here's a review from a mega conservative catholic blog (we're talking birth control conspiracy theories, etc) about it. an excerpt:
Secondly, the supposed “love” relationship DECIDEDLY UNHEALTHY. And, I don’t just mean that because Edward is, well, a vampire. If he were simply a normal guy, this would be a very unhealthy relationship for Bella to be in. I really don’t get why teen girls (and their moms) are so eager to have Bella end up with Edward. Let’s look at the ways he’s bad for her:
-Edward spies on Bella. All.The.Time. While she’s sleeping, he sits next to her in her room — and she doesn’t even know it.
-Edward would like to read Bella’s mind, but he can’t. Bummer. So, he does the next best thing. He reads the minds of her friends. He’s got to know All.The.Time. what Bella’s saying and planning. He intrudes, not only on her privacy, but on that of her friends.
-In short, Edward is a control-freak.
and here's some of what a feminist blogger has to say (it's great and thorough; you should read all 7 points on her list):
Reason 4- Edward frequently dictates whom Bella may be friends with and encourages his family to spy on her and prevent her from disobeying his wishes.
Has anyone else ever read those terribly disheartening stories about girls with abusive boyfriends printed in every teen magazine ever created? They like to include lists of signs of potential abusive boyfriends to make sure we prevent these things.
One of the first things on the list? He tries to control every aspect of your life, including with whom you can be friends and with whom you can hang out.
these are just a couple of examples, but with some really simple google detective work you can find tons of scathing twilight reviews to read at your leisure. and i have. i was so disgusted with what i heard and read that i never got around to actually reading the books for myself.
recently, though, i decided that if i ever wanted to effectively argue WHY i hate these books, why i think they're so unhealthy for young women to be obsessed with, and why everyone else, even at fantasy/sci fi nerd conventions, avoids/scoffs at twilight fans like they're the plague, i would have to pick up the primary texts. so a couple of weeks ago, i picked the first book up at the library.
it's been a quick read so far; i'm a little more than halfway through it. i've been casually looking for red flags and i've already noticed more than i could keep count of, many of which are already catalogued in the abovementioned reviews. it honestly makes me sick to think that young women are reading this and thinking it's romantic and wonderful and magical and a model for relationships, even if subconsciously. shame on stephenie meyer for acting like this is a feminist book in interviews! "ohhhh, bella has CHOICES. it's totes feminist." okay, dude, if you say so.
the reason i'm talking about this is that i'm taking a class about rhetoric right now, and for my project i'm going to talk about the kind of rhetoric meyer uses in these books to normalize/perpetuate misogyny, sexism, abusive relationships, etc. i realize that tons of romance novels and what not have been heralding these ideals for years and years (and that in itself is an important issue), but the dangerous difference here to me is that these books are targeted at pre-teen women, and that they are so insanely successful to the point of obsession.
it's such a bummer, because YA novels have the potential to be amazingly engaging and complex, and still wildly sucessful (i.e. harry potter), and i can see the potential in the bare bones of the twilight series. meyer could have gone SO MANY other awesome ways with these books, but she didn't. now she has a bazillion spacebucks to donate to the sketchy mormon church, and we have a bazillion young women to deprogram. thx, jerk.