I blame Stephenie Meyer.

You'll note my recent extended absence from blogging. That is because Stephenie Meyer finally got to me, and I've read the entire Twilight Saga through three times.

I started off thinking, "Okay, I like vampire books. I like Buffy. Maybe this will not be as bad as I've heard." And lord help me was I wrong. These are horribly written. I keep trying to remind myself, as a friend pointed out, this is not literature. These books are literary Doritos. But why am I so sucked in? (You could probably ask why I love Salsa Verde Doritos so much too, if we're sticking with that analogy.)

I don't really like Edward either. Too angsty, too much focus on how it's only Edward's restraint that keeps her safe, only Edward's constant vigilance that allows them to be together, Jacob is not even a flicker of temptation really in Bella's eyes until she finally kisses him for real (too late, I might add) and sees what might have been. She just throws everything aside for this boy (no matter how old he is) and accepts everything that means.

If you've guessed I adore Jacob, you are right. I love big, flawed, messy, struggling Jacob. I do NOT like what happened in the last third of Breaking Dawn. Matter of fact I am not real crazy about Breaking Dawn as a whole, except for the Jacob-narrated portion in the middle, and that's mainly because Jacob has a bit of common sense, and the chapter titles are entertaining. Plus, I liked getting to know Leah better.

I re-read them to be sure I was not imagining the plot holes, the big chunks of things that either made no sense or suddenly went against everything the character(s) in question had established themselves to be at first. And yes, one-dimensional characters. No real growth or change to personalities (the whole point of the book seems to be the emphasis on physical change, at least from what I've gathered.) The only changes seem to be things that make life a little better for Bella in the end.

I think that's why I like Harry Potter so much. Harry experiences loss, he grows up, he changes (sometimes not even necessarily for the better) and the happiness he has at the end is tinged with a bit of bittersweetness. So, while I've gotten wrapped up in my literary Doritos, I still love J.K. Rowling's writing more. Her characters are more complex, more fully written, even when things happen I don't like - the off-screen deaths in Deathly Hallows, for instance - I still sort of see where she's coming from and why she made those choices. The red herrings are there for a reason, not just because she needed a character and then sort of forgot about that character afterward.

Stephenie Meyer if you're reading this, why did you have a character with the specific last name Jenks be a victim of newborns in Eclipse and NOT tie that to J. Jenks in Breaking Dawn? Why? Why did you torture me like that? Seriously there are some times you do NOT need to brag about having never taken a writing class before, or that this was your first attempt.

And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I do feel a little pervy-old-lady when I see pictures of Taylor Lautner on the Twilight blogs. Granted, he does not look the way I pictured Jacob, but a girl can make allowances, even when those allowances need to be a year older.