BBW: The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

As it seems all popular books do at some point, the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer has found itself on the lists of frequently challenged and banned books. I devoured books 1-3 in about a week over Christmas 07, and then had to wait for book 4. While obviously not a series for everyone, it definitely shouldn’t be banned.

REASONS FOR CHALLENGES/BANNING

The Twilight series has been on the most frequently challenged list in 2008 and 2009. It was in the top ten for 2009 (#5). Reasons for challenges? Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and too racy.

OVERVIEW…beware of possible spoilers


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
ISBN-13: 9-780316-015844 trade BP; Sept. 2006; 497 pg; Little, Brown & Co.
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
ISBN-13: 9-780316-071772 hardback; Sept. 2006; 563 pg; Little, Brown & Co.
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
ISBN-13: 9-780316-160209 hardback; Sept. 2007; 629 pg; Little, Brown & Co.
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
ISBN-13: 9-780316-067928 hardback; Aug. 2008; 754 pg; Little, Brown & Co.

I’m not going to dive too far into the Twilight series. A true review/overview would be crazy long (with four books and everything). Also, I haven’t read the books in a little while, so some of my information might be spotty (but it might not!).

The Twilight series is about Bella, an ordinary girl who falls in love with a vampire, and is loved by a werewolf. Let’s look at the reasons for banning/challenging, shall we?

Sexually explicit: Book four has a sex scene or two in it, yes, but the first three books? Some kissing. A little making out. Jacob – the werewolf – is frequently shirtless. But that’s about it. The first three books also have Edward insisting on sex only after marriage and Bella being made into a vampire. Mind you, the being made into a vampire clause didn’t stick, but the waiting until marriage one did. I’m assuming the complainers are turned off by any sex what-so-ever being shown to their children. Hope they watch all the tv shows their kids do…

Religious viewpoint: I don’t even know how to answer this one. I’m never sure if the challenger is mad because the book isn’t promoting a certain religion, or because it is. Truthfully, I don’t even know how this one comes into play. Maybe someone thinks that vampires/werewolves/etc. are all witchcraft and evil and that goes against their religious viewpoint? That’s about the only thing I can think of.

Unsuited to age group: If everything that was labeled unsuited to age group was actually banned, teens would have nothing left to read except picture books and the bible. Twilight is a teen book. It’s targeted at teens – you know, 13+? Yea, that age. It’s not the school’s/library’s/bookstore’s fault that you let your 8 year old read it. But, I’m not that far removed from my teenage years, and I can tell you this – I read Clan of the Cave Bear and Flowers in the Attic when I was thirteen. Both are infinitely “worse” (I use the word “worse” loosely.) than Twilight can ever be, and I turned out perfectly fine. What does unsuited to age group even mean? Who determines what’s suitable for age group?

Too racy: I love this one. I think it’s the fallback excuse when someone wants to object to a book but they know their reasons are crap. Racy could mean any number of things, but personally – I think of Harlequin romances, bodice rippers. Of which Twilight is definitely not. This reason probably refers to the sex scene, the shirtless Jacob, the vampire Edward and talk of death. Also, some kissing. Possibly Bella’s vampire/human baby.

The challenges to the Twilight series remind me of those to Harry Potter. Crazy. Bella, Edward and Jacob – while not the ideal of a relationship (their issues have issues) – are three characters whose story pulls you in and makes you keep reading until you find out Team Jacob, or Team Edward? Will Bella become a vampire? Will Jacob ever be happy? How creepy can the Volturi be? Twilight became a huge success and introduced numerous teens to books and reading – that’s a good thing in my book.

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3 thoughts on “BBW: The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

  1. when i was 13 or so (going back a long ways) we would pass around sydney sheldon books that were earmarked with all the sex/drug scenes..and in his books they went hand in hand and there were a lot of them!

  2. “Sexually explicit” always makes me laugh. These books are an abstinence-only, sex-after-marriage proponent’s dream books. Though I wonder if they are more upset by how much Bella wants to have sex rather than the pre-marital kissing. God forbid a young woman have hormones!

  3. I didn’t know that Twilight was challenged till last week and I think those reasons are rediculous.

    I tried remembering things too, but I don’t really remember anything being very “sexually explicit” Except for many of Bella’s recounts and her perspective of her and Edwards body. I mean, we dont hear how “rock hard his manhood” is or how Bella’s “panties began getting silky wet”

    Honestly. I think it’s a load of crap and its a parents fault if they allowed their child read it…

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