A Reader posted a review at 2009-04-20 07:50:04.
I cut this book lots of slack because I'm not its target audience, but in the end with all things considered, this book is an insult to the human brain.
For 498 pages, I entered a world in which men go to work, go fishing or they watch baseball on TV and where women cook, go to high school, go dress shopping and/or obsess over their husbands or boyfriends. I am not being sarcastic at all. That was the extent of the actions they engaged in for 498 pages, though Bella, who has no dreams or goals or life aside from being obsessed with her boyfriend, Edward, did watch a game on TV once with her dad, and she did once watch her boyfriend play baseball with his family. And then there are the vampires; the perfect, gorgeous, chiseled, beautiful, breath-taking, did I mention perfect? vampires that sparkle and glitter in the sunlight enough to make any drag-queen jealous (except when Meyer conveniently forgets about that little glitch when they're in a crowded airport in broad daylight). As my parenthetical hints, this book also has the same regard for suspense, cause-and-effect, and logic as a Roadrunner and Wily Coyote cartoon, with the difference that in the latter the absurdity was purposefully built in.
One redeeming quality was that the vampire characters caught my interest and I wanted to know about them. Unfortunately, the book was populated with 27 (I counted) identifiable and named characters and for 400 pages focused on two of those characters. One of these is Bella, who has no personality and does little more than cook, smell good and hyperventilate at the thought of her boyfriend leaving her. The other one is Edward who is a little more interesting than Bella because he is a vampire and therefore can dance, play the piano, compose music, sing, sparkle in the sunlight, run faster than anyone else (even the other vampires), and read minds (except for Bella's, but my theory on that one is because she doesn't have a mind). He is also controlling, impatient, has a horrid temper, he is addicted to her scent (not kidding) and stalks her.
I wish to not even mention the grammatical and structural errors in this book (i.e. paragraph breaks, tense shifts, fragments etc.). Though I do wish to have a nickel for every adverb in there. It would pay for a scrumptious five-course meal at a decent restaurant. I'm still wondering how one can “chuckle blackly.” Maybe in the other books (which I won't touch with a 10-foot pole) they smile whitely.
What angered me the most in this endeavor is that this book didn't have to be so bad. It only needed 3 or 4 more complete rewrites. As it stands now it has a solid 50-70 pages of good material and plenty of potential to develop a plot and even characters. (As it stands now, the conflict doesn't happen until page 380, and it is resolved by page 460 at which point I was screaming because it meant another forty pages of word-filled emptiness.) It could have been merely a cheesy teen-romance novel with a fantasy twist instead of an insult to the human brain. Even trash has its place and I read plenty of it, but this book is below trash.
I can only agree with the author when she says that she thought she'd have to pay people to read her book and that for a long time she thought it was a practical joke that it was going to be published.(I'm not making this up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SQ9bJIhcJ0&feature=related )
A Reader posted a review at 2008-12-16 10:19:33.
Now let me give Twilight haters this. Almost every single thing the negative reviews said about this novel is true. It really is. What are the negative things said about it, you ask? These are the most common observations I read when I read countless negative reviews and things I had also picked up myself whilst reading:
* It's unoriginal.
* The prose is overly filled with adjectives, mostly describing how beautiful Edward is, and constantly reminding us of that fact on every single page.
* The narration is overly detailed. e.g. the narration tells us that she gets up, brushes her teeth, what tooth paste she uses, what corners she drives round, which parking place she takes, what she has for dinner, how she cooks the dinner, and the list goes on.
* The vampire myth, or its world, does not have very much depth.
* We are reminded, far too often, how dangerous Edward is.
* We know at the very first page that Bella hates rain and cold, and that she is clumsy, and yet the author insults are intelligence, also reminding us of this on every page as if we might forget.
* Bella has no personality.
* Edward has no personality.
* Actually, nobody has a personality.
* The love that Edward and Bella share is completely superficial.
* The tone of the novel is inconsistent (pages 1-300 are completely different to the pages 301-430)
There is an element of truth in all of these points, though I would like to contest some of them, if only a bit mildly. The first and most common criticism is its unoriginality. At its bare bones, it is a teenage romance novel. It is what it is. Yes, it is unoriginal, but it was not trying to be anything new and amazing, and why is it things have to be original these days, anyway? I commend anyone that can come up with anything completely original, but also I'm not sure why unoriginality equates bad quality and vice versa. It boggles my mind.
The second point I want to contest to is Bella having "no personality". I cannot help but think that it is up to the reader to see something in her, or to relate to her somehow, because I did not see the non-personality. I saw a frustrated, lonely, but, emotionally, a typical teenager. I do not know what her haters problem is, I can only guess, I only know that I disagree. As to the rest of the characters, the narration did keep mentioning different names and I could not determine the difference between them all - they were pretty lifeless. Character development is not this novel's strong point.
The third and final I part I want to disagree with to a degree is that Edward and Bella's relationship is completely superficial. I am not disagreeing on the grounds that they fell in "love" with one another because of appearances, but I am disagreeing to the point that their romance is typical of teenagers. Meyer is not writing about two adults in their forties falling in love, she is writing about two hormone raged adolescents. What do you expect? Even so, their conversations do begin to progress into deeper meaning behind their attraction for one another; think to when Edward explained why he would never hurt Bella. He explains that her personality, and her nature is unusual, and that is what attracted him to her, why he cannot read her mind, and why he could not bare to lose her - because her mind works differently to everybody else's.
Now, before you think I am flanking to this novel's defense, I will say this simply: This novel is an enjoyable read, but it is very, very flawed for the reasons listed above. The author is far too repetitive and tangential. She seems unable to develop her characters, or give good reasons for their actions; the last 100 pages of the novel feel like they are tacked on from a completely different novel. The "threat" that Bella comes under is too coincidental, out of nowhere and stupid to believe. The author seems to think that her readership are stupid and need reminding of certain things on every page (Bella's clumsiness, Edward's beauty, Bella hates rain, Edward is dangerous), there's no depth to any characters but the protagonist, perhaps Edward too, if we push it. The exclusivity of this novel is also a problem. With Harry Potter I recommended to anyone from my grandparents, to my best friends. Twilight? Would not feel right recommending it to a male. Men reading Twilight and enjoying it seems implausible to me. It really hits its market dead on centre. Everything about this novel is girly, and I think that is a major flaw (only on an aesthetic level, it is obviously very good for marketing and business).
But this book is enjoyable. There must be a reason. Quite frankly, to be overly bothered about its flaws is missing the point a bit. It is just a teenage novel. You would not go and read a Point Horror book and then write negative reviews for it saying how badly it is written, or how obvious the twist was at the end, because most people accept the Point Horror books for what they are, and hey, no one is talking about a Point Horror book, or making a film out of it! People's problem with Twilight is that it is popular, but it is no different to the Point Horror books. It is a novel aimed at teenage girls. Think of a milder and ever so slightly better written Mills & Boon novel, only with vampires, and that is Twilight.
I noticed the many drawbacks the novel had, but I still enjoyed it, because I am one of those people that like to fall into a nice romance. The writing is easy and accessible, you turn the pages, you're drawn in whilst you're reading it, you want the protagonists to just flipping kiss, you finish it, and you want the next book. Is that not what enjoying a book is all about? It is just a nice light read to tune your brain off too. Who cares if it will not win the next Booker prize? I would fully recommend this to anyone who enjoys a cute little romance and quick, gliding read.
A Reader posted a review at 2009-05-13 10:27:10.
This book started as a same old story of a teenager child (ISABELLA SWAN)of divorced parents,migrating from mother's to father house for a year.The character of bella intrigued me as u rarely see an american teenager with such raging hormones keeping a cool attitude about being thrown away from her fovourite sunlit Arizona to a cold rainswept town-forks.Bella's father,police head in the town,is a father of a fairly young age(as bella's mother eloped with him after high school grad).meyer brings out the similarities between the father-daughter duo,as both though very much loving and careworn in nature never hovered to show emotions....to put in other words both are reserved and 'sticking to the shadows' kind.i loved the dynamic daughter-father relationship potrayed by meyer.
