Tuesday, October 9, 2007

disclaimer on the vampire

So, once upon a time our family went to Wendy's and along with the kid's meals we got a Junie B. Jones CD. And that thing is hilarious. And that was a good deal, I think, cause my daughter listens to it all the time (that's me attempting junie-speak). So we picked up a few other books for reading time and they have been a hit. But Junie B. does have a tendency to call kids some funny and creative names. Also, she likes the word stupid. Which is fine. Because sometimes I like the word stupid. And sometimes you just need to call someone a name. Or, maybe not? It's one of those parent conundrums- I really do like the books, but I know, I KNOW, that my girls are going to pick-up on the name calling, etc. fast than you can say "hey, you, poopy-head" and I don't really like that.

When reading with the girls Ben and I both point out the "nice thing to do and say" vs the "not-so-nice thing to do and say" and that's what we do with some of the Junie B. stuff and it seems to work out just fine.

So it is with these vampire love stories; there are things I admire about Stephenie Meyer's writing. Also, I'm jealous of her success (though I am very happy for her, of course). I am also a very fast reader, especially when it comes to lighter reading, which this is. That means that on reviewing the books I realized how much of the physical relationship I sped-read through, though even on the first time through the story I wasn't entirely comfortable with that aspect of the book.

As a writer and as someone whose religion and values about virtue and chastity are clear and strict, I often wonder where the line is when writing about characters who do not have those same values, etc. And each writer has to deal with that on their own, with each character they create and decide what is and what is not necessary to the plot line, and if it should be written. Bella and Edward have a "chaste" but fairly physical relationship that I wouldn't want my daughter to mimic. But I see how it ties into the whole 'noble vampire' thing: he can kiss her neck and not kill her. And Stephenie Meyer does have her characters make a case for virtue, although not the case I would make, perhaps, but who knows?

So. I did enjoy the books. But there were things that gave me pause. I just wanted to let you know that, as some of you go off to read them.


  1. Rebekah loves these books. It's the book club book for next week.
    I've started it. I don't love it. I'll try and finish it on the drive to MA this weekend, and then pass judgement. Good to get your take on it.

  2. I know what your saying, but kind of like you I think if my daughter were old enough to read them that it would make for great discussion on what's appropriate. While we want clean and clear values, we don't live in a Seagull Book and Tape world and kids need to be prepared when those situations come up (hopefully they don't come up with an actual Vampire.. but these days you never know).

  3. I may still read this, but I think I'm going to push it further down the line. I think I'd rather read some Jane Austen or Dickens.

    Good to have your take on it.