Rant and Asking for Ideas?

Posted April 26, 2013 by Lisa Mandina in / 8 Comments

Okay, I need to talk to people who will understand, I think, what has got me so irritated at the moment. Now, I know many of my readers are NOT Twilight fans, and probably hate it with a seething passion.  But I know many others of my readers are fans of the story, or if not as big a fan as I am, at least enjoyed it and don’t hate it.  Those of you who are fans will understand me probably, those of you who are not, well, just think about any book or type of book you like that maybe you get tired of other people criticizing?  Like, I’m 40 years old, but I love YA.  Probably because I teach middle school kids and that got me back to reading that age level, but partly because they are just so good these days!!  There are people who look at me funny when I say that I mostly read teen books.  And I know that there are people who really make fun of Harry Potter books, because I’m a fan of those, and have to listen to that as well.  But for some reason, when people get all uppity about Twilight, it really can irk me.  And if they don’t like it, and say why, I’m fine, no biggie.  But I get so tired of all the people who go on and on about the relationship being abusive.  First off, Edward doesn’t want to hurt Bella, the only reason he would ever hurt her is because he is a vampire.  I mean he even leaves the country, dumps her, just so that he won’t kill her.  So it’s not that he wants to hurt her, or hurts her like real human abusive relationships.  And see, there’s one of my pet peeves.  It is FICTION!  Who reads a Stephen King book, and thinks it is okay to do something that one of those characters does?  Or that people are going to be like that because it was in his book?  Or if we’re going to censor Twilight, what about the Goosebumps series?  Or books like Go Ask Alice, or even books about drugs that may even make them seem cool?  I think it is insulting to say that teens are going to feel that is how relationships should be because they read it in a book.  I read books like Flowers in the Attic when I was in middle school, and it didn’t make me want to have sex with my brother!!
Am I saying that I like every type of book/fiction/story that there is?  NO!  I personally do not care for Manga or Graphic Novels really.  But I do read them occasionally, like I tried the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8 comics because I wasn’t ready to lose my favorite show.  But didn’t really enjoy it.  But as I’ve said many times before, I love that there are all the different genres and formats for reading.  I like that people aren’t all the same, I mean how boring would it be if everyone liked exactly the same thing and there were never any different thoughts or ideas?  Sounds like a dystopian novel to me.  Maybe I should write it.
This is kind of an all over the place rant I guess.  But I get so emotional when people won’t even listen to my side.  And some of these people are the kind who want people to have as much freedom as possible, and would normally be against censorship, but to me this is in a way censorship.  If you have a problem with it, don’t let your kids read it, that’s your choice.  And I won’t say a word about it.  But if you sit down with your kids and discuss things with them, or take an active part in their life, it might be good to have them read books like that and see what they think or got out of the story.  Am I crazy?  Am I wrong to say that fiction is fiction?  And that I believe teens are smart enough to figure that out?  Do I know/think that there are teens (as well as many adults) who may not figure that out?  Yes!  I do!  But I think most people are intelligent enough to figure it out, either on their own, or because they did have the type of upbringing that helps them to think for themselves.
So, what ideas do I need?  I need a way to help myself not get so emotionally upset by stuff like this.  I know it’s not personal, but I feel like these people are telling me I don’t understand what I read, and that I shouldn’t like it or recommend it to teens based on what their opinions/thoughts on the book are.  Again, usually once we give our opinions and agree to disagree, I’m fine.  It’s only when they continue to harass me about how wrong I am, and won’t stop, in fact tell me to stop and move on, even when they won’t agree to disagree because they’re right and I’m wrong, that it makes me emotional.  And by emotional, I mean that when I get angry, I start to tear up.  I think I got this from my mom.  And I hate that it is how I show emotion because it makes me seem weak to people.  At least that is the impression I get from them.  At least in this case it was an all online thing.  But the disappointment is that it was on someone who I’ve lately considered to be a friend’s facebook post, and it was a friend of hers that I don’t know that kept jumping all over me.  I finally went back and just deleted all my comments, but I just want to go back and keep listing all the reasons I disagree.  So, I guess I just wonder how other people deal with people, who I’ll call “haters” for now.  Anyone?  Advice?  Ideas?  Suggestions?  If you think I’m just crazy, please don’t comment.  I’m already a little upset at the moment.  And loyal followers, I love all of you whether we read the same kinds of books, or whether you hate Twilight, or whatever.  As the picture below might show, Twilight is literally a permanent part of me.  The tattoo on the left is mine.  The one on the right is my sister’s.  And honestly, I will never be unhappy I got this.  This book series really brought my sister and me together in a way.  We’d always been friends, well once she grew up, (she is 11 years younger than me), but this really gave us a connection, a shared thing to talk about and go all fan-girl about.  And I love that my first tattoo (and only for the moment) is book related.

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8 responses to “Rant and Asking for Ideas?