Things start geting interesting when bella enters school grounds and is treated as some city queen....bella,reserved by nature....finds all this attention embarassing,but still manages to make some friends and some boys incessantly hitting on her...
most people i guess will be be easily able to connect with the character of bella as she is neither potrayed as a sleep-deprived stepdaughter and nor as a fomous beautiful cheerleader but just as a normal average girl,getting unworthy attention due to being an outsider.
the cullen family steps in the plot as a family of seven all different but still alike by there pale almost stark white skin and unearthly grace.
bella gets intrigued by this family which furthur intensifies when she gets partnered in bio lab to edward cullen.....the unusual behaviour of rushing out of lab on seeing her and his changing color of iris drives bella crazy....
and finally some lucky day bella learns about the truth of cullen family being actually a vampire coven....
the usual reaction after such realisation would be running off in the opposite direction but instead author took the chance of making bella fall in love with the vampire edward.....
thankfully this love wasn't one sided also cullens werern't normal vampires or else the ending of the story would have been gruesome killing of our lovely character.....interestingly edward seemed to be much curious about bella himself....
furthur ahead we come to know that bella's scent to edward is the most delicious and inviting smell he had ever smelled in his whole life ,for which we need to give her some credit considering edward has lived for centuries,frozen in his sweet seventeen.
now.... i felt this was a high point in the whole story. from a point of view of a vampire if a smell of a person drives u crazy and your every instincts want to drink that blood....yet you don't quench your insatiable thirst with that blood as you choose the option of to be able to hear always that blood pumping in the veins of the person..... clearly means that somehow unintentionally u have fallen for that person(luckily the person is a teenage girl)....and also u have fallen very very hard....
so this supenatural love story continued and surely bella's sense of humour develops as she opens herself for the love of her comparitively very small life.
the book very subtly makes the reader believe that it is possible to have such a relationship....though each side will always yearn for more.........
A Reader posted a review at 2009-04-28 09:52:23.
I picked up this book to see what exactly the hoopla was about. I am repulsed by how anyone would find Edward and Bella’s relationship to be romantic in the least. Edward comes off as pushy and domineering-he reminds me of an abusive husband or boyfriend-Bella comes off ditzy and klutzy. She basically puts herself -and or plays into the hands of others that help-into her own peril and I find myself, not sad at the notion of her dying for her massive amount of stupidity.
Bella doesn't have much of a personality whatsoever. She has no independent or strong character-traits that makes her discernable from Edward. I hugely disliked how Meyer only gives sparse description’s of Bella (I'm assuming that's her way of allowing the reader to inject herself as Bella) throughout the book. All I know is the negative and her constant dialogue throughout the book is rather ungrateful and spiteful. I'm also tired of the fifteen different descriptions about how handsome and divine Edward is.
The romance leads me to believe that it isn't as "Divinely Ordained" as Meyer wants everyone to believe, he's a vampire, they have powers to seduce-as evidenced by how she is easily swayed by Edwards dashing eyes and smile- from this angle; pretty much anybody's blood is powerfully intoxicating to him. So, therefore I'm supposed to believe that he's only rendered senseless by her? Sadly, the pace of the book has huge overtones of monotony in it. It's like reading a 16-year-old girls diary; it reads boring, because it is boring. Especially when she made her characters one-dimensional. Then their gaining and losing or lacking any common sense is rather frustrating. Not to mention certain chapters weren‘t needed and where there as simply fillers. I also didn’t like the scenes depicted between Bella and Edward on how he was so rough with her and dragged her about and how he was so condescending to her. Meyers only saving graces in my eyes are: Jacob Black and Emmet.
I also am bothered by the authors underlining usage of abstinence and abuse in her work. For Edward to simply let go and be with Bella, would be damaging how? You made them have no interface for a foundation of love, they simply are in love from asking a game of Twenty Questions. So, why would it be so damaging if we even clipped the boundary of sexual-tension and sexuality between the two? If It’s evidenced all over the pages. You have the premise, might as well go all the way and explore it. It’s an outdated and antiquated idea, that a girl can’t possible be in control of her own sexual-feelings/nature towards someone she loves. That she’s needs her “Knight” to save her from herself and the precipice she and they teeters on.
I’m also astounded-as I have mentioned quite some time- on Edward’s behavior. I understand Edward is a vampire. I understand that he could possible at any time kill her. Yet, does he also have to laud that over Bella? Consistently reminding me, how fragile I am compared to your massive strength and abilities. Does not elicit romantic-feelings. He reminds her how dangerous is, to intimidate her into submission. I also couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that she actually made her female-lead accepting of the fact that her hero watches her sleep. I’ve been taught that screams STALKER!
A Reader posted a review at 2010-05-21 04:22:31.
I am a big fan of it if u ppl dont like it's not by fault it's osum here it,s a brief ABT IT . Isabella "Bella" Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, while her mother, Renée, travels with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, a minor league baseball player. Bella attracts much attention at her new school and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys compete for shy Bella's attention.
When Bella is seated next to Edward Cullen in class on her first day of school, Edward seems utterly repulsed by her. He disappears for a few days, but warms up to Bella upon his return; their newfound relationship reaches a climax when Bella is nearly run over by a fellow classmate's van in the school parking lot. Edward saves her life when he instantaneously appears next to her and stops the van with his bare hands.
Bella becomes determined to find out how Edward saved her life, and constantly pesters him with questions. After a family friend, Jacob Black, tells her the local tribal legends, Bella concludes that Edward and his family are vampires who drink animal blood rather than human. Edward confesses that he initially avoided Bella because the scent of her blood was too desirable to him. Over time, Edward and Bella fall in love.
Their relationship is disturbed when another vampire coven arrives in Forks. James, a tracker vampire who is intrigued by the Cullens' relationship with a human, wants to hunt Bella for sport. The Cullens attempt to distract the tracker by splitting up Bella and Edward, and Bella is sent to hide in a hotel in Phoenix. There, Bella receives a phone call from James, who claims to be holding her mother captive. When Bella surrenders herself, James attacks her. Before she is killed, Edward, along with the other Cullens, rescues her and defeats James. Once they realize that James has bitten Bella's hand, Edward successfully sucks the poison from her bloodstream and prevents her from becoming a vampire, after which she is brought to a hospital. Upon returning to Forks, Bella and Edward attend their school prom and Bella expresses her desire to become a vampire, but Edward refuses.
A Reader posted a review at 2009-01-11 01:25:53.
Ok, first for all of my English major friend types like me...It was okay. It is purely a light read with very little depth beyond the actual story. This is the first "vampire" novel I have ever read other than Brahm Stoker's (Spelled right?) Dracula. It does hold to what I know of some vampire lore and discards other or ignores other lore completely. I would have to do more research into the legends of vampires are, but for a young person who has not read much on the subject, what you are given is enough for now. I selected "I liked it" because I was entertained at times. I was disappointed with the last quarter of the book because I felt it skimped in some areas - especially in the vampire fight which is alluded too rather than shown. I realize this book is geared for the 12-24 age group so some restraint was shown here, but felt there could have been more shown while still keeping the sensitivity of the age demographics intact. Plot line was fairly consistent with a rapid increase in pace and tenseness in the last quarter. Sexual tension is adequate and the "relationship" between Bella and Edward is fairly interesting as far as it goes but could go farther. Bella's character was fairly shown, but Edward and others are still lacking.
Ok, now for my non-English major type friends....It is a fairly well written book with a progressive plot and enough interesting things happening to keep a young girl interested for the novel. Boys could easily become bored with the relationship tension and not near enough action. The mystery of Edward and his family could possible keep them entertained enough, but there is little action of note for a boy in this age group (12 - 24) to be interested consistently.
Ok, parents - your turn...This is not a book that will send your child straight to Hell by reading this at all. While there is no mention of God and it avoids the legend of a vampire being a purely demonic agent of evil, it does address some myths of vampires in broad general terms. While there is moderate sexual tension throughout the book, there are NO sex scenes or inappropriate sexual behavior in this book. At one point Edward asks Bella if she has ever had sex and she responds with a firm no, but it is not portrayed as negative or positive either way - it's just information being passed along. Young girls will absolutely love this book as it seems to address many of the inner conflicts of a young woman growing up and all of the social pressures she may face with school, friends, and family. It also allows the fantasy of being the "damsel in distress" swept off by a dashing superman who "needs" her. There is no cursing present that I can recall and the violence in the book is minimal (more violence in a Spongebob cartoon than here). WARNING: PLOT POINT SPOILER: There is what appears to be an attempted rape of Bella, but Edward saves her before more than a serious scare can occur. The battle of vampires is alluded to and never shown.
In short, decent story line, loved the relationship between Bella and Edward, and thought that more details about vampires and the action could have been done fuller. Purely a light read meant for entertainment only. Nothing objectionable over all (good) but nothing that makes you think beyond the story itself (other than to possible do more research on vampires).
Kew posted a review at 2009-06-03 10:07:30.
