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.
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 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.
Stephanie Meyer writes vampire fiction as many teenage girls do -- overblown writing, sexy cold vampires, and a vacuously attractive heroine who serves as the readers' stand-in.
And so it's hardly surprising that her megahit debut "Twilight" is essentially a teenage fantasy about finding the Perfect Hot Immortal Coverboy Who Longs For You Alone. Innocuous sparkling vampires, buckets of pointless teenage angst and a plot tacked on at the last minute leave this one of the more bloodless examples of vampire romance.
Klutzy Bella Swan is oh-so-self-sacrificingly going to live with her small-town cop dad, and is appalled by the student body -- all the local boys decide that (ick!) they like her, and all the girls are shallow idiots compared to her.
Then she's struck by the ash-pale, vaguely incestuous Cullen family -- an especially by the Hawt and Brooding Edward Cullen. Edward doesn't seem to like her much, resulting in much Teen Angst. but when Bella is nearly killed by a runaway car, he somehow manages to zip across the parking lot and knock away the car. Bella eventually figures out that he's a vampire-- a "vegetarian vampire" with the power to read thoughts... except hers.
Despite his fears that he'll hurt her, their smoldering chemistry (and Bella's tantalizing smell) draws them into a relationship... at which point, since the plot has had zero non-teenybopper tension, three two-dimensionally evil vampires enter the scene, intent on hunting Bella. The Cullens whisk her away to keep her safe from this trio -- but their enemies have more than one way to find her.
The book "Twilight" is essentially the eroticized fantasies of a teenage girl, purple of prose and taking itself hilariously seriously. In fact, reading this novel feels suspiciously like eavesdropping on Stephanie Meyer's fantasies of having a hot, sparkle-skinned vampire stalking her on a nightly basis to show his undying love.
Unfortunately there's not much more to the plot than that -- most of it involves Bella and Edward smoldering at each other, and Bella's contemplation of Edward's "scintillating, incandescent" body and Greek-god hotness. Furthermore Meyer smears the entire book in wildly swinging emotions, tepid dialogue, and overly ornate, purple prose -- the descriptions of Edward's chest alone may induce choking and diabetic coma.
After a horrendously silly "meet the vampire family," Meyer belatedly realizes that the book needs more than angst and sparkles and Edward is constantly shying away from Bella's virginal neck (what does that imply about sucking blood from animals?). So she tacks in a contrived subplot about evil vampires who are hunting Bella. Just... because they want to.
And heroine Bella is truly an amazing character -- she manages to be a blank slate for mass fantasy projection, while also managing to be whiny, selfish, snobby and superhumanly shallow (since the only person she cares about is the Hawt Rich Guy). Edward is a suitable mate for her -- he broods, smolders and stalks her to show that he loves her eternally. After all, isn't a bipolar stalker watching you sleep the very image of true love?
As for the other characters... well, we have quirky vampire Alice to add some humor to the story. But otherwise, none of them really matter much except to reflect how awesome Edward and Bella are -- and the villains could not be any thinner if Meyer snipped them from sparkly incandescent skin.
Those who dream of eternal angsty love with an Immortal Hottie may find "Twilight" a delight, but it's no more than a thin, flat guilty pleasure at best.
on December 31, 2008
I have a very two sided opinion of this book. I'm a sixteen year old girl and so naturally, I love it. But in a way I also hate it.
It will capture your attention quite quickly and honestly, you won't be able to put it down until you are done. Since it is geared towards an audience of teenage girls, it naturally has what every girl dreams of - the gorgeous boy who is totally obsessed with the completely ordinary girl. Don't we all wish. I think that this is why the story is so compelling to our age group and gender. It's what we want and dream about. I've seen the movie twice and enjoyed it enough to want to buy it when it comes out.
However. It can also be dangerous, because it isn't reality. If you have been in Chapters lately, you will have seen it. Bags, puzzles, shirts, posters, the whole sh-bang. It's ridiculous. I couldn't even go to the movie without feeling like a loser. I didn't want the people there to think I was some obsessed Twilight freak. I think that there are numerous books out there that deserve just as much of a hype as Twilight. I would recommend it, but I would also recommend not to become obsessed with it.
on October 25, 2012
The first time I heard of this series, it was talked well about at church services. The young women there were always talking about, that I became addicted to wanting to read this series. This first book of the series was really quite comical. It had me chuckling all through the book. I couldn't put it down. I ordered the first three books from Amazon.ca. I read all three books in less than three days. That's how addicting the series is. Once you start reading these books, you won't be able to set it aside, trust me. I couldn't wait to get the last book of the series, because I wanted to know how it ended. I picked up the last book of the series in a department store. I read this series more than once, because their a series of books you can never get tired of reading.