Twilight

by Stephenie Meyer

Hardcover, 2005

Collection

Publication

Little Brown (2005), Edition: 1st, 544 pages

Description

When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human.

Media reviews

"Meyer's prose seldom rises above the serviceable, and the plotting is leaden" [....] "It's like reading a young teenage girl's blog"
8 more
Astonishing, mainly for the ineptitude of her prose. Teen vampire schlock that has the nation’s youth in thrall.
[L]et me say to you as a meat-eating, Entourage-watching, sports-loving (OK, I really don't love sports, or actually understand sports) — heterosexual man who can't sit through a single show on Lifetime television, let me loudly proclaim: I, Brad Meltzer, love the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.
I confess, I have joined the legions of the bitten and smitten.
The plot may sound rather comic and camp, but Meyer chooses to play it straight and serious. Vampires or not, what this novel is really about is a fatal attraction to someone or something dangerously different from yourself. The trajectory of the story is such that Bella's behavior and choices grow increasingly more disturbing, with irrevocable, self-destructive consequences.
Meyer's debut is a gorgeous, passionate paean to first love with a dark core that's as bracing as a Northern Pacific breeze
Amazon
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–Headstrong, sun-loving, 17-year-old Bella declines her mom's invitation to move to Florida, and instead reluctantly opts to move to her dad's cabin in the dreary, rainy town of Forks, WA. She becomes intrigued with Edward Cullen, a distant, stylish, and disarmingly handsome senior, who is also a vampire. When he reveals that his specific clan hunts wildlife instead of humans, Bella deduces that she is safe from his blood-sucking instincts and therefore free to fall hopelessly in love with him. The feeling is mutual, and the resulting volatile romance smolders as they attempt to hide Edward's identity from her family and the rest of the school. Meyer adds an eerie new twist to the mismatched, star-crossed lovers theme: predator falls for prey, human falls for vampire. This tension strips away any pretense readers may have about the everyday teen romance novel, and kissing, touching, and talking take on an entirely new meaning when one small mistake could be life-threatening. Bella and Edward's struggle to make their relationship work becomes a struggle for survival, especially when vampires from an outside clan infiltrate the Cullen territory and head straight for her. As a result, the novel's danger-factor skyrockets as the excitement of secret love and hushed affection morphs into a terrifying race to stay alive. Realistic, subtle, succinct, and easy to follow, Twilight will have readers dying to sink their teeth into it.–Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library
Bella's romantic dilemmas, klutziness, and loving relationships with her parents give her character depth and keep the narrative from becoming too dark. Although the novel is long, its pacing is steady and compelling until the end, when the chase scene rockets out of control. Nevertheless, TWILIGHT is a gripping blend of romance and horror that will entice fans of both genres.
yo
Bella se traslada a vivir con su padre a un pequeño pueblo de los EEUU donde el clima es, digamos algo lluvioso. Pronto se enamora de un misterioso chico de su clase, Edward. Pero ¿qué hay a la vez de atrayente y extraño para que Bella no pueda dejar de pensar en él?

User reviews

LibraryThing member MichaylaKemp
Save your time: here's the entirety of Twilight in 20 dialogue snippets and a wiggedy-wack intermission.

First 200 pages:
"I like you, Edward!"
"You shouldn't! I'm dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"But I'm dangerous!"

Next 50 pages:
"I'm a vampire!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"But I'm a vampire! I'm dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"

Next 100 pages:
"I like you, Edward!"
"You smell good, Bella. I'm dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"Damn, you smell good."
"I like you, Edward!"
"Also, I glow in sunlight."

Next 50 pages:
A. VAMPIRE. BASEBALL. GAME.
(I wish I was kidding)

Last 100 pages:
"Help me, Edward! I'm being chased!"
"I'll save you!"
"Help me, Edward! I'm scared!"
"I'll save you!"
"Oh, Edward!"
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LibraryThing member cestovatela
I began this book with high hopes and finished it feeling disgusted. I understand why teenage girls might be seduced by its charms, but why adult women succumb to its thrall is beyond me. When 16-year-old Bella reluctantly moves in with her father in an isolated Washington town, she is bitingly sarcastic, skilled with words and impressively observant. But within a few pages of meeting her vampire love Edward, she transforms into a vacuous damsel in distress whose life revolves around her boyfriend. There is little action in the first 300 pages of the novel, only a checklist of teenage fantasies: handsome loner saves girl's life, girl faints and handsome loner comes to her rescue, girl gets to make out with ravishingly handsome loner in a glistening, flower-filled meadow. At first, I enjoyed the book as a way to reconnect with my own girlhood fantasies, but soon the relationship was too creepy and obsessive for me to bear. Edward calls all the shots in the relationship, lurks in Bella's room while she is sleeping, eavesdrops on her private conversations and invades the minds of her friends in order to learn more about her. Not every literary romance has to be a healthy one and not every heroine has to be a feminist paragon, but this book crossed lines I could not live with. The book's climatic scene -- a fight with a predatory vampire -- briefly piqued my interest before it disappointed me with a deux ex machina ending and a trip to the prom. I give it two stars only because the book inexplicably compelled me to keep reading in spite of its nausea-inducing plot. However, I will not be reading the sequels and I recommend this book only to parents or teachers who'd like to know what kids are into these days.… (more)
LibraryThing member atimco
Ah, Twilight. What can I say that other reviews have not? The first thing I'll make clear is that I'm not going to vie with the reviews that find creative new ways to snark about the book's weaknesses. Oh, there are plenty of them, and a book like Twilight just begs to be made fun of. But snark is so done already. I'll divide my review into three sections: the little things that bothered me, the elements that are more deeply disturbing, and the things I did manage to enjoy.

For the little things: the first order of business is the writing. Usually this wouldn't be a "little thing" with me, but in light of the other issues, it seems smaller. I went into this expecting the style to be, as a friend of mine put it, about as "insipid as hose water," and found the expectations justified. It was not as bad as that monumental piece of bad writing, Eragon, which I had to drop after thirty pages because I simply couldn't do it anymore. Nor was it quite at the level of Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars, which was more like muddy hose water.

But that's about where my dubious praise ends. Meyer does a lot of "telling" instead of showing. I recently took a course on editing fiction and many of Meyer's sentence constructions could be pulled for the samples we were to correct for our homework. An example of this is "Desolation hit me with crippling strength." That's called telling: no subtlety about it, no descriptions that would clue us in without being explicit. And hint: "I felt desolation hit me with crippling strength" is not the way to fix that problem. The writing is readable, but definitely frustrating and clunky. It is not necessary to follow every sentence of dialogue with a description of how it makes Bella feel, how Edward looks, etc.

(And speaking of the writing, I also have a problem with the editing. Have you ever heard of a "dust moat"? Me neither! Dust motes I have seen, but never a moat composed of dust. Fascinating thought. Who checked this book for typos, and why wasn't it me?)

I confess being a little disappointed that Dracula didn't even get a mention in this book; it's such an important work to the history of vampire lit. But it wouldn't jibe with Meyer's good vampires, I suppose (noting, of course, that the idea of good vampires is nothing truly original with Meyer). I also didn't understand why Meyer felt the need to include little digs against foreign-made cars, of all things! We are twice reminded that Bella's truck would demolish any foreign-made car that it struck. Okay — ?

In addition, the plot is weak in many places, and Bella is not a consistent character. One minute she is coming up with a smart plan to escape the tracker, and the next she is stupidly walking right into his trap. And no one can be that klutzy. The story they fabricate at the end to explain things would strain the faith of even the most credulous parents.

