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Twilight took the book industry by storm when it was first released in 2005 by author Stephanie Meyer. Whispers of the "next Harry Potter" traveled lightly on the wind and into the hearing range of many. But Meyer's new series was in fact nothing like JK Rowling's international phenomenon, except for the fact that both involved the supernatural and quickly became bestsellers.
Since its debut, Twilight has experienced a flurry of both positive and negative reactions from readers as well as critics. The books are unquestionably aimed toward teenage girls, and have been extremely successful in gaining their readership. When Summit Entertainment picked up the books as a project, the frenzy of popularity grew, now including those who had not yet read the books.
Despite its incredible success, the series has also taken much criticism to do with subliminal messages within the text. Though many teens have read and love the series, some critics are concerned about what messages the books might be sending to today's teenage girls.
The main characther, Bella, is often a source of concern, as some see her devotion to Edward as dependence. There can be no question about her constant attachment to him, which sometimes borders on obsessiveness. She often finds herself in awe of Edward's "perfection," not truly believing that she is worthy of his love, and often doubting that he cares for her the same way. But, she's so infatuated with Edward that she's willing to settle for what she can get.
Bella's fragility is also often emphasized, since compared to vampires she is about as strong as a dollar-store toy. Edward is an honorable lead male, constantly fretting over her safety and treating her with respect. However, it is easy to see the two falling into traditional ideas of male and female roles.
Twilight provides an interesting read, that's for sure. But it's unclear whether the "messages" that can be found within the books were intended or just created by critics. However, it is clear that, despite the negative attention the books have recieved, they will continue to be immensely successful. As with Harry Potter, or any other bestselling Young Adult fiction book, they will have their devotees and their denouncees behind them the entire way.