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This book is a great start to the series, and I love the ideas within it. I think that too many people judge the books badly because of the sparking vampires, saying that this isn't what vampires were originally written like. But so what? I think it takes a much better, more creative author to break these boundaries and do things their own way. The fact that Stephenie Meyer took a chance with a new idea speaks volumes for herself and her books, in my opinion. It is mainly seen as a book for teenagers, but really anyone could read and enjoy Twilight, as long as they have an open mind and accept that, yes, sometimes writers will do things out of the ordinary in their writing.
The characters are pretty great too - it's hard to decide which is my favourite as they're (mostly) really relatable and likeable. This must have been a difficult thing to do - make readers not only fall in love with a family of vampires, but relate to them as well. This is yet another factor that proves Meyers's talent.
It may not be the most difficult book, but this surely widens the audience. Okay, if you're only into challenging books then this may not be for you, but the majority of people usually prefer an easy read, and this is ideal for most. There are some themes that younger readers may find challenging, but even they should cope with the writing itself. (When I say young readers, I mean about age 10 or 11 upwards, depending on level of maturity.)
Just wanted to add my two pence worth of opinion to this long sailed ship, having caught a few bits of the film when it aired at Christmas I procured the trilogy book set from the charity bookshelf at work (so Marie Curie at least benefited!) and recent illness saw me able to read through this book in a few session. It wouldn't have probably got read if it were not for the illness as it was a book I wanted to abandon a lot.
A bit about
Bella is a teenager from Phoenix and she is going to spend some time with her dad in the quiet town of Fork a long way away from her home town. We're not sure if she got in some bother back home or whether he mum just can't be bothered to look after her properly but she's at a crucial age in terms of schooling and it seems Charlie's (her dad) is the best place for her right now. As the new kid at school there's a lot of interest in her, and the boys are fighting over her but she's not used to that considering herself nothing special, normal and in particular, rather clumsy. She is intrigued by the pale and interesting Cullen family who keep themselves to themselves but catches the eye of Edward who can't keep away from Bella. Romance is definitely on the cards but it may be in the face of adversity.
This was just a really bad romance in terms of teen infatuation. You can't decide who is more in love in the book although it is told from Bella's side. The conversations are drawn out and tedious and probably the sort of thing every teen girl is longing for in a teen boy but it's unlikely to reach such heights in real life. Add the excitement of vampire clans and old rumours in town and it's a relationship doomed to failure as no one else approves of them getting together. I really found this hard to read properly as the pages were just going nowhere a lot of the time and I realise there was a lot of information to drip feed the reader which perhaps I was privileged to, having seen snatches of the film already and heard most of the story line already... I just couldn't see what the hype was all about.
I have a friend, my age (mid 30s) who is just wild about this series and she highly recommended it. She doesn't read a lot, and I do, and I now know never to take her rare recommendations as it's unlikely they will be for me. I realise this is aimed at teens, and my teen self would have probably really loved it but for me it was just cheesy and too intense and although I have the next two books, I'll probably read them but won't be doing it any time soon (unless more illness hits!). The only thing I would say is that the content is mainly clean so it's OK for kids to read without it giving them too many ideas of taking relationships to the next level, it mainly focuses on feelings and emotions which is probably a good thing for that age range.
Twilight is not the sort of book I would normally read, as I don't tend to read mainstream bestsellers, and although I did enjoy the Harry Potter books, I believe that that series is of a rare high quality within the fantasy genre, which most books are not. But a friend who is into quite similar books to me recommended that I read Twilight, so I thought I'd give it a go. He warned me that it is not well written, but that the story is gripping, so I borrowed his copy and delved right in.
This is a very easy to read book, and I read it in a single day without having to concentrate too much and without skimming over anything. Brain fodder this is not. The opposite - maybe.