The bigger issues are a little more serious, and are interrelated. The biggest problem, of course, is Bella's unhealthy obsession with Edward and her instant willingness to give up her life, her soul, her very self just to be with his gorgeousness forever. How disturbing is that. She loses herself entirely in her lust for him, and though there are hints here and there that this isn't good (she calls herself "pathetic," he says their relationship is not healthy, etc.), none of these objections are given any weight in the behavior of the characters. It's bad, sure, but it's a good bad.

Edward doesn't love Bella for herself. (Admittedly, that would be hard to do; as one friend put it, Bella is a shell for the reader to fill with herself — giving Bella very little personality of her own.) He is drawn to her on a physical level, by a primitive desire for the scent she has. Their entire relationship is predicated on his desire to kill her; he can't stay away not because he cares for her as a person, but because he has a physical need for her. The sad thing is that this is touted as romantic, and young girls want that. They want to be simply the object of a man's physical desire, and think somehow that this will fulfill their need for love. But lust — blood or otherwise — is not love.

Add to that the graphic descriptions of sexual desire, and you have a real problem with young girls absorbing this stuff. Sure, Edward and Bella don't have relations, but they might as well for some of the descriptions Meyer gives. I'm amazed she has no shame about writing such explicit scenes and offering them up for the reading diet of young girls. And Bella is not chaste out of morality or self-preservation; she refrains because it's "Edward's rule." *sigh*

Edward gets a lot of flak for being the classic abusive boyfriend, but Bella shouldn't get off so easily as a helpless victim. She is very assertive about getting what she wants; it's just that what she wants is selfish, stupid, and dangerous. But anyone who complains about Edward being controlling and selfish (and he is) should also realize Bella's complicity with the situation, and indeed her insistence that it should be so. I think a lot of young girls will go into life expecting their boyfriends to be completely obsessed with them as Edward is with Bella... and when that doesn't happen, they will wonder what they are doing wrong.

And now, having said all this, why did I read and even manage to partially enjoy this book? My main objective in reading it was to build credibility in criticizing it; I have some younger female friends who love it, and I want to be able to discuss its problematic themes with them. I also enjoy fantasy and some vampire mythology. And I do think Meyer has managed to create an interesting idea in vampires choosing to become "vegetarians" and not drink the blood of humans. There's a hint of redemption there, a theme I love. But it is, of course, a redemption brought about by those who need it rather than by an outside power. I believe Meyer belongs to the Church of Latter-Day Saints; her ideas should not be conflated with mainstream Christianity.

And there is something entertaining in the story, despite its many flaws. I want to see where Meyer takes the mythology, if she does any real research to add more depth to her world. I'm curious about the other vampires and how their stories will play out. I seem to be able to successfully ignore the constant descriptions of Edward's beauty and Bella's pathetic, selfish obsession, and so I think I will carry on with the rest of the series if I can stomach it. I reserve the right to drop it, but we'll see how it goes.

More mature readers may enjoy parts of this book as I did, but it does not deserve the hype it has received, and it's worrisome that so many young girls are allowing this story to shape their ideas of romance. I'm enjoying it, but with very mixed feelings. Mostly I'm just curious how it will all end. It would be nice if someone would rewrite the book to remove the bad characters, weak plot points, disturbing romantic ideas, and those pesky dust moats. Though perhaps the whole thing would be less entertaining without those very problems... Hmm.
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LibraryThing member girlunderglass
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 on Meyer, but I couldn't help but note a very obvious thing. One of the 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 the human race.

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. 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 towards the end and the last quarter of the book was actually fun. (after James and the Cullens 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, fun at times, 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 - and with all my cynicism taken away from me.
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LibraryThing member MystiqueWillow
I wrote this review for my College Newspaper. It won 3rd place in the arts category at the ICCJA (Illinois College Competition). I was super happy with that. Here is the Review:

Okay, I have accepted the consequences that by writing this review I am opening myself up to nasty e-mails, stalking, and possibly even death at the hand of an angry Stephenie Meyer fan. I really didn’t want to write this review, for previous stated reasons, but I figured someone has to be the bad guy right? The truth is that I had no intentions of reading this book…ever. Don’t get me wrong. I had seen it at my local Borders and picked it up more than several times. However, every time I picked it up and read the synopsis on the back, I thought one thing…vague. The back of the book was pretty bland, pretty basic, and very, very vague. The back just didn’t seem to scream, “Hey, I am so friggin’ great you need to spend $11 to read me!” For that reason, I never purchased it.

One day, I was hiding out in my favorite little used book store and there was a really, really old lady stocking up on books for what appeared to be a long hard winter. I was thinking she had probably taken all the good books when I heard the cashier ask her if she was excited for the new Stephanie Meyer book. My ears immediately perked up. I mean come on this lady had to be like 90 years old or something. If she actually read that book, I wanted to hear what she had to say about it. The old lady told the cashier that she had read hundreds of thousands of books over the course of her life, but, out of those, only two books merited being read more than once. Of course, Twilight was one of those books. The real twist, however, was when the old lady told the cashier that she had read the book 10 times. My jaw hit the ground and my gum stumbled across the floor. In my haste to rush out of the store and back to Borders I knocked over a shelf of books. If that old lady had read that book 10 times, I had to be missing something, and that something had to be great, right? Wrong! This book was a waste of 7 hours of my life that I will never get back.

I don’t know what the critics were smoking the day they reviewed this book, but it must have been strong. Twilight doesn’t even deserve 1 star. It opens with an introduction to Bella Swan, the main character, a girl who is beautiful but doesn’t know it and who is accident prone to the highest degree. Bella is self-imposing a move to a place she doesn’t like, and that place is Forks where her father lives. Bella doesn’t dislike her father; she just likes her mother much, much more. With Bella’s arrival in Forks, the arrival of repetitive thoughts begin. The next hundred pages or so locks the reader into Bella’s thoughts, which consist of, “I hate cold weather, I hate Forks, and I hope nobody asks me to do anything or go anywhere because I don’t really want to socialize either.”

Enter the next main character, Edward. This character really falls short of expectations. Edward’s character is so vague and the reader is provided with so few details on him that it is hard to even call a picture of what he looks like to mind. Edward, the illustrious, vague vampire, joins the story and finds Bella irresistible. Apparently, the desire to eat someone in this story is equated with immeasurable love. Once Edward finally gets his urge to eat Bella under control, he falls completely in love with her and can’t live without her. Edward’s thoughts revolve around, “Bella, you’re so beautiful, Bella, you smell so good, Bella, I can’t live without you, I must rescue Bella, and Bella, I love you.”

Once Edward enters the picture, it’s all over for Bella. The damsel in constant distress has her own personal savior, and she falls madly, obsessively in love with him. She doesn’t really care that Edward could lose control and someday eat her. In fact, she uses this weakness Edward has to try to convince him to change her into a vampire so she can be with him eternally. Bella’s train of thought switches to, “Edward is so beautiful and gorgeous, where is Edward today? I hate the cold, I love Edward, I hate Forks, I need Edward, and Edward is so beautiful.” Bella becomes more than willing to sacrifice everything to be with Edward…even her life.

