Saturday, August 16, 2008

J.K. vs Stephenie

I started reading Harry Potter before I could read. My mom read the first 3 books to my brother and I, while we sat on the couch (and begged her to read just another chapter. For the record, she didn't *sniff*).

I started reading Twilight about 6 months ago.

I loved both series, and always shied away from the "Who is the greater author? J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?" debate. Why can't we love and enjoy them both? They aren't really the same genre, so just let them co-exist without forcing the comparisons on us.

But with the release of Breaking Dawn (SM's final book in the Twilight series), I can't stay neutral anymore. I am officially declaring which camp I fall into. Please do not think I do not love the other camp - I just can't give the whole hearted devotion to the other.


I loved the first 3 books in the Twilight series, and the Host. I've re-read all of them, and would definitely read them again.

Breaking Dawn (book 4), I would like to just forget it ever happened. I was one of the fans who got the book at 12:01, eagerly awaiting what I thought was going to be an amazing book, and surprising finale to a great series. Yes, it was surprising. But not in a good way.

She contradicted herself in so many ways, the plot was murky and completely random at times. Everything read like it was by a fanfiction author, not her. Her style, her wording wasn't there. What happened?

The only reason I kept reading was the thought that maybe, just maybe, I had been duped. This was a contest winner or something ridiculous like that, and the REAL Breaking Dawn would come after this chapter. Or this one. Or this one....and it never did. I feel no finality, no closure. I feel like I just spent my money on mediocre fanfiction.

The worst thing an author can do (in my opinion) is give the fans everything they want.

Yes, we wanted Bella and Edward to get married. Yes, we wanted Jacob to be happy. We wanted a happy ending. But not like this. Never like this.

**************Spoiler warning********************************************

Don't have Jake imprint on Bella's shouldn't-even-exist-according-to-SMs-own-statements baby. Don't let everybody live! Kill some of characters we love. Yes, in our dreams they all live happily together, but in the books some of them need to die. Give the characters sacrifices, make them suffer. Don't give us utopia - we have that in our heads. Give us reality. We didn't want fluff.

****************End spoiler warning**********************

For me, the series is now and forever a trilogy.

I don't passionately hate the - I don't feel anything. Its just empty.

J.K. Rowling started Harry Potter because "he just walked into my head, fully formed". She was a single mother living on welfare at the time. She sent the manuscript out dozens of times, until she finally got accepted by Bloomsbury, a small London publisher.

When the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released, J.K. stated "People are either going to love it or despise it". She was right. They were either going to love it or hate it because she choose a "camp" and stuck to it (I loved it). There was no flip flopping, no 180 degree turns. Yes, there was a couple plot twists, but not with the same degree of wackiness as Breaking Dawn. Nor the regularity.

She stuck to her guns. Even though people wanted some things to happen differently, she never swayed. And no matter what you think of the book, or even the series as a whole, you have to respect her for that.

So, the long and short of it is - J.K. Rowling all the way.

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