Mixed Feelings

I read Twilight at some point in my life, some low-ish point. The concept of the series sits just on the border of fantasy and realistic fiction, and that seems to me to be Stephanie Harris’ biggest accomplishment. You have Bella, the character in reality, and Edward, the character in fantasy. The two merge and get tangled so that you eventually can’t easily distinguish between the two. In retrospect, I think that is what pulled me into the novel, and the love story kept me going through the series. My young self wanted to know if happily-ever-after would come to be, and the romance was really tumultuous and hard to gauge.

I also hate[d] Twilight. (*Note: Bella keeps her mouth slightly open in all of the movies and I wanted to smack her on the head when I saw them). The prose itself is pretty bad, kind of careless. And the book puts on a feminist mask, but deep down it perpetuates heteropatriarchal norms: the strong man as the protector of the weak woman, the woman pursuing a violent man (illusion to domestic violence), etc. If you dig deep into post-colonialism and feminism, vampires can be ascribed specific meanings (i.e. conquerers, etc.). But that’s for another time.

The point is, I liked Twilight when I was reading it, and I’d probably still like some aspects of it if I read it now. But I also don’t like it (at least in retrospect) for many reasons as well, and the list of those reasons continues to grow and war with my Twilight-reading past.

Mixed Feelings: Max Rysztak


Having never been a fan of English classes in high school, I felt undecided on my opinions of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. As we intensely read and analyzed the book over the course of a few weeks, I realized that while I respected Harper Lee as an author, I – at the same time – both loved and hated the actual story. Parts of the novel simply were the worst thing I ever read. Other sections, were so entertaining I felt obligated to read past the required minimum. I think for me, Lee tries to throw too many themes into a single book. While it may be based on reality, and while all the themes are equally critical to a strong society, I vividly remember feeling like this book was “too much” as every now and then I’d roll my eyes. It’s story was incredibly interesting – but its deeper message felt (to me) too complicated to be meaningful. I think it was deterministic – I liked a lot of the story, but different aspects of the story had different (and too many, in my opinion, themes).