The characters in this book, especially the main characters, are flat and lack in the substance area. Twilight is jam packed with mundane repetitive drivel that is essentially a waste of space. This book is 544 pages long and of that 500 pages are spent recounting repetitive thoughts. The only saving grace the book has is in the last 44 pages when the story line picks up and the reader gets a bit of action. The plot needs a massive overhaul because an entire story based on two love stricken teenagers surviving a relatively uneventful, repetitive existence isn’t really cutting it. Finally, since this is a Young Adult book, the message Twilight is sending to young girls is horrible. This book basically tells girls that being in a destructive, addictive relationship is not only okay, but also something they should strive for. The book also sends the message that life is not worth living unless a woman has a man. My recommendation would be to skip this book or if you have already purchased it to use it as a prop for a wobbly table or chair. Tune in next edition to read a positive review on an exceptional young adult book. Until then happy reading!
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LibraryThing member Cariola
OK, let me explain; obviously, this is not my usual fare. I'm co-editing an issue of a journal with a biologist. The topic is 'Vampires and Other Bloodsuckers.' Obviously, he's doing the leeches and bats, and I will be overseeing the submissions on vampires in literature and culture. Since I have to write an introductory essay, I felt that I HAD to read one of these wildly popular novels. (I'll probably also watch Season 1 of True Blood and will read The Historian.)

So . . . what did I think of the book that started the phenomenon? In short, it was pretty awful. First, it brought back a lot of painful memories of high school--which may be the reason that so many young people relate to it, but it's an era I'd sooner forget. Second, I hated Bella, the main character; talk about a superiority complex! Her inner dialogue about what dorks everyone else is, from ALL the boys who were after her to the girls trying to befriend her, got tiresome. Third, it's full of cliches. The jock, the cheerleader, the geeky guy, the quiet Native American, the flighty mother. And cliche situations, too, such as Bella falling for Edward simply because he doesn't seem interested in her when every other male in sight is trying to ingratiate himself to her. (Ah, the mystique of the unobtainable!) Fourth, there's a lot of downright silliness; Edward's skin sparkles, for one thing, and he can also stop a speeding truck with a single hand. (This weekend, I'd been watching some Michael Jackson tributes, and I couldn't help but connect his 'Thriller' line, "I'm not like other guys," to Twilight's Edward. But at least Jackson was an original talent.) Fifth, the writing style is facile.

I've been reading a lot of other critiques of the series. One is that it has "Mormon overtones," not only in the abstinence message but in the way men and women relate to one another. I'll need to do a little more checking up on that.

I'm willing to give the novel at least one star, simply for the fact that, like the Harry Potter series, it has gotten a lot of young people to read for pleasure who otherwise wouldn't. (Let me say that I've never read a Harry Potter book, but I'm hoping that they are better written than this.) I have the second book in the series awaiting, but I think it's going straight to a swap site.
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LibraryThing member heina
This is the only book I have ever pirated instead of checked out of the library/borrowed/bought, since I didn't want to wait for the gazillion teenage girls ahead of me in the public library holds queue to finish *squeee*ing before I got to weigh in on the phenomenon that is this book series. Consider this: I like YA, I like cheesy fantasy and I've read some truly awful fanfiction on the Internet. This book showed me that it's possible for me to dislike a cheesy YA fantasy novel to the point of revulsion, and that something far worse than some of the God-awful fanfiction I've read online can make it to publication. I had to force myself to finish the book and I ended up skimming from about halfway through it until the end. As much as I like to pride myself in being a tolerant reader, I've only been able to stomach read summaries for the other books in the series, and it's obvious to me that Stephanie Meyer is projecting her Mormon-tinged romantic and sexual fantasies in her fiction. It wouldn't have been such a bad thing had she not been such a horrific writer and wonderous producer of poorly-conceived characters and plots. I hope this fad fades as much as all others do.… (more)
LibraryThing member BenjaminHahn
Where do I begin. I knew this book was going to be bad. I even watched the movie before hand and perhaps that made the horrendous reading tolerable. Throughout the entire film, which I watched at Bear Tooth Theater here in Anchorage, the entire audeince laughed almost all the way through this film. It should be said that at the Bear Tooth, patrons of age can purchase and drink beer or wine while they enjoy a film. The underage patrons must sit in the balcony. This arrangement created a certain dichotomy between the young adults who oohed and awed every time Edward appeared on the big screen, and the adults who couldn't help cracking up every time Edward delivered one of his wounded lover lines. I relate this here because the campiness, intended or not, had a profound effect on the way I read the book. It made the book entertaining in a "its so bad, its good" kinda way.

Another factor that helped get my rating up from one star to a star and a half, is the fact that I spent a good 5 years of my teenage life in Port Angeles Washington. Furthermore, my father worked in Forks for over a decade and our extended family owns property on the Sol Duc River, just outside of Forks. I felt I owed it to myself to read this ever popular book in an attempt to see how close Mrs. Meyer was able to recreate this world that she had never visited.

The verdict: not as bad as predicted, at least with the setting. However, her typical Forks WA teens are way off. No 17 year old in Forks is as witty as she portrays. There is a pettyness and crassness that Ms. Meyer just doesn't pick up on. There is no swearing, no teen pregnancies, no meth dens, no gangs, no racial strife. Where are the backwood keggers hidden on the logging roads that Bella should be getting invited to? All of these things are rampant and obvious in Forks, not to mention Port Angeles.

Next: plausibility. Don't get me wrong, I'm into vampire fiction. The Historian was a well researched and thought out book, and it even had a couple of teens in it. I even enjoy Anne Rice. Here however, in the world of Twilight, we have a family of vampires who are all quite old, but look young. They have amazing powers and the hero Edward can even read minds. I ask myself, with these powers what would I want to do for eternity? The answer "perpetually go to highschool over and over again" does not really pop up on my top 10 list. If you have to have a cover story, why not just homeschool your vampire "kids". Are Edward and his 3 vampires siblings really interested in attending high-school, in Forks of all places, after being around for over a century. Just going through high-school once was enough for me, I just don't see the draw. The only thing that makes sense is that Mrs. Meyer's desperately needed a mechanism for a 100 year old vampire to be seducing a 17 year old girl in a small town. I'm 30 years old and if I was pretending to be going to high school and trying to pick up 17 year olds I would be thrown in prison. Edward is just a dirty old man hiding out in a seductive young body. Here's another one. Mrs.Meyer's vampires have super sensitive smell and go into a feeding frenzy when they smell blood. What happens when the vampires are in class at high school and one of their human female classmate's has a visiting Aunt Flow. That can't be good.

Next: Bella as heroine. She sucks plain and simple. She's weak, she's clumsy, she complains about everything. The only thing she's got going for her is her slightly higher than average book smarts. The only reason Edward is into her is because her blood smells good and he can't read her mind. The only reason that she's into him is because he has some super vampire charming powers. It doesn't add up to love. It just seems like two characters lusting after one another, for very different reasons. What's the moral of this story? Don't get involved with 100 year old vampires disguised as teen boys, they only want you for your blood?

Overall, a crappy book, that happens to be set in a region of the US that I love. I'm disappointed that this is the type of fiction that captures the hearts of teens across the country. Not because it sends a bad message, but that the message is just too convoluted to make any sense. The only reason I read it is so I can defend the Olympic Peninsula from the various detractors this book will undoubtedly generate.
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LibraryThing member willowsmom
Awful. Honestly, I could hardly finish it, I was so angry with the character of Bella by the end of this book--if there's a more vapid, spineless, weak, pansy-butted female character in anything I've ever read, I can't remember it. What a disappointing role model, especially as popular as this series is!
LibraryThing member brokenangelkisses
Several years ago I read and loved Anne Rice's 'Interview with a Vampire': it was sensuous, enthralling and transported me through time and place. Some years before that I had read and quite enjoyed a series of books whose titles I can't even remember which dealt with vampires in love with young girls. They're still in the loft somewhere because they made an impression on me and I thought I'd quite like to read them again one day. Why am I mentioning these other books? Because sadly, albeit perhaps unsurprisingly, 'Twilight' failed dismally to live up to the hype surrounding it. Billed as 'the thrilling tale of a vampire romance at a high school' and 'an extraordinary love story', it sounded like the bizarre offspring of 'Sweet Valley High' (twee pictures of American sweethearts enjoying high school life) and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (sexy teenage girl in love with a vampire). I was ambivalent when this was presented to me as a birthday gift, but several teenage pupils reassured me: 'It's brilliant, miss!' Well, how could I ignore such confidence?

