on December 19, 2010
I went to a bookstore, stood in line, paid close to $13, and spent a few hours of my life turning the pages of the first book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series. And I was not disappointed. It was exactly what I expected it to be. A page turner that creates an ideal soap-opera love interest, often described as perfect and god-like, who falls desperately in love with a normal, nothing special whiney teenage girl. And of course he''s so enraptured by this pathetic nobody that he can barely keep himself from eating her. She just smells so good.
As a Fantasy reader I really have to comment of the gimmicky-ness of the use of the Vampire in this story. Sure, Meyer is using the tradition of the sex predator consuming an innocent young woman, but she's also destroying the legend for no reason other than to tell a sappy love story. He's a vegetarian. Please give me one good reason why a soulless being that thrives off sucking human blood would just decide that it's 'wrong'. Here's a reason: Meyer couldn't think of a more creative, thought-provoking idea that would actually make sense for a vampire to fall in love with a girl and not just kill her. Or make her a vampire. There have been great vampire stories where a vampire is so intrigued by a woman that he turns her to have her for his eternal companion. How romantic!
Now for my straight out qualms with the book. First, the writing is terrible. I kept a pen with me at all times to cross out some of the most offending lines. Also, the dialogue is terrible. Most notably, Edward is described as speaking with the words and 'cadence' of the Victorian era in which he was born, but his speech in the book does not even come close to holding up to this description. His dialogue is colloquial and modern. The plot is terrible. It makes every mistake a bad story can make. Ever watch a movie and think, 'of course the good guy would just show up out of nowhere and save the day at the opportune moment'? It shocks me that something with as much of a following as Twilight, regardless of the naivety of its audience, would really have Edward show up and save Bella. Is there a single person who would pick up this book and not predict that ending?
Bella is the worst-written character I have ever encountered. The story is in the first person, so we really get access to her personal thoughts. Plenty of time to hear her whine about how unworthy of Edward she is. She is also really dumb, for lack of a better word. A vampire has her mother. He wants Bella herself for ransom. Wants to eat her. She finds this an acceptable ransom. Instead of telling her vampire pals to help her out of a jam, she decides to fill the kidnapper's demands and let him eat her. She even considers the likelihood that the vampire will just kill her mother anyways, but still decides that her only option is to hand herself over. That makes a lot of sense.
How does it end? Edward saves her. Oops! Sorry for the spoiler!
My final verdict is not much different from my initial one. Twilight features the vampire unnecessarily and contributes nothing of value to the legend. Edward is a gimmick. Also, the book has far more flaws than I had previously imagined. It is grotesquely unimaginative, and commits every plot device know to literature. Not even worth reading for a laugh at its failings.
on May 28, 2009
I admit it, I loved twilight. It WAS shallow. It DID have an empty plot. And it was certainly no literary accomplishment - but i still loved it.
The thing about twilight is that we can all relate to the insecure new-girl situation, so from the start we really feel for Bella and we feel like she is us. Also, we all have those fantasies about being the centre of attention and loved by everyone, yet still being put together and more sensible than everyone else, not shallow and conceited like the stereotype about popular people. We all also want to find that perfect person (whether we admit it to ourselves or not, perfect from our perspective anyway) someone that makes us feel special and loves us more that anything else in the world just for being ourselves. So we can really relate to Bella.
Also, it's really easy to read- the writing style isn't intricate and hard to follow- and it's very easy to get into (that being said, if you're a literary critic, please don't read this book, but if you're just looking for something fun to sweep you off your feet, a page turner filled with passion and excitement, i wholeheartedly encourage you to read twilight!)
Everything else about the book kind of sucks, it is pretty erotic and like a guilty pleasure as others have said and the characters are pretty shallow and lack character development. And yes, their relationship seems fake and has no real foundation (what fun is that anyway, right?) But you know what, who cares, Twilight makes us feel good about ourselves and gives us hope that losers like us be the talk of the school and can find true love and be special and all that stuff that we all secretly want but would never admit. So just read the book and enjoy it (it is very enjoyable) and as long as you just stop trying to be a critic you'll love Twilight =)
This book is okay for a lazy afternoon when you want to read something that doesn't require much brainpower, but I really don't understand why there's so much hype around the story. It's not the worst thing I've ever read but it's certainly not the best either. It's basically one long Mary Sue fanfic in which Mary Sue (otherwise known as Bella Swan) meets the "practically perfect in every way", handsome, broody vampire Edward Cullen and falls in love with him.