I don't know if I've been influenced by the opinions of "snooty" readers as well as Stephen King, but I'm not too impressed by Meyer's writing either, and I'm usually not that discerning when it comes to writing style.
I'm certainly very very tired of seeing the words "statue", "beautiful", "perfect", "marble" or "angel" in the same phrase as the name "Edward", and also of seeing the words "skip", "dance", "graceful" or other such pixie-ish words in the same phrase as the name "Alice". I did chuckle at about 3 or 5 points in the novel, when Bella's wit comes through (like at the end when Edward pretended to nap next to Bella's hospital bed when her mom was coming in, and Bella whispered to him to remember to breathe), but mostly, it was teenage angsty puppy love.
There was something I read from a reviewer here that I think is very true: Meyer's characters ARE hollow. They each have the one main trait and show it all the time, with no other layers beneath them. In comparison to Gerry Bartlett's "Real Vampires..." books which I read before this (also about whiny relationships and cool-males-saving-distressed-female, but a lot more sex-laden than Twilight), Bartlett's characters are more interesting and I find myself missing them while I was reading Twilight (though I had my grouses WHILE I was reading "Real Vampires...").
What another reviewer said also rang very true: If this series was written by a teenager, it WOULD be very impressive. But that it's written by 30-something with the literary grasp of a teenager makes it much less impressive. And arguing that she was writing for teens and so wrote like one is NOT a good excuse.
All that said, the plot runs along fine, and being a plot-driven reader in general, I was satisfied enough. I think it helped that I watched the movie first; if I hadn't, I might have been a lot more annoyed by Bella's constant whiny adoration of Edward.
My colleague lent me this book, and she is to lend me the 2nd one as well, and I won't refuse it. As she said, it's the sort of book you're not proud to be seen reading, but you read it anyway. Har har.
I doubt I'll ever be a fan of the novels OR the movies, but there is one thing I AM a fan of: Twilight - The Score (soundtrack). That's the ambient (instrumental) one, not the one with pop songs. It's very good; highly recommended.
A Reader posted a review at 2009-03-09 05:09:48.
I don't usually make pro/con lists with books, instead basing my reviews on a sort of general feeling I get from reading them. I do however, have some sort of mental pro/con list where Twilight is concerned. I will start with the bad things. Meyer is not a good writer. That much is transparent from the very first pages. Not only that, but she appears to be very delusional/ignorant where relationships are concerned, at least for her age. Either that, or she's did the best she could to describe the behaviour of an idiotic teenage girl who is in desperate need of a shrink (note: not of an average teenage girl) in the hope that there are enough of those around the world to make Twilight a best-seller. Poor Bella tells Edward things like "You're driving me crazy" and "You're good at everything you do",and "You're doing it again...dazzling me", and "Look at me, I'm absolutely ordinary...and look at you!" and that her favorite gemstone is topaz because "It's the color of your eyes today" for Christ's sake. Raise your hand if you ever told that to the teenage boy/girl you had a crush on. That's what I thought. And here you thought I was being harsh on Meyer. Also, apart from the fact that it's corny and unrealistic, with some of the most vomit-inducing dialogues ever, the book is absolutely sexist: Bella obeys Edward in everything he says, she cannot live without him, she is totally helpless and he has to save her all the time, she is oh-so-fragile, she cries all the time, she cooks for her dad and goes shopping with her girlfriends but abandons everything to be with Edward etcetera. Because that's what women do, of course. Please. Give me Hermione over that pathetic self-pitying, obsessed, insecure girl anytime.
And since I mentioned Harry Potter I have to say this. I didn't want to make any comparisons between Meyer and Rowling, because it's kind of mean towards Meyer, but I couldn't help but note a very obvious thing. One of the very best things about the Harry Potter books is that Rowling touches upon some serious subjects (like slavery, racism, class differences, corruption, politics, family values, etcetera) always within the context of the story, cleverly imbuing the books with her own opinions without allowing the reader to glimpse her own authorial voice beneath the characters' beliefs. She does not have to resort to cheap declarations and definitions of her beliefs. Imagine if, instead of trying to illustrate slavery and oppresion through house-elves, or racism through the prejudice against "Mudbloods" she had just made Harry say "Slavery is very very bad and unjust. So is racism." That's what it felt like sometimes reading some of the words Meyer put in her characters' mouths. For example, take Meyer's opinion the origins of our humans/the Universe (remember Sarah Palin anyone?) :
Edward: "Well, where did you come from? Evolution? Creation? Couldn't we have evolved in the same way as other species, predator and prey? Or, if you don't believe that this whole world could have just happened on its own, which is hard for me to accept myself, is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?"
Or take her transparent opinions on pre-marital sex:
"I'm curious now, though," he said, his voice light again. "Have you ever...?" He trailed off suggestively.
"Of course not." I flushed. "I told you I've never felt like this about anyone before, not even close"
"I know. It's just that I know other people's thoughts. I know love and lust don't always keep the same company."
"They do for me" (...)
"That's nice. We have one thing in common, at least." He sounded satisfied
Now I'm sorry but is that the best she could do? Ignoring the fact that I disagree with her opinions, it's pretty pathetic the way she tries and fails to make it sound like the characters' opinions instead of her own. It is perhaps one of the reasons why Edward never seems believable. If this is the way teenage girls will imagine the "perfect" man from now on, I really pity them, and hold Meyer responsible for making them believe a man who is obsessive, arrogant, aggressive, sexist, violent, and creepy, who demands obedience and uses physical force (even if he says it's for good), who clearly does not understand the concept of privacy and is a stalker to boot, is actually DESIRABLE. As far as I can see, the only qualities of Edward's mentioned throughout the book are that he's unbelievably beautiful, he's "muscular" and powerful, and he is oh so "perfect" and good at everything he does. (i.e. only physical traits) Oh yeah and that he has enough self-restraint not to eat Bella. A keeper this one, huh?
If the book had continued with the ridiculous corny conversations between Edward and Bella, the rating would have been much lower. However, it picked up a bit and the last quarter of the book was actually fun. (after James came into the picture) So I'll mention some pros as well to justify my rating: very easy to read, not tiring, not intellectually demanding (that could also be a con), suspenseful in its last half and I quite enjoyed the moments with the Cullens all together. After finishing the book I actually wanted to find out what happens next - though more to the Cullens as a family, not to Edward and Bella - so I suppose that's a pro as well. The book felt very girly and I think I would've enjoyed it much better as a daydreaming (and/or delusional)teenager.
A Reader posted a review at 2009-02-26 04:48:02.
Alright any of you Twilight fangirls *the reallyreally obsessive ones* don't kill me for this! I really do respect the book in some degree!
On to the review...
I encountered this before Breaking Dawn had come out, and was wondering what the hub-bub about this series, and why I suddenly noticed on my rare visit to Borders it was STUFFED with all these mangas and books about teenage vampires. So I picked up a softcover of Twilight, the root of all this, and read it in a week.
Even without bias I came up with my conclusions. The book and the sequels is a story involving teenager-aged vampires, werewolves and humans involved with love triangles, supernatural, affairs, drama and boy-meets-girl. This storyline is perfect for pre-teen readers and around to enjoy, however, I didn't particularly. Those who do not read this for entertainment will be turned off by weak style of writing, and those who have read earlier and historical facts and literature of vampires would get nitpicky about the vampire details. These days though we are all allowed to take liberties with the supernatural 'laws' about vampires and werewolves, however it still is seen offending to make vampires sparkle. It's as if the author wanted to pretty them up to her readers or her own personal tastes. It's even rumored she didn't hardly research vampires after she first dreamed up the plot and began writing. I have not read the rest of the books fully but I hope she had done more research.
Conclusion? Two types. First, it's the perfect love story for young girls who have not encountered better written reading material and read in ignorance, most of them. Not only that but the success of the book and even before it has pioleted the new wave of vampire media. Instead of seriousness or something dealing with Victorianism, we are now flooded with school stories with vampires added to the mix for flavor because they make the most sexy boyfriend/girlfriends. That's perfectly fine in media standards!
Second conclusion: If you want to read well-written, intelligent, and real good fiction with vampires, just give this a passing glance. Despite how it has fueled the need for vampires in literature for the 2000's it is seen insulting by the higher and/or older connoisseurs that have read better writing, style, and different story lines of vampires. Thus we have Twilight-haters and those who don't care for it. This book series definietley will not appeal to you for those reasons, as it did to me: I have read better, I'm not interested in highschool romance with vampires, drafty writing, lack of credibility with the author, and how dolled-up the characters are to make them sparkly, unbelievable and fantasy-sugary-dramatic.
