Stephanie Meyer's mega-selling Twilight series is attacked by feminists
Gina Barreca, an author and English professor at the University of Connecticut, is a vehement critic: "The big thing that really makes 'Twilight' a really bad book is that fear should never be an aphrodisiac. The idea that you fear your lover should not make him sexier and that is a big part of these books. ... It distresses me to see that in any form, whether or not it's supernatural.
"It's a damaging fantasy. ... It's the idea that she feels as if she is in a dangerous relationship and she doesn't know how to get out of it and that finally, however much in danger you feel, love has to conquer. ... No, when you feel yourself in danger, you have to go away, put yourself in another novel."
Suzanna Narducci, a co-founder of TweenParent.com, a website for parents of 9- to 13-year-olds, said she wouldn't forbid kids from reading the books or seeing movies, though she admits that when Bella gives up Dartmouth, "that killed me," and the relationship between Sam and Emily "reeked of domestic violence."
"It's a matter of using it as a teachable moment," said Narducci. "Romance means something so different for them. ... It's important for parents to use it as an opportunity to have an open dialogue about what romance is like" and about the difference between fantasy and reality.