Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bullying in the Book World

10 Years ago, a legendary story was born.

Firstly, let me tell you that when it comes to either being a lover or a hater of the Twilight Saga, I'm an obsessor. I love it to the point that my heart literally aches when "Leave Out All The Rest" starts to play at the end of the movie. And don't even get me started on the feels that "A Thousand Years" incited. With that being said, it's hard to understand how someone couldn't like this series as much as I do (or at least a small fraction), but then I tell myself that there are also readers who don't like Harry Potter *gasp*, so I do understand that not everyone likes the same things and has their own opinion. However, the bashing of this series and the bullying of this author, no matter your opinion, has become ridiculous. Even if I wasn't a lover of Twilight, I wouldn't do or say some of the things that have been done and said by readers and fellow 'professionals' in the book world.

Everyone has heard and/or seen a negative post, joke, or comment related to Twilight. They are everywhere, which I'm sure Stephenie Meyer, who used to be very interactive with readers, appreciates. I know how just one 1-star review can hurt, so I feel for her when I see things like this all over social media, making fun of something she devoted so much hard work and time to; time away from her family, might I add. Why has everyone jumped on this bashing bandwagon over the years? In my opinion, I think it's jealousy over the success of this saga, or just immature readers 'expressing themselves' the only way they know how. However, I've also seen fellow authors make jokes and belittle this author's work... in their own books, no less. How professional is that?

I recently started reading a book about angels by an author who I (used to) enjoy reading, however, when she made it a point to bring up 'sparkly' vampires, making fun of them within a span of a couple of sentences on the very first page, which added nothing to the story, I was done. I exited the book, deleted it from my kindle, and quickly wrote this author off as one I don't want to read. Why? Because I will not support an author who belittles another's work, plain and simple. The sad part is that this isn't the first author I've seen do this. I don't know if they think rallying the Twilight haters will somehow build them up as an author or if they just don't care to be rude, but either way, I won't be a part of it. Hate Twilight? Write a professional review as to why and leave it at that. There's no reason why any author or their work should be treated with such disgrace as this.

Even though it was published in 2005, one of my very first vlog posts was about Twilight. I wish that more readers who love this story would speak out and blog, vlog, post, and comment their feelings, drowning out the negative with positive, fighting the bullying that has been widely accepted as okay. I honestly think many are afraid to admit they like Twilight, or even if they don't, are afraid to speak out against the bullying associated with it.
"Oh, you like Twilight? Ugh."... "But vampires aren't supposed to sparkle."..."She's a bad writer."..."I'll stick to books with real vampires in them." Really? The last I heard, vampires of any sort aren't real, and the fact that she made hers sparkle, in my opinion, is an original concept that makes them more beautiful and fantastical, which this story called for, than the common dark version. Yes, I love my "Lost Boys", but that's not the only version of vampires allowed in fiction and movies. And to say that she is a bad writer doesn't really ring true when you look at the accomplishments and awards she's won. Were all of those people, including The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and many other prominent voices in the book world, in fact, mistaken and delusional in regard to her talent? I don't think so. Just because you don't like her writing style, characters, or this story doesn't mean she's not a good writer; it simply makes it your opinion.

Aside from the bashing and juvenile jokes, Stephenie Meyer is still laughing all the way to the bank (with a reported net worth of $125 million in 2011), and admiring her many awards and accomplishments, however, it still makes me wonder if she feels, at times, that it's all worth it. I hope so. I hope she realizes that, aside from all the haters who feel a need to post their dislike in a publicly rude and immature manner, there will always be those of us who are thankful to have Twilight be forever a part of our lives. The fact that this saga has helped readers find their love for reading again should be a testament to this fact. I applaud Stephenie for giving us the great love story that is the Twilight Saga.

"Twilight was one of 2005's most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on New York Times bestseller list. Among its many accolades, Twilight was named an "ALA Top Ten Books for Young Adults," and Amazon.com "Best Book of the Decade...So Far", and a Publisher Weekly Best Book of the Year.
The highly-anticipated sequel, New Moon, was released in September 2006, and spent more than 25 weeks at the #1 position on The New York Times bestseller list."  -- StephenieMeyer.com
Aside from her bestselling works, The Twilight Saga and Host, Stephenie, along with her producing partner, Meghan Hibbett, has started her own independent production company called Fickle Fish Films. With her history of success, despite the critics, I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.