Boycott Stephanie Meyer: It’s a Matter of Principle

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Dennis Racket

Bookworms Beware: The latest addition to the popular “Twilight” series was a major bust in the eyes of many fans.

Midnight Sun is a book title that most readers of young adult literature have heard at least once in the past few months. That’s because Midnight Sun isn’t just any YA novel, it’s the newest addition to the infamous Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer. Midnight Sun is Twilight rewritten from Edward’s perspective, and it’s not surprising that so many “Twihards” have crawled out of the woodwork to buy it, considering the success of its predecessors. But in light of the many, many, many problematic aspects that characterize the Twilight series and its author, I argue that Midnight Sun should be boycotted as a matter of principle. 

For one thing, the Twilight books have never been the best books for impressionable teenage girls (Meyer’s indubitable target audience) to be reading. I’m sure that you’ve seen or heard the words “Twilight” and “romanticizing abusive relationships” in the same sentence before. Edward Cullen is one of the love interests of Bella Swan, Twilight’s protagonist (who has also been criticized for her cliche, spineless, not-like-other-girls characterization). Bella’s sparkly vampire boyfriend is over a century older than her, breaks into her room at night to watch her sleep without her knowledge or consent, and physically prevents her from visiting people he doesn’t approve of. Bella’s other love interest, Jacob Black, isn’t much better; at one point he forcibly kisses Bella against her will and never shows any sign of remorse or regret for doing so. Not exactly the best examples of what a healthy relationship should look like. 

Speaking of Jacob Black, it must also be addressed that Meyer appropriated and misrepresented the legends of the Quileute Tribe for her portrayal of Jacob Black and his fellow indigenous characters as perpetually angry beings who lose their tempers and shapeshift into giant wolves at the drop of a hat. Yet the Quileute Tribe hasn’t received a single penny from either Meyer or the producers of the movies. In addition, Edward’s brother Jasper’s former service as a major in the Confederate Army is never acknowledged to be wrong. 

While I agree with their distaste, I will say that I believe a lot of people hate Twilight for the wrong reasons. Many loathed Twilight with a burning, raging passion simply because it was beloved by teenage girls, and as poorly written and problematic as Twilight is, sixth-grade me was obsessed with it. Tenth-grade me is more critical, but even now I won’t deny that Twilight is entertaining. 

Still, buying Midnight Sun isn’t worth it, be it out of nostalgia or genuine interest or both. I’m not the first person to criticize Twilight, and I certainly won’t be the last, but I do know that Stephenie Meyer doesn’t deserve your money.