First of all, I would like to mention the reason I wanted to read them.
THEY ARE FAMOUS.
I’m a writer (surprises all round, eh?), I write YA, and let’s be honest, I wouldn’t mind being famous one day myself. But most importantly, it’s rather embarrassing to enter the world of querying and agents and publishing and one day have to mention the fact that I have no idea why Edward didn’t eat Bella or which side Snape is on (mind you, I still haven’t figured either out).
And I also wanted to know WHY they were famous.
Lucky for you, I will divulge my frabjous opinion on the matter. (Get some popcorn. Better yet, get me some popcorn.)
Before I do so, however, please, please note that I’m not comparing these books. I see Twilight getting a regular bashing almost everywhere I go on the internet. And (most commonly) I see The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter compared. I DON’T think they should be. (They’re not even in the same genre, people! It’s like comparing cake to sausages. Seriously now.)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Expectations: Kids book about a near-sighted boy who didn’t die
Reality: Entertaining read about friendship and bullying in a school that you can’t see if you’re a muggle (I do like that word, by the way…muggle. It’s fabulous to use.)
Expectations: Very despised book about a love-sick teen who lives in a rainy town and is infatuated with a vampire.
Reality: A book about a love-sick teen who lives in a rainy town and is infatuated with a vampire.
I honestly wanted to like both these books. Harry Potter obviously has a great legacy and is renowned as a book that helped many kids get into the habit of reading. I hate seeing a book bashed. Really, I do hate it. Books appeal to such a wide variety of tastes and if we don’t like a book, why do we feel the need to criticize and bash it at every opportunity? (“We” here is generalized. I don’t assume everyone does this.)
But I did struggle with Twilight.
I had problems with the book because it was badly written. It broke so many literary rules that’ve been drilled into my skull. And sometimes a conversation would go for pages and pages — round and round in circles. More then once I found myself thinking, “Why the heck are they still discussing this?” And then, of course, Bella is irreversibly (so she says) in love with Edward. You beauty. Good on you, darl. There’s just this tiny detail that you might have overlooked?
HE WANTS TO EAT YOU.
Okay, maybe Edward wants to eat Bella, but he also loves her (insert confusion from me of how love and hunger can be mixed up) and he is willing to do anything to keep her safe. That’s admirable.
Twilight may have failed in some areas of literary genius. But you know what? It became famous because people liked to read it (they were probably all 13-year-olds, but never mind). And that shouldn’t be slammed. I personally happen to dislike the book Matched (by Ally Condie). This book is loved by hundreds of people all over the world. It’s fairly famous. And it’s a trilogy! But, just because I think it’s a dry mess of frazzled words doesn’t mean the world must agree with me (I can’t force you to be right).
As for Harry Potter, typically the writing isn’t my style. I’m not a fan of the “classic” voice or the omnipresent approach. But I tried to hush my biases as I read. And I ended up enjoying myself! It’s well written, clean and fresh, and my editing mind didn’t go into freak-out mode as I perused through the few hundred pages. I thought a few aspects were cheesy (such as the ghosts; I just didn’t get them). I loved the characters and humour (cheering for the Weasley twins!!) But I never suspected the true villain!
My biggest disappointment with Harry Potter has to be the fact that I’d seen too many “spoilers”. But, honestly, the series is fairly old, ridiculously famous, and most people on pinterest pin quotes about this and that (I can’t believe all the people I know who die!). If I feel like joining the party 10 years late, I can’t sit around complaining how much of it is spoiled.
But I do wonder what I would have guessed about Voldemort and Snape and Harry himself if I hadn’t heard so many spoilers…
Yeah, so maybe it took me a long time, but I have finally read these famed novels. Yay. (clap for cait!)
You can check out my complete reviews on goodreads!