Friday, April 2, 2010

Discussion & Giveaway: What is it about Twilight that Grown Women Love?

I'm excited to be part of The Triple Threat Giveaway this week and hope you'll join me in a conversation about why women seem to love the Twilight books and movies even though they are intended for Young Adults.

Two authors have joined me today to give their take on the subject, and I can't wait to hear what you think about thier opinions. Do you agree or not, and are you a lover or a hater of the Twilight phenom?

Share your thoughts and enter to win a surprise book basket!

Guest Author Jo Lynne Valerie's Take:  
Twilight, the first novel in the YA series by Stephenie Meyer, was an immediate hit with tweens and teens. There are cute guys, vampires, werewolves, pretty girls and there is angst. A winning recipe! But the book proved its marketability to a broad audience when adults and parents of all ages, fell in love with Twilight, too.

I think I know why. There are powerful themes in Twilight. Edward, the hero, is a vampire with a heart. Bella, the heroine, is an opinionated if slightly awkward teen. The pair fall in love. Due to Edward's vampire nature, that love is forbidden. But forbidden love only scratches the surface of what develops between Edward and Bella. As a whole, Twilight is infused with big, booming life-themes. (Let's get this out of the way: Edward is dreamy. That said, eyes on the themes here, people, eyes on the themes!)

Edward belongs to the Cullen family, a group of vampires living together as vegetarians, by choice. This is a big deal; it means they feed off of animals, not humans. The Cullens also strongly appreciate the arts: cooking, music, reading, the masters. These choices help the Cullens maintain their humanity. Come to think of it, who doesn't struggle to stay in touch with who we are? We all work hard not to lose sight of ourselves and what we love.

Last, we come to Edward and Bella, the characters readers and viewers fell in love with. Or did we fall in love with the passion they share? Edward loves Bella completely. He can literally feel Bella's needs and he responds to them with urgency. Bella aches for Edward so much that she is willing to change her entire world and risk her life just to be with him. We all want that. We all want that crazy, can't sleep, over-the-top, I have to be with you, can't keep my hands off of you, kind of love.

All of these elements and themes combined form a heady mix. No wonder we love Twilight!

Check out Jo Lynne's website at www.JoLynneValerie.com and her author blog at www.JoLynneValerie.blogspot.com

Guest Author Pembroke Sinclair's Take:
Adult women are so drawn to Twilight because, like romance, it represents escape. When they read or watch this story, they don’t have to worry about the kids or bills or husbands or jobs or day to day routines; they can get lost in the moment. Women are traditionally viewed as caregivers. Society expects them to take care of their friends, kids, families, etc., but Twilight and romance novels give them the chance to be taken care of. It is alluring and flattering that Edward makes it his mission to ensure Bella’s safety.

The looks of the leading men in the movie might have something to do with the attraction, but since I don’t really find them attractive, I don’t know how major a role that plays. Really, I think it has to do with an ideal. Most women were probably awkward and gawky in high school with low self esteem and a poor body image (remember I said MOST, not all), and Edward represents the unattainable male: the popular, mysterious, rich guy everyone wanted. In real life, he would probably date the head cheerleader, but in this world, he falls for the geek. It’s every woman’s fantasy. 


Visit Pembroke's blog at http://pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com/.


So readers, do you agree or disagree? Why do adult women love these books and movies so much? Is it all about the boys? Are you a women who has no interest in Twilight at all? Let's Discuss!

Leave us a comment and you'll be entered in a random drawing to win a paranormal themed book basket!

Sorry, but this giveway is limited to US residents only. I know that sucks, but hopefully soon I'll be able to open my contests up internationally.

26 comments:

  1. I get that it is the theme that is universal in TWILIGHT, the hunky guys, the quirky heroine but I am one of those adult women who really doesn't get the TWILIGHT rage...if I would be 17 yes...but now at the age of *whispser thirty something* I like my men to be, well...men, actually. I look at edward and *having Twilightfail here* I can't remember the other guys name *headdesk* and see teenagers. That just doesn't work for me to be swept away...

