Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer: Port Angeles (Ch. 9)

Is it read-worth? It’s official. You should just throw this book away. I always hate the Port Angeles scene when I reread the Twilight series and I hate it equally as much in Midnight Sun. Stephanie Meyer should be ashamed of herself. Using sexual assault as a plot device and then ignoring all the ramifications of sexual assault is degrading to survivors. It demeans them. If you’re going to write about a sexual assault scene then fully cover the impact that that scene should have. Don’t just completely drop the ball.

Photo: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers sourced on the Den of Geek Blog

SPOILERS: Ah, my least favorite chapter so far. I was not looking forward to this one and I was right to dread it. Chapter nine delves into Bella’s trip to Port Angeles where she is almost sexually assaulted by a gang of men. She is almost gang raped. And, instead of it being processed as a traumatic event, Stephanie Meyer simply uses this event as a plot device to bring Edward and Bella closer together. It is horrifying. It is triggering. It is just deeply, deeply unfortunate.

Stephanie Meyer didn’t use her platform to shine a light on victims of sexual assault, or give advice on how to handle shock and trauma. No, she used the idea of violent rape to bring her two main characters closer together. It is deeply degrading to me, as a survivor of sexual assault, to have this event be handled so poorly. It should not have been included in the book at all, not if Meyer wasn’t willing to start a larger discussion about sexual assault and it’s consequences. Not if she didn’t want to provide survivors with resources to recover with. Not if she didn’t want to follow up with anything related to that scene. She didn’t. She dropped the ball completely.

I just hate it, plain and simple. 

I hate it. 

It’s everything wrong with Twilight summarized in a single chapter. Bad writing, without a doubt. Edward’s internal dialogue is just ridiculous half the time. He is extremely melodramatic. It plays into Bella’s identity as only really being a damsel in distress in need of saving. I hate that. Bella could be so much more than that. And it uses a terrifying life event as a ploy just to completely ignore it and move onto a completely unrelated topic. It’s horrible. The whole chapter is horrible. 

We should not read about an almost sexual assault just to ignore it and talk about how cool Edward is. We should be talking about the almost sexual assault. I cannot emphasize enough how much I hated this chapter.

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