Twilight by Stephenie Meyer


The vampire book, and movie, that’s causing a sensation throughout the country. I decided to read the entire series before writing a review. I wanted to make sure that I had all the info I needed to form a solid opinion of the books. Now there is only one question to ask.

Is Twilight sensational or does it just bite?

Read on to find out what I think.

Story

When Bella Swan moves to Forks Washington to live with her dad, her life gets a lot more exciting than she expects. A car of her own, new friends and the most mysterious boy in school takes notice of her. Of course, she’s not sure if he wants to kill her or kiss her, and she’s beginning to suspect that it might be both.


My Opinion

Twilight is written like fan fiction, and sometimes it’s bad fan fiction. From the first person perspective to the too perfect vampire lover, it just screams wish fulfillment. That’s not to say it’s without good points. The two lead characters may be uninteresting and sometimes downright unlikable, but the supporting characters are great. If only Edward and Bella were as well written as the characters that surround them, Twilight might live up to the hype. They’re not, and it doesn’t.

First Person, Shoot Her

First person perspective is a valid choice, but it has drawbacks. We see everything from the point of view of one character and we also get to know what they’re thinking. Third person omniscient can do the same thing, but it isn’t as restrictive. The Harry Potter series was written in third person even though we see everything from Harry’s point of view almost exclusively.

In Twilight, first person perspective became irritating very quickly. Seeing everything the way Bella sees it is fine. Having to read exposition in her martyred tone wasn’t. Using Bella’s thoughts to convey action instead of seeing the action for myself really had a negative impact on the story for me. I got the feeling the author was using first person perspective as a crutch.

Hello Mary-Sue, Goodbye Heart

(For those that don’t know about Mary-Sue or the destruction she brings, here’s the Wikipedia entry.)

There were moments where I really wanted to read the story that Twilight was a fanfic of more than I wanted to read Twilight itself. I could almost see the kind of character Edward would be without a Mary-Sue like Bella around to warp his personality. After spotting some of the basic out of character traits that you see so much of in fan fiction, and removing them, I was able to reconstruct a mental picture of Edward. It’s too bad that character never makes an appearance in the stories. We’re just given hints of what he was like before Bella’s love destroyed him forever.

Verdict


Twilight is good, though it could be a lot better. The lead characters are a bit disappointing, though the secondary characters go a long way to make up for them.

I’d recommend Twilight to anyone who loves vampire stories. I’d highly recommend it if that fan of vampire stories is also a teenaged girl. There are parts of the story that can only be truly appreciated if the drama center of your brain is pickled in estrogen.

If you’re a guy over the age of 17 or so, I’d recommend skipping this series and going straight to the Anita Blake novels. More sex and violence, less whiny exposition.


6 thoughts on “Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

  1. Tina Kubala

    I wasn’t going to read them. But my best friend was talk into reading them. To my horror, she liked them. So I just finished New Moon. I am both annoyed and impressed by a book where I am sooo irritated with both the hero and the heroine, yet I like it enough to continue reading.

    Maybe I could deal with Bella better if she didn’t whine about being an outcast when she has three boys crazy over her. Please.

    Plus, I hate Wuthering Heights, so I would obviously hate a girl who thinks it is so romantic. I don’t even think of Romeo and Juliette as the greatest love story ever.

  2. Profile photo of 2xKnight2xKnight Post author

    It was the same with me Tina. I got tired of hearing people going on about how good it was and decided to read it myself. I was really looking forward to it since everyone I know that has read it said it was good.

    Imagine my surprise when I didn’t completely agree with that assessment.

  3. Franklin

    Well that answers that question. I fall into the category that should skip this series and check out the Anita Blake series. I was told that Twilight was a great book, but after having you read it I think I’ll pass! Just unloaded that book out of my Amazon Checkout. Thanks for the great review.

  4. Kaza Kingsley

    I think Twilight was one of the rare books where I liked the movie better than the book! I liked the third one in the series by far the best.

    By the way, I just nominated you for a blog award – The Butterfly Award – which means you automatically won! You can look at the details on my blog at http://memorymogul.blogspot.com. Keep up the great work with your blog!

    It’s a pass-around award, so think of others you might want to nominate!

    Kaza Kingsley
    Author of the Erec Rex series
    http://www.erecrex.com

  5. Profile photo of 2xKnight2xKnight Post author

    @ Kaza >> That’s a pretty rare thing for me. So far the only story that I preferred the movie to the book is Carrie by Stephen King. I think that’s mostly due to the choice he made in writing it as after the fact interviews.

    Hmmm… if I had to choose one of the Twilight series as a favorite, I don’t think I could do it. It wouldn’t be the first or the last, that’s for sure, so it’d have to be volume 2 or 3. Then it would really come down to which one was less like irritatingly sappy fan fiction.

    I read the post about the award. Thank you very much. I appreciate the kind words.

  6. Rose | Swarovski Rhinestones

    Hmm… I watched the movie without reading the books. Bella is a sullen character–period. I was waiting for my sister to finish reading them. But after learning about the different reactions here, I think I’ll just let my sister keep the books forever. I get easily irritated with first person narratives, anyway. Thank you for recommending the Anita Blake series. I’ve been hearing bits of goodness about them lately so I’ll check them out a.s.a.p.

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