I Suffer from OCD: Obsessive Cullen Disorder

Kim from Kim the Fan Girl wrote an excellent blog post recently on her love for all things Twilight: Fangirl Addiction: Twilight and I was inspired to write my own little piece. So here it goes….

The trailer for Breaking Dawn: Part Two, the final installment of the Twilight movie franchise looks awesome.  I got goose bumps watching it, largely because it marks the end of an era, for me at least, and I’m sure for thousands of other fans of the books.  I know a lot of people hate Twilight with a passion, but I’m not one of them.  Neither are my sisters or friends.  For us, Twilight has resulted in numerous bonding sessions including a trip to the cinema together each year followed by drinks and a debate, or having a Girls Night in watching the DVDs, and discussing any and every aspect of the series, both books and movies over a glass wine and friendly banter.

A bone of contention between us has been the question of why Edward fell so hard for Bella? One of us pointed out that if he had been able to read her mind, he probably wouldn’t have paid her any attention.  This proposition always ended in heated debate.  Fun times! :)  One of the funniest moments in our Twilight discussions took place in my sister, Lucy’s house. Another sister and I were visiting and talking about Bella’s pregnancy and the fact that’s she only eighteen. This got the attention of my brother-in-law who looked up from his iPhone (he loves a juicy bit of gossip). All excited, he said: “Oh my God, who’s Bella?”  When we told him she was a fictional character, he looked at us like we were nuts.

My favourite of the films. Love throwing this in the DVD player and having a Duvet Day.

But why did Twilight have such an impact on me?  2008 wasn’t the best year for me for both work and personal reasons. It was during that time I chanced upon a fan made trailer for Twilight on YouTube. Now this was way before the movie release, probably six months or so, and there were still no official trailers. I didn’t even know what Twilight was.  As far as I can remember, I was looking up Buffy fan videos on YouTube.  That 2 or 3 minute video piqued my interest and off I went Googling.  Within a couple of weeks I had read the first three books and devoured Breaking Dawn as soon as it was released. I was in love with Edward and with the rainy town of Forks and the rest of the Cullen family.  I told everyone who would listen about the books, describing the love story between a beautiful vampire and misfit teenager.  My friend ordered the series for the bookshop where she works and they were huge sellers, of course.  My sister, Lucy caved in and read Twilight just to get me to stop talking about it, and when I asked her what she thought, she said: “what a love story.”

Didn’t like this, at all. Almost fell asleep in the cinema.

I knew the writing wasn’t particularly amazing and that L.J. Smith had written stories about vampires and humans falling in love a decade before.  Hell, even Buffy and Angel took a stab at the human-vampire dating thing.  So, what was it about Twilight that struck a chord with me and so many others? I’m still trying to figure that out.  The mixture of paranormal and normal human problems, and the depiction of life in Forks with all its greenery, beaches and non stop rain (I adore rain), all probably contributed.  When it came down to it, Twilight was a comfort read. It made me feel 16 again when life was full of so many possibilities.  Sure Bella was annoying and dependent, but like so many other readers, I just put myself in her place and lived the story of Twilight as though I were the object of Edward’s affections and invited to join the fantastic Cullen clan :)  Apart from Edward, it was interesting to learn about the rest of the family: how Rosalie suffered a brutal attack before she was turned, Esme’s suicidal plunge into eternal life, Carlisle’s introduction to the vampire realm hundreds of years ago, Jasper’s life in the civil war and so on.

Loved it. Darker than the rest.

So, tell me, do you love or loathe Twilight?  Will you be going to see Breaking Dawn?

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About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
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30 Responses to I Suffer from OCD: Obsessive Cullen Disorder

  1. True confession time: I’ve not read the books or watched the movies. I think Bella would drive me freaking nuts, so I’ve avoided anything having to do with her. I am curious, so someday I might be bored enough to catch the movie on netflix. No promises, though! For me, the heroine needs to be strong and pretty much kickass so when my daughter warned me off the books (she read them all when they came out), I heeded her advice. Still, I’m a sucker for pop culture so like I said, someday… maybe… ;)

    • Emma says:

      How have you managed to avoid this, Tameri? Bella does drive me nuts at times and I wanted to shout at her to cop herself on. Actually I did shout at the books on a few occasions :) I like kickass, female characters too, but young girls aren’t like that all the time in real life, and in that respect, Bella was more like a real teenage girl to me, than many fictional heroines. If you do watch Twilight, don’t expect much from it. I remember seeing it with a bunch of friends and two of them hadn’t read the book and were pretty much lost. If you do ever give the books a try, let me know how badly you wanted to kill Bella please. :)

  2. Great post!! And thanks for the mention, Emma! :)

  3. Christie says:

    I’m a huge fan of Twilight. It’s what got me reading again, and I will be forever grateful. The fantastic thing about this story is that it doesn’t matter if you like Bella, it doesn’t matter that the writing is so, so. What matters is that somehow Stephanie Meyer wrote books that pulls the reader into the story.