What struck me straight away about Twilight is how poorly written it is, which is obvious from the first page and which I am unaccustomed to as I usually read good books. It is not written in a way where you can believe that the author has deliberately written it in a poor manner, as it is the grammar and sentence structure is really bad throughout, and the dialogue is often stunted and repetitive. I'm not a literary snob and I like a good storyline that can help a reader to overlook poor craftmanship, but the book is written in such an incredibly banal way that I simply couldn't over look it. I couldn't believe that such a popular book could be so badly written, so I actually looked up the author to see whether she had written Twilight as a young writer, a teenager perhaps, but to my immense surprise I found that she actually wrote it in her 30s. Eek.
There is no doubt then that this book soared to great heights because of the content and not because Stephenie Meyer is a good writer. The vampire genre has of course been all the rage for some years now, beginning over a decade ago with the popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, and Meyer does have a slightly different take on vampire lifestyle so to those with an interest in these pointy-toothed fiends I am sure her characters came across as refreshing and different. I however found the supposed mystery and danger surrounding them to in fact be dull and underdeveloped, and in fact the storyline has been done before - in Buffy - with the characters of Angel and Spike who try to be good by not killing people but who live noble lives of struggle and occasional failure.
Meyer's vampires are not really all that original, then.
The book is narrated by a young girl named Isabella Swan, who goes by the nickname of Bella. She is meant to be a teenager of above average intelligence, whose thoughts soar above those of her peers who are all apparently witless country bumpkins and, in the case of the boys at least, are obsessed with her despite the fact that she is not particularly good looking or friendly or witty. Her supposed cleverness is not at all believable, no matter how well she seems to do in all her classes without effort, because her narration is so banal and she clearly has no hobbies or interests. Many passages are simply descriptions of what she is doing, including things like washing up, what she is cooking for dinner and how, etc. I realise you might say that this is a deliberate attempt of the author's to contrast her human life with that of vampire life, and why she finds vampire so fascinating, but the dull tone continues throughout the book and even into the action scenes, so I don't believe this is the case. Also, the vampires are meant to be amazing to every in their presence, but they only seem to have an effect on her, besides a few other girls really fancying some of the boys but considering them out of their league.
I put the tedious narration down to an author with poor writing skills who relies on a 2D character to tell a simple but timely story. Bella could potentially pose some interesting questions as to what it is to be human, as we learn that she is clearly bored with humanity from the first page of the book. However the extent of her musings on human life are incredibly basic and do not go beyond a the meager observation that life is dull. Philosophy this is not. It's no surprise then that the hero of the book, Edward Cullen, is introduced very early on in the book and immediately there is banter between him and Bella, and mystery because we don't know why all his actions seem to be to do with her, but at least it gives us something to anticipate beyond Bella's dull observations of household chores etc. Being such a dull person, Bella is immediately obsessed by Edward who is meant to be interesting, though it is hard to see why. You have to admire her naivety and arrogance at this point simply for their sheer unlikeliness - I have never met a teenager who was so listless but also apparently so bright and in tune with life. Bella is meant to be a clever and stimulated individual, but she has one interest in life and that is a boy who is apparently more beautiful than any other boy could be. We know nothing of her likes and dislikes beyond this; she has no preference in clothing, music, going out, friendships - nothing normal at all really. Excuse the poor explanation there - the language of the book appears to be rubbing off on me.
You might think that Edward will be described in detail, his features and mannerisms ingrained in our minds, as these ought to be what draw Bella to him, but instead we are presented with another 2D character who is called 'beautiful' at least 20 times throughout the book, but we are left to guess as to how he is beautiful. He has nice hair and nice skin, is the extent of what we are told. He's a bit muscley. And he has extreme mood swings which make him mysterious and dangerous, just the sort of guy every teenage girl fantasises about of course. While descriptions of mundane kitchen tasks is Meyer's forte, creating characters is not. This is strange when you consider how easy to read the book is and how simple it would be to occasionally refer to Edward's or Bella's features, movements, mannerisms or clothing. All we really know is that this youth has 'perfect' features, whatever that means, and that he is very pale. As is Bella. As if this is meant to be significant, as if paleness signifies intelligence or something.. I don't really know what Meyer was getting at with such an observation but honestly it doesn't seem as if she knows herself. There are a lot of inconsistencies like this in the book, threads that don't connect together, and you simply have to forget about them and read on or they will end up annoying you.
