By they, I mean, the haters. The But-Bella-has-no-personality crew. The But-Edward-is-a-creepy-stalker-and-also-technically-a-pedophile people. The But-Stephenie-Meyer-isn’t-even-a-good-writer gang. 15 years later and the haters still gotta go out of their way to make sure Twilight fans know what they think about these books about a boring teenage girl who falls in love with a centuries-old vampire. (He got stuck at age 17, okay?!)
Anyhoo, if you’re one of these folks who simply cannot keep your literary elitism to yourself, I’ve got a message for you.
Yeah, that’s right. Shut your elitist pie-hole. Restrain yourself from your condescending keyboard warrior-ing. Let us Twi-hards have this.
I am so damn excited for this book to come out I can hardly keep my shirt on, and—oh, wait, hang on while I check the bag where I keep my fucks about your literary opinion. Well, would you look at that—it’s empty! That’s because I give zero fucks if my love for Twilight makes you question my taste in literature or doubt my intelligence. Your opinion is irrelevant to me and everyone else who is as excited as I am for this book to come out. So take a seat, fancy pants, and mind your own.
I see you, though. You’re a person who reads Dostoyevsky and Palahniuk and by that I should infer that you’re also a person who can detect “shades of boysenberry” in a two-hundred-dollar bottle of wine. Well, la-di-fuckin-da. *shoots confetti cannon in your honor* My bookshelves are filled with dense classics and edgy contemporary fiction too, and I like those just fine. But I didn’t read any of them twice.
To be clear, Twi-hards who aren’t also into hoity-toity literature shouldn’t have to defend themselves for loving Twilight any more than someone like me who reads a mix of genres. It’s just so ridiculous to me that people feel such a pressing need to share with us how stupid they think we are simply because we enjoy these books. Like, do you think you’re going to convince us? Why? What’s your point? What are you gaining from being a fucking buzzkill? Do you also hate kittens and babies?
And by the way, we actually know how writing works. We know about grammar and plot points and character development and what compromises good dialogue. We are perfectly aware the story is unrealistic and that it contains problematic elements (Edward, get out of Bella’s bedroom while she’s sleeping before I sic the Volturi on you). But whatever. It’s fiction. And it’s a fucking great story.
No book has ever sucked me in the way Twilight did. I read these books at stoplights—I approached green lights praying they’d turn red so I could squeeze in a few sentences of Edward and Bella. I read at work when I was supposed to be creating spreadsheets for clients. I literally had the book open in my lap under my desk, sneaking sentences and hoping no one would walk by my office and catch me staring at my crotch.
I dreamed about the characters. I related to Bella and her self-identified ordinariness. I fell hard for Edward because I loved the idea of a being who is supposed to want to murder you falling hopelessly in love with you instead. I mean, come on. And I was legitimately pissed off that vampires aren’t real. Like, actually angry. The world of Twilight made reality feel excruciatingly boring. After I read the last word of Breaking Dawn, I went right back to the first book and reread from the beginning.
I’m so thankful to Meyer for choosing to release Midnight Sun now, while the world is in such a state of upheaval. This is exactly the escape so many of us are craving. Of course, Twilight fans know that Midnight Sun was never supposed to be released at all. I remember in 2008 when Stephenie Meyer posted a letter on her website informing readers that an early draft had been leaked to the internet. Meyer has always been tight-lipped about the details of the leak, though she said in her letter to fans, “There were very few copies of Midnight Sun that left my possession, and each was unique.” In other words, she knows exactly who leaked it and yet to this day has never divulged that information. What a saint. Can you imagine if her rabid fans found out who did that? I’m actually not sure I want to think about it.
Anyway, Meyer was incredibly hurt by the violation. She posted the leaked pages on her website so fans could at least get the words she wrote directly from her, the rightful copyright owner. But she told her fans she wouldn’t ever release a completed version of Midnight Sun. I read the excerpt she shared in 2008 and nearly cried when I reached the abrupt ending. In the years since, like the rest of Twilight fandom, I’d all but given up hope of ever getting to read a full version. Meyer had said repeatedly that it wasn’t happening.
But now it is happening. Squee!!
To be clear, I’m not trying to convince anyone to like Twilight if they’re not into it. It’s 100% fine if these books aren’t for you. People like what they like, opinions are like assholes, the heart wants what it wants, etc. My heart just happens to want to turn diamond-hard, stop beating, and live out a cold, angsty eternity with my fashionable vampire family in a giant modern house in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.
You don’t have to like Twilight. In fact, you are perfectly welcome to hate it. But don’t go around trying to murder other people’s joy just because you think your literary tastes are more refined. The only thing you’re really accomplishing is making us want to whack you over the head with our shiny new copy of Midnight Sun.