Aside from Bella's father Charlie and Jacob Black, the characters are mostly uninteresting and one-dimensional. Some are downright silly. Bella has to be one of the most unlikeable heroines I've seen in a long time. She moves to the town of Forks and instantly every male in town is head over heels in love with her but she's baffled as to why. (Honestly, I'm baffled too because she's a pretty boring, needy, weak character and she irritated me more than impressed me.) Edward is equally unlikeable in this book. He's obsessive, controlling, pushy and demanding, and his tiresome "I'm bad for you but I can't stay away!" refrain gets pretty old pretty fast. I don't understand how obsession equals romantic.
The book picked up a bit when Edward's "family" is introduced and gets some screen-time but otherwise anything around Bella and Edward is tough to wade through. They're madly in love/lust with each other but you're never sure why because there's zero chemistry between them.
The writing itself and the plot are both pretty weak. The dialog is often stilted and doesn't feel very genuine. Bella can't make it through a paragraph without agonizing over how painfully beautiful Edward is, and the author seems to latch onto certain basic descriptions and uses them over and over as if she can't think of anything else to say.
The most unfortunate part of the plot is that it seems to be about 400 pages of teenage moping and angsting, which builds up to about 10 pages of actual conflict, in which you never really feel any threat from the so-called villains in the book so the conflict is pretty weak. Bella actually misses most of the action and since the narrative is all from her perspective the reader misses it all too. The same pattern exists in all the books in this series... I have the feeling Meyer has no clue how to write an action scene so she builds up to it and then finds some way to gloss over it as quickly as possible. Unsatisfying.
This series is not nearly as good as the Harry Potter series... they can be compared in popularity but definitely not in quality of writing or quality of the story. I recommend those over this any day.
For the record: I don't like "Twilight." At all. But I decided to give "Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1" a fair shot at impressing me, especially since it's rendered into manhwa/manga-style artwork and a pared-down narrative. The artwork is sumptuous, elegant and all-around lovely, but the story is dragged down by the rather stuffy internal monologue.
Everybody knows the drill -- a girl from Phoenix named Bella Swan "exiles" herself to the rainy overcast town of Forks, so she can live with her dad. When she isn't moping, she attends the local school and is struck by the beautiful, aloof Cullen family (and particularly with the standoffish Edward, who seems to be bipolar). He also has superhuman speed and strength, as Bella discovers when he saves her from a runaway van.
In case anybody needs to be told, Eddiekins is a vampire, albeit one who doesn't adhere to any of the traditional vampirey rules... except sucking blood. And despite the danger to her person, Bella develops a Phoenix-sized crush on him despite him constantly insisting that he's ohsoverydangerous.
It's a given that any rabid fans of "Twilight" will gobble down the graphic novel adaptation of the first book's first half. As for everyone else? Well, there are still spurts of rather pompous, un-teen-girlish narrative ("I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him") and Bella still whines way too much about mundane stuff ("You could have saved yourself all this regret for not just letting that stupid van squish me!").
Fortunately, Young Kim did a pretty decent job translating the novel into comic book form, and I ended up enjoying her streamlined, sped-up version of the story. It's heavy on atmosphere and light on fluff (such as "Bella being randomly clumsy" or "Bella being chased by every boy in school"), with especial emphasis on the dreamlike landscapes, Indian legends and secretive conversations.
And Kim's artwork is simply gorgeous. Her style is a semi-realistic manga/manhwa style, full of delicate strokes, light shadows and smooth lines. Lots of flowing hair, vivid eyes and even some lightly colored scenes when the story demands it (such as when Bella faints at the smell of blood). Additionally, she does succeed in making the Cullens look very lovely and ethereal, yet also very sinister.
There are, however, some scenes that just don't work. The infamous "sparkling in the sun" scene ends up looking ridiculous -- Edward looks like he's covered in fish scales, not diamond sparkleskin.
"Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume 1" is a decent graphic novel in its own right, and Young Kim's elegant artwork distracts from some of the story's flaws. Worth reading if you're enamored with the book, or really like beautifully-drawn manhwa/manga.
on April 16, 2009
Fantastic book, and much better than it actually sounds at first... when I heard about a teenager vampire novel I absolutely wasn't interested but after all the press on it figured I should see what all the hype was about. I'm 25 years old (well above the target audience!) and thought it was an absolutely fantastic novel and once I got into it I couldn't put it down. I've borrowed all the books from my friend and read the first in a week, the second in 3 days and am now half way through the third.
So for all you people who think it sounds stupid but are just a little curious... GIVE IT A CHANCE!! Well worth it :-)
on March 26, 2015
So, ill start off this review with a cons and cons list.
-Bella cries whenever edward isnt around
-Edward apparently sparkles in the sunlight
-A vampire apparently vegan
-So many cliches its not even funny
-The plot fails 10 out of 9 times
-Very dumb characters
-Very unfinished characters
-Its so predictible
-So many typos
-Worst love story ever
And much, MUCH more! -3 out of 10 would never recommend. Garbage.
on January 16, 2012
Like nearly everyone who's read the series, I have this memory of consuming each book in a matter of days. The feeling of WHY I was so drawn to the series disappeared once the terribly cast Robert Pattinson made his appearance. The whole thing turned into a joke of sparkly vampires, constipated looks, 1995 graphics and irrationally stupid characters.
This graphic novel ignores the movie, and instead goes for a more true rendition of the novels.
on December 10, 2015
Having watched the films, I already knew the story, and although there are subtle differences, and the book is easier to understand, the story remains very similar. I enjoyed the story, but I expected more and I can’t tell whether that is because of the films or just that I feel there should have been more to it. The plot is good and the story flows fairly well, but I feel like I’ve missed all the stuff that should be in between. Bella is lonely inside her own head and the first person narrative increases that sense of loneliness, bleakness, and emptiness. When Bella mentions any joy, I hear her guilt and I don’t feel the joy. I did enjoy the book, but I think I would have liked it more if it had other character’s points of view as well as Bella’s. Jacob, for instance, is a complicated person with a whole host of emotions that are desperate to burst out, and the film allows for this character to shine through, but the book keeps him imprisoned. I still intend to read the other books in the series, but I’m not rushing to start them.
on May 30, 2015
This isn't my favourite series but I can tolerate it. I find it's okay for a rainy Sunday read when I have nothing else to do. It certainly does have it's flaws. I think this could have been a good book but I feel like Stephenie rushed their love, and then they became obsessed with each other. I wish she could have gone more in depth with their interactions for when they fall in love. It just feels like a High School love, and while they are in High School, we are supposed to believe that they are soul mates.
Other than the sparkly vampires (I do agree with others that vampires shouldn't sparkle) I do like the world that Stephenie created. I liked the fact that some vampires have supernatural gifts. That's why I decided to read the rest of the series because I wanted to learn more about the world that she created. I'm into fantasy. The Harry Potter novels are my favourite fantasy books. That's why I thought I would give these books a shot. I wanted to read more about magical gifts. I was disappointed.
I don't hate these books however. I've seen so much hate, and I understand why some people dislike them. They'll never be a favourite of mine, but I was sick this week and they did get me through it.
on May 19, 2011
Ok, so I was at the library the other day and saw this book and decided to grab it. Since twilight came out I have only read the original 4 books in the saga before all this craziness about the movies came along. I haven't read the short novela or the guide because I don't feel it anymore. When there is a huge hipe about a book I tend not to read it even if I want to. I wait for everything to calm down and pick books that are not so popular. But I was standing there thinking of how long it has been since I last read Twilight so I picked it up.
I haven't read a graphic novel before and at first it was kind of weird reading the words and looking at the beautiful pictures but after I got used to it I loved it. It reminded why I loved Twilight so much in the first time and how the characters really are, because I had forgotten. The characters in the movie are so different from the characters in the book. I wanted so bad to pick Twilight again, remember the moments Edward made me giggle and sigh and the heart attacks Bella gave me with her decisions.
This is only the first half of the book and it stops at the meadow scene. It didn't have everything in the book, it wouldn't be possible but they included all the important stuff in the book and it was a good welcome back into the story. If you haven't picked up Twilight in a long time and want a quick fix, read it.