Monday, September 1, 2008

Why Can't People Just Let Fiction Be?

Reading used to be an every day event for me, always searching for the next story that I just couldn't put down. After college though my time for recreational reading seemed to dwindle as there was always something else needing to be done. The last series of books that I started and finished was the Harry Potter series, usually the newest book being delivered on the release day and me not emerging from my room until I was finished reading it in the entirety that night. Fiction has always been my favorite, as I've always had a very active imagination that I like to feed.

Just this morning, I finished the fourth and final book in the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. It's popularity has picked up over the past year, the fourth book came out a few months ago and the movie based on the first book, Twilight, will be out in November. I bought the first book to read on the plane rides to and from Vegas, and was not able to really set it aside until it was finished. The evening we got back, I bought the second book, ordered the fourth from Amazon, and was back to Target two days later to buy the third. My mind has been wrapped around Bella Swan and Edward Cullen for over a week now, and I really can't say that I would have had it any other way.

A co worker of mine had mentioned to me last week that she was disappointed in the fourth book. And that quite a lot of people that had written reviews on and websites of the same caliber with the same opinion. After finishing what I thought was an amazing series, and book by itself, I decided to take a gander at what the naysayers were sharing. And of course, was shocked.

Fiction is fiction in my opinion. Stephanie Meyer wrote the first book of the series based on a dream she had one night. She took the pretense of the conversation the two people in her dream were having and wove an intricate tale that has allowed so many to immerse themselves in the fairy tale world that took place in a small town in Washington state. Yet a lot of readers have taken from it so much more. Drawing conclusions of what morals, or lack thereof, the author speaks of, what ideals she is supposedly supporting through the characters actions in the last book. It's a work of fiction folks, a fairy tale, people that don't exist and a story that all came from a dream. The great thing about fiction is that it's not real- it doesn't have to follow what rules the general public or even the author would follow in their every day lives. It's not written as a self help book or a guide for young readers to take to heart in influencing the decisions they make as they begin their adult lives. It's simply a fun way to let your imagination have it's way and spend a few moments outside of the real world to get away from it all. Let you curl up and imagine all the fantasy "what ifs" that you used to when you were young and got a thrill out of watching Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella and every other fictional fairy tale that was out there. All the movies that were ever made about unrequited love and the girl or guy always ending up with the one they pined over. Overcoming all obstacles to get what they wanted. I just don't know how else to say it. Just like with the uproar over the Harry Potter series, your child will not rebuke God and be destined for hell just because he or she reads a series about witches and wizards. Who, mind you, are usually moral and always trying to do the right thing. Sheesh.

The one thing I do know is that I won't let my imaginative high be destroyed by anyone who can't seem to just enjoy a simple tale. A story with no moral, no fable with a lesson at the end. Just a pure, entertaining, absolutely well written tale that I'll re-read for years and years to come.

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