    Bella had insecurities, and don’t we all? I think in many ways she is more real than other storybook characters, and that is what readers connect with. A strong heroine is nice, and I think in the end Bella did become strong. I for one found it refreshing to have a character riddled with real teenage angst. Edward’s affections might not have been so startling had Bella been a stronger lead. And I dare say, it wouldn’t have been as safe of a place to sink into had Bella been Buffy.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Christie. Twilight got so many people reading again, and reading for the first time. My youngest sister picked up Twilight and she never read a book unless it was required for school.
      Bella is very self-conscious and lacking in self-esteem but lots of girls are, especially at that age. I myself was a shy, awkward thing in school, so maybe I related to Bella in that
      way. Twilight would have been a completely different story with someone like Buffy in
      the driving seat, but I like it just the way it is.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I loved the books and the movies. However, Bella’s character isn’t really the healthiest thing for teenage girls to emulate. Honestly, I feel like Twilight was more appropriate for adults who aren’t so easily swayed by what we see on the screen. I thought Edward was too bossy with her and made all the decisions. But Jacob…now that’s another matter. I thought he loved Bella for who she was and would in no way try to change her. And he was so HOT. (I’m really trying not to be a “dirty old lady” here, but….) I sort of see why Edward had to be the one she chose because of the way the rest of the story went, but it was Jacob all the way for me. I do agree that the Cullen family was pretty interesting for the reasons you mentioned. Above all, the movies and books were entertaining, and that’s the main criteria for me. Yeah, there are a lot of things about them that might make some people scream in annoyance, but I had fun with the series. So, yeah, I guess I’m a Twilight fan.

    • Emma says:

      I hope teenage girls don’t look up to Bella as a role model. She’s too dependent on Edward. I remember being so frustrated with her at the start of New Moon, when she retreats inside herself after Edward leaves her. She should have had a week of moping and feeling sorry for herself like most of do when we’ve had our heart broken, and then picked herself up and gotten on with life.
      So many of my friends adore Jacob but it was always Edward who held me in thrall. Don’t worry about being a dirty, old lady, Lauralynn. We were all the same in the cinema, swooning over Taylor Lautner who was about 17!

  5. I LOVE the Twilight series, and to be honest, I really could not have said my reasons for loving it better than what you have already listed. I too love rain, and so the despiction of Forks was enthralling to me, and I did not know until AFTER Twilight, about L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries and that particular vamp/human love triangle….so this concept was unique and fresh to me then.
    So there are many reasons I loved the story, it reminded me of my own first love and such which I felt at the time(when I was younger) probably seemed to be as potent as the Bella/Edward saga:) (To me at least!)…But it wasn’t until your post that I see other benefits came from the saga. My daughter and I became closer, she started out as an 11year old when the series begun, and she is now fourteen; and I can recall the movie marathons(we have all the movies),discussing the books, we both have read multiple times, the staying up late at the local department store waiting in line at midnight for the release of the movies…all so cool, and priceless experiences…so there so much I can be thankful for from that experience….

  6. beckyday6 says:

    Do I love or loathe Twilight? My answer; both. I started off loving them, they were the perfect source of conversation for me and my tweenager friends at the time, we bonded over them, discussing whether our crushes were more Edward or Jacob etc and like you, it’s become a tradition that I always go and see it with my friend at the cinema. Edward was the perfect guy we were all dreaming about.
    But as the hype escilated I went off them, people’s obsession with talking about them started irritating me. Then the films came out and I thought they were pretty rubbish (although I still fangirled like a crazy person) but then I reread the books and (twilight was the first paranormal romance I had ever read) found them really irritating. But again I loved Breaking Dawn p1 when I saw it. So both….haaha. I still can’t figure out where I stand with them! :)

    • Emma says:

      Hi Becky,
      The films are nowhere near as good as the books, but that’s often the way. Maybe you just need a bit of a break from it all at the moment. Read Twilight just before Breaking Dawn, Part Two comes out and it might reawaken your love for the series. You were a teenager when the books came out, so you must have had a different experience to the rest of us old fogies here :)

  7. ljmc83 says:

    Dia dhaoibh go léir mo chairde,
    U know my take on Bella, I thought she was a moany cow who used Jacob and made a fool out of him, as she knew how he felt for her and took advantage of that in her time of need Eg. New Moon! But having seen Eclipse and Breaking Dawn 1, I think Jacob should just get over it and cop himself on!! His destiny is a bit too convenient however methinks!!
    I’m beginning to like Bella, never thought I’d say that. Edward, yes he’s fab and yummy etc, but I think he is getting a bit moany too. So all in all, they make a great couple!! :D
    Sin é, Slán! :D X

    • Emma says:

      Hey Laura, not going to attempt to write in Irish :)
      Laughing very loudly now “moany cow”. You sound so Cork, I love it! I know Bella used Jacob, but she told him over and over that she would always love Edward first, and not him and he kept going back to her for more pain. So perhaps he’s just as a bad as her. I agree with his convenient destiny, which is also kind of gross.
      I’m shocked that you’re beginning to like Bella? All those trips to the cinema, I really thought you wanted to murder her!
      Slán!