The plot

Hmm. In 450 odd pages, you'd think there'd be quite a bit of this, but you'd be wrong. In retrospect, the extract printed on the back should probably have been a warning:

'About three things I was absolutely positive.
'First, Edward was a vampire.
'Secondly, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood.
'And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.'

I'm all for being concise, but that seems like quite a breathtaking set of items. How could anyone simply list these and move on? Well, our heroine, Bella, is just a little bit different from 'normal' teenage girls. As her vampire boyfriend points out later on, she's not scared of going to meet his vampire parents; she's just nervous that they won't approve of her. In fact, Bella's entire relationship, and therefore the whole 'story' of Twilight, is summed up in those three sentences. Edward is a vampire. He lusts for Bella's blood. Bella doesn't care. Why doesn't Bella care? Because he's gorgeous - and sparkly - if a bit icy to the touch.

Normally, a plot synopsis would take up a few more lines, but that really is all 'Twilight' has to offer. Girl moves to town (for reasons never satisfactorily explained) and falls in 'love' with a dangerous boy. After three hundred pages, even Meyer seems to get a bit bored with simply repeating how fascinating Bella finds Edward, (sometimes she even forgets to breathe when he kisses her, he's just that hot,) and injects some random villains into the plot to add a bit of spice. The trouble here is that the developments are simply ridiculous, and incredibly fast, and, actually, the reader can see further ahead than Bella can, meaning that the ending is rather obvious. The only other real development in the 'story' is that Bella decides she wants to be a vampire (this really isn't a spoiler; it becomes obvious very early on that this is the only possible resolution) and Edward refuses to let her.

My thoughts

From the final point above you might have noticed that this isn't a very 'equal' relationship. Well, how could it be when one partner could accidentally kill the other, as Edward keeps reminding Bella? He's dangerous. And hot. And sparkly. However, the inequality goes deeper than this. Bella is, frankly, a bit of a muppet. She is depicted as clumsy in the extreme and deficient in basic common sense. ('Ooh, here's a dark alley leading I don't know where...how soon can I lose myself in it?') Edward repeatedly chides her for her lack of self preservation and the one major plot incident hangs on this. He frequently instructs her to take care and not get herself into any danger. Of course, when she does, our hero is there to rescue (and scold) her, and hold her (and tell her how silly she is).

While it's true that Edward was born in 1901, Bella wasn't. Where is her sense of self? In response to his anger, she apologises. When he instructs, she pleads. There is no sense of who Bella is or what she might have wanted from life before she met this supernaturally gorgeous hunk. Edward does ask Bella questions about her life, but these are 'off-stage' for the most part and have no interesting answers. Much more 'screen time' is given to Edward's history and that of his vampire family, which seems to reinforce the notion that he is more important than his human pet. Frankly, this irritated me. At one point, Edward reveals that he has watched Bella sleeping. In her bedroom. Without her permission. Repeatedly. I appreciate that Bella is meant to be in love with Edward, but her reaction is still superbly understated: it seems that she feels being stalked is flattering. I suppose part of my reaction here is due to my awareness that many teenage girls see Bella and Edward as role models. If you add his supremely patriarchal attitude towards her to the fact that he is many years older than his teenage love then this pairing becomes even more disturbing.

Other aspects of Meyer's characterisation seem simply odd. Bella's complete lack of fear is surprising to Edward, but seemed entirely bizarre to me, especially since she faints at the mere sight of blood, yet is interested to hear details about his hunting. This is not the only aspect of Bella's character that does not seem to hold together. She calls both her parents by their first names in an offhand manner, yet claims to be incredibly close to her mum. Of course, most characters in the book aren't given an opportunity to seem contradictory: they simply aren't involved enough in the 'story'. Whole pages follow Bella's thoughts simply lusting after darling Edward. At the start of the book she moves in with a father who sees only spent holidays with for the past 15 years or so, but this relationship gets pretty much zero time spent on it. Ultimately, characters outside the two 'lovers' are undeveloped.

This is perhaps not surprising when you consider that Meyer wrote the story in three months. This could also explain why I found the preface irritating (ridiculously dramatic), the first few chapters very dull (long descriptions of Bella's physical actions rather hold up the 'plot'), and the style generally very repetitive (Edward is gorgeous, sparkly, gorgeous, sparkly). Overall, I feel that although the final product is easy to read, if you ignore the inconsistencies in character and accept the two dimensional 'prop' characters, it is not an especially worthwhile read. I finished the novel feeling that I had no real desire to spend any more time with these characters or their story.

Now, I appreciate that I'm not the intended target audience for this book, but I often read and enjoy fiction aimed at teenagers, so I'm not responding to this book from a vacuum. The pace does pick up slightly towards the middle section of the book, and there are some mildly comic touches that help the narration along, but on the whole I found it rather dull, rather than compelling. That said, I did read it through to the end without the help of wine, so it isn't dreadful, just unmemorable.

Finally, I would disagree with the marketing which claims that this is a love story: Bella is enraptured by Edward's looks and he is deeply affected by her scent. Every time they touch they are both shaken. For me, that is clearly lust, not love. Perhaps that makes it a lot more relevant to teenagers discovering these feelings for the first time, but it isn't really this century's Romeo and Juliet. Although, actually, I also thought that they were really just a bit lustful and silly...

So would I recommend this? No. Personally, I'm now planning to reread Rice's 'Interview with the Vampire' and enjoy the genuinely sultry dimension she brings to vampire life. However, as always, there may be some who enjoy a lighter read.
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LibraryThing member wordygirl39
I don't think I'll keep this book in my library for long. I thought it was one of the silliest, most derivative, badly written books I've ever read. I realize Meyer wrote it for teenage girls and not 40 year old women, and perhaps if I had read it as a teenager I would have loved it like my nieces do, but I doubt it. What's to love? Anne Rice and Buffy did the tortured vampire story ten times better than Meyer did, and they not only made the characters sexy, but allowed them to slip now and then so we would believe they were, uh, actually monsters trying to control their monsterness. Meyer's vampires are ice sculptures who can, it seems, be tempted beyond rational endurance and act against their natures, yet Meyer wants us to believe anyway that they are dangerous, which is why she throws in the anti-climactic crap at the end with the host of "lower vampires" who show up randomly in the woods to hunt Bella. Look--I am in awe of any writer who can complete a novel, let alone three, and I do appreciate that much fiction written is meant only to entertain. But Meyer is a lazy writer. She had a great idea, good character set up, and the beginnings of an interesting plot, but she published this book too soon. In my opinion, she could have at least entered the ranks of a Stephen King or John Grisham (who are good genre writers) had she and her editor spent a month cutting all the unnecessary flab from ridiculous sentences, tightening up the plot (esp. at the end), making the parameters believable (has Meyer heard the term verisimilitude?) and bringing Bella into the 21st Century (this girl apparently has no aspirations but to cook for her weak-ass father and flirt with sex/death by vampire). I am lonely in my opinions, I know. But those who appreciate good literature, even good genre fiction, stay away from this book and go read Interview with a Vampire and Dracula if you need to get your blood-lust on.… (more)
LibraryThing member Lidbud
I hated this book with a passion, and simply do not understand all of the hype surrounding it. I thought that it was badly written sexist garbage.