  1. Hi, I am not a Twilight fan, but I can guess that maybe part of the insistence to question your taste on it comes from Twilight fans over reacting about it as if it was the best thing in the world EVER.
    I do not mean this as an attack, not to justify what the way those people have talked to you, nor the things they said, but I've been on the other side where the ubber fans attack anyone that doesn't think the books or movie (specially the movie) and see them bad mouth other books, authors or you because you just said you didn't like Twilight. So when someone starts talking Twilight I just back away, it's not worth the fight.
    You shouldn't care what others say, it is your life and this is all about respect, you like what you like and as long as you aren't pushing your ideas on other others shouldn't do that to you.
    I know it's hard but, just try to brush them off, grab a book, listen to music or do something that makes you feel better and don't let what other people say or think bug you, you like what you like 😉

    • I don't think it is the best thing ever, and would NEVER say that! I just don't like people criticizing what I like. Some people just immediately start in on it for no reason. I like to talk about things I like, not put down things I don't. You know? Thanks for the ideas!

  2. As far as the "abusive" relationship issue and teens not knowing any better, I would have to agree with you. Teens are so much smarter than we give them credit for. If they are uncomfortable with anything, they stop reading. Unlike adults who tend to torture themselves to get to the end of the book, teens and children will just stop. As one of my teen patrons told me, she just skips over the parts that bother her. If an adult is worried that Twilight gives the wrong impression, than they should talk to their children about what they see as wrong in the relationship. We threw Twilight parties at the library and talked about the books. The girls never felt that the relationship in Twilight was one that was abusive, but they did talk about what things both Edward and Bella did wrong in their relationship.
    As far as dealing with the haters, every person has the right to read whatever they want to read. No one should make another person feel that their hobby or passion is wrong. The best thing to do is to just walk away when someone takes the attacks to a personal level. It makes me really mad when people just dismiss YA as something for children or as too "sexy, vulgar, or evil" for teens. Young adult means that is the youngest age that the book is marketed to, not the only group that will enjoy it. I have so many adults who head straight to YA, who are not mothers of teens, but just enjoy the genre. Many YA books are intelligent reads that focus on the intellectual development of readers, particularly the idea of fighting for your freedom and the vigilance it takes to be free. Look at Hunger Games and The Book Thief. Twilight and Harry Potter hooked both teen and adult readers and they helped mothers and daughters bond and I think it is great that you and your sister bonded over the books. We had an adult and teen book group that read all 4 books and we had some really great discussions. You as a reader and a teacher have the right to make recommendations to your students and as a teacher you can discuss those books with your students. Like you said, if the parent does not want their children to read the books that is fine and then we recommend something different. You know as a teacher that encouraging reading in all genres is important, so just keep doing what you are doing! I really enjoy reading your reviews.

    • Thanks for the ideas! I know that whatever people might say, these books really got people reading again. Just like Harry Potter did. And as much as I didn't like Fifty Shades of Grey, because I felt the writing wasn't great, it also got tons of people reading, and that is a good thing! 🙂

  3. Personally, I think people knock Twilight because they're jealous. It was such a simple concept (Boy meets girl. Boy hates girl. Boy wants to kill girl. Boy leaves girl. Boy would die for girl. Boy happens to be a sparkly vampire) but still it embedded itself into the collective consciousness of a generation of people. Like Harry Potter. And, sadly, too many people can't stand to see someone else win. In this case Stephenie Meyer, so they react by trying to tear down her creation. In doing so they hurt others around them. After all, how many people get SO passionate about the thousands of other books printed/ebooked every month? They don't because they don't feel threatened and jealous of the authors' success. My daughters and I loved the Twilight series (I hated the movies) and I bought all three of them their own set of books – they were that excited about them. Was it great literature? No. Will it shape their futures? Probably not. But who cares? It gave them pleasure – as it gave so many other people pleasure – and that is little to ask in a world so full of ugliness. So, my advise, just see the naysayers for what they are – jealous people who are resentful that they didn't come up with a $100 000 000 idea. And then have the patience to write it. Then the courage to send it out to be read by strangers – literary agents/publishers. When they are willing to do that, then they have a right to lambast Stephenie Meyer. And if they honestly don't like her books, then good luck to them. There are plenty of books that I read and didn't like, and plenty of books I would never read on principle (Shades of Grey being a case in point) but that would never make me stop other people reading them. Diversity makes the world go round.

  4. The thing that aggravates me about how people really break down books like Twilight and go all "abusive boyfriend" are knocking the very reason I enjoyed the book… Because it is a STORY!! I don't read to break books down into how they factor into the real world, I read books to enjoy a bit of escape from the real world. Those people that hate that book feel the need to rip it apart to those who enjoyed it. I don't feel the need to rip Patterson's books apart and I am not a fan. I leave it at that not a fan but I get why others enjoy them. If those "Twi-haters" or "YA judgers" just let those who love it be and allow them to enjoy what they are reading the world would be a better place.

    So with all that said I don't know how to let the anger and emotional aspect go. I still get bent out of shape when people knock my reader choices. I still get angry or sometimes still feel the need to hide what I enjoy because of how others react. But I am happy to meet others like you who share the same emotional problems. 🙂

    Nice to meet you.

    • Thanks for the thoughts, they are exactly what I think! The emotion/anger is something I need to work on, I guess other people just don't understand our passion about this. Thanks for commenting!

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