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  2. Yes, I think some is all about the boys! Our giddy teenage girls inside all of us are screaming for joy..... then there is the paranormal factor, it's fantasy and naughty and I love every minute of it.

    oxoxoxo,
    Brande

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  3. As a member of the Lost Boys generation I grew up with vampires being kind of sexy, so even though I too was in my thirties by the time I discovered Twilight (shortly after New Moon came out, long before the movies). The cover drew me in, and the romance made me stay. Twilight's like literary candy. Not a van of The Vampire Diaries tv show, but I still have my copies of the books by LJ Smith from when they came out when I was in high school- Stefan had the tortured vegetarian vampire routine down pat before the Cullens were dreamed up of. And Supernatural has two hot brothers fighting demons... I'm into that. ;)

    Great blog! Found it through the Book Blog Hop.

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  4. I definitely agree with both of the guest authors' opinions. It is a lot about escapism and feeling taken care of. I didn't read the books for the male characters but for Bella and her growth, and for that reason, I really don't like the movies. I've seen both of them, but they didn't "wow" me. I was actually pretty disappointed in how whiny and sullen they made the character in the movie. That representation wasn't "my Bella" when I was reading the books.

    Thanks for the great opinion! And the contest!

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  5. I felt like belle wasn't an equal and to me that reminds me of to many teenage romances gone bad. I really felt she need more of her own opinion for me to enjoy it. And the she couldn't live without Edward part really killed me. Should teenage girls really be reading that. Sure I know it was fiction but with the following it got. I don't know I wishit would have portaried a stronger girl

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  6. K - I was ready to be anti-Twi
    I swear I was. Then I saw the Twilight Movie and my interest was reawakened. I am allowed to lust after Edward in my mind seeing as he is about 3 years younger than me. An acceptable age gap in my mind.
    Not sure it has anything to do with my body image in High School.
    Terry Kate

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  7. I think I found out about these books just in time to read them before the hype. If they'd been this popular when I'd first heard of them, I would not have read them. So I'm a middle-of-the road fan when it comes to Twilight. I loved the first two books because they were light, and music featured heavily in the plot. After book 3, I think Meyer really showed how much of a personal hobby these books were to her. This wasn't an author completing a saga; this was a mother's fantasy of reliving her youth. I hope the movies can do something more with the story to make it compelling. Otherwise, I feel they've become so popular for the same reasons PNR as a genre is popular. Meyer just got lucky.

    Thanks! Found this thru Rachel M above's Twitter post.

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  8. I absolutely agree with Pembroke Sinclair's views. It is an escape for women just like any other romance novel. Probably about 50% of people are in it for the boys. Personally, I am not a fan of the movies and I don't have a crush on the actors, I truly just enjoyed the escape that the book provided.

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  9. I think for older readers it reminds me of my high school years. Girls can relate to Bella, because she is clumsy and feels awkward, but that perfect boy has fallen for her.
    I dated my husband in high school and he was such a jock and great athlete. I never did anything, because I felt awkward and I'm definitely clumsy. I new why I was attracted to him, but I always wondered why he felt the same. Well, it all worked out and I still think he's hot and every time I stumble, he grabs me. He calls me Grace! Ha!
    I think there is an Edward for every girl, he just will not be immortal, but he will sparkle to you.
    samnstacyAtmeDOTcom

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  10. Wow! Loving the comments so far.

    Stacy's line of " think there is an Edward for every girl, he just will not be immortal, but he will sparkle to you." just rocks :)

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  11. When I first picked up twilight at the book store I had no idea how big it was because I just like to read vampire books and this seemed interesting. Then I read one book after the other and I knew exactly why everyone loves this series. You fall in love with the story and the characters. Forbidden love with a paranormal twist what's not to love! So I do agree with Jo Lynne with the big life themes that draw you into the story, I also agree with Pembroke saying this series can be an escape for some women from their day to day routine. I'm not a twilight fanatic but I did/do enjoy the books and movies because to me its simply entertainment. I think the Twilight series gets picked apart too much. So why can't we just accept it for what it is entertainment?

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  12. Ok, so I am a closet Twilight fan. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone!

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  13. I've actually not read the Twilight books yet. However, I think these novels have an appeal for the older woman because it brings us back to the beginning. Our first loves...