But...if you haven't read other vampire fiction *Anne Rice, Kim Newman, Bram Stoker, Kate Cary, even the author of Hellsing* and looking for romance to thrill you and start your young dreams, you will find hardly anything wrong with this book. The choice, is up to you!
Note: This book has actually caused Twilight fans to act irrationally against people who do not like this book. Stabbing with pencils, chemistry ingredients, beatings with stones and books, and even knives. How could a series like this cause so much harm? O_o
A Reader posted a review at 2009-02-16 01:45:42.
This book was on my reading list as one of those that I would get around to eventually. When a friend said this series topped her fantasy favorite list (even higher than Harry Potter or His Dark Materials) it became next on my list since we seem to enjoy the same types of novels. I sought it out and really, really wanted to enjoy it.
After the first dozen chapters or so I was unimpressed. The characters are shallow, action is lacking (it doesn't pick up until the last 1/3 of the book), and Meyer's writing style irritated me to no end. Don't get me wrong, I was intrigued by the story, which is a good one. I give Meyer credit for her originality, but perhaps it would have been better told from another point of view. First person POV can be extremely difficult to read if the writer is not, shall we say, good at it. Meyer's first person POV writing comes across as choppy and doesn't flow well. I'm used to authors like Anita Diamant (The Red Tent) writing in exemplary first person. Meyer's is simply flawed. She could have used this POV to her advantage and really molded the character of Bella into something amazingly complex, but Bella is the stereotypical insecure teenager. The only thing non-stereotypical about her is her exaggerated clumsiness, which becomes increasingly irksome as the novel progresses.
I was also hoping for some more complexity in the character of Edward. One would think a century-year old vampire would be far wiser and more rounded than this superficial, "look-at-me-I'm-a-Greek-god" hottie. Even Superman has more weaknesses than Edward, who can lift cars, play piano flawlessly, swoon every girl in the room, etc. Edward's seemingly only weakness is Bella, and not even Bella herself, but her smell. Some would say his weakness, of course, is that he must overcome his "need to feed" on every human around him, but apparently that wasn't an issue until Bella moved to town.
Their relationship is so incredibly dysfunctional it made me want to chuck the book across the room. It can be summed up like this: Edward gets angry at nearly every word Bella says, Bella grows more insecure around this godlike being, Bella whines and falls down, Edward saves her life from her exaggerated clumsiness and stupidity (which makes one wonder where common sense is for this supposed "honor student"), and then Bella gets angry at Edward--they apologize and make up (with some sensuous, cold vampire caressing on occasion). That is the gist of the story. There is no complexity in the relationship. I was waiting to see if the relationship would develop based on conversation, similar interests, hobbies, "normal" things--but Edward only loves Bella for her smell and Bella only loves Edward for his statuesque features and his ability to "dazzle" her.
By the time the action picked up toward the end of the book, it was over too soon--just when things were getting interesting. Usually a good novel will have a sense of balance between character developments, plot establishment, and climax. Twilight draws out a slow-moderate paced plot with very little character development and a whirlwind climax that ends before it seems to have even begun.
In this one instance I must disagree with my friend with regards to Twilight. It cannot possibly hold a candle to the writings of Rowling or Pullman, both masters of originality in creative children/young adult fantasy writing. It is a light read that doesn't require much thought (maybe this is where today's young adult fiction is headed?) and it will irritate anyone who is used to reading higher quality fiction.
With all of this said, I do intend to finish the series. It wasn't so incredibly awful that I refuse to read a single sentence more. It's reminiscent of fan fiction--a lower quality novel with a good, original plot that can occupy a few hours of my time.
A Reader posted a review at 2009-02-16 12:05:22.
This book was on my reading list as one of those that I would get around to eventually. When a friend said this series topped her fantasy favorite list (even higher than Harry Potter or His Dark Materials) it became next on my list since we seem to enjoy the same types of novels. I sought it out and really, really wanted to enjoy it.
After the first dozen chapters or so I was unimpressed. The characters are shallow, action is lacking (it doesn’t pick up until the last 1/3 of the book), and Meyer’s writing style irritated me to no end. Don’t get me wrong, I was intrigued by the story, which is a good one. I give Meyer credit for her originality, but perhaps it would have been better told from another point of view. First person POV can be extremely difficult to read if the writer is not, shall we say, good at it. Meyer’s first person POV writing comes across as choppy and doesn’t flow well. I’m used to authors like Anita Diamant (The Red Tent) writing in exemplary first person. Meyer’s is simply flawed. She could have used this POV to her advantage and really molded the character of Bella into something amazingly complex, but Bella is the stereotypical insecure teenager. The only thing non-stereotypical about her is her exaggerated clumsiness, which becomes increasingly irksome as the novel progresses.
I was also hoping for some more complexity in the character of Edward. One would think a century-year old vampire would be far wiser and more rounded than this superficial, “look-at-me-I’m-a-Greek-god” hottie. Even Superman has more weaknesses than Edward, who can lift cars, play piano flawlessly, swoon every girl in the room, etc. Edward’s seemingly only weakness is Bella, and not even Bella herself, but her smell. Some would say his weakness, of course, is that he must overcome his “need to feed” on every human around him, but apparently that wasn’t an issue until Bella moved to town.
Their relationship is so incredibly dysfunctional it made me want to chuck the book across the room. It can be summed up like this: Edward gets angry at nearly every word Bella says, Bella grows more insecure around this godlike being, Bella whines and falls down, Edward saves her life from her exaggerated clumsiness and stupidity (which makes one wonder where common sense is for this supposed “honor student”), and then Bella gets angry at Edward—they apologize and make up (with some sensuous, cold vampire caressing on occasion). That is the gist of the story. There is no complexity in the relationship. I was waiting to see if the relationship would develop based on conversation, similar interests, hobbies, “normal” things—but Edward only loves Bella for her smell and Bella only loves Edward for his statuesque features and his ability to “dazzle” her.
By the time the action picked up toward the end of the book, it was over too soon—just when things were getting interesting. Usually a good novel will have a sense of balance between character developments, plot establishment, and climax. Twilight draws out a slow-moderate paced plot with very little character development and a whirlwind climax that ends before it seems to have even begun.
In this one instance I must disagree with my friend with regards to Twilight. It cannot possibly hold a candle to the writings of Rowling or Pullman, both masters of originality in creative children’s/young adult fantasy writing. It is a light read that doesn’t require much thought (maybe this is where today’s young adult fiction is headed?) and it will irritate anyone who is used to reading higher quality fiction.
With all of this said, I do intend to finish the series. It wasn’t so incredibly awful that I refuse to read a single sentence more. It’s reminiscent of fan fiction—a lower quality novel with a good, original plot that can occupy a few hours of my time.
A Reader posted a review at 2009-04-07 07:09:23.
So.... I was worried that this book wouldn't live up to the hype it seems to be getting from everyone! Well it TOTALLY did. Meyer's portrayal of Vampires is interesting, original and.... damn sexy! Bite me please! With a reasonably slow start (the first 3 chapters fell kinda flat but only because the rest of the book is just hammered with intense sexual desire) But Meyers created a pretty large cast of characters and really kept the story flowing well (especially with so many characters). The book follows Bella moving from the sunny skies in Phoenix Az, to live with her father Charlie in Forks, Wa. A less than blue skies always rainy kinda town. Tho it was her choice to move there, you can see her frustrations with her own decision! She meets a group of new friends, but it's not until she meets Edward that she starts to feel like she belongs there. Then for the reader, everything else just disappears as you get SO incredibly wrapped up in Edward and his relationship with Bella. He's about 110 years old and she's 17. What could they possibly have in common? PLENTY. So much sexual tension between these two... electricity flies back and forth. Meyers does an incredibly job of making you very nearly swoon over Edward. I'm enthralled by Edward. EDWARD WEDWARD EDWARD! More Edward, please!!!! And he isn't the only vampire around. His "family" is a non-violent one, not hunting humans, but rather over-populated animals. The family is unique to the lore of vampires, and it apparently takes a great deal of control and a large dose of compassion. But they are all able to abstain from the human kill. They love to play baseball, they don't sleep ever, and instead of bursting to flames from the sunlight, thier skin glistens like diamonds, a beautiful trancing look, that captivates your brain as you picture the characters vividly. Follow the relationship between Bella and her beau Edward, from start to glorious finish. I do feel that the book could have gone without the epilogue of "the prom" but even in that little bit of "happy ending" meyers was still hard at work on Edward and Bella, enforcing that really, they shouldn't be together, a human and a vampire. But the love they feel, the tensions between them draw them closer together with each passing moment. NOT overhyped, NOT typical, NOT able to put this book down. I read it in essentially 2 days! Get it, read it, love it!
