Well, this should be fun.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (this image was intentionally chosen over the actual cover)
Let me first state that I actually still like the Twilight series. It's basically my secret shame at this point, but there you have it. I don't really feel like I'm allowed to openly like it anymore, though. It seems like the uncool thing to do. While I agree with so many arguments against this book (Bella is a terrible role model, the writing isn't great, Edward Cullen is a creepy stalker, Jacob Black's wig was atrocious), I cannot not like Twilight. And here's why:
If it weren't for Twilight, I would not be reading any of the amazing books I've had the pleasure of reading these past few years.
When I first began these books, I was right in the middle of my Harry Potter readathons. I didn't read anything else but that. My (almost!) sister-in-law lent me the books, and I tore through them in a matter of days. But something about the first book always stuck with me. Reading it was like an awakening that I didn't know I needed. There's a much longer version of this story that I won't really go into fully, but the gist is that becoming an adult is hard, and it's been hard on me personally because I tend to live inside my head a lot and internalize things too much and make myself batty-bat crazy. I don't feel that a ton of people truly understand me, and I'm kind of weird, and it makes me withdraw and become a person that I don't always recognize. So, while I was reading Twilight for the first time, I was reminded of my teenage self. A girl who wore her weirdness proudly, who flaunted it out into the world much like those purple polyester pants she loved so much. A girl who didn't really care whether people thought she was being odd or awkward or anything else besides herself, because to that girl, nothing was more honest than being yourself. I came to realize that I really, really missed that girl. And I didn't know why I felt I needed to change. I'm me; deal with it.
AND THEN, the movies happened. One fell swoop and a spider monkey later, Twilight went from being my blessed awakening to the eternal YA whipping boy. Now that I'm much deeper into the YA world, I've found tons and tons of books that exceed how I felt about Twilight and that completely support my opinion that there's nothing more bad-ass than being yourself, but I still feel a bit of sadness when I think about what happened to this series. Oh, Dead Diggory. Oh, Kristen Stewart's One Expression. Oh, Jasper's Phil Spector hair. How you've broken my sweet sweet heart.
(That broken heart didn't stop me from buying all the movies on DVD, though! What has two thumbs, a funny voice, and loves cheesy awful movies? Jessica BS! Thank you, Dr. Kelso.)