  8. Babe I am so going to he at the midnight session. We have a group of 15 or so go to every midnight show, we have matching shirts, outfits and we are hanging to go and see it. Omg babe twilight brought me back into reading again and my friends. For that I will always be a twilight fan

    Count down to November 16… I get to see it first being in Australia. Yay! Sorry, but YAY!!!!!!

    • Emma says:

      The midnight session sounds really cool. Sounds like you guys go all out for Twilight, Melissa. I’m impressed! Why do Aussies get to see it first? Not fair :( Only joking, enjoy x

  9. Shannon says:

    I love the Twilight series, too, and it’s the intense, consuming true love thing. I don’t find Bella as annoying as everyone else seems to. I love kick-ass chicks, but I relate to Bella, because I was an insecure, awkward teenager. So the thought that a totally dreamy boy would fall in love with a girl like that is totally appealing. Bella pretty much always sticks to what she wants and gets her way in the end. Her reaction to Edward’s departure in New Moon (oh, I was angry at Edward forever, I was not back on board with him until Breaking Dawn) was very real to me. I don’t think someone loses the love of their life and just picks up and moves on so easily.

    Great post, Emma!

    • Emma says:

      I agree with your true love statement. I will always love the Twilight series. I’m looking forward to reading the books again, and Midnight Sun in time for the release of Breaking Dawn. You hit the nail on the head there, Shannon. We all want a dreamy guy to fall head over heels in love with us, and that’s why so many of us fell hard for Twilight.
      I was totally pissed off with Edward with they way he left Bella in New Moon and how he removed his photograph and didn’t even allow Alice to say goodbye. Jerk! Which just goes to show, that you can be an intelligent, 100 year old hot vampire and still have no better cop on than an average, human male :)

  10. Lindsay says:

    I think this may be one of the most clear pro-Twilight arguments I’ve ever read. I am not a huge fan. I’ve always loved vampires but I felt like the combination between Stephenie Meyer’s terrible writing skills and a main character that is literally a blank slate for girls to project their own characteristics on was enough for me to loathe this series. Yet, and there is always a yet, I have read them all and seen every movie in theatres (by myself, my friends wont get behind this). I like to describe my relationship with Twilight as “complicated”. I hate it, I know there are better vampire stories out there (also a big Buffy fan) but there’s something about it that makes me unable to turn away.

    • Emma says:

      Thanks, Lindsay. Twilight really seems to divide people. It’s either you love it or hate it; there’s no in between. I hope you can convince your pals to go see the last movie. You can all celebrate it being over :)

  11. Debra Kristi says:

    I didn’t know what Twilight was until I saw it all over Comic Con the year before the movie came out. My girlfriend kept telling me to read the book. I finally did the couple of days before the movie came out. I still don’t understand the people who were drawn to read the book after seeing the movie. The first movie was rubbish. I, too, was drawn to the books for some reason. It may have been Bella’s insecurities and the knowledge that so many girls deal with such thoughts regularly. But that didn’t stop me from being irritated by Bella or from seeing Edward’s controlling and stalking ways. I also found Jacob too hot headed.

    This was a great argument you have made. I am intrigued with the idea that it was Bella’s silence that drew Edward in. It could very well be so.

    • Emma says:

      I can see that Edward is controlling and I did feel that Bella should have stood up to him more, especially that scene where she gets into her car to go see Jacob and Edward has done something to the engine to prevent her from leaving. She then marched away from him mad and slammed her bedroom window to tell him it wasn’t okay for him to behave like that, yet then she went and opened it again, inviting him in and basically saying all is forgiven. That is the one scene that really bugged me.
      Thanks for stopping by, Debra.

      • Debra Kristi says:

        Right from the beginning it was all wrong when she was okay with the fact that he’d been sneaking into her room at night to watch her sleep. That wasn’t right. And yet, I prefer Edward over Jacob. Go figure.

  12. Yes, I will definitely be watching. I don’t love every aspect of the story but it sucked me in anyway. LOL. I’m also not a fan of the sparkly vampire. Good vampires, hot vampires even broody vampires. But why do they have to sparkle? And I don’t even know why that annoys me. Still, I read all the books, enjoyed them and watch the movies. *shrug*

    • Emma says:

      I’m not a fan of them being sparkly either. Every time I read that part I think of Anne Rice’s quote: “Lestat and Louie feel sorry for vampires that sparkle.” Ha ha.

  13. Enjoyed your analysis and discussion. Nice read

  14. Derek Flynn says:

    I’ve never read the books or seen the movies, Emma, but I don’t reckon I’m the demographic they’re aimed at! ;) Also, I do tend to like my vampires with a bit more bite (if you’ll pardon the awful pun.) Having said all that, I think it’s wonderful when a book or a series of books grabs your attention so much and pulls you into its world, whether it’s Twilight, Harry Potter or Charles Dickens. Especially if – as I presume is the case with you – it inspires you to write your own stories.

    • Emma says:

      They’re not aimed at guys at all, or grown ups really, but what can I say? I’m still a teenage girl at heart. I like vamps with bite too.

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