How in the hell can you defend the clusterfuck of writing that is Twilight?
It's about the reading. It's about the kids who ate those books up like candy; and that's what they are, literary candy. Written chocolate with peppermint flakes and a gooey chocolate center. And really, there's nothing wrong with candy every now and then.
More than that...those books—like Maniac Magee and Goosebumps and Harry Potter—got kids excited about reading. Kids who otherwise would prefer to vegetate in front of a TV screen poured themselves into those books. They sat still, they soaked in the story, held their breaths at twists and turns, and squealed at how things turned out.
Poorly written? Maybe.
Did any of those kids care? No.
Would it have mattered to them if if did? Hell, no.
I'm in favor of anything that gets a kid to read. Pop fiction, comic books, the back of cereal boxes—if they'll happily read and it's not something that will harm them intellectually or emotionally, let them read and embrace the fact that they're willingly taking the time to read.
It doesn't matter if the grammar was off, sentence structure uneven, or even that Meyer's vampires sparkle in the sun and waste dozens of years in high school rather than spending that time trying to cure cancer. What matters is that a story was told that tapped into the interests of thousands of kids (and adults, let's be honest) and it brought them into the consumption of literature.
One treasured story tends to lead to a search for another, and then another; who cares if the writing was sloppy and the bits and pieces of the plot unworthy of Pulitzer consideration? These kids are reading. There's a good chance they'll keep reading.
The same can be said for a plethora of non-reading adults out there; they wanted to see what the big deal was, picked up the first book, and kept reading.
It's a good thing.
There's a style of writing, often referred to as Hi/Lo, that is specifically intended for adults who don't typically read for fun because their reading abilities hover between 6-8 grade. Hi/Lo books are usually adult-level novels written so that the average 12 to 14 year old can fall into the story without the struggle of comprehension. If you picked one up and started reading, chances are you wouldn't realize that the book you have in hand was meant for someone who hates reading because they simply don't have a high school level of reading ability. If the story is good, you'd fall into it, and it wouldn't be until much later that the style of writing was a little bit different. The intended target market, however, notices; they have in hand something they finally enjoy, something that doesn't feel burdened by the expectations of a bloated vocabulary and excessive narrative.
I don't see Twilight as being any different.
Forget the fact that it's not the best writing out there. It brings literature and literacy to the table, makes it accessible, and makes those kids want to read.
And wanting to read is never—at least not in my book—a bad thing.