Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Twilight Effect


At the beginning of the Unbidden Magic Series, Allie Emerson is fifteen. In book five, Midnight Moon, Allie is seventeen. In the first book, Moonstone, she acquires her first sort of boyfriend, Junior Martinez. Nothing heavy. A few chaste kisses. In the second book, Moon Rise, Junior is among the missing. Allie is still fifteen and suffering from paralyzing guilt because she had to kill a bad guy in the first book. Her healer is a hot, half-demon teenager named Beck Bradford. Beck definitely wants more than a few chaste kisses. Allie does not. However they transition into a couple. In book three, Moon Spun, sixteen-year-old Allie is disgusted with the entire male gender, more specifically, Junior and Beck. Enter Ryker Matheson, bad boy biker/ faery prince. Let me make this perfectly clear. Allie does not consider Ryker to be boyfriend material even though he insists she is to become his bride in Boundless, aka faeryland. She is put into a position where she has to trust Ryker, but considers him a friend, not boyfriend material.

Allow me to share some of the comments made by reviewers regarding Allie’s alliances. Bear in mind, we are talking about a teenage girl.

“My first thought on this novel is that Allie must have pheromones that smell like Godiva chocolate to boys. Brothers could be a billionaire if she bottled it up and sold it as perfume.”

“I didn't like that Allie was with a different guy in this book.”

“Another boyfriend? Oh, please! Is Allie turning into a skank?”

"With a third love interest, Allie looks like a boy hopper."

Okay, call me crazy, but I blame it on Bella and Edward. It’s the Twilight Effect. From the moment Bella first caught sight of Edward’s marble brow, it was true love. Forever love. Vampire-wedding-in-the-rain-forest-love. Consequently, we now have a bajillion readers of young adult fantasy who think teenage girl protagonists are supposed to fall in forever love with the first boy they meet and never look back.

My turn to say, “Oh, please!” Have teenage girls changed that much since I was fifteen? I don’t think so. I tried to portray Allie as a typical teen with typical teenage angst even though her situation is far from normal.

 After spending many years as a high school teacher and counselor, it’s been my observation that most teenage girls change boyfriends regularly. There’s always the exception, of course, but if we’re going to keep it real, most girls aren’t labeled “skanks” if they don’t pick one guy and stay with him until they both qualify for Medicare. So, let’s give Allie a break and let her grow up before she picks a mate for life.

1 comment:

  1. I laughed so much - Brothers could be a billionaire if she bottled it all up. I'll buy it! I agree, Twilight has a lot to answer for - including Fifty Shades of whatever it is *falls flat on the floor*. Great post, Marilee!