There’s nothing we like better than a well-written book, and there is nothing like a well-written book inside the runaway bestselling ode to chastity and the most boring girlfriend in the world known as Twilight, by some weepy-eyed hack living out her teenaged girl fantasies writing sloppy, one-dimensional dreck.
We have to hand it to Stephanie something-or-other for being smart enough to tap into that deep, nay, bottomless pit of longing that lives inside the flat-chested breast of, let’s say, 50% of the American Girl population, along with another 20% of the flat-chested gay men who long, also, to be teenaged girls in high school being chased by the two most in-heat bachelors in all of one-dimensional emotionland.
Yes, we’re bitter. Bitterly jealous of this author who’s raking in the millions based on a series of four books that are so poorly written, so awkwardly plotted and so void of originality that they make your average Dick and Jane book look like the Bible.
And perhaps they are, but we won’t go there (just yet).
Luckily for you, our intrepid research department has managed to dig up the fifth unpublished manuscript in the Twilight series, a tome so wretched in language and so lacking in writerly skills that we thought, just for a moment, that those million monkeys had actually produced something. But no, upon further investigation it turns out that, yes, what we have in our sweaty, vampiricly glittering palms is the unreleased denouement of the series, which we will be more than happy to summarize for you – with copious excerpts – now.
As you’re no doubt aware, in Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Edward and Bella have a half-vampire, half-human baby daughter they name Renesmee, which in Vampire means “she who is a necessary plot development.” Renesmee is mistaken to be an “immortal child,” aka Michael Jackson, by a neighboring vampire and the court of Vampire Law, the Volturi call the Cullens to the table to accuse them of being “too boring to live.” After they witness the full boredom of then now-vampiric Bella, who Edward turned into an undead shrew during childbirth just to shut her up and make her stop making that face like she just swallowed lint covered in lard and dead flies, they realize that the Cullens are actually okay, as long as they stay in Forks because whatever. Free now to live our their non-lives in peace with a weird baby and a hot werewolf who finally admits that he’s way, way too hot to hang out with such losers, even though he does because (bad writing), the novel ends just as the story had begun, with stupid, listless, awful Bella, glittery, poetry-spouting, deathly dull Edward and big, dumb, hot Jacob sitting in a hot tub thinking about sex but not having any.
The fifth book, Twilight: Sunrise begins several years later. Unsurprisingly, nothing at all has changed in the least for the immortally dull Cullen clan. Unlike the first four books, which are written in first-person narrative via Bella’s view of the world in which everyone loves her for no reason and she can do no wrong and the men are all incredibly handsome and sexy and want her so much that they can’t even touch her, while she describes herself in only the vaguest terms and might as well be a turnip for all you know, the protagonist of Sunrise is the now teenaged Renesmee, who goes by the name Me, which makes the first-person narrative structure surprisingly easy, if a bit awkward because she constantly refers to herself in the third-person, Me, as in “Then Me is going to drive the old truck to the general store, though why Me still doesn’t own a Volvo is beyond my comprehension to comprehend.”
That’s one of the most coherent lines which Me speaks, incidentally.
Anyway, let’s get to the fast-paced, glacial plot, such as it is, and see how the author has matured in her style of writing and grasp of language, shall we?
Me is now 16 years old and fake-attending high school. For reasons beyond understanding, Bella, Edward and Me still live with the entire Cullen clan, all of whom are unchanged from the last book. Carlisle and Esme are still pretending to be Edward’s – and now Bella’s – parents and deal black-market Japanese hair gel from their split-level house. Rosalie and Emmett spend most the novel locked in a game room trying to understand the purpose of a pool table without any balls. Alice is still wandering around predicting and foreseeing amazing things like the introduction of a new spreadable cheese made from beaver milk and, in one of the novel’s only surprising twists, reveals that Dick Cheney, who is still alive, feeds on the blood of the Volturi but no one really cares. Jasper is all but ignored in the book, and there is absolutely no mention of werewolves or Jacob at all, other than a passing mention of a wolf rug that is lying in front of the fireplace in the living room and how Bella always sighs when she sees it.
Me is attending school and everyone just adores her. Oddly, but keeping in line with the previous four books, no mention at all is made of what Me looks like, sounds like, wears, eats, or speaks. She is described as being “beautiful on the inside,” and some of her friends, including the gossipy Meredith and the frumpy Gladys, often pour forth with the most overbearing praise for everything she does with phrases like, “You’re the most beautiful girl in school!” and “I’d do you!” so we can either assume that Me is very lovely or that her friends all have very bad taste.
Little happens at all for the first four chapters. Me explains what it’s like to live with the most handsome father and the most boring mother in the world. She is quite close to Auntie Alice and there is one entire chapter where Alice is allowed to do nothing but dote on how lovely Me is and that the world is going to end in three months unless the moon is brought down to Earth via lariat.
Suddenly, in Chapter 5, a new character is introduced. His name is Stephane, though he insists that Me call him Stephen, and for no apparent reason his falls hopelessly and entirely in love with Me. Even Me finds it difficult to understand:
I’m not sure why Stephen professes his undying love for me. He is so beautiful, but there is something… odd about him. All my friends agree, even Gladys who is frumpy and disheveled and smells kind of like Lysol but I love her anyway because I guess I’m just generous and understanding like that. I saw Stephen today in the cafeteria at school and he wasn’t eating. He was just staring at me, so I turned to one of my good friends, of which I have many, and said, “Do you know anything about that beautiful boy over there?” And my friend, whose name is not important, said, “I don’t know, but he’s staring at you! My God, you’re so beautiful!” I thought that was nice of her or him to say, and then I turned my attention back toward where Stephen was sitting and discovered he had disappeared, so I said, “Where did he go?” and my friend, whose name I forget, said, “Can I touch you?”