The book annoyed me so intensely that I was unable to finish it, I was just completely fed up with all of the swoony descriptions of how "beautiful" Edward was. Truly, I was ready to hurl if I read that one more time.

Bella is such a drip. Edward tells her how "fascinating" she is, but I looked in vain for evidence of this.

I found the relationship between Edward and Bella to be very unbalanced, and actually disturbing. I know that I am in the minority here, as most people seem to love it.
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LibraryThing member izzynomad
I was so sure I was going to like it from reading the description and reviews, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

Let's start by saying that in fact it IS a conventional romance. Like a Mexican telenovela, falling in eternal love for each other comes before getting to know each other at all. And then in regular MTV-style, the getting to know each other part consists of asking what kind of music each other likes and how were the teachers at your other school.

Then it becomes repetitive: she repeats over and over how gorgeous he is - I lost count of how many times the author uses the words "god", "angel", and "Adonis" to describe Edward's beauty EVERY TIME HE TALKS.

Then it becomes disturbing: Bella is a pathetic little girl who is always getting herself in peril, who needs to be protected by and will do absolutely anything for Edward, despite knowing he could easily kill her. She repeats over and over the words "obediently", "complied", and "followed his orders", whether he's telling her to "drink up your soda" or "behave". Bella likes to obey. At some point she even calls an elaborate seat belt a "harness". This is vampire-teen dominance-submission without the sex.

To make matters worse, there is absolutely no story other than how much Bella loves Edward (SPOILER: except around pages 400-450 when some bad vampires try to kill Bella but of course Edward saves her). oh, and of course the grand finale of this book: HIGH SCHOOL PROM!

I am definitely not wasting my time reading the sequels.
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LibraryThing member paintedbird
Twilight is oddly compelling. It's one of those novels that will force you to keep reading even when you can't fathom why you keep doing so. The story itself is rather dull in retrospect: Bella Swan moves from a friendless Phoenix, Arizona to Forks -- a green place that experiences plentiful rain during most days of the year -- to live with her police chief father in order to allow her flighty mother a chance to move with her new husband as he plays baseball. (There's one positive female roll model removed from the list.)

As we move toward Bella's first days toward experiencing her new school we find that she's a good cook and rather passive aggressive. She complains to herself about most things, and has no outward hopes about her new school or possible new friends. Unfortunately, the story does not react in kind to Bella's actions. Instead of having all other characters respond unfavorably to Bella's sour temper we find everyone drawn to her like a magnet; especially the boys. An odd turn of the plot, granted, but then we're just getting started.

Naturally the Forks high school is a little less than normal. Vampires attend class there, seemingly because they have nothing else better to do in their immortality. Meet the abnormally beautiful Cullens. They are the kids no one else knows what to make of, who shun all, and...oh, wait. Bella naturally attracts the most beautiful vampire of the bunch -- Edward Cullen, who suffers repetitive gorgeous adjectives to account for his appearance in each chapter ad nauseam.

So, boy meets girl, boy saves girl from an accidental death (which will be happening repeatedly, so hold on to your seats), and Bella's obsession blossoms. The two fall in love faster you can strike a match, and from there it's a lot of batting eyelashes and swooning before a mediocre plot twist turns this little love story into an action adventure within the very last pages.

The problems with Twilight aren't so much the dragging plot, as the book still manages to capture your attention completely to the point where you don't exactly notice the lack of plot. The problem is in the characters. Edward is pushy and controlling, Bella is characterless (no, "clumsiness" is not a character trait) and defined by Edward's inability to "read" her, and the rest of the (human) ensemble is treated like unwanted nitwits as they grasp for any bit of attention they can from the main pair. The main characters obviously smack as mary sues, and as it's written in the first person and given Bella's lacking characterization it would be easy to write her off completely and allow the reader to replace her as the object of Edward's affections.

Overall, Twilight is a compelling story with a not-so-likable main character while her significant other steals the show. How it's so compelling is still a mystery, but people will devour it quickly and yearn for more.
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LibraryThing member madhatter22
For anyone on the fence about reading this book I offer the following spoiler-free synopsis:

Bella: Edward, you're so uncommonly beautiful! So unbelievably perfect! Your long white hands ... your stunning face ... your breathtaking chest. Did I mention how long and white your hands are? You're like a marble sculpture. An ivory statue. An ... uh ... alabaster simulacrum. (trips over her own feet)

Edward: (glowering) I'm dangerous Bella. Don't come near me. Stay away. It's for your own good. We can't be together. Ever. I'll be by tomorrow morning to pick you up for school.

This book is 498 pages long and it took until page 371 for anything at all scary or suspenseful to happen (and then the scary part of the story was extremely anticlimactic.)

On the plus side, if you can't resist, it's a very quick read. Though you should try to resist. Especially if, like me, you're a sucker for vampire stories and can't leave a series unfinished once you've started.
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LibraryThing member shanlil92
Awful book with awful characters. Terrible writing, dreadful grammar and all around horrible. And the heavy handed pun that is the main character's name is something Fox's Sit Down, Shut Up can envy. This book was a pain to get through and so not worth the wait to get it. Crappy book that does NOT deserve such hype.
LibraryThing member sirfurboy
This was an excruciating read. I kept putting my book down and occupying myself with something less boring instead. It was with some relief that I turned the last mind numbingly dull page.

Pluses? I can't think of any. The plot is highly derivative, in a world that has seen rather too much of Buffy the Vampire slayer and Angel (both of which are far more entertaining than this book). It is overwritten, with page after endless page of winging about the weather or some such pass time. There is little real connection between the characters nor any good reason why they should act how they act. When we get a bit of action, it is near the end of the book - but a point in the story that should probably have been near the end of chapter 1 in an interesting work.

Some people like this book enough to buy the sequel. In my experience, these people are 12 year old girls. I presume they like it because it is their first real experience of a vampire tale. I doubt anyone else will be interested.
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LibraryThing member littlegeek
A trashy novel for the sexually innocent. I know a lot of my younger friends on LT love this book, but really, it's truly dreadful. Overwrought prose, poorly executed exposition, badly paced. And then there's Bella. As soon as she meets Mr. Perfect, her brain cells go right out the window. Edward doesn't need to bite her--she became the walking dead the minute she met him.

And all that neck sniffing....yuck!
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LibraryThing member VaBookworm87
Twilight is bad. I mean, really bad. A true teen read to say the least. I mean, there are teen books I enjoy because they manage to blur the line well enough that I don't feel like I'm too old to be reading it. This is not the case with Twilight. It is so high school at times that it made me crazy. Those kids, Edward and Bella, literally hung out for 2 days and were professing their undying love for one another! Bella could not go a full night without spazzing about the separation. I mean, yes, in high school some kids do take their infatuations a bit far... but really??? It was disgusting! I would have been able to tolerate the book, had it not been for how overdone the emotions of the characters were. And only the main ones too... everyone else in the book seems normal. And don't try the, "It's an unexplained attraction, they're unique" bit on me. They're wack, end of discussion.

I had seen the movie. I knew what I was in for. Thankfully, the movie didn't overdo the emotional ish like the book did. I was going into this willing to overlook the violations to the norm (Seriously- vampires sparkle in the sun, not burst into flames?!) And I'm all for the vamp/non-vamp thing. I have seen every episode of Buffy and Angel. I love Buffy with Angel and Spike. Hated the other normal guys! But this book was so bad that even overlooking those details didn't save it! Hell, even Sookie has relationships with Bill and Eric in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Those books were AMAZING. I thought they were good before, but after reading Twilight, I hold a new appreciation for them!

