Elder has been bothering Bear and me to be able to read a book called, wait for it... "Twilight" Bear and I told her she could, though neither of us had read it, but her friends were. In any case she read almost half of it in 1 day (500 pages +- 10) I asked her what it was about and she said, that it's about a girl who is in love with a vampire and he can't resist wanting her blood.
Now I love vampire novels ( I read many of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles: I stopped after Body Snatcher, but that is another post.) Anywhoo, back to this. My main concern is that Vampires are very .. you know.... sensually if not outright sexually charged creatures of dark myth. And since Elder is 13 and the heroine of the story is 17 and the dark hero/villain is well old enough to be her great great great grandfather, I told her to hold off continuing finishing the novel, until it was vetted by me.
I started reading it and in less than the first chapter, I was bored. The author's style is slow. But anyway, I digress. I am still reading and I won't make any final decisions about letting Elder finish the novel (she wants to read all four novels in the series)- but honestly, it reads alot like Wuthering Heights. Meyers alludes to WH in the novel, and that is when I put the basic premise together- also kind of explained the boredom- I digress. So far my judgement is that IF I let her continue to finish the novel, she has to read Wuthering Heights- She has agreed. There seems to be great debate in which I cannot partake, until I am finished, regarding Edward vs Jacob [Basically it amounts to Vampire vs Werewolf] It might be interesting debate to have with Elder, I just think she may be to young to appreciate and evaluate such a debate and therefore may be too young for the novel.---- But the jury is still out.
Side note: At school, they have scheduled guidance periods, and in guidance Elder mentioned that sometimes she prefers to read and get INTO a novel she is reading instead of playing with other kids. Elder can be a loner at times. The leader asked what she was reading, to which Elder responded that she had been reading Twilight until her 'rents told her they needed to check it out. The Leader told her to tell me that it's ok to let her read it because Scholastic sells it, which Elder proceeded to tell me, and I answered: Tell this person (read "twit") 'Just because Scholastic sells it doesn't mean it's proper reading material: after all it sold an albeit watered down version of The Golden Compass, but that still lead many parents to letting their children read the unabridged version of a novel written by an atheist who has publicly stated that his intention is to destroy faith and belief in GOD.
This leads to to another beef: I being given advice via my kid. Whatever happened to supporting and backing up the 'rents? Has the Leader even read the series: It's a love triangle between a girl, a vampire and a werewolf with the latter two fighting over the first. What kind of 'rent doesn't take that kind of subject matter seriously- The whole Vampire/ werewolf not withstanding - It's two guys in "love" with 1 girl - that alone may make it inappropriate for 13 year olds to evaluate.
In the Public Library it is listed as Young Adult : for 9 year olds and older. 9 year olds are in no way adults - young or otherwise. Public classifications may help parents make up their minds, but it doesn't absolve us from doing our jobs.
I am rambling - 4 hours of reading has done this to me. Apologies one and all, back to the main gist of this post- if it ever had one: Where I am in deciding whether a 13 year old is old enough for this book and so far, my interim conclusin is:
the only harm this book may do is bore the reader to tears. I may end up NOT prohibiting it for elder, but I may not recommend it either.