A Reader posted a review at 2010-08-21 07:15:26.
Poorly written really, how many times must you say "Edward's eyes smoldered" Smoldered?!? C'mon, you graduated with a degree in English Lit, you can't come up with a few more words? You can't even be bothered to pick up a dictionary? JESUS.....
That said, I read it compulsively and was pulled into the plot against my will and now must read the other books. I say I was pulled into the 'plot' and not story or characters or world because as I mentioned before, it is a little shallow. Okay, you can go ahead point out that I am not fourteen, though when I was fourteen it was Louis I would have loved to be my vampire BF not some shiny version of an Ambercrombie dummy who feeds on....MOUNTAIN LIONS??? Someone please call the wildlife foundation because I'm pretty sure that kitty population is in trouble enough of being endangered. Really, there's an over population of human beings so if these 'vegetarian' vampires wanted to do some actual good they should be killing off people not animals with limited populations.
So there are some gaping holes in the characters, such as their puny capacity for emotion. Oh, suddenly Bella and Edward love each other...well we need no explaination he's supposed to be incredibly good looking, fair enough. Lets just have the characters ask each other twenty questions and assume that they fall for each other that way. Sure. Okay and he saves her life, but still, that point in the plot is rather week.
The other problem I have goes back to the whole 'smoldering' point, emotion is not implied for the most part, it's just stated blatantly which is boring. Why not some, 'his eyes fell on me, burning, reaching into the core of me, forcing me to look away from his topaz gaze' instead of 'his eyes smoldered and i looked away'....was that so hard? Seriously that just took me about thirty seconds to come up with.
So yes, it is the plot, it's like a really bad tv show (*cough*rock*cough*of love*cough*) that you just can't turn away from because you MUST know the out come you actually CARE what happens next. So congratulations on that one, something so compelling yet utterly worthless. Kudos.
A Reader posted a review at 2010-03-28 06:17:57.
I think “Twilight” is about a teenager's anxiety towards her first sexual experience (here represented by becoming a vampire). Well, perhaps this is a uniquely feminine concern, because I think it's not unreasonable to propose that guys are pretty much horndogs eager to have at it. In a real sense, women are the ones who stand to lose a lot. As a friend of mine once noted, for men, losing one's virginity is merely conceptual; for women, there is a physical loss (the hymen). And what happens next? Does the woman get pregnant? Does the man run off because he's had his fill? Maybe the reason why “Twilight” is so popular is because Edward is the kind of guy who guarantees that all these anxieties are unfounded. His commitment to Bella is so unquestioning that he practically has no ego. (And here he accuses Bella of her lack of self-interest.)
That being said, I found “Twilight” to be an utter bore. I suppose it's in part because I'd seen the movie before reading the book, so I already knew what would happen. I'd hoped that an insight into Bella's motives (the novel is told in the first person) would make the reading experience interesting, but Bella's tale is a litany of complaints about other people and herself, with a sprinkling of worship for Edward. Edward calls her perceptive, but there's nothing perceptive in Bella's ramblings.
There were only three instances when I became interested in the story. The first was when James and his posse showed up and threatened to eat Bella. I hoped there'd be more action in the book than in the movie, but it turns out Catherine Hardwicke had already exercised artistic license in her adaptation (and it was still dull). James seemed like an interesting character—a cunning, calculating stalker—but it turns out his originality only went as far as Home Alone (and maybe Home Alone 2). The second was when Edward was telling the story of Carlisle. I wouldn't mind reading about Carlisle's history. In the back of the book my friend had given me (she hated it) a blurb reads, “In the tradition of Anne Rice...” Well, Anne Rice likes to give her vampires rich, lush backstories; this part about Carlisle reminded me of that. The third part was when James told Bella about Alice's history. Now I'll have to admit, I have a thing for Alice, because Ashley Greene is hella hot. I never knew, however, that Alice never knew how she became a vampire. This just added a dimension to her (besides her questionable prescience) that made her all the more intriguing. Who was the old vampire who turned her? How did she end up in the asylum? I'd gladly have read about that than the whispered secrets between Bella and Edward.
And there's something vulgar, I think, about lovers' whispered secrets plastered on paper. To me, it's like watching porn: it's supposed to be thrilling, but you end up laughing instead. Why couldn't “Twilight” more have been like “Lost in Translation?” In Sophia Coppola's movie, there's tension between Charlotte and Bob Harris, but it doesn't need to bubble and boil over as in “Twilight.” And in the end, when Bob and Charlotte part ways, perhaps never to see one another again, Bob goes to Charlotte and whispers something; we're never let in on what it is, but we know it was true and genuine. I thought it was far more moving than all of Bella's descriptions of Edward.
Besides, Bill Murray would make for a kick-ass vamp.
A Reader posted a review at 2007-07-27 01:30:28.
(Sorry about the wall of text- I can't seem to do anything about it.) <p>
Personally, I cannot understand all the hype this book gets. Twilight is heralded as the authoritative vampire romance novel, and yet, as I was reading it, I could feel nothing but contempt for the book and every character in it. The main character, Bella, is the most well-rounded character out of the entire book, personality-wise, and yet even she only barely manages to creep past the two-dimensional phase. Basically, the only characteristics she has are that: A) she falls down a hell of a lot, B) she's afraid of needles and blood, and C) she's a naive idiot. (I'm sorry, but only an idiot would live her entire life in a big city and then, when she's being followed by a gang, proceed to RUN INTO AN ALLEY. My lord.) It's obvious that these so-called "flaws" are weak ruses to put her into danger, forcing her love interest to have to rescue her at least once a chapter, which to me does not constitute a worthwhile read. And am I the only person that noticed that Bella is continuously finding things to complain about? She chose to go to Forks of her own will, and yet says how much she hates it and how miserable she is every page, despite her mother all but BEGGING her to come home. And that's just one issue- she also complains about school, her car, the boys at her school, her mom, her dad, boys, her friends, her schoolwork, boys, I could go on and on. My point is, that despite her unusual situation, there is absolutely no part of the main character that holds any interest for me, and I'd have to agree with her when she (constantly) insists that she's a plain, boring person.<p>
As for all the other characters, they don't even get the courtesy of being 2-dimensional, falling firmly into the 1-D category. After the initial animosity, Edward becomes little more than arm candy for Bella, and resembles greatly the marble statue that Bella so often equates him to. Edward seems to have two functions: petting/kissing/touching Bella, or Saving/Protecting Bella. Just because he says his life is all about her, doesn't mean that it has to be taken literally- the guy's still got his own personality, after all. Everyone else, without exception, is reduced to merely "he said this, she said that"s, showing us their actions but none of the reasoning or personality behind it. Never in my knowledge have I read a book where the author so utterly failed at getting inside the head of her characters. For proof, just look at Alice and Jasper. Bella spends all of chapters 20-22 solely in their presence, yet they act like cardboard cutouts through the entire thing. Meyer had a unique chance to flesh out two supporting characters, making them into people we could relate to, and instead shoved them aside and used them only for their plot value. Weak. Or if that's not enough, how about Carlisle? His vampire special ability is "compassion". As Edward explains, "[they] all bring something of [their] strongest human traits...into the next life, where they are intensified" (307). So I'm to believe that Carlisle never felt anything but kindness and warmth? That he had absolutely no other feelings strong enough to rival how nice he is? Well, looking at how he's portrayed as a vampire, I wouldn't doubt it. He's like a walking, talking niceness-dispensing machine. That's not characterization; that's laziness, plain and simple.<p>
Of course, the book isn't without its good points. I will admit that the plot, although cliched and overdramatized and poisoned by broken characters, is actually somewhat catching. It can be summarized as "girl goes to town, meets boy, drama ensues", but hey, it's a cliche for a reason- it works. Also, the writing style is simplistic and entertaining, not bothering to get bogged down in complex, overdone sentence structure like so many young adult books nowadays. The dialogue usually holds my interest, if nothing else, and I found the scene where Bella and Edward went to dinner to be wonderfully amusing. But these are like needles in an entire desert's worth of hay; it's such a monumental task, is it even worth looking? <p>
Overall, I felt that this was a book that would be somewhat impressive if it were written by a young teenager who didn't know any better; as it is, I simply cannot forgive Meyer for allowing herself to fall into a trap of shoddy characters and hackneyed drivel used as a poor excuse for a storyline. The story is rife with contradictions, plot holes, and unexplained occurrences, for which it makes no attempt at apologizing. I don't know; maybe there's something there that everyone else can see that I can't, which makes them salivate slavishly over each new page while I recoil in horror and pain. Maybe I'm too jaded, too acute to the negative. Maybe there's some secret moral embedded in the cheesy romance that's completely world-shattering, but totally flew over my head. Or maybe it really is that bad? <p>
I was fervently recommended this book by a friend of mine, and stuck it out for her sake; now I sadly shall be forced to never speak with her again. See what happens when bad books get good reviews?
