25 September 2011

Banned Book Week: Twilight

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

This is probably the only time you will really see this title on my blog. It just doesn't need more publicity, and even though I plan to slog through the last three books at some point, it's not necessary to give them any more attention than they've already received. I don't feel like they are particularly good books in content, underlying message, or writing style, though Meyer does create a somewhat compelling plot in between Bella's whining and pining.

Despite all of that, I would not want to see these books banned. I might not have wanted to see such a prestigious publishing house as Hachette subsidiary Little, Brown, and Company to have produced these seemingly slack-edited volumes, but I don't hate it enough to burn every single copy in existence. In fact, I wouldn't do that to any book, because there are always more reasons to preserve a book than to let it perish forever. I don't even think these books should be removed from most schools; granted, primary school (ages 6-13) might be a bit young, though 12 isn't too terrible to start these with parental discussion available. I do have a problem with the inability of children to bring and trade their own copies to school, as mentioned in the previous link. This is definitely an encroachment on free speech/freedom of information and parental governance.

The link also mentions a concern with children being unable to determine whether the works are fictitious and developing a "wrong grasp on reality." It seems to me that either the children in Australia have been living with too many poisonous animals and therefore have a warped sense of what monsters are real OR the adults in Australia think their children suffer from psychosis until they reach maturity. Even when I was five years old, I had a pretty good idea of what was real and what wasn't, and if I didn't I asked someone. Of course, Australia isn't alone in boneheaded moves, plenty of places in America have banned or challenged these works and while I personally don't care for what these books stand for, I do not have a problem with them being a form of entertainment.

No, the main reason I would want Twilight to be banned is that it has bred a slew of similar works simply because it has made money. I do not mind that Twilight has made money, or that other people would like to make money in a similar manner, but publishing houses are so focused on finding the next Twilight that I am sure they are ignoring other much more important YA books in favor of YA Paranormal Romance/Love triangle/whiny and personality-less heroine type books.

Sigh. But.

I have no say in what publishing companies decide to produce and so I can only go all ragey on the really bad stuff and/or express my disappointment. And so somewhere another publisher is putting another one of these travesties on the market instead of a really amazing YA book about growing up as a gay Mormon** -- a book sure to be banned across the country.

LibsNote: Book first read sometime in 2008 or so, hence the lack of ISBN for this post.
*Banned Graphic provided in part by Barefoot Liam Stock, with permission.
**To my knowledge, this book does not exist on the market. WHERE IS THIS BOOK?

Because I don't like it, dammit!
 And also dirty, dirty married vampire sexin's.

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