Okay, I'm going to say this once, and then WE WILL NEVER. SPEAK. OF. IT. AGAIN. *glares around* I mean it.
I may have been wrong about the Twilight series, before, when I said it was the worst thing ever written in the history of ever.
I had to buy the entire series in hardcover for my sister for Christmas/birthday (she was born on the 29th, so I try to do presents that go together...), and I got them all so early that I, uh, read them. I just finished the fourth one, Breaking Dawn, today.
Now, don't get me wrong. I still don't find them particularly well written, the plots are...meh. I've seen them all done before, in varying forms, and done better. They *are* written for teenagers, and it shows. (And, it actually hurts my brain that this is the level of reading that young teenagers are at. When I was a preteen/teen I was reading Dostoevsky, Twain, Austen, the Bronte sisters, Alighieri, Shakespeare! Okay, I also read teenybopper stuff, but I at least had a rounded taste set!)
So, having finished the whole series, it *does* get better than the first book. Bella is still a freaking moron, and annoys the ever living crap out of me 90% of the time with all her, 'oh, I'm so worthless! He's so much better than me! I don't deserve him! Wah! Wah! Wah! Oh no, I did something dumb! Edward! Jacob! Come save meeeeeeeeeee!' :p I prefer my women with, oh, I don't know, a brain and a spine. Also a personality that doesn't remind one of a doormat. All that being said, I retract my whole, Edward is a creepy stalker and controlling bit. He's not. Really, you kind of realize that, if Edward *wasn't* watching out for Bella, she's wind up walking in front of a car. She's that dumb.
Here're two things that, for me, make the series worth having read it:
Be warned: Spoilers! If you haven't read the books, and don't want to know what happens, go away. I don't give away everything, but I do give away two things from the last book.
I mean it. If you read this, it's on your own head!
Thing the first: A proper understanding and respect for the sanctity of sex. Edward insists on marrying Bella before making her a vampire, and he insists that they wait until after they're married to have sex.
"How did people do this - swallow all their fears and trust someone so implicitly with every imperfection and fear they had - with less than the absolute commitment Edward had given me?"
Seriously, that was the line I read, and I thought, 'Huh. Well, this whole series was worth it.' The author, and therefore the characters, treat sex as something special and sacred, as it should be. To be shared only between husband and wife.
Thing the second: Bella refuses to abort her baby. Her baby who is, in fact, killing her slowly, and painfully. Edward, who didn't realize he could get her pregnant (what with being a vampire and kind of dead and all...), wants to remove the fetus, and almost everyone else agrees with him, but Bella *knows* her child, and refuses, and enlists the help of the only other vampire who understands, and would be willing to help her. She fights for the life inside her, even to the point of risking her own life, because there's no guarantee she'll survive long enough to be turned into a vampire after giving birth.
That's it. Really. Those two things made the approximately 1700 pages of this series worth it for me.
Oh! PS: I had read people complaining about the 'damage' that Edward does to Bella when the have sex. Um...clearly, you people did not *read* the books. Does Edward bruise Bella? Yes. Is it a lot of bruising? Yeah. But, uh, that does happen, even in normal human sex (Not, it must be said, to the extent that Bella gets bruised. It's really a lot. But...*vampire*. Edward *was* holding back. A lot.). And if you've *never* gotten up after sex and found a new and interesting bruise, then you've been doing something wrong. All the damage people were blaming Edward for? Happened because of the Loch Ness Baby. Which makes sense, given the set up of the author. Was it bad? Oh, yeah. But Edward didn't do it, and the baby wasn't doing it to be evil, it was just...a half-vampire, rapidly growing baby in a human womb!
So. It's been said. We need never speak of this again.