Much of the book reads like unnecessary padding until we get to the action scenes, because there is no building up of characters, although there IS plenty of build up of teenage hormones, which I will get to in a minute. The action scenes are sadly very predictable and poorly relayed - several times I misunderstood what was happening and had to flick back a few pages to reread the sequence of events, only to find that the author herself had muddled them up. Again the action surrounds these two characters and Bella is at the central of them since she is an astoundingly amazing being, for reasons no one can really fathom, the author included perhaps. Her advanced mind seems to be the crux of this and later we learn that she may be better looking than we have been led to believe, so that explains why all the boys at school are keen to date her despite the fact that she can barely hold a conversation with any individual and doesn't seem to enjoy socialising or anything else much.
So there we have it. To tell you more about the book would be to give away the very basic plotline, so I won't ruin that for you. I will say though that later in the book, as a few events actually take place, it does become mildly interesting, but always with this horridly poor narration to dull the effects of any excitement. And still there is nothing to propel the book to great heights, except perhaps the hype surrounding it.
It is rare that I prefer TV adaptations and I have not seen any of the Twilight series but I can't imagine that it isn't better than the books, so I am going to watch an episode and see what I think.
I find it disconcerting that Twilight has won awards for being good children's literature when it is so poorly written and also so unambitious. I can't see what it gives young people besides a bit of mild erotica. No I'm not exaggerating here - Bella is horny for Edward and he is equally horny back, and this is portrayed as love in the book. Really it is every teenager girl's supposed fantasy, with the beautiful man who is also brawny and sensitive and clever rescuing the girl from other men. Or indeed from her own stupidity. And she swoons to this of course, it gives her something to do in life and she can live the horny fantasy easily since Edward is as obsessed with her as she is with him, for reasons we can't quite fathom, and he actually makes it his prerogative to follow her around and put her life above his. Meanwhile Edward is obsessed with Bella for her blood as well as her sexuality, which means they are both like animals around each other, and perhaps this would be arousing to a teenage audience but I can't say I enjoyed reading their desperate attempts at fondling each other.
Other children's books that deserve the recognition they get are unique, capturing people's imaginations like Huck Finn's daring or Aslan's courage, appealing to both child and adult minds and hearts with a strong message and moral. Twilight has none of these things. It is popular because it is about vampires, and vampires are popular, and a lot of books about vampires are rubbish - even less well written than Twilight. All this book does is capture teenage horniness and bizarre fantasy - the fantasy of a teenage girl who finds her dream guy, who likes nothing better than to rescue her and flick between adoring her and admonishing her, which I would go so far as calling an abusive relationship if I felt that it had any punch to it. I found the love scenes somewhat embarrassing and was surprised that a 30 year old could write like a 16 year old girl, and that Meyer seems to think that this is love akin to Heathcliff and Catherine's or Romeo and Juliet's. The poetry of love simply isn't there. On the other hand, Meyer is a Mormon so that would explain the repressed nature of the erotic encounters take place, as there is no actual sex or allusion to people's naughty bits. And perhaps the world wants this, as it seems to have fallen for Meyer's uninventive portrayal of love - this book has certainly sold enough copies globally. I guess vampires, no matter how dull and 2D they are, do feature highly in teenager's esteems, and I have no doubt that they are the book's primary audience, as I don't know who else could be so willing to overlook poor writing, basic and predictable plot, and dull dialogue in exchange for mildly erotic and predictable fantastical encounters.
I do appreciate that not all books will appeal to all people, but I still like to read a range of book outside of my immediate interests, as I'm interested in what makes them appeal to other people. Nevertheless, rarely have a found a book so unsatisfying as I have found Twilight, and for this reason I don't recommend it.
I first heard about Twilight from a friend I met travelling some years ago, who knowing my love of the undead, thought I might be interested in reading this book. I shunned it for 2 reasons: 1, I don't do vampires, and 2, it's a book for teenagers. Some time after that Twilight became a worldwide phenomenon, and I remained uninterested, preferring to avoid the hype. Now that things have finally died down a bit, and after frequent suggestions from several of my close friends that I should at least give it a try, I decided to read the book and judge it for myself based on its own merits. I got my paperback copy second-hand from a local charity shop, and it is easily available both new and pre-owned.
