Today I read a blog post on BookRiot that was a response to a Jezebel piece about the gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair because Stephenie Meyer dares to produce a movie about a beloved book. In all honesty, I am not familiar with this book or its author. Apparently, the novel was a GREAT BIG DEAL to the writer of the post. He basically tears Ms. Meyer a new one…how DARE she ruin the movie/the book/his memories (even though it hasn’t been filmed yet)?
I apologize to BookRiot, but I ended up writing a rather long response. I don’t intend to sound humorless and kinda like that guy who wrote a post about how offended he was by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s Word Crimes, but seriously, enough is enough. Read the posts and their comments, then let me know what you think about it all.
Here’s what I said:
Boy, people really hate her, don’t they? It’s not a “that book wasn’t for me;” it’s pure hatred. Hello? The story of Bella is different than the story of Katniss. They aren’t the same person, much like MOST PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD. Nowhere does it say that you have to like EVERYTHING. And, while most females would love to think that they could be strong and awesome like Katniss, most likely, many would end up looking more like Katniss’ mom.
I think the reason Stephenie Meyer gets dismissed and mocked has more to do with the movies than the books. The books did incredibly well on their own, but the movies put them in a different stratosphere. The subject matter probably wasn’t interesting to a vast majority of readers, let’s be honest. The movies only brought that to the forefront and opened them up for a lot of condescending opinion, due to the fervor of fans, the crossover appeal to adults (gosh, isn’t that weird?) and the public over-zealous interest in the private lives of its stars.
If read purely, meaning without prior judgment, comparisons and the like, it is an intriguing premise. Believe me, there are many, many, many YA books where the reader is supposed to understand that it’s REAL LOVE, not creepiness. Maybe drawing it out to 4 books was a mistake (and the second half of the ‘Breaking Dawn’ movie seemed like it was filmed for a completely different series). The only reason people talk about her more than any other author is because they resent the sheer number of dollars she made on something they see as unworthy. Michael Bey movies apparently don’t fall into the same category.
Maybe since I’ve read about 200 books since I read ‘Twilight,’ I may need to read it again to make sure I still agree with my opinion from that reading, but I think Ms. Meyer’s writing is very well done. I think people dismiss her because they don’t like the subject matter/movies, they are agreeing with the masses or they think it’s stupid (even though they’ve never themselves read it). And as for her foray into producing movies, I say FUCK YEAH. It seems a little Mean Girls for some to act like her time is over or something. I am incredibly grateful that she is trying to promote books, especially women-authored ones, with her gazillion dollars. I think it is amazing, since she could have just taken her millions and gone home and rolled around in it. Before you moan about ‘Austenland,’ from what I read, Shannon Hale is one of her very good friends. Hooray to friend support. I thought it was mediocre at best, but I would watch it a thousand times if it meant that film-worthy books would be brought to the theater. And Ms. Meyer will never be the only producer in the history of movies to not produce a movie from a book JUST RIGHT.
Did we not learn anything from ‘High School Musical?’
While I think it short-sighted, rude, wrong and crappy for women to undermine other women and make stupid comments that they would never say about a man, women SHOULD be able to criticize and point out issues that involve women. Jezebel annoys me as much as it can be thought-provoking; this time, they are incredibly off-base. Maybe they should change their name to ReginaGeorgibel. There was nothing in that article except a lot of Me-YOW. And this article was written by a male.
And that comment about JK Rowling? Why is there no out-and-out demand for all of the James Patterson co-authored series to stop? I say write ’til you can no longer hold a pen, push a key or allow editing. The book world, as with the universe, is always expanding. It can hold all the books.
Now I don’t think Stephenie Meyer is the Shakespeare of our day (and I certainly am not either), but I do think she gets an inordinate and over-the-top amount of criticism for her contributions to the Young Adult genre. It was my reading of Twilight and Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones that drew me back into reading YA (and starting this blog). So I will be always grateful to her for that.
And a private note to Ms. Meyer and her production crew at Fickle Fish Films: I am happy to be hired to read YA books and make suggestions as to good ones to produce. Just so you know I’m good at it, here’s a sample list from recent books read:
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
- Every Day by David Levithan
- The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
- Just One Day by Gayle Forman
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
- Fangirl by Angel Lawson
- Splintered by A.G. Howard
What are your ideas for (any genre) books that should be turned into movies?