I just completed the third book in the Twilight series. For me, not much has changed. I am still obsessed with it and cannot wait to read the next book, I still love Edward, but I'm still bothered by certain aspects of the book and I continually have to work very hard to overlook them.
I almost chose not to write about this because I worry that my thoughts are becoming redundant, but I'm not real good at just letting things go. Plus, one of the great things about this series of books is that so many people have read it that it's almost as if we're all members of some sort of global book club. People want to discuss it.
Before I go into what's bothering me, here are a few things pertinent to the discussion. (I'm not giving away any major plot details here, but if you haven't read this far in the series and plan to, you may want to stop reading.)
*Bella and Edward still haven't had sex.
*Bella wants to be turned into a vampire, but wants to try to have sex as a human before becoming a vampire.
*Edward wants Bella to marry him and refuses to turn her into a vampire until they are married.
*Edward agrees to attempt sex with her as a human once they're married.
*Bella doesn't like the idea of marriage.Edward has elaborated on his reasons for not having sex yet, and it's not just about his strength anymore. One of the reasons that is (barely) touched on is that Edward is, quite literally, old fashioned. Simply put, at the time in history when he came of age, marriage was the thing to do. To me, this is believable and understandable reasoning. But instead of developing it more, the author decided to take a preachier route.
This is where the book gets kinda Ten Commandment-y and I just had to roll my eyes. Edward says that not only is he concerned about Bella's "virtue" (ICK) but he's concerned about his own as well. He adds that he's "stolen, lied, murdered, coveted" and that his virtue is all that he has left. It's the only area in his life in which he's as "spotless" as Bella.
Firstly, I find the whole idea of Edward being concerned about Bella's virtue just gross. I am perfectly willing to admit that I need my husband to do certain things for me, but worrying about my virtue isn't and never was one of them. I can handle that on my own, thanks.
Secondly, I'm seriously bothered by the thought that Edward, even though he's already committed a multitude of *sins*, thinks he can save his soul simply by holding onto his virtue. In my opinion this idea that you can pick and choose what sins to commit smacks of the hypocrisy that is so prevalent amongst extremely conservative religious people. (I'm certainly not implying that anyone is perfect or sinless or that all religious people must be hypocrites, but in my experience the people that are really vocal about such things, usually have a host of much worse skeletons in their closet. I'm just sayin'.)
Thirdly, I hate that Bella is throwing such a hissy fit over Edward wanting to marry her. OK, I totally get that her parents got married young and she saw it end badly and she doesn't want to be seen as that "type of girl" but give me a break. She wants to be turned into a bloodsucking monster so that she can be with Edward for all of eternity, yet she's worried about what her friends will think of her when they find out she's getting married?!? In general, I don't think the character of Bella is very well written anyway, but in my mind this line of reasoning completely contradicts what little depth she has and just doesn't fit. (As a side note: My mom, who read and enjoyed Twilight but couldn't finish the second book because she thought Bella was too whiny, asked me "Do those vampires ever just kill her and get this whole thing over with?" I guess you could say she's not a fan of Bella.)
As I've mentioned here before, and in real life to anyone who will listen, as much as I hate the religious aspects to the story, I love these books. They are so easy and fun to get lost in. As I type this I'm waiting for my best friend to send me the fourth and final book. I'm hoping it will be less preachy and more boot-knocky.