I will admit, I'm determined to see it through to the end now. If not for the love of the series, at least because I'm determined it has to get better. Steven King was right, this woman cannot write. At all. At least they're a fast read. I made it halfway through book 2, New Moon, in all of a few hours.
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LibraryThing member lalagirl
Absolutely atrocious. Awful. Terrible. A truly bad story, and poorly written, as well. The fact that this made it onto a list called "Best Romances of all Time" makes my soul cry. It's not romantic in the least - and it's a horrible foundation for anyone to base their idea of great romance on. The relationship of these two characters is pathetic with overtones of abusive and controlling. A main character who, at the ripe old age of 17, would rather die to spend eternity with a sparkling, possessive vampire man-child than live out her life should not be a role model for any teenage girl... or 40+ year old woman, for that matter. I should also mention that this girl's life isn't even bad or plagued by anything. She moves to a new town with a father that is a bit estranged, but still loves her and dotes on her, new people who want to be her friend, tons of guys who want to date her - but still she's miserable... CONSTANTLY.

I just realized that if I keep going, I will talk about how much I loathed this book (and wish people would actually open their eyes to good writing and good storytelling) for an incredibly long time. Let's just say I have a very long list of reasons.

I've read a lot of books and I can say, in all honesty, this is the worst one I've ever had the extreme displeasure of reading. I finished it because I never like to leave a book unfinished, but oh good lord, was it awful. Read other things. Anything. Just not this. It's like literary marijuana - it kills your brain cells.
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LibraryThing member exlibrisbitsy
Just about everyone knows the premise of Twilight. A teenage girl named Bella Swan moves to Forks, Washington and while there catches the eye of the hottest most mysterious guy in school. He has several secrets and she is determined to find them out and when she does a great love story ensues. She loves him and he loves her back while at the same time wanting to kill her in a horribly bloody way to drink her sweet, sweet blood. It is all very romantic.

Now let me just say this up front. While the sentence structures might be simple and the characterization, dialogue, and diction severely lacking the book is a solid piece of literature. It gets young people reading, and while the messages might not be entirely up to snuff with modern day strides in women's rights, the book grabs and holds the interest of young people and among a generation that is reading less and less I think this is very important. It may not be great literature, it may not be enlightening or even empowering for the young women that read it; but for what it is, escapist romance, it does its job for its target audience very well.

I have a lot of problems with the book obviously. Nothing that just about everyone else has probably already said better than I can ever say it but here goes. As far as the mechanics of the book goes the characterization of both main characters really just sketch out empty shells for you to fill with whomever you might wish. Bella is defined almost entirely by her relationship with Edward. Edward is left almost completely in the dark and I'm assuming (hoping?) he will be fleshed out more beyond his amazing beauty and perfection in a future book. The dialogue was not very inspired or snappy. I've read even duller dialogue, I've read better too though. It was nothing to get excited over though. The diction, and by this I mean the vocabulary of the book, seemed very limited. We are told at least twenty or more times (I lost count after that) about Edward's angelic face. Snappy dialogue and a more varied approach in describing things might have improved the book, but I'm not convinced that working to fill in the characters would have done anything. I think that the series is popular because the characters are so vague. Bella is Every Woman.

Then there is Bella's... unhealthy world view. Bella is not only defined in the book by her relationship with Edward that is how she defines herself. If you are not Edward or one of his family members she doesn't care about you. She doesn't even really care for herself. There were a lot of dangerous suicidal undertones throughout the book. No person, male or female, should define themselves solely on another person and doing so results in a very unhealthy and unstable relationship between Bella and Edward. She wants to throw away her family, her friends, her future, her entire world, just to be with a guy that she had only met a few months ago and barely knew. A guy also that she knows is five times her age and with whom she literally has nothing in common save their sexual attraction to one another. Throughout the book I was hoping for that happy escapist romance feeling to take over me instead I just had a sort of sick uneasy feeling in my stomach. I was constantly frustrated by the main character's incredibly low self esteem, and felt red flags going up and BS meters going off with almost every conversation the lovers in the book had. If I had read this as a teenager I might have enjoyed the story, as an adult all I wanted to do was whisk that girl away to safety and shake some sense into her. Her life is just beginning and because all she can see is this shallow beauty before her in the form of a sparkling, deadly vampire she is already looking to end it. It just seems so sad.

I ended up giving this book a low 2 1/2 stars. I would have gone lower but I still felt that the book was solid, and not overly filled with errors or anything like that. I really believe that literacy is important and with so few people reading books nowadays we need to take what we can get. So teenage girls are reading, that is something, and as long as they don't take the messages to heart or define their lives or relationships by what is portrayed in Twilight they should be fine. And, I think they will be, their shallow beauty phase will be over and then maybe they will be ready to look at other guys and other opportunities that don't necessarily sparkle but have a shine all of their own.
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LibraryThing member whitreidtan
I know, right? Two things. 1.) I am well aware that I am quite probably the last person on the planet to read this book and therefore you don't really need to hear my thoughts on the subject since you all have already read it yourselves and formed your own opinions which are unlikely to match mine. 2.) You certainly never thought you'd see me read this book (or maybe you just thought I'd never admit to it, former book snob that I am) but I like to be full of surprises. It would be a surprise if I liked the book, wouldn't it? OK, I'm not *that* full of surprises, folks. In simplest terms, I fail to see what is so appealing about this at all. Perhaps I went into this with a bad attitude, not liking vampires at all, being skeptical of any book dubbed "the greatest love story of all time" written in say, oh, forever. I was afraid it wouldn't live up to its hype. And before all the Twilight defenders either unsubscribe from the blog or leave nasty comments (you wouldn't do that, now would you?) let me say that even had this been a good book, it couldn't have lived up to the hype. Unfortunately, this was not a good book.

I read it for two reasons. I hate being out of the loop on books that are causing conversations all over the place, even in the non-book world. I have resigned myself to being out of the loop when people gush over the likes of Nicholas Sparks because I actually read one of those once and went into insulin shock while trying to wrench my emotions back from the blatant manipulation oozing through the treacle and well, I just can't tolerate another dose of Mr. Sparks as a result. But this one... I could overlook the vampire angle and give it a shot and join the conversation, right? The second reason I read it I've already discussed on here, the fact that the elementary school banned it from being brought in and read by students even during their sustained silent reading or whatever they call it these days. That, my friends, was the true call to arms because I could have procrastinated over reason #1 long enough for the whole thing to die away. But reason #2, well that needed immediate action.

And did I find anything objectionable in it that made it worthy of barring it from the school? Well, other than egregious writing, nope. Yes, I am sorry to say that it really is dreadfully written. And yes, I get that Ms. Meyer is laughing all the way to the bank and I am sitting in my freezing cold basement pounding out this quasi-review for no money whatsoever. As a matter of fact, right about now, my hands and feet would rival the ever cold Edward and family temperature-wise. The universe does love irony. But back to the writing. I'm sorry to say that I can't get over the stone and marble descriptors of Edward every time the poor reader is forced to encounter Bella in Edward's arms or kissing his cold lips. Go ahead and throw in the alabaster brow and get all the hideous cliches out of the way all at once. But see, Ms. Meyer doesn't just use these completely ridiculous descriptors once, she uses them every last time, throughout all 498 pages of this bloated, overdone piece of...teenaged entertainment. ::Ahem:: Trying to keep this rated PG and all. As if she didn't trust her readers to hold onto the important descriptions of her characters, we have Bella's clumsiness and Edward's beautiful, cold stoniness reiterated over and over again. Really, where was the editor with the red pen scratching things out?

