I have a confession to make. I read the Twilight series and actually found it to be brain candy, and albeit it was the kind that is mostly bad for you, it was still brain candy.
I picked up the first book because it was cheap and I was in sort of a reading rut and needed some oil for the old engine before I embarked on more legit reading material. I didn't plan on embarking on a four-book journey that would end with disappointment, but I embarked on said journey and came out with something other than lust for teenage vampires and werewolves.
To explain why I bothered in the first place, as a thirty-year-old woman, let me just say that as an aspiring writer who hopes to one day reach the same level of success as the smallest published author, I find it is best to see what makes readers tick, no matter how awful it is. From a writing standpoint, the Twilight books are nothing special, or particularly good. The writing is nothing a beginning creative writing student couldn't produce, and the characters are cliches when you peel the layers of the supernatural aspects they possess away.
From the brain candy standpoint, it seems to me that like Harlequin romance novels, the Twilight books give female readers from all walks of life and age groups (including moms who disturbingly share the same lust for Edward Cullen and Jacob Black as their teenage daughters) what they long for: a ridiculously good looking, sparkly or shirtless man who would rip the head off anyone who comes near the woman he loves, yet is sensitive and vegetarian.
Seems natural for women to want such things, but what takes me aback is the fact that these sex objects are teenagers. Sure, Edward Cullen is 100 years old, but he is essentially a teenager in appearance. It can't be that these grown women are in love with Edward Cullen's personality, because he simply doesn't have much of one, and even if he did, he still acts like a teenager. It's disturbing. Taylor Lautner, the actor who plays Jacob Black, the shirtless one told Jay Leno not too long ago that he was approached by a woman in her forties, who asked him to sign her Twilight underwear... in front of her teenage daughter, who was so embarassed she pleaded with her mom to stop.
In light of the Twilight craze that is obviously and inexplicably sweeping the best women off their feet nowadays I came across this piece that pretty much sums up what sets the Twilight series apart from all the other vampire romance, or just plain romance novels out there.
You could say it is the characters, but as this piece explains, it's lack of character that drives all the girls (and sometimes guys) crazy for the vampire and werewolf who love Bella Swan.
So, let me sign off by saying that it was brain candy and I enjoyed it, but like in real life, I only lust after and fall in love with men of substance... that's men, who aren't jailbait. Who don't sparkle in the sun. Who don't walk around shirtless.