Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (under Hachette Book Group) announced earlier this month that of Stéphanie Meyer dusk Saga is reprinted again. However, this time around, the best-selling series that defined some of our younger years is getting a cover revamp… sort of. We will take a look.
Design-wise, these aren’t great. While we love a great font-centric book design, it’s just too much. First, there is no wiggle room with the police running over the edges. The original covers made effective use of negative space; the new ones don’t know who she is.
Second, the way the text is divided does not follow rhyme or reason. New Moon, breaking Dawn, and Midnight Sun to break syllabically, but dusk and Eclipse everyone does their thing. Speaking of reason, I really want to know why each cover has the lines of text lined up front to back except New Moon. New Moon is aligned in the center.
While some reddit users on r / CrappyDesign laughed at the lack of hyphens separating words line by line, I could forgive that if some of those other issues weren’t so bad.
The new covers look like when you put text and images into a pdf or slideshow and then open them in a new program for the first time. Tangled and broken, with the original design lost in translation.
While many popular books create very divided fan factions with better coverage, Twilight never had this because the editors were consistent with the design. Even in 2010, the UK edition with a white cover and a crimson page was basically the same. We all understood that there were the covers and then the affordable movie posters.
I can’t stress enough how iconic the original covers are in the book world and the world at large. They have been memorized, imitated and satirized because even a little distorted we know it is Dusk.
Whoever endorsed this new Twilight venture was probably “why fix what ain’t broke” type because these both look too much like the original Twilight designs while looking patchy. Maybe there has been a lull in sales after almost 20 years of printing, and it’s just a hit? I understand and I really want to know why they wouldn’t go with something very new or different.
I also don’t know who this is for beyond hardcore fans and finalists, but I know it’s not for me. Even though the editors took a leap of faith and tried a new design, dusk and I broke up over a decade ago. Our relationship, like Bella’s with anyone else, was complicated.
After quickly devouring the first three books in one summer, I attended Bella Swan and Edward Cullen’s 2008 wedding party (aka midnight book launch) at Barnes and Noble in Pasadena, TX. One of the youngest readers at (almost) fourteen, I took part in resort activities around the store, like painting my nails black and fighting over apples (with plastic vampire teeth, well sure) while we collectively waited for the midnight release. At around 11pm we were gathered outside for the cosplay contest and for minimal chaos when the line needed to be formed.
It wasn’t only important to me as one of my first times with others in a fandom, but it was also one of the few times I got money growing up to buy a new one. hardcover book. All of you, books were expensive back then too, and we had no money.
Later in 2008 when the film was released, dusk became the first salty book I knew about its popularity. While much of America was overjoyed (or upset) by the first black president, I was pissed off that the students who called me and my nerd friends were now obsessed with dusk, too much.
Before the end of eighth grade I got over it because at the end of the day they were reading, and it’s hard to be pro-reading and then keep the non-believer hobby. I also felt that we had to work together against the waves of hatred we were receiving for our love of dusk. (aka the valid review that I would avoid for years).
This review included how Meyer had appropriated the native culture, the simplicity of the writing, the bubbly nature of vampires, and the uncontrolled toxic behavior. The film franchise would add to the list with Meyers’ push against director CatheringHardwicke’s vision for a more ethnically diverse distribution.
Some of the opponents were just haters who made fun of the media targeting young women, but part of what was happening was these real concerns. Not really online at the time to hear these reviews, I just saw it as anti-teenage noise. Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers were also in their prime during the same time period, so it felt like the start of me facing that backlash.
It’s not like I’m free from misogyny while reading novels. On the one hand, Meyer’s writing rewarded Bella’s boy-centered life and Edwards’ abusive behavior. She also treated many more feminine characters, like Rosalie, with neglect. Something from my other favorite book at the time (Harry potter) did too.
My personal journey of deconstructing how the theme “unlike other girls” influenced my life continues today. After almost 15 years, I bought my first romance novel last March (and read the whole series). A genre constantly criticized for allegedly having no literary merit, and yet I found it to be the opposite.
Despite all the problems with novels and movies, we keep coming back To dusk like something we love to hate. Something we think of as a point in time when we really thought we had a better understanding of the world, but not the adults in our lives. Much like Bella and other YA and coming-of-age fictional characters.
The nostalgia factor was strong enough to make all five films (dusk, New Moon, Eclipse, and both breaking Dawns) the most viewed and popular movies on Netflix as it relates to the platform earlier this year. He was also strong enough to make the last book, Midnight Sun, a bestseller in 2020. It has remained on USA Today’s best-selling book list for almost a year in a row.
I refuse to prioritize reading the fifth book (from Edward’s point of view) because of Meyer’s comments on race and dusk years ago. She said in a pre-release essay that she is a different person than the one who wrote dusk. However, like the covers of these books, saying it and showing it are two very different things.
(via USA Today, featured image: Summit Entertainment)
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