As if the cliched, repetitive descriptions weren't enough, the reader is also treated with the cloying, facile character of Bella. "Oh. You're a vampire? Ok. I totally trust you not to kill me. And furthermore, please kiss me; I'm sure you'll control yourself and I want to touch your alabaster lips. Oh, and don't forget to swoop in and save me from my stupid self each and every time I decide to go off plot about something I know nothing about. Because I love you and will love you forever." Argh! This is the girl every teenaged girl wants to be right now? Sure, there are teenaged girls out there who are simple and naive. And there might even be some as simple, naive, and stupid as Bella is but I for one don't want to read about them. And as an author you can't create a character you tell us is amazingly smart and then have her be a complete and total nincompoop. Because you see, we stop believing your "telling" and believe your "showing" instead and start wishing that Edward would just shred the little ninny and put us all out of our misery. As for Edward, we never really do get a fully rounded picture of him since we see him through Bella's rose-coloured glasses all the time. But perhaps it's a blessing that we don't know him all that well. I can only imagine the extended passages of angst over him being bad for Bella that we'd have to read. Oh wait, we get to hear this very thing (repetitively) whenever he and Bella have almost any conversation. And while she's thicker than a block of wood about the danger of having a vampire interested in her, I, as a reader, am pretty smart, got it on round one, and didn't need to waste valuable reading time seeing the same argument over and over again.

I have read reviews by other people who thought that the picture of teenaged obsessive love was disturbing and the fact that Bella is forever a damsel in distress needing her vampire charming to come and save her was a blow to feminism and I appreciate these arguments. I even agree to some extent. But I'd venture a guess that much of this social and political subtext goes right over the heads of many of the intended audience. And those who do catch it are smack in the midst of a time of life where the drama of romance and love reign supreme. Do they care about the whiny, insufficiency of a character like Bella? Do they even notice? Would I have noticed if I had read this back then? I mean, who can tell with the teenaged psyche?

But despite the larger thematic problems, I still go back to the less than stellar writing showcased in this novel. It absolutely grated on my brain. Reading the dialogue aloud made me laugh, especially when it wasn't supposed to be funny. The descriptions were tired and modeled after the worst examples of the romance genre (this coming from a happy reader of romances). The characters were one dimensional and predictable. And the scenes that were meant to be revelations after a climatic build? Well, they were farcical. Sparkly vampires? Really? But assuming things like this, our author then conveniently ignores her set-up when they no longer suit the plot. If vampires sparkle, they must live in dreary, rainy, cloudy places like Forks. Not sunny places like Phoenix. When they get to Phoenix (by night of course), they hide out in a hotel room. Until, of course, they have to go to the airport. But their car has tinted windows, right? And apparently they used a Star Trek transporter to get into the airport from the car since no one noticed these creatures made up of diamond lights walking in their midst into the terminal. Likewise no one noticed these same creatures heading en masse to the dance studio to rescue our idiotic heroine again. It must have been one of those multiple rainy days for which Phoenix is well known, ya know, in order to maintain plot integrity and all. What plot integrity? My point exactly.

I do not understand the appeal of this book. I won't be going on any further, I will not see the movies. I will shake my head and try to keep my mouth closed on the topic unless directly confronted by someone over it. In short, I will respect that it is a publishing phenomenon and realize, once again, that I just don't get the general public. And in an effort to say something nice, I will say that I am exceedingly grateful that it was simplistic enough that it took under 3 hours of reading to finish a book of almost 500 pages. Do I weep for the trees that died to print this book? No, but I weep for the authors who are masters of their craft who deserve this kind of readership and yet lose out to something of this calibre. And I am eminently thankful that my daughter has evinced no desire to read this one (although her choices are often not much better).
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LibraryThing member keristars
I first read this in November of 2007, pretty much on accident. I'd been told by loads of people that I absolutely had to read the newish Cornelia Funke series, because it was fantastic, but whenever I went to the bookstore, not only could I not remember the titles, but I couldn't remember the author's name. However, there were all these books by Stephenie Meyer sitting around with a single-word title and a pretty cover, three things (name, title, cover) which I confused with Inkspell and on a subsequent trip, I decided that I must have been remembering wrong, and it was the Meyer book that everyone was recommending - after all, it seemed awfully popular and was being promoted in nearly all the stores I'd visited that had books, even Wal-Mart (which is where I bought it, for 50% off the cover price).

I had set the book aside to read as a brain-refresher potato-chip sort of thing after finishing some much more difficult novels and associated papers for my English lit classes, and thus I wasn't expecting much out of it. I didn't read the book very closely, as I was using it as a bedtime story, and ended up thinking that it wasn't bad for a romance novel, but it felt a lot like an average fanfiction in style and there were several points that could have been improved for it to have more appeal for me. For example, I couldn't understand why Bella and Edward's relationship was so tragic and decided that it would have worked better if it were a same-sex relationship - the "forbidden" aspect would have made a bit more sense to me. Also, Alice's precognizance was weird and didn't really make a lot of sense for me - well, really, the whole final part was confused and jumbled, but I generally don't think much of the suspense parts of romance plots anyway.

So, tl;dr version, I came away from my first reading of Twilight thinking that it was an average sort of book, not bad for a romance novel, but not really all that great. But it was a page turner (if only, looking back now, because there was so much white-space on the pages), and a perfectly good potato-chip novel, which is how I recommended it to my friends.

After finishing Twilight, I decided to read New Moon, which gets its own review, but I'll say here that it was disappointing and a little bit appalling, and I found myself wanting to reread the first book more closely, to see what I had missed the first time around. I had to have missed something, to be totally blindsided by the events in New Moon, right?

Well, the second attempt at reading Twilight, in January of 2008, was an absolute disaster. I took my time with it and actually paid attention to what I was reading. It was like pulling teeth to get through the darn thing, I'm telling you. Passages that were poorly written, but which I had only skimmed previously, jumped out of the page and taunted me and waved little flags so that I couldn't look beyond them. And then Bella's personality itself! She was so obnoxious and whingey that I wanted to slap her, particularly in the first few chapters when she leaves Phoenix for Forks and throws a pity party for herself on account of her new living situation and school (which seemed perfectly nice to me). Then, there was the total lack of anything admirable about either Bella or Edward, and the purple prose, and about halfway through, I had to give up because I couldn't bear to carry on with a close reading. It was too painful.

I haven't been able to read it since, and I don't plan to. I gave up on the series and am frustrated that so many people treat it as absolutely wonderful, because I can't believe that they've actually read it, like I tried to do that second time.

Some of the things that tripped me up my first read-through, but which I mostly ignored since I wasn't actually taking the novel seriously:
- There is no statement of time when Bella moves from Phoenix to Forks. I was under the impression throughout the entire novel that she moved sometime in the fall or early winter and that the descriptions of the weather were exaggerations to emphasize the differences. I thought that she started school in the middle of the fall semester, basically, only to be totally blindsided at the end of the novel when it's actually spring. This was confusing, and I actually tried to figure it out in my second reading, thinking I'd just skipped a paragraph or something, only to discover that, no, there really wasn't any signal that it was January when she moved.

- The relationship between Bella and Edward develops really fast. Thinking that she had first met him in the fall, and that a month or two had passed before they got together, I didn't really notice, but once I realized that they had known each other only a week or two before practically declaring undying, eternal love, I felt that it was too implausible and couldn't take their declarations seriously.