A Reader posted a review at 2009-05-23 05:57:15.
Well, I am always a big fan of vampire novel, from Bran Stokers Dracula, Anne Rice's chronicle to The Historian, I enjoyed them all. But vampire romance? Well I never imagine myself to enjoy and love this book so much, given that I am way too old for the target audience-another puzzle to solve after the Harry Potter phenomena!! Who say vampire cannot be sexy??? I decided to read this book after seeing the movie and I have to say the book is so much better.
It contains certain must have elements of a typical vampire novel: mysterious origin as in The Historian or Dracula, vampires with powerful abilities similar to Lestant, tortured soul like Louis, and very interestingly star cross lovers!! I was a bit depressed after the end of the Buffy series and I was ferious when they decided not to continue making the Angel series. After reading this book, I felt like my Buffy and Angel equivalent have come back!! However, the Bella-Edward relationship is even more intense and doomed-want to know the meaning of fatal attraction? This is a good example.
For both pairs, keeping the girl alive was crucial. In Buffy's case, the concern was to make sure Angel didnot have a moment of "perfect happiness" before turning back into Angelus. In Bella's, Edward, being a vegeterian vampire needed to keep himself in control under the "nice smell" of Bella to prevent himself from killing her. Bella being a vulnerable human, as oppose to Buffy being a slayer, added extra spice to the intense relationship. OK-before I go any further, I better explain the plot for those who have not read this fantastic book.
The story is about Bella who recently moved to Forks met Edward and his family, a group of unusually peaceful and vegeterian(they rely on animal blood) vampires. Bella is quite a character and being not afraid of "monsters", she fell in love with Edward even though that means endangering her own life. The lovers encountered various obstacles such as being hunt by human-blood thirsty vampire James, or coming to terms with their foundamental differences in existance, before finally got together. A tale of how love can conquer all!!
The book captures perfectly the psychology of teenage love and relationship. Told from Bella's perspective, it accounted the first denial of each other's love to acceptance and finally getting together. Lots of very romantic lines and description(such as the chapter about the pair spending Saturday in the woods!!!) and I have to say some chapters made me jump !!! Also, there were dialogs between Edward and Bella talking about "his secret" that made me laugh. What I like about the good vampire characters in this story is that they are ordinary and they live among humans, trying to fit in. They are sort of "more alive" .
Similar to works of Dan Brown, this is another non-putdownable and I finished it in no time. Being so popular, the author initally decided to rewrite it from Edward's perspective in a companion book called Midnight Sun. However, the draft of the first 13 chapters got leaked out on the internet and so this work is on hold permanently. However, the draft is availble as PDF on Stephanie's website. I read this after finishing the Twilight and it gave me a different perspective of the character of Edward. In Twilight, he is the senstive guy, the tortured soul. Well, in Midnight, you get to know "the dark side" of Edward. He is a bit of a stalker (given that he can read minds, apart from Bella's) and jeolous guy. It detailed the pain he went through before confronting Bella of his love.
I have already started the second book in the series and completing the whole saga is now my ongoing reading project.
Jennifer posted a review at 2009-11-16 04:46:26.
Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com
I have always been a sucker for vampire stories. Get it? Sucker? Vampires? Okay, enough with the bad puns, you get the idea. So when the woman who ran our school district's Scholastic Book Fair recommended TWILIGHT to me, I was intrigued. And when I cracked open a copy, I went from intrigued, to engrossed, to breathless with anticipation in a matter of about ten minutes. This is a fantastic book!
TWILIGHT is to blame for me walking around like a zombie for a week because I stayed up way too late every night reading it. TWILIGHT almost made me wish I was back in high school - but only if my high school were filled with unnaturally beautiful vampires, and one was fangs-over-heels in love with me. TWILIGHT is the reason I read fiction: it's a wonderful new story that sparks my imagination and transports me to another time and place. Have I mentioned that I love this book?
The plot in a nutshell is that seventeen-year-old Isabella Swan reluctantly moves to the rainy town of Forks, Washington. She soon discovers that in addition to the boring locals, there is also a family of vampires attending her high school. They are taking classes, driving too fast, and avoiding the cafeteria food, just like real teenagers. Since Bella is a magnet for trouble, she attracts the eye of one extraordinarily handsome vampire. It isn't long before she's smack in the middle of the vampire nest.
Described like this, TWILIGHT might not seem extraordinary, but it is. The way the story unfolds and the feel of the gray, cloudy setting really roped me in. I like the characters - I understand what makes them tick. Furthermore, this book's unique take on vampire lore is intriguing. I also enjoyed the humor that was sprinkled into what might otherwise have been a fairly serious love story.
This a well fleshed-out story that I highly recommend. But don't pick up TWILIGHT during finals week or when you're resting up before piloting a transcontinental airline flight. Accept the fact that you won't get any sleep until you've finished this whole, thick book. Then dive in and enjoy!
A Reader posted a review at 2011-09-03 06:08:16.
Hi. I've noticed parents asking about the reading age for these books, mostly asking if it's for 12 year olds,and was shocked to see it on children/teen section at Israeli book stores (I'm guessing all around the world it's the same - And there are other books that are on the children/teen shelf were they don't belong). The Answer is NO!
I don't have children of my own but I'm a book worm - read over 1000 books in Hebrew and English from a very young age and still read Children's, teen's and Adult's books in almost all genres... I've Studied Folklore and Literature and I am also a teacher (in Special Ed. As well) and just finished reading the "Twilight" series for the 3rd time.
The books are very intense and deals with hard dilemmas. It is a fantasy book that shows there are legendary creatures living with us in our "human world" - It's a romantic story but also deals with every day "normal" life issues, family, friends, emotions... It has Action, some horror, Heat,some Comedy and much more. It is written in a way that takes your breath away and squeezes all emotions (The Greek's name for it fits here -"Katarzis")! Which is good but is not work well for most "teens". I think u should be at least 17 before reading and very mature.
- Twilight books, Harry Potter books and other fantasies are best read and enjoyed when you know at least some versions of classical myths from around the world and the main ideas behind folklore- A must knowledge for all children and adults.
- If you know your child and their way of thinking you can read the books (any book you are debating on) yourselves and try to imagine your child reading it - How they'll react, What u think they'll take from it, The level of good Vs. Evil and Morality they need to understand, Fantasy Vs. Reality, imagination and everyday life dilemmas... - and then decide for yourselves (maybe even read with them).
- I'll be happy to recommend books in any genres for children and teens -
new-popular or "classical"...
- By the way, after I saw 1 min. of the movie (Just out of curiosity and because it was on TV) I disliked it intensely! It's one of those films that ruins a good book- It's quality, the imagination...Unlike Harry Potter which is different enough to be great on its own without the book and doesn't ruin the books for you.
- Buy the original book covers!!! I like the black background best... ;0)
A Reader posted a review at 2009-08-28 05:09:13.
Essentially what happens when you walk into Hot Topic, pick out the first twelve year old you see, and then have her write an Anne Rice novel. Twilight is a shallow blunder, and it sure is proud of it. The book reads like fan-fiction from a horny teenager (though that phrase may be redundant) with a mental problem, instead of providing any form of good writing we get every vampire cliché known to man until you're guaranteed every scene-fag that reads it will adore it. It is truly astounding how Meyer is able to say so, SO little in the course of 500 pages.
More than half of Twilight is just characters giving wry smiles, chuckling, hissing, glaring, flaring nostrils and raising eyebrows during some vapid, angsty conversation. The whole thing is narrated by some chick named Bella Swan, someone so lacking in human characteristics that it is more than easy to forget [i]this is your main character.[/i] Reading this book makes it no surprise the only people who like this are around thirteen years old, both the main characters are covered in disgusting gloss and teenage perfection. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen are two of the dullest characters I've ever become acquainted with.
Bella is just another "average, ordinary, everyday girl" typical of romance novels. She is the "new girl in school" cliché and instantly becomes popular by doing nothing. She is made essentially perfect in every manner, but in an attempt to hide this the author decides to make her clumsy. The problem is that anyone familiar with these stereotypes knows that when it comes to these characters this is actually a "plus". It also doesn't help she spends a large amount of time I could have spent hammering a nail into my foot whining about how she always falls down. That is, of course, when she isn't using insane amounts of adjectives to describe the "dreamy" vamp of her life, Edward Cullen.
