OK. I know my regular readers are probably getting sick of hearing about these books. It's just that reading them really gets the mommy-thinking going as I try to discern whether or not they could be harmful reading. For those of you unfamiliar with the books-- this is a series of what I would call romance novels for young teen girls. Bella, the main character, falls in love with a vampire. I'll try to be brief.
I would certainly not recommend them for young girls (or anyone for that matter) as "good books," as in books that edify or inspire the reader or books that lead you to a greater understanding of truth. They are not great literature.
Could some girls be harmed by reading them? Probably some girls could, especially girls who are vulnerable. (Suzanne knows someone who has.) I don't think my daughter will be effected by them because she's a solid responsible thinking young girl. I don't think a couple books will change that....especially because I'm talking with her about the problematic messages.
So why did I let her read the first three books? (I'm still deciding about the fourth, but leaning toward no. ) I think parenting teens, leading them along the right paths is similar to pulling in a big fish. Sometimes you have to reel them in hard and sometimes you have to let the line out. If you never let the line out a little there is risk of snapping the line. (provoking rebellion) Because she's a good girl, because she REALLY wanted to read these books and all her friends were reading them and because what I heard about them sounded fairly harmless it seemed like a good time to let out the line.
Do I still think so for this particular daughter at this particular time? I think so. The books are not as innocent as I was hoping, but I think they will not influence my daughter. I would have preferred that she not be exposed to quite so much sensual imagery but I think she'll be fine. The fourth book might be another story since I understand it gets worse.
Personally, as I start Book 3 I'm getting a little tired of the story as the dangers drag on and the decisions of Bella the main character become more and more troublesome.