- Bella seemed to have very little motivation or personality of her own, and it bothered me that she presented herself as a martyr for her family because of her move to Forks, even though it was entirely her own suggestion and I could immediately think of several ways for her to stay in Phoenix while her mom and stepdad were on the road with the ball team. I understand that teenagers complain about loads of things, but I don't want to read about a teenager complaining about a choice she freely made and even suggested on her own while she's simultaneously talking about how she's the adult in her family and how she has to take care of everyone because they can't do it on their own.

- Speaking of, I didn't like that Bella kept insisting that she had to take care of her parents because they were too incapable of doing it themselves, and then pointed out how she was cooking for her dad and doing all these housewifey chores for him. (And it came across to me as more of that martyr-syndrome, besides.) Honestly, he's an adult who was living on his own before she came to Forks, so he didn't exactly need her to cook his breakfast or anything. If she wants to do it for him, then fine, but don't make such a big production out of it!

- Okay, sorry because I know a lot of people think it's romantic, but waking up to see a guy watching you sleep, after he had snuck into your house without you noticing? That's pretty dang creepy and not in the least bit romantic.

I'm sure that if I thought about it, I could come up with a few other things Twilight does that skeeve me out or come across as poor writing, but these are the ones that stood out to me the first time through when I was only looking at the novel as a silly romance, not to be given much thought.

I can't really conscionably recommend this to anyone as a good book, but I did enjoy it the first time through when I wasn't paying close attention, and it wasn't a struggle to read until I did, so I guess if you're looking for a potato-chip page turner romance and can accept that Edward is kind of creepy and Bella is a whingey brat, it's not bad.

It would have been better if it were a horror novel with a different writer, though.
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LibraryThing member Eruantien
I've been a determined hater of the Twilight series for awhile now. Mostly because of the slightly demented fans I've come across. I finally decided to give it a chance and read it a few days ago, during Hurricane Ike of all times. The beginning was tolerable. It isn't until Bella and Edward fall in love that the book descends into sheer idiocy. Bella repeats over and over and over again how gorgeous Edward is, how he looks like a statue of Adonis, how his skin is like marble, even what color his eyes are until I wanted to scream in frustration.
Bella herself is the most annoying thing of all though, even more annoying than poor writing or bad plotting. This girl could drive a saint into a murderous rage. The girl screams Mary Sue as bad as any character I have ever seen in published fiction. She moves to a new town and everyone promptly falls in love with her. All the boys want to date her and all the girls, with two notable exceptions, want to be her friend. The two exceptions, Lauren(a minor, minor, minor character) and Rosalie Cullen, dislike Bella, not because the girl is sheer Mary Sue evil, but because they're jealous. Yes, that's right. An impossibly beautiful, immortal, superpowered vampire is jealous of a clumsy girl with freakishly low self-esteem and zero positive personality traits. But back to Bella's Mary-Sueness. Edward Cullen has been a vampire for over one hundred years. Out of all the women he's met, not one has captured his heart until Bella, seemingly in the blink of an eye. Also, Edward can read everyone's mind, yet Bella is impervious to his power and an explanation is never given. *checks another item off the Mary Sue Detection List* Then we're constantly reminded in the early chapters that Bella has read all the school books, was an honors student, yada yada yada. So it's clear the girl is a Mary Sue.
But then there's the way she behaves towards Edward. Essentially the book's message seems to be that women should be totally obsessed with their man and be totally helpless without him. Bella is like the ultimate damsel in distress. She tells us over and over again that she can't live without Edward. She constantly relies on him to save her, never making an effort to help herself. I could go on, but it's just sickening. The really sad thing is the Cullens are actually pretty cool. But when Bella comes into contact with them, they do stupid things. A good example is Alice letting Bella call her mother's house when they're fleeing James, the evil vampire. It never occurred to Alice that James just might find Bella's old address and go visit? How could anyone be that dumb? Answer, Bella sucked every ounce of intelligence out of her. And when Bella isn't making the vampires ridiculous, Meyer herself is. I can handle stripping away the usual vampiric weaknesses, since a lot of them are just weird and random, but making them sparkle in the sunlight instead of exploding in a cloud of ash? That's just stupid.
The last problem I have with the book is the attitude that Bella displays toward her fellow humans. Almost every human character in the stories is derided, sometimes subtly, sometimes blatantly. Count up the amount of times Bella compares a human to a dog or makes some other snide remark. Compare that to negative things she says about the vampires. About the only thing I can think of is the time she says James is average looking. Oh, the horror, the horror! Bella sounds almost like a Death Eater, sneering at Muggles and worshiping pure bloods.
So long story short, don't read Twilight unless you can laugh at it.
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LibraryThing member Ganeshaka
"Hello young lovers, whatever you are,
I hope your issues are few.
All my good wishes go with you tonight,
For I've been a vampire, like you"

(Rodgers and Hammerstein? Bite me.)

I won't lie to you. Ever. I "perused" Twilight at the shrine at Costco last weekend while my wife was shopping for pajamas. If you think I didn't read very far, you've never waited while my wife browses for pajamas. Sometimes I climb in our cart, arrange the Kirkland toilet paper, and take a little nap.

So - finish, shminish - this is a book clearly labeled "YOUNG ADULT" - so...what? I can't extrapolate a little about the writing? This is all amongst friends. I read some. Enough.

I DID rent the DVD. And - to digress - if, for example, you are of good faith and practice the Word, must you really bother to read ALL the Old Testament? Say what now?... who begat who again?...a zoo on a boat! - and that's why there are rainbows?

I heart the movie, like old a baboon blowing kisses. :=8) xxoxoxo

It's not just...well, it's not ENTIRELY a chick flick. And if it were, have you had the estrogen levels in YOUR water supply tested lately, stone thrower? The tweetwatwitter on the street is that all the trout are transgendered . Take a sip, risk wearing a slip.

So just put aside the fact that the book can be read by 12 year old girls who think the Golem began with Bilbo. Leave the book alone. Don't be put off by it. Read it if you must. The book spawned the film. It opened the tomb. Rubbed the jar with the Djinn. Pulled the string that brought Hell Girl.

And what a lovely film it is.

Carter Burwell's soundtrack? claire de la Debussy Muse-y perfect.

Location, location, location?...misty spooky rainy Pacific Northwest Twin Peak perfect.

Kristen Stewart's pale, querilous, restrained Bella - delicate as a white rose in moonlight - petal perfect.

Robert Pattison's youngBrando-in-Kabuki "sparkle" - well, as Burt Reynolds once opined about Errol Flynn "I'm not queer, but if I was queer, he'd be the kinda guy I'd be queer for" - white on white perfect.

The twists on the vampire mythos? Let's examine this mythos. Sure, once upon a time vampires were Carpathological monsters whom you buried with bricks in their mouths and stakes in their hearts. That was, like, a century ago, in the Middle Ages. The thing about vampires today is that they are so American. I mean, think about it, they came from Europe. That's SO American. And they NEED to consume to live, can you spell C-a-p-i-t-a-l-ism? Red=blood. White=complexion. Blue=victim. Oh say can you see?

So, if now there be the equivalent of soy eaters among vampires, well Tofutti!

This isn't really a book review. You noticed too, huh? But it's a book recommendation. Stephenie Meyer's agent surely has the film rights well in hand. Spend your recessionary $$$ on the movie, and wait for the book to show up at a yard sale. It's already on Craigslist. Save a tree.
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Pages

544

ISBN

0316160172 / 9780316160179

Lexile

720L
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