The Girl Who Hated Twilight: Based On A True Story
I stared at my computer, watching the cursor blinking on an almost empty Microsoft Word document. I had my name, the date, and my English class neatly typed and placed in the correct spot in the right-hand corner. All I was missing was a title, and a clue about what the hell I was supposed to write.
I had hated this project since the moment Mr. Montgomery, my English teacher, announced it. I hated it even more when he had paired me with Becky Smith. I really hated it now, when I had waited until the last minute to type up the stupid essay, and didn't even know where to start.
Mr. Montgomery had thought that it would be a "fun" project if he paired us up and had each partner read the other partner's favorite book. Mr. Montgomery was a book freak. There wasn't a single book in the English language that he had not read. Scratch that. There wasn't a single book in the English language that he had not memorized. He knew everything about every piece of literature that anybody ever mentioned. It was cool at first, that he could recite fun facts about Great Expectations at the drop of a hat, but by the middle of the school year, it was really getting annoying.
Now, I had no problem with reading. I mean, I wasn't a spaz like Mr. Montgomery, but it wouldn't have killed me to read a book. Murder mysteries were always my personal favorite, but I was always game for anything. But when Mr. Montgomery put the words "book" and "fun" in the same sentence, I knew I was in trouble.
Then, to add insult to injury, he wouldn't let us pick our partners. I had wanted to partner up with one of my good friends, Laura, who enjoyed the same kind of books that I did, but he wanted to "mix it up a bit" and pair us with people that we weren't very familiar with. Lucky me. I got paired with Becky Smith.
Becky was one of "those Twilight people." She was absolutely obsessed with the book and the movie (however, according to her, the two were each special in their own way, despite the fact that they were the same story). She wore the same Twilight sweatshirt to school every day. I swear, she slept in that thing. And I don't think she washed it, either. It was gross. One time, in art class, we had been painting, and the paint got all over her sweatshirt as she tried to recreate the "beauty" that was Robert Pattinson. Unlike a normal person, she refused to take the sweatshirt off and wash it. I mean, you could tell where she had been that day by the paint marks she left on all the desks. It was psycho.
Not only that, but her entire locker door was covered in pictures of things relating to Twilight. Even the super Twilight nerds at my school didn't talk to her. She was beyond obsessed. She was crazy enough to make a cameo in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
So, when Mr. Montgomery announced that we were going to be partners, I knew before she even pulled the book out of her bag that I was going to have to read Twilight (oh yeah, did I mention she carried all four of those books around with her, wherever she went?). In return, I brought in Moment of Truth the next day (because I wasn't a freak that carried my favorite book around with me all the time), and she looked at it like I was handing her a knife and telling her to kill herself. For the record, she got the easy job; Moment of Truth was only half as long as Twilight, the characters were twice as believable, and, the best part, there were no vampires.
So, because I only had two weeks to read a book that I could probably kill someone with if I chucked it hard enough, I decided to start on my Twilight adventure that night. The next two weeks were the worst two weeks of my life.
Now, to be honest, I did attempt to keep an open mind as I forced my way through each angsty, unrealistic, and boring chapter. But, it was so hard. When I'd get to a part where I'd think, "Oh, maybe this isn't so bad," the author would pull a one-eighty and I'd be back in square one.
It had taken me the entire two weeks to read it (mostly because my mom forced me to, reminding me that I was "getting graded" on my essay), and throughout those two weeks, besides just being tortured by stupid vampires, I was also being tortured by Becky. Every other second of the day she'd be in my face, telling me that the book I gave her was too hard to understand and that I shouldn't have picked a book at such a high reading level. Moment of Truth was a murder mystery. I read it when I was thirteen years old. We were in the tenth grade now. Yes, the plot was twisty, but everything came together in the end. It wasn't my fault that she was used to reading at a third-grade level.
So, now I sat, staring at my computer, angry about the last phone call I had gotten from Becky (how she got my number, I have no clue). She had said that she didn't like the ending, that the whole plot was stupid, blah blah blah—anyway, I had hung up on her before she could go on anymore. I had my own paper to worry about.
The requirements for the paper were a catchy title, a plot synopsis, and a personal reaction to the book. I didn't know what to write. And then, it clicked. Mr. Montgomery never said that the paper had to be positive…
I had never felt so proud of an English paper in my life. Everyone else had written one page, two pages tops. Mine was a little over three, single-spaced. I had never had so strong of an opinion, and I wanted to make sure that Mr. Montgomery got the point.
I snuck a peek at Becky's paper, where it sat on the desk next to mine. I saw the words "confusing," "stupid," and "I didn't get it" a lot, and I wasn't surprised to see that her vocabulary hadn't expanded in the last two weeks. She saw my disapproving look, and snatched the paper up, putting it into her English folder. She saw my many pages, and smiled.
"So, you had a lot to say," she said, nodding her head towards my paper.
I smirked back. "Oh, plenty."
"Alright class, settle down," called Mr. Montgomery from his post at the front of the room. Everyone who wasn't already there made their way to their seats. Kids checked their cell phones one last time before storing them in their pockets or backpacks. Everyone had their paper and the book they had been forced to read out on their desks. Mr. Montgomery looked more excited to teach then ever before.