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  14. Jo Lynne - I am forcing my hubby to read your take on things. Maybe he will understand. Although I am not all a wait in line a midnight sort of fan, I do really enjoy the books and movies. And I think what you pointed out about the depth of Edward's love for Bella being a big part of the draw to the series is spot on! Every female (woman or girl) wants that sort of devotion. Great discussion, ladies!
    BTW - found you on the Book Blogger hop and really happy I did! I hope you will hop over to my blog and return the follow - http://busymomswholovetoread.blogspot.com

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  15. As a mother of three, I read to escape. Twilight took me on a wonderful journey and reminded me of what first love was like. I've been married for sixteen years, and though I love my husband dearly, I'd forgotten what the exciting rush of new love felt like. After reading Twilight, I remembered it vividly.

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  16. I've never read the books, but I suspect the draw goes much further than romantic underpinnings. Perhaps the passion and the struggle the characters wrestle with resonates with many. It isn't uncommon for anyone to want or be drawn to a person that may not be well suited for them, we've all been through this. I don't know if the film echoes the silent longings, or merely showcases what many carry within but never utter aloud.

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  17. I agree that it's about the boys and how they are more attainable in movies compared to real life, where the rich and popular guys go for the skinny, rich girls.

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  18. I've always loved books, movies and television shows that deal with the supernatural. I was naturally drawn to the Twilight series by the vamps and weres, however, I agree that the powerful themes were what ultimately made me a fan of the series.

    Great discussion and giveaway!
    xx,
    E.J.

    e.j.stevens.author[at]gmail[dot]com

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  19. I agree with Ms. Sinclair's take on Twilight. I am a stay at home mother of 2 and I spend most of my waking time taking care of everyone: the kids, the hubby, the dog, etc. I read to escape. Twilight was a great escape. Edward was an appealing character in the book because he was perfect, well except for the heart not beating thing. I just love strong male characters that "take care" of everything. And that's what Edward did. Would I want that in my life. Probably not, I am way too much of a control freak. But its fun to dream...

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  20. I didn't actually like twilight but read it after so many blogs I read raved about them (these blogs were written by grown women not YA)

    Although I didnt like them I can see why they are loved, I think its because of the romance plus all Bella really has to worry about is school and her relationship. Its a simpler time.

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  21. I think twilight is a great escape book. There is so much stress over things that need to be done in our real lives that it's nice to get lost in this romance book where the only worries are over if Bella will pick Edward or Jacob.

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  22. If you've always been a fan of the vampire and paranormal genre, Twilight will have its appeal as well. In my case, I got in the Twilight bandwagon to see what teens nowadays like.

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  23. I am a 42 year old mom of 3 young adults - two of whom are female. One loves the books and only the books in the Twilight series, and the other likes both the book series, and the movies thus far as well.

    Me? I am hooked. Unconditionally and Irrevocably HOOKED.

    Jo Lynne, I agree with you....yes the young men are hot, distractingly handsome...and dreamy ( I am Team Edward & like Robert Pattinson....but Team Taylor Lautner's abs!)

    What am I hooked on? Nope - not hormones. I am hooked on the epic love...the depiction of what love - to me truly should be - and what we should never settle for less than....

    Yes vampires are sexy, these characters are intense and interesting...but despite how impractical their sacrifices may be in our non-vampire laden lives - the essence of their love is spell binding!

    The fact that another equally adoring man, who can be amazing for you, is available to you, that you needntg change for him, and yet you follow your heart, stay true to the calling of your true soulmate....as Bella did...THAT is love. Edward's connection, self sacrifice, and inability to bear life without Bella even somewhere still breathing in the world....THAT is a man whose passion is fueled by his heart and not just other tantilizing aspects of him.

    Yes....I am a Twilight Mom & I'm proud!

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  24. Hey everyone, I wanted to pop in and say THANKS. First, thanks to Cheeky Reads for having me. And thanks also to the readers who read both posts and commented. Thanks so much for the luv.
    - Jo Lynne Valerie
    http://www.JoLynneValerie.com
    http://www.JoLynneValerie.blogspot.com
    ☽♥

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  25. I think its the HEA. Its what so many want. You meet your true love who will do anything for you and to keep you safe. You know you will be with him forever and that he truly cares for you and you alone. Its the sacrifice of his happiness for hers.

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  26. I think that women love the bad boy with a heart.

    hewella1@gmail.com

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