Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...
I made my kids a promise when they were about 3 & 4, that ANY question they had the guts to ask, I'd have the guts to answer (my dh chickened out and keeps telling them that MOM made the promise!) We've discussed where babies come from, what 'jerk offs' are (wasn't THAT fun!), what kinds of things will REALLY make you go blind, racism, elitism, words they want defined...if they asked it, I did my best to explain.
Lately I've had kind of a dilemma. There are some REALLY popular bestsellers that are young adult fiction that a friend of my daughter's loaned to her originally. She told me a bit about them when she was first reading them, and how the heroine got kind of depressing, whiny and teenaged angsty in the second book. I was glad that she noticed it and didn't think much more about it. Now I've read all the books because she insisted they were so good.
Now that I've read them I have MANY topics to discuss with my dd. My dilemma comes down to realizing that I, as an adult, read these books and noticed some weaknesses and the way some relationships were portrayed and I didn't care for it too well. But I enjoyed the books nonetheless. However, as a mommy goddess I had a difficult time with the way the relationships in these books are presented to a teenage girl. Yes, I know it's an alternative reality world, but it's based upon our real world.
With the first book I didn't much like that her parents were portrayed as immature and incompetent to look after themselves. The teen is portrayed as having an extremely low self image, thinks herself mature.
The books I'm talking about are the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer.
Here is my librarything review of Twilight.
In the second book "New Moon." The heroine is on top of the world because this gorgeous god is now her boyfriend, not an unreasonable response for a girl of that age, but she sneaks around and lies to her parents and friends. And while it's all justified in the teen's mind (isn't it always?) I still found it a sad statement on loving and caring relationships. Then when her boyfriend disappears to protect her she spend the last 4/5 of the book depressed and on the edge of suicidal. The obsessive relationship with the hero was scary to me, as it seems like such an unhealthy blueprint for love.
Here's my librarything review of New Moon.
The third book, "Eclipse" was more of the same, low self esteem, obsessive love, vacillating between two relationships. The plot was tighter and the characters more three dimensional, but it was an average read.
Here's my librarything review of Eclipse.
The conclusion of the series, "Breaking Dawn," was satisfying as a reader, but gosh it left the mother with a great many concerns.
Here's my librarything review of Breaking Dawn.
There were aspects of the book that were done well. The final confrontation for one, the building and layering of the characters interactions.
But I had so many problems with this book that I don't know where to begin. It could have been 200 pages shorter and been a tighter, more closely plotted book with less wandering. The father's reactions were unbelievable. The portrayal of pregnancy was horrifying and scarifying (and if you expected anything even approaching that you wouldn't want to continue the next generation!)
Again, the love relationship seemed over the top, but the virginity until after marriage and the groom who must have been the oldest virgin in the Western World was kinda cute.
The "imprinting" relationships in the last books between almost adult males and girls who were toddlers just hit my 'ick' meter BIGTIME!
The author used the old standby of the men looking out for the girls and wanting what is best for them, etc. But by setting the story in the real world this just swung too close to the edge of pedophilia for me to want my daughter to think it might a good type of relationship. If the world was less real, I don't think it would have bothered me as much.
And maybe, in the back of my mind, I'm making the prejudiced connection between the scandals with young girls and the old men in the Mormon church; since it has been widely advertised that the author is Mormon, and this may be some of my creepy, ick feeling. I know that reading the articles about girls that ARE girls, forced to (or brainwashed into) marry men old enough to be their fathers just hits all my feminist hot buttons.
I hope it's not prejudice because I really respect a great deal of values the Mormon Church espouses; I just don't want my daughter raised with them. :)
And yet, I can't see banning books either...
I raised her to think for herself; now I guess I have to trust her to know how to do it. (Especially if I've read it and can talk to her about it as well *grin*)
From a puzzled goddess who really wanted to like the books more
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