"Before we hand our papers in," he said, "I wanted to know if anyone would like to share their paper now?"
The usual hands went up, and, for once, mine joined them. Mr. Montgomery looked surprised to see my hand anywhere besides doodling or texting.
"Wow, why don't we have someone who never participates?" he said, and a few people sniggered. This wasn't the first time he had called me out for not being "involved" in his class.
I stood up, not nervous to present in front of the class, which I usually was. I grabbed my paper and the book and made my way up to the front of the room. Mr. Montgomery sat at his desk, a little apprehensive about what I might say.
I held the book up for the whole class to see. Some of the girls smiled and giggled. Every single boy groaned. Laura gave me an encouraging grin from her seat in the back of the class. I had already read my paper to her, and she couldn't wait to see the class's reaction.
"My partner was Becky, and I had to read Twilight," I said. Becky's grin grew even bigger. I cleared my throat and, still holding the book so the class could see the cover, began to read my paper. "'Twilight Sucks,'" I said, letting the title sink in with the class. The guys looked more into it now. Some girls looked like they were going to cry. A few of them even let out a whimper as I dropped the book to the floor and stood on top of it, crushing it with my weight.
"'Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, is a book about a human girl who falls in love with a vampire.' Now, I could bore you with the details, but let's just skip right to the part where I tell you how bad it is.
"'I don't even know where to begin with my hatred of this book. Stephenie Meyer knows absolutely nothing about teenage girls. Or the human race, for that matter. It is impossible for any person to have absolutely no friends, interests, or personality, unless they have a severe mental disorder, which I believe is the case with our tragic heroine, Bella Swan. Bella, from page one, is completely and utterly hopeless. She has no self-esteem, thinking herself ugly and uninteresting (the second part is true, at least from what is described). She is not a character that anyone would want to root for or even read about. I'm surprised she hasn't killed herself by page five. She's already depressed enough, and then she decides to move somewhere where it rains three hundred and sixty-four days a year? It's no wonder she longed for adventure and romance with Edward Cullen.
"'Edward Cullen, the vampire who falls in love with a human girl who smells good to him. Edward is a jerk, plain and simple. He's arrogant, snobby, and makes fun of Bella for her clumsiness and general awkwardness. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that he sparkles.
"'Really, Stephenie Meyer? He sparkles? He sounds more like a fairy than a tough-as-nails vampire. I mean, I know that you got all of your inspiration for this from a dream, but seriously? Sparkles? Next time, keep your erotic vampire dreams to yourself.
"'There are other characters in this book. The other vampires, all boring and snooty. There are Bella's parents, who are practically nonexistent. And Bella's few friends who hate her because she's dating Edward, someone who would just as soon kiss her as kill her.
"'The plot was okay, but the book could have been five hundred pages shorter if the author had left out every single second that Bella had an internal conflict about Edward. I don't even know how such a conflict started. Bella and Edward have nothing in common. She's alive. He's undead. He can run at the speed of sound. She can barely walk down the street without breaking her leg. His life is full of adventure. Bella seems to hate anything with emotion. And all Bella thinks, talks, and obsesses about is Edward. I mean, she occasionally goes back to the fact that he could snap her neck with a flick of his wrist, but she's more focused on his lifestyle. Should he really be with a human? Is she holding him back from his true calling as a blood-sucker? Or should she fight for her man, no matter what? I actually started counting the times that Bella had this conversation with herself. I lost count after twenty-five.
"'So, after all the other male vampires find Bella delectable and decide that they want her for themselves, and Edward gets all jealous and saves the day, Bella decides that she, too, wants to be a vampire, so that she and Edward can be together no matter what (although I have my suspicions that it's just because she thinks, maybe, that she'll be less clumsy). So, in the end, Stephenie Meyer presents all of us with a great message: don't make compromises. Do what your man wants and let him control huge life decisions, like deciding to become immortal and drink blood. I can't wait to see how the next generation of women turns out.
"'In conclusion, I hated this book, and the only reason I didn't burn it was because it wasn't mine and I didn't want to spend the money to replace Becky's trash. The end.'"
My presentation was met with mixed emotions. The guys and the girls who agreed with me and hated Twilight clapped and laughed. All the other girls had murder in their eyes, and I made a mental note to barricade my door shut when I got home. Mr. Montgomery didn't know what to say. I knew exactly what was going through his mind, though. He wanted to praise me for my sentence structure and vocabulary, but probably also wanted to give me a detention for thinking that any book wasn't sacred. I smiled at my triumph as I turned my head to see Becky Smith sitting in her seat, tears actually streaming down her face. I had forgotten that I was still standing on her precious book.
I jumped down, picked the book up off the floor, wiped off the mud prints that my shoes had made, and put it on her desk. She just looked at it, and it took all my strength not to laugh at the sight. I went to Mr. Montgomery, handed him my paper with a satisfied grin, and walked back to my desk with pep in my step.
No one in that class ever mentioned Twilight around me again, unless they were complimenting my essay.
Which, by the way, I got an A on.