After a couple more chapters of that kind of action, it is revealed in a surprising turn of events that Stephane is not human, nor is he a vampire or even a werewolf! Stephane is an Egyptian king recently resurrected from the dead – a walking corpse who also happens to be extremely attractive. “My gosh!” Me cries in Chapter Seven, “he’s in love with me and I don’t even know why!” To which her friend, ‘unnamed but less attractive than Me girl,’ responds, “We all love you, Me!”
There are countless paragraphs of longing and passionless staring in various locales throughout Forks until Me is wandering alone in the forest and is attacked by Charlie Swan, her own grandfather and Bella’s father, who was so ignored in the later books that he became despondent and took up as a hermit, eating berries, lichen and small animals “such as mice,” as Me describes him. There is no attempt whatsoever to disguise the fact that the hermit is Charlie, and after the attack he disappears again and is not mentioned.
Anyway, as the “attack,” which consists of Charlie poking Me with a blunt stick and breathing on her with “mouse-scented breath,” progresses Stephane appears atop a ridge outlined by sunlight wearing a small Speedo made completely out of gold and jewels. His upper body is bare and reveals that he is build like a brick shithouse and makes Jacob and Emmett look like “little girls who spent the better part of their lives eating sticks of butter and playing with their own toes.” Whether or not he even has a penis is not mentioned. Stephane “bounds down from above like a hound in heat, his muscles tensed and bulging like bread inside a really hot oven” and falls upon hermit Charlie “pushing him away from Me and surrounding Me with his strong, powerful arms, making Me feel safe, like a girl in some guy’s strong, powerful arms.”
Now that the two of them are together, Stephane/Stephen and Me spend the next chapters getting to know one another, most of which is endless, grueling paragraphs of Stephen telling Me how attractive, smart, funny, and altogether amazing she is, and Me telling him that she understands. Stephane’s dialog throughout consists of the most egregious and horrible attempts at romance ever set to page. A few examples:
“Oh, if only I could bring myself to but touch your beauty with the tips of my fingertips! You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, and I should mention that I’m really quite old and have seen a lot of girls, though curiously I have never had sex with any of them.”
Then he looked at Me, and his full, moist, kissable lips parted, and he said, with passion, “Yes, I do like ketchup. You know me so well!”
“Me, no one has ever affected me like… or is it ‘effected?’ Affected or effected? Are you having an effect on me? Yes! You are!”
“I don’t care if you are half vampire! I love you! I love you more than life! My life! Not your life! I would never take your life, you know, even though I am technically dead and thrive on the organs of others, and did I mention that I only eat animal organs? And then only sick animals? Sick animals with missing limbs. Sometimes they are also deaf, and often I only eat a little bit of their organs. Oh, how I love you!”
And so on. Chapters and chapters of that, with the plot moving forward with the kind of glacial pacing usually reserved for Federal Government documentation. Finally, Me brings Stephane home to meet the clan, and he is warmly welcomed and completely rejected by them. Me describes the scene as her boyfriend meets Bella and Edward for the first time:
My mother, who has a kind of beauty that is hard to describe because I don’t know how to describe it in words, and in that sense she’s kind of like me, being Me, or me, because what am I, a writer? And my father, who has an otherworldly beauty and is at this moment standing in direct sunlight with his shirt off and his skin sparkles because I think that sounds cool and lends him an air of beauty that’s so intense that you wonder why the hell he’s with my mother, even though she is beautiful and all that except I can’t describe her to you which is kind of weird, huh? And then there is Stephane wearing his golden royal Egyptian underwear standing next to me, holding my hand in his, which is cold, meaning his hand and not mine, which isn’t, and he opened his mouth and he makes words with it, and his words say “I love your daughter!” with such passion that I think my heart will cry out like birds might do on a warm morning in Forks except for that smell which is always lingering and I think it comes from the mill or maybe it’s that diner where my unnamed friends are always eating even though one would think they have homes to go home to, right? So then my father, Edward, smiles, and my mother Bella, does something with her face that is hard to describe and they open their arms to us both and I say, “Oh, you all love me!” and then they all nod and smile or something.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
We’d like to tell you that this next novel is leagues better than the others and that the author has managed to learn how to actually write plots and characters and dialogue, but in fact it would seem that the opposite is true. Like her former books, she is actually getting worse with practice. And by Sunrise, she can no longer even hold the thread of the story to a cohesive conclusion, and by the end of the book it is difficult to tell who is speaking, where they are or even what time period they are in, since every one of the characters wants nothing more than to heap praise on Me and tell her how beautiful, perfect and amazing she is.
Obviously, we cannot share the full text of the book with you or we’d get our asses sued – or get a movie deal with Fox and have to move to Los Angeles, which you know would just kill us, so what we’ll offer instead is the last paragraph of Twilight: Sunrise to sing you off to beddy-bye with visions of perfect, handsome, chaste men who only want to love you and never touch you until after marriage:
Stephane looked at Me and smiled. His smile was perfect, and then he had this body that was amazing and his voice was like music is only without the up and down parts, and his eyes, which he had two of, looked at Me and they held unlimited buckets of love for Me and he said, “I love you more than I can possibly tell you.” And then I asked him, “Why? Why do you love me?” And he was looking at Me and I was looking at him and I could feel his strong arms around me and some of my friends were there and I could feel their strong arms around me and my mother and my father and there were vampires and a sunset and the sound of laughter and the smell of fresh-baked bread and flowers and the clouds looked like puppies and my feet didn’t smell bad anymore and that little dress which I had been trying to fit into except for the hips thing but now it fit and everyone loved me and wanted me and the end.