Oh, Edward Cullen. How I loathe thee. This talking mannequin is spoken about for pages upon pages with what looks like a late-night session on fanfiction.net with a teenager and a thesaurus. Like Boring Bella, Ennuyeux Edward is without depth and without flaw. Know what else Bella and Edward are without? CHEMISTRY. This is pretty much the book version of Neo and Trinity from the Matrix, except even worse. A third of the book is spent with these two Barbie dolls enjoying fake, unrealistic sexual tension akin to an episode of InuYasha until an awful plot forms. The important thing is that it ends with Cullen and Bella at the prom... AWWWWWWWWW, NO ONE SAW THIS COMING. AWWWW.
There is a lot more to say about this offense against literature, but this is just a quick little review from me. Despite all of this bullshit, the most infuriating thing about this 4-part story is that it isn't rotting on LiveJournal where it belongs. It is out there making millions with people who wouldn't know quality if it punted them in the vagina. It offers nothing to the reader. Just some clever marketing, some clever abuse of the masses. It is a superficial story that leaves readers with the image of a girl who discovers her own worth and gets all she ever wanted, by giving up her identity and throwing away nearly everything in life that matters. For this reason, Twilight's fame is far more understandable. For this sacrifice of self for the shallow and meaningless truly captures the spirit of the generation it's written for, or at least, the lack thereof.
Sarah posted a review at 2009-07-08 05:57:56.
The first is the best—a clichéd saying, but it holds a lot of truth. Stephenie Meyer’s debut novel has propelled the author into the ranks of international acclaim, and The Twilight Saga has sparked a worldwide phenomenon comparable to that of the Harry Potter craze. In the midst of the glamour and glitz (and Edward Cullen dolls!), it is easy to almost forget the original creation and the mastermind behind it.
Now, I will go ahead and admit that I am a die-hard Twihard. Go ahead, make fun of me =P. I have not been for much longer than a year, though. In fact, I had never even picked up any of the books when there was a huge frenzy about the Twilight movie release in November 2008. My friend asked me to go see the movie with her around Christmastime, and I obliged. It was love at first sight— the movie may have had its flaws, but like millions of other teenage girls on the planet, I was entranced by the love story. I had to know more about Edward and Bella.
And I did. I got Twilight and devoured it in one day. I understand completely why millions of girls all over the planet keep madly flipping the pages of Meyer’s books—she creates characters and plots that are deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, yet extraordinarily perfect. You will not often find a boy who is beautiful on the outside and the inside, smart, wealthy, protective, romantic, and unconditionally and desperately in love with you (being immortal and having super speed and strength doesn’t hurt either); Edward’s idealistic—although not very realistic--character is a tantalizing fantasy in more ways than one. The excitement of secret love and hushed affection morphs into a terrifying race to stay alive.
Twilight has received a lot of criticism from literary snobs for its amateurish and flimsy writing style. I am a self-acclaimed literary freak and a voracious reader. I read Charles Dickens and Tolstoy, and then I read Dan Brown, Jodi Picoult, and Nicholas Sparks (and of course, Harry Potter!) The language in Twilight is admittedly, slightly juvenile, but that should not be a detriment. In fact, I found it pleasing to my diversity in book tastes. Do not try to read this novel with too serious an eye; not EVERYTHING has to be a literary classic!
About three things I am absolutely positive. First, Twilight is a deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful love story. Second, there is a part of me—actually, all of me-- that realizes that all human relationships have been ruined for me because of Edward Cullen. And third, I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with and obsessed with Twilight.
A Reader posted a review at 2009-11-23 12:06:20.
The writing is not spectacular, in fact, its downright poor. The plot is not original and it reads like a strange fan fiction one would stumble upon while strolling the many pages of Quizzilla.com. The main character is incredibly hard to like which already makes it a difficult story to stick to and many of the other characters are more of a way to get the story moving than anything else since they lack any real depth or personality. Edward himself doesn't really appear to have one; he's only there to love Bella and to bend to her every whim. The dialogue seems somewhat unnatural and there is far too much of it. Not too mention that its incredibly repetitive with points that do not provide any real significance to the overall story, e.g. Edward's eyes and overall gorgeousness. I stumbled upon an entire page describing absolutely nothing except for how he dazzled in the sun (and by the by, if you are going to pen down a story about vampires, make sure they at least follow the original description i.e. cannot survive sunlight) I'll be honest, after hearing so many people accuse me of being too judgmental before even giving it a chance, i thought to read it entirely so that i could say that i still thought it was horrible. However, I simply couldn't get through it, it was that bad. And being a person who isn't very fond of Harry Potter, this series in comparison makes it look like a masterpiece and to be honest, I even found a new respect for it afterwards. But back to the plot; its predictable. I'm sorry, but its very very predictable. There are no twists and almost nothing significantly bad happens and when it does, everything miraculously works out in the end. Of course being a fan of fantasy, I understand that you don't want something to be too realistic, but seriously. By the end of the series, everything works out for everyone and its all butterflies and rainbows? I won't even go into the overall message of each book, which I could write an entire essay on. Perhaps it wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the fact that so many young girls, already stupid enough as it is, are influenced by this. Now its considered romantic when your crush watches you in your sleep and stalks you? Like I said, I won't go into that for now, another day perhaps. I could write more, oh so much more, but I think that's enough of my insight for now.
A Reader posted a review at 2009-03-20 03:45:48.
I have never had much time for the supernatural world of the Lestat's or the Buffy's.
I have never had much patience for flowery writing, where it seems to take forever to get to the point and when the author is clearly in need of a good editor.
The lead character, Bella Swan, is intelligent, thoughtful, brave, tolerant. She is also naive, lacks self awareness, immature and has no understanding of the long term consequences of her choices. Her main appeal is that she is ordinary.
Fancy that, a heroine who isn't the prom queen, the cheer leader, the sport start.
She is willing to sacrifice everything - her dreams of university, her relationships with her parents, and ultimately her mortality - for a man. Or rather, the ultimate (?)man?! (Luke Costello would kick Edward's butt).
Bella would have us believe that Edward's appeal is more than skin deep, that he's more amazing 'behind the face' but it's not like their riveting conversation is what fills the pages of the book. Which is a pity!
Less talk about Edward's jaw and chest would have made the growth of their relationship more realistic, given we're talking supernatural here...not exactly important.
To Bella, Edward Cullen is charming, an old world gentleman, who with super-natural help is talented at everything. Music. Driving. Baseball.
He opens doors for her (literally and figuratively!) and seemingly seduces her without actually doing anything except rolling his eyes alot, which is probably just as well, because if he focused on her the whole time, she'd be 'dazzled' and there's only so much of that that you can read.
He is also over-protective, overly-dramatic, obnoxious, arrogant, prone to the odd overly dramatic tendancies. In real life, he'd be someone you'd want to avoid, and it's not because he's a vampire.
This is not exactly the literature of my heart. These are not characters that I would normally automatically respond to.
But there is something extremely addictive about the Twilight Saga - and it starts here with the first novel in the series.
I'm not sure why I love these books, but I do.
I'm not sure why I love these characters, but I do.
One read isn't enough.
A Reader posted a review at 2007-06-25 06:09:02.
Okay, so I thought I'd post a book review. Because people REALLY need to know the truth.
I managed to read the first couple hundred pages, but after that it was so dull, trite and clichÃ©d that I just skimmed along, picking up the important plot points along the way. All one of them.
This is quite literally a romance novel, but written with teenagers in mind. It has all the prerequisites of your run-of-the-mill romance (note that I don't say "good" or even "mediocre"). Let's check them off:
1) Impossibly beautiful heroine who has no idea she's beautiful.
2) Mysterious two-dimensional hero with a dark secret.
3) Frequent urple prose descriptions of hair and eye colors.
4) The doormat of a heroine needs rescuing every few pages.
5) The Neanderthal of a hero runs roughshod over any opinions and desires the heroine has of her own, unless, of course, they coincide with his.
6) They suddenly fall in love. No build up, no rationalization, no sense, just a statement of illogical fact.
7) The hero's Deep Dark Secret is revealed and much angsting on his part ensues.
8) Out of nowhere the heroine's life is threatened and she makes an incredibly stupid decision that nearly kills her.
9) Rescue at the last minute and declarations of twu lurv all around.
