationship with their parents?
Eden: Yeah but what average teen would read a book like that? Authors try to get the most readers they can.
Stacy: I know that. But – isn’t there a way to do both? Maybe the main character has a bad relationship with her parents, but she has a friend who has a great relationship.
Eden: I get what you mean. You should write it.
Stacy: Maybe we should write it together.
Eden: Sounds like fun.
I’d love to know if other people know of teen fiction books that show teens in positive relationship with their parents. If not, maybe that is an area that we need to encourage someone to write a book. This is important. As teens become more and more distant from their families, the society as a whole is suffering. I see this in my career as a teacher.
It’s not merely the responsibility of teens, however, to figure out how to have positive relationships with their parents. Parents are pulling away from their children at younger and younger ages. The family as a unit needs to be valued, and parents need to prioritize their children. I have so much more to say about this!!! But…it’s late! 🙂