Back of the book blurb: "About three things I was absolutely positive.
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part of him might be - that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
Isabella Swan expects her new life in Forks to be as dull as the town itself. But her new classmates don't seem to mind her awkward manner and low expectations. They seem to like her - with the exception, that is, of Edward Cullen. The problem is that Bella finds herself fascinated by him. What she doesn't realise is that the closer she gets, the more she is at risk. And it might be too late to turn back.
Deeply seductive and irresistibly compelling, Twilight is an extraordinary love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page."
Twilight is the first instalment of the successful series by Stephanie Meyer. In this first book we are introduced to the lead character Bella Swan, a seemingly ordinary girl who has moved from Phoenix to go and live with her dad in the little town of Forks, Washington. We follow her as she gets to grips with being the new girl at school and tries to settle in to a new home life with her dad. She is clearly unhappy with her new lot in life, and although people try their best to make her feel welcome, she is disinterested and ends up with a group of new friends that she does not want. I found the first half of the book incredibly hard to get through simply because I disliked Bella so much. She is self-absorbed, full of self-pity, manipulative, and really just a full-on wet blanket. I found it impossible to identify with Bella and did not like her personality or her attitude.
Things start to change when she meets Edward, an elusive and irresistibly attractive boy at her school who seems to want nothing to do with her. There is a vastly extended section of the book dedicated to a frustrating "I like you" - "I like you too" - "but we can't possibly be together" scenario, before finally, thankfully, Bella and Edward decide that they cannot fight their feelings any more and admit their love for one another. Once this happens there are some very powerful romantic moments which are described simply yet realistically, and I was touched by the apparent depths of their emotion for one another. Somewhat annoyingly there is not even the briefest of references to vampires until at least a good half-way through the book. It almost seems intentional to try and keep it a secret, which is downright ridiculous seeing as it says in big red letters on the back of the book that Edward is a vampire, and this is the book's key selling point. Still, the vampire lore itself was fairly interesting, if somewhat limited.
Unfortunately the plot is not conveyed very well, and it jumps straight from a nice romantic, sentimental section straight into an unexpected action-filled sequence that seemingly appeared from nowhere and jarred with the previous tone of the writing. There was no real tension or build-up, and after plodding along in a haze of teenage angst, it felt odd to then go in at the deep end with a completely separate storyline. Personally I was pretty displeased with this new turn of events as nothing seemed logical and there were conflicts for just no real reason. Leaving behind the romance after we've finally finished the wait for them to get together, and then changing tone completely spoiled the rest of the book for me and this has made me dissatisfied with the whole thing so I am not interested in reading any further into the series. There are 2 brief lines of dialogue that I enjoyed more than the whole rest of the book put together, and had these simple lines not caught my attention so wholly, then I would have been even more sorely disappointed with the book.
The style of Twilight is not well suited to my personal tastes, and I feel that there are plenty of far better horror books and plenty of far better romance books around. In this case the female lead is far too weak and unappealing, and although the male lead might be stunningly handsome, his failings throughout the course of their developing relationship make it difficult to care about them as a couple. Falling in love might not be a logical process, but as I was reading through I felt that practically all of the problems they encountered could have been avoided if they had only approached the situations in a mature, rational manner. Maybe this is why it's aimed at teenagers who would identify with it better! Can't recommend, not to my liking at all.
My review of Twilight might seem a bit two sided because I have read it twice and my opinion is totally different both times I will explain why though.
Twilight was the first paranormal romance novel I ever read as well as the first young adult book I read. When I first read it I was instantly hooked and I read the first three books back to back, I had never read any fantasy or Mythology books before so I found the mythology really interesting and it was all new to me so I basically thought it was fantastic.
While I was waiting for the last book to be released I started reading a lot of fantasy fiction and paranormal romance such as the house of night series, the midnight breed, and true blood and got thoroughly hooked and the genre (as you may be able to guess by my review list).