The only thing this novel doesn't have is horribly urple sex, and that's what gives it the teenage-appropriate feel. Certainly it's not the characters themselves.
Edward, with his too-adult speech, at least has the excuse of being over a hundred years old. What's Bella's excuse? No seventeen-year-old I've ever met speaks like that. She sounds like a thirty-year-old masquerading as a high-school student. It really feels like the author just used her own words and made no effort at capturing what a real teenager would sound like. No, Bella doesn't just sound mature for her age, she sounds utterly unbelievable.
And as others have already commented, what was up with her clumsiness? Unless she has some sort of medical disorder, the only reason for it seems to be to set up scenarios for her to be rescued. No one is ever that "conveniently" clumsy in the real world, not unless it's an act to get attention.
Bella's character itself gets more and more annoying as the book goes on. To the point where you want to slap her and yell at her to stop making the female half of the species look bad. I've seen jellyfish with more spine than she exhibits through most of the book. She lets Edward dictate to her and push her around and never does more than sulk and glare. She never makes any real attempt at enforcing her own opinions/desires. The one time she actually shows some initiative, it's to do something so deeply stupid that you wish the two-dimensional bad guy had just killed her and taken her out of the breeding pool.
And good god, has this woman no common sense? I can give no credence to her claim of having grown up in a big city, not when she goes wandering brainlessly on her own down empty streets in an unfamiliar city. No woman who grows up in even a small city would do such a thing. We know better. Bella acts more like she grew up in the suburbs or the country, where they're still under the delusion that crime can't touch them there. She'd be far more believable as a character if that was the background she'd been given. But coming from Phoenix? I don't think so. It just makes her look like, "All new: Victim Barbie! Push a button and she screams for her man to rescue her!"
As for this new sort of vampire the author came up with, I have to give her credit for having some interesting ideas (and some really bad ones: glittery vampires? Is this like some new, Halloween version of My Little Pony?). "Vegetarian" vampires (ones who only feed from animals); cute bit of irony there. Some of them possessing different powers, how hard they are too kill, the fact that they don't sleep at all. That's actually interesting. But nothing much is really done with it, either. The focus inevitably shifts back to Edward and his angst and Bella and her increasingly mindless devotion.
There's a short paragraph in the book itself that, I think does the best job of summing up the many flaws of this novel:
"Oh well. He *is* unbelievably gorgeous." Jessica shrugged as if this excused any flaws. Which, in her book, it probably did.
And I think that's what the author is hoping for here. That her audience will be so blinded by the pretty people and shiny romance that any flaws will be overlooked. And judging from the gushing reviews I'm seeing, it looks like it was a good gamble.
A Reader posted a review at 2008-01-03 10:55:54.
â€œTwilight,â€ although a definite page-turner, is far from being the literary achievement it has been touted as. Now, I could simply say that the reason behind this statement is that the book centers around a hopeless Mary Sue and her love interest, among other dazzlingly beautiful, uninteresting characters â€“ and that would be perfectly true â€“ but, unfortunately, people are never satisfied with short answers, and so I will elaborate.
I found the main character, Bella, to be quite unbelievable in her character development. At the beginning of the story she appears to be a responsible but jaded young girl of seventeen, used to fending for herself and taking care of her somewhat flighty but loveable mother. When she makes the decision to move to Forks and stay with her father, she continues to be independent, headstrong, a little standoffish even from her new friends, cooking for her father and making good grades in school. However, as soon as Edward enters the scene, her dominant personality soon wears off and we have nothing left but a lovelorn damsel pining for her sweetheart. Edward can elicit any response from this once-strong heroine; he can make her cry, faint, or loose herself in a fit of passion. Of course â€“ obviously â€“ he is a vampire, and one expects this. However, what is sadly lacking at this stage of character development is Bellaâ€™s natural rebellion to his influence over her. Someone with the kind of independence she had would not be given over to his protectiveness so easily; yet it seemed to me that within two pages Bella had changed from a lonely, independent teenager with depth and personality to a helpless ninny clinging to the arms of Edward.
The romantic parts were very engrossing, but soon became overdone. I donâ€™t want to say it, but the best adjective I can think of to describe â€œTwilightâ€ is â€œcampy.â€ But personally, the character development bothered me more than the campiness. At about two-thirds of the book, before the exciting plot twist that gets you turning pages again, I was extremely unsettled at the lack of depth to Bellaâ€™s character. She should have had more spunk. She never seriously objects to Edwardâ€™s over protectiveness. And I found it very unconvincing that she accepted Edwardâ€™s explanation of why they could never have sex. Seriously, if a girl was that in love with her boyfriend, and he told her they could never have sex, it would be more of a big deal. There would be questions on where they were going with the whole deal, he would feel apologetic and incompetent, etc. etc. I guess maybe that is part of the reason Bella asks him to â€œchangeâ€ her, but it is merely a guess, not intimated by the author.
Besides my gripe about Bellaâ€™s character, there are more problems about the vampires. They are perfect. All of them, but especially Edward. Sure, they have a weakness â€“ the thirst for blood that makes them want to destroy those they hold dearest â€“ but this is their only weakness. One tends to think that a more creative author would have found another way to make them more vulnerable, less omnipotent. Maybe itâ€™s just my nerdy role-playing alter ego, but I found that a part of me was screaming â€œGODMODING!â€ half the time when the author kept relentlessly emphasizing how wonderful Edward was at everything. Granted, she did use this aspect of Edward to give Bella some insecurity, but that insecurity never really surfaced, again showing that she missed the spot with regards to interesting character development with Bella.
In short, I knew going into this that the book was nothing more than a vampire romance novel for teens, but I was intrigued to see what my friends were reading. Meep. My thirst has been thoroughly satiated (if you'll pardon the pun)â€¦perhaps once Iâ€™ve recovered from the campiness I will attempt to finish the series and see if Ms. Meyer makes any improvement.
A Reader posted a review at 2007-11-20 09:52:51.
I have no idea why this book is getting so much hype. I've been hearing about it everywhere, and when I saw that there was an entire section of just this book at a local department store -- well, then I got really curious and picked up a copy.
I finished this book fairly fast in about two days (even though it's about 500 pages long). It kept me interested pretty much most of the time, but there were many things that I didn't like. The biggest complaint I have is of the relationship between Bella and Edward. For being such a central part of book, it didn't feel like it carried much weight.
Everything about this relationship just felt incredibly superficial. Edward is a complete ass to Bella. He's controlling, rude, yet she still falls for him because he's gorgeous. And not JUST gorgeous, "he's like a god with perfectly sculpted abs" and what not. Seriously, every time he has face time will Bella, that's the kind of stuff you'll always hear. It's always about how he looks and smells perfect in every possible way, and then when he's not around, she misses the fact that he's so perfect.
Honestly, I got tired of that fairly fast. When he's not being mean, he pampers the hell out of her by either of three ways: 1) He cups her face in her hands and says how much he loves her, 2) He kisses her lips or jaw and says how much he loves her, and 3) sometimes he gives a bit of variation on all of those things together by carrying her and THEN tells her how much he loves her.
And why does he love her? It's because she smells great. It's hard to believe that this perfect guy has been alone for 400 years only because of the fact that he couldn't find anyone that didn't smell right. I mean, seriously. The relationship just seemed entirely too fake. And yet, for 500 pages, I was still interested in continuing on. Why? The simple matter of fact is that behind the cheesy romance, it was mainly because of Edward.
He's still annoying, and seems to have anger issues with everything and everyone around him, but he's also interesting, and seeing him struggle with himself and having a bit of mystery around his background and family is what kept me going. So it's no surprise that I found the last third of the book to be the best part since it dealt the most with his vampire mythos. While most of the first part of the book is about Bella adjusting to Forks and trying to figure out why Edward is an ass her all the time, and the middle portion was mainly about their lovey dovey fake relationship, the last third of the book was the most interesting because that's when the plot finally moves along and brings us some truly scary consequnces of being involved with a vampire (yeah, I know how that sounded :P).
So in the end, was it worth it? It really depends. Obviously this is more of a 'chick book' so yeah, you're likely to enjoy it if you've got a thing for cheesy romance novels (Plus it plays on practically every females fantasy of that perfect looking dangerous guy). Personally though, I'm gonna say no. At least, not as something that HAS to be read. It's a fluff piece that can wait for a rainy day or for when you're in the mood for some light reading. The pay off in the end just simply isn't worth most of what you have to go through. I might give the sequel a try since things do seem to have turned a bit more interesting in the end, but if that doesn't impress me then I'll likely stay away from any more of Stephenie Meyers books.