I was home sick this weekend – perfect time to finish a book in a day. I couldn’t put “Twilight” down! I give it 5 Stars!!
I'll be honest, when I first got into the book, I already had a jaded opinion of Meyer, but that was based on what someone told me she, a stay-at-home Mormon mother, said in an interview:
“I accidentally wrote these books.”
I read her biography on her web site and saw she majored in English. I thought to myself, “NOBODY accidentally writes a book! Especially not an English Major!” Admittedly, I did a little searching on the Internet and could NOT find such a quote. If anyone can substantiate or disclaim it, I’d appreciate a comment here.
Anyway, I went into it skeptical, but was totally won over by the completion of the first chapter. I will NOT be providing spoilers, so this is a safe book review for those who’d like to know why I think it’s a good read. AND I can safely say, these weren’t “accidentally” written. 😉
Isabella “Bella” Swan (age 17) moves to Forks, Washington, to live with her father (parents are divorced) to give her mom some time with her new husband. Among the many friends she reluctantly gains at her new school is the beautiful Edward Cullen (also “age 17”), who is part of the Cullen family – a group of dark, attractive and strange students whom most people avoid. Not only does she figure out what Edward is – a vampire – she falls helplessly in love with him. Bella is caught up in a dark world of ancient myths and danger and it is their love for each other that puts her in peril, but it is also her salvation.
The book is written in the first-person. Meyer has a delightful way of getting us inside the full mood of the character. In the opening chapter, Bella is on her way to the airport with her mother from her home town:
“It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue.”
Yet when she describes Forks as the place she is about to venture back to:
“It was from this town and it’s gloomy, omnipresent shade that my mother buy ativan cheap escaped with me when I was only a few months old.”
Quite a difference in descriptions! One sounds like freedom and the other like a prison. She flavors her whole book with this kind of delectable prose.
Though she does include quite a bit of detail that I think could have been trimmed a bit, it still kept me riveted and flipping the pages. I think the book is very safe for young readers. Though there is a sexual tension of sorts between Bella and Edward, no sex at all is involved and there is a respect for the youthful boundaries that SHOULD be happening at this age. I think it provides a great example for young readers and what dating should look like – in spite of the fact that he’s a vampire. It shows healthy relationships and reminds us how awkward it is to be a teenager.
I know it might sound a little silly, but I’m going to say it anyway. Throughout the book, as Bella goes about her daily routines of living with her father, going to school and out with her friends, she CONSITENTLY provides a wonderful example of a responsible teenager. She cleans up after herself, does her own laundry, makes dinner for her father, leaves notes for him and respects his space. As I said, I know it sounds silly, but I am overwhelmed at how many kids today have this “entitlement” thing going on where they drop things at their backsides, dirty plenty of dishes, and don’t contribute in any way to the household. I hope today’s generation of young people pick up on this!
The only one thing about this book that kinda rubs me the wrong way is the age difference. It’s weird that these vampires are stuck in their high school years, yet are decades older than they appear to be. What a bummer to have to relive high school– over and over and over again – through the years. And this takes “robbing the cradle” to a whole new level! There’s a 90+ year old man inside that “boy” chasing after a 17 year old girl!! Eew!
That’s my two pence…
One thought on “Book Review – “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer”
Heh. My complaint about the Twilight series, which I initially adored, is that Bella never changes. She is charming with her… middle-aged-ness… but she doesn’t grow the way a proper character should.
Then again, vampires never change, either. They’re eternally… stuck… which also bugs me.
The prose in Twilight is beautiful, though. I adore the character Jacob, for who he is and how he grows and changes through the series.
You might enjoy Edward’s version of the events, Midnight Sun – a download offered on Stephenie Meyers’ website. Definitely check that out!
Thanks, Feliza! I haven’t tackled the other books yet, so I’m not aware of Bella’s character progression…or lack thereof. I’ll be hitting the 2nd book in about a week or so. I have a few other books on my list that I need to read from fellow authors – supporting my friends and all. 😉
I will check out Edward’s version of the events, as you suggest. I’m sure it will prove enlightening…at least I hope.
Being a rather devout vampire literature fan, I usually try to get my hands on as many vampire books as possible – fiction and “non-fiction” – to not only delve myself into the genre that I love, but to be sure that my own stories remain as unique as I can offer. I will say this is my first real experience at the Young Adult market as it pertains to vampires. Due to that age difference that I expressed in my review, I’m not sure this is a market I want to tap into. Again, it just seems a little too perverted. Any vampire chasing after a teen is not unlike the “dirty old man” or “dirty old woman”. It just creeps me out!
However, I suppose there can be some compensation if the vampire is willing to break the mortal teen into the ways of adulthood appropriately, letting them grow into adulthood and nursemaiding them through their growing pains. That, then, makes the vampire a bit of a parent until the mortal-turned-vampire gains the appropriate maturity. Wow! That would take a lot of patience and love. Interesting psychological experiment. Eh…but this is all fiction. Who cares, right? 😉
That’s my two pence…