When the 4th book was then released I decided to refresh my memory of what had happened so far so I wouldn't get confused and this was when the disappointment began. I suddenly released that Stephanie Meyer was not actually a very good author, I'm not one of these people that takes for granted how difficult writing is and I'm not saying she is terrible by any stretch of the imagination but there are just so many more talented authors out there that highlight the flaws in this book.
The Characters were wooden and not very interesting or easy to relate to, the back story lacked any real depth and the mythology was barley explained leaving loads of gaps that if filled with more detail would have made a much more interesting read.
The book was very slow paced and not a lot happens in the first book apart from a lot of awkwardness and a strange not very lovey love story.
Overall the book is OK at best but it will always be special to me as it sparked my interest in mythology and reading in general which is now one of my favorite past times, so for that I will always be grateful and I am sure there are loads of others who owe the same gratitude to the world of Twilight.
This review is also on my ciao account under shellyjaneo
I've always been of the opinion "don't knock something 'till you've tried it", and a friend kept nagging me to read these books about 3 years ago. Until then I was aware of them, but had successfully managed to avoid them, but I took the plunge and read it - unfortunately I'm the sort of person that if I read a book that is part of a series I need to complete the series, no matter how bad they may be, and I really cursed myself with these.
I know they are written for a young adult audience, and it has been a long time since I could be included in that demographic, but these read as if they had been written by a 12 year old; You know how the tabloid newspapers try to avoid words of more than three syllables in case it confuses their readers? Twilight is written like that, and I would have thought any "young adult" would have found the style somewhat patronising. I read and liked harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Ender's Game, but Twilight seems aimed at the brain-dead illiterates.
I have been a vampire fan all my life - I love the lore surrounding vampires. Real vampires don't sparkle - Edward Cullen is a big fairy, and I mean no offence to big fairies - I've known a few and they were lovely people. Vampires not killing humans is nothing new, and has been done countless times in books and TV/Movies, but this seems to be the entirity of this characters being - everything is about him wanting to kill his girlfriend and struggling not to; it gets monotonous very fast, there being nothing else to relate. It's a two dimensional character. The girlfriend, Bella, is worse. I know the teenage years are a nightmare, and every little thing seems like the end of the world, but I was really rooting for her to kill herself by the end of the third chapter.
Unless you are a 13 year old girl with no aspirations in life and have difficulty understanding multi-syllable words, then the only way to survive this is to make a drinking game out of it: Bella sigh's, have a shot, Jacob glares, have a shot, Edward "smoulders", have a shot. If Edward transforms into the Big Gay Fairy just down the bottle and hope it erases your memory.
If you want to read good vampire fiction, have a look at Anne Rice. If you want teenage "YA" vampire stuff, have a look at Buffy. The best use I found for this book was to use it to hit the friend that suggested I read it. And if you get the paperback, the paper is a bit more absorbant - ideal if you run out of toilet-roll.
Just to update what the story is about, this is taken from the Amazon synopsis:
"When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town.
But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella.
Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away - until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car.
Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward's coldness. He, and his family, are vampires - and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close."
As regards the language I have used, I make no apologies. I'm not going to use flowery language to try to make this out to be something it isn't. I don't like Twilight. I think it is a travesty. But considering I bought and read all the books I think I have the right to express my opinion of them. If that offends you, then remember that it is just my opinion, not a peer-reviewed scholarly paper. I do acknowledge your comments though, positive and negative.
In my view Twilight is an extremely good and imaginative story, there may have been negative views about the films but the book is a must read and cannot be receptive to the films judgement.
The storyline is very basic yet obviously there is a strange twist, Edward and Bella are the strangest yet most perfect couple, a human and a vampire.
With the odd werewolf best friend thrown in, for added mystery and intrigue, this story is a supernatural romance perfect for any ages.
Set in a small town, readers are instantly drawn in and included in all the action and romance.
Bella at first is an outcast among her 'friends' which helps us create a rapport with her and Edward is a mysterious and seemingly dreamy vampire which makes us fall in love with him instantly.
