I’ve been stewing all day. I’ve been on the brink of exasperation and annoyance and yeah, rx a little bit of anger. And it took this little picture here to make me happier.
But still. I’m frustrated. City of Bones hit theaters yesterday, officially, in most countries. Thousands and thousands of TMI fans have flocked to the theaters, and I know several fans who have seen it more than once, some three times already! I am so proud of this fandom, and I am so proud of Harald Zwart and his team, and our beloved actors for making a great movie.
Now, I didn’t expect that the critics would absolutely adore this movie. I didn’t think that people were going to be shouting “Oscars!” at the top of their lungs or handing out A+ ratings for it. I didn’t think people were going to be talking about what a masterpiece it was. I honestly didn’t. But myself, and so many of the fans I’ve talked to (and I’ve talked to quite a bit of you) absolutely loved it, and we are going to be the harshest critics. We are the ones who read the books and fell in love with the characters and hold them so dear to our heart. We are the ones going in with preconceived ideas of what this world and characters and story is about. We should be the ones that should be the hardest to please.
And yet this is not how it happened. I saw a picture on my friend Perla’s Facebook page today, and it really accurately displays what I think what down in the world of critics today.
And its really what happened. Look, I like Twilight well enough. I recognize that its a terribly written book series and that the movies were made pretty terribly too. I recognize that completely. But its a guilty pleasure for me. But one thing I can say is…its given the whole young adult literature group a bad name. Honestly, I spend so much of my time, both on this computer with my blog and Tumblr and Facebook and such and in real life defending young adult literature and its movies and I am SO tired of it. I am so ridiculously tired of it.
Now this picture says “every male critic”. I happen to think its just every male (I do recognize there are exceptions). The male population tends to have a very negative view of young adult literature, and I think that’s partly due to Twilight. I think Twilight turned off a lot of people because of how badly it does as a book and a movie, critic wise, and it causes a blanket assumption on the rest of young adult lit books. Which is absolutely and completely ridiculous.
I love young adult literature and I’m 25 years old. I’ve met people from all different ages who adore young adult literature, including people into their sixties and seventies. Young adult literatures reaches people because it is a time in your life that you will NEVER forget, because you never feel as strongly and as powerful and invincible as you do when you are a teenager. Who wouldn’t want to experience those feelings again, and in such wonderful worlds like The Hunger Games, The Mortal Instruments, and Divergent and such.
But these preconceived notions that people have about young adult books and their movie adaptations, and it effects the way they go into the movie. I read a lot of these reviews of the City of Bones, because I just had to, and what I noticed was…majority of these reviews? They weren’t even based on actual review and critique. These reviewers, these so-called critics already had an idea of what this movie was going to be before they even sat down in their seats and they judged it before they could even get past the previews. They already had it in their mind that it was “just another Twilight” and that sort of attitude is so heavy in the reviews, that is blatantly obvious that so many of these critics didn’t even try to give the movie a chance.
And its so hard to take these critics seriously either! So many claim to be legit critics, “top” critics, so knowledgable about movies and so-called experts in the realms of movies, but you have no idea how many reviews I read that couldn’t even get their facts straight! They had movie plot points wrong, they spelled Cassie’s name wrong, they compared it to books, TV shows and movies that literally made no sense and they completely messed up actors’ names! How am I supposed to take your review of this movie seriously when you can’t even do the work to review it properly?
Even worse, its not just these critics that are like this. Its friends, its family, its people I know, who are judging this movie so harshly already. I want to scream, you’ve never read the book, you’ve never seen the movie, and you know how important this is to me, and yet…yet, you’re sitting here, high and mighty, judging something before you can even give it a chance. And I’m afraid that these attitudes, combined with the negative connotation given to young adult books and the overflow of negative reviews is causing people to avoid going to the movies to see it.
Even though, as a gigantic fan (check the fearless rune tattoo), I thought it was brilliantly made.
So today, I’m angry. I’m angry and upset and frustrated and tired. I’m tired of defending this group of books again and again and again. If you don’t want to believe it, fine. These beautiful books that are capable of transporting you into wonderful worlds, creating best friends and loves, changing your lives and teaching you so much can stay with those who appreciate them. You can stick to your capital L “Literature” all you want.
So I’m asking my followers, my fellow TMI fans, to go out there and watch this movie. Watch it again and again and again. Buy up the merchandise and tell Harald and Cassie and Jessica and Martin and Lily and Jamie and Kevin and all of them how great it is. Buy the books and support it all. Show them that we are not sitting down. Tell them they can throw their F. Scott Fitzgerald and their James Joyce and their capital L Literature our way but we are NOT standing down. Young adult literature is here to stay! And we will keep loving it and keep showing that it is NOT all Twilight and it is worth giving the chance. We’ll show all those snobs out there that they can stick their nose up at our books and our movies as much as they want. We are a force to be reckoned with and we have shown that!
I have this message to all the critics, and to all the haters:
Not all movies are meant to be Oscar winners. Not all movies go out there with the purpose of telling a super dramatic story or changing the entire world. Sometimes they are simply meant to entertain. Sometimes it may not make sense to you, but the movie does change people, but a select group of people. Sometimes you need to watch a movie and not constantly compare it to others simply because they are of the same AGE GROUP BOOKS (not genre because young adult literature is made of a TON of genres) and to give things a chance.
Not all books are Twilight. Not all books are the same. We have been writing about demons and vampires and werewolves and teenagers and love and coming-of-age and self-identity and sickness and all sorts of things FOR CENTURIES. Stop assuming that all young adult books just copy others. Pick one up for once, and give it a shot, and maybe you’ll find yourself surprised, and pleasantly so.
I’ve been angry today, but I love this movie. I think the City of Bones movie is brilliant. And if you critics don’t want to be on that same page with me, well, I guess that’s your choice now, isn’t it?
But I’m a Shadowhunter. And I’m a Shadowhunter for life.
I’m starting a hashtag #TMIFansLoveTMIMovie to show the world that we don’t care what the critics say. We LOVE this movie and this fandom, and we are a force to be reckoned with :) Shadowhunters for life!
I made a hashtag on Twitter: #TMIFansLoveTMIMovie! Hashtag all weekend to show your support, tag your pictures on instagram and Twitter and Facebook and show your TMI Love!