I caved in. I re-read all the Twilight books. It only took me a week.
After reading them the first time, and feeling as if the characters and the story had been removed from me like conjoined twin that I had grown to love but was draining me of much-needed resources (how is that for figurative language?), I decided to poke around on the internet and see what other people were saying about the series.
It was then that I read Eventide's review of Breaking Dawn on Amazon. I read it, absorbed it and then kept the ideas Eventide had implanted in my subconscious in mind when I re-read the stories myself.
And you know what, she was right. When I re-read the books, I did so analytically. Removed of the infatuation with the characters, and the hunger to know what was going to happen, I could look at Bella and Edward, and the stories in their entirety and see the flaws that I had not noticed before.
Bella's complete lack of character development bothers me. The fact that she never had a single self-serving desire in the book that wasn't related to the well-being of someone else--or inflicting pain on herself to help or to remind her of someone else. What did Bella want to be when she grew up? What types of movies or music did she like (besides classical music and literature)? Did she have any interests outside of her love for those around her? It's disturbing when you think about it. I hate the name Renesmee--no matter how hard I try to make it make sense-- it still makes me want to gag. I hated the happy ending this time around. I hated that there was no epic battle scene--that nobody died. In the land of fantasy created by Stephenie Meyer, I was able to put assume her reality for the 2500 pages it took her to tell the story until the very end--when the fairy tale came crashing down on me. J.K. Rowling knew that happy endings aren't real, and even though I cried when people died in Harry Potter I knew it had to happen and I was okay with it. I wasn't okay with the bullshit Happily Ever After that Stephenie Meyer gave us in Breaking Dawn. And that's why she isn't the next J.K. Rowling.
Overall I'm glad I re-read them. It has helped me remove myself a bit from the story, helped me get over the grief of having the characters out of my life--and like the best friend whose parents got a job on the other side of the country, I missed them and but eventually moved on. Even though I was a bit disappointed after re-reading the books, I still have an affinity for the characters. I've moved on, but I have happy memories.
I'll still wait in line to see the movie at midnight the day it opens (good news is the next P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast book from the Marked series is coming out at the end of September. So I'll get my fix of bloodlust then to last me until the movie comes out in November). And I'll read Stephenie Meyer's other book Host, because my mom bought it and I can read it for free. I'll also definitely be reading Midnight Sun, Twilight told from Edwards perspective (stealing ideas from fellow Mormon author Orson Scott Card Mayhap? I think so.) So I'm not totally turned off by the series. I'll probably read them again in the future. But I'll take them for what they are--or rather how Boyan likes to describe them--teen vampire romance novels. And you know what? I'll still like them.