Adding in evil, a family of vampires and a tribe of werewolves this is a supernatural readers must have, an all round brilliant book, with a continued 3 stories for anyone wanting more!
If you have female friends or a daughter, you will no doubt have heard of the Twilight Saga. You have have seen posters of a young good looking pouffy haired guy on bedroom walls, on bus stop advertisements and on the sides of buses. It's inescapable.
But what started this 'mania' is this book, Twilight, book one of the Twilight Saga.
Now don't get me wrong, I used to be one of those women braying at the top of my lungs about how Twilight and the various characters are perfect, but I can see I was wrong wrong wrong.
It is very easy to lose yourself in a romance, where you can easily position yourself in the main character, and have two good looking young men fighting over you, but when you really get down to it, it's not as magical once you strip it all down.
The descriptions of Bella are ambiguous at best, making it very easy to imagine yourself in her shoes. The fact is, she is a very average looking girl, shadowed by her peers, yet for some reason, she is exactly what the mysterious vampiric love God, Edward has been waiting for for almost a whole century. She is vapid, obsessive, shallow and needy. She shuns other boys her age because they're not as beautiful or as perfect as Edward. She meets him once and he is in her thoughts constantly ever since. She can't seem to be comfortable in her own skin without Edward constantly being by her side. And by God, is she boring?! When she is not with Edward, what is she doing? Talking to parents, or doing house chores or home work. She has no hobbies to speak of, and no social life outside of school.
And Edward. Edward is selfish, over-protective/over-bearing, he has an uncontrollable temper, has some pretty extreme jealousy issues, poor self-esteem and is controlling. Not such the dream boat now is he? People can argue that these are endearing traits to have in a man whom you adore, that they can be overlooked, and it just shows that he cares, and I just cannot agree!
Now I'm done with my scathing character analysis, let me being on the story itself.
While I can appreciate this is a modern twist on very old mythological being/folk lore, I feel that this entire Saga has emasculated an entire genre. Where Anne Rice would have you gasping, and Tom Cruise as Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis would have you swooning in your seats, Gary Oldman would have you trembling and fanning yourself as Dracula, sparkling vampires is about as manly as a pink meringue.
There are some examples of pretty terrible grammar in this book, as well as very forced and rushed dialogue. There are lots of unnecessary descriptions and filler. We don't care that Bella did her laundry, and then began cooking dinner.
There is also a lot of female oppression in the books as a whole.
Bella has no aspirations, no goals, no desire to do anything other than be with Edward for the rest of her life. Any time Bella tries to put her foot down, she is threatened in a very subtle way to dissuade her from leaving, and very often, when one of them disagrees, despite having agreed to be together forever, one or the other gets sulky and immature.
Yes, it's a fine book to pick up and lose yourself in when you don't want to think or concentrate on anything in particular and just get washed away in the noise of the story, but beneath it all is a very powerful tool which is potentially teaching young people to never aspire to be anything, only worry about how to keep your boyfriend, and to expect to be rescued any time you run into trouble.
I'm sorry if you disagree with me, and you might vote this down because of my opinions, but look at it objectively, look at it through the eyes of someone who has experienced some of the trauma Bella is put through throughout her relationship with Edward, and you will see that the story is not something to be glorified.
It's a wishy-washy fantasy, with very little substance, but it's fine to read if you don't want to think about it.
Dont be put off by all the furore surrounding this book, its not just for the teenagers it is aimed at. This book kept me interested and my teenage years are becoming more of a distant memory by the day.
So if you have had your head hidden for the last few years and missed out on the full Twilight experience.. what is it all about?
Having spent most of her formative years with her mother Bella moves to Forks to live with her Dad. Forks, where it is always grey and rainy and her Dad who is the local sheriff and quite hard to get to know. Bella, a typical teenager, finds it tough to settle in. A bit clumsy and not your typical girlie girl she finds it difficult being the centre of attention as the newcomer in a small town.
That is until she meets Edward... and this raises many questions... Why is he so determined to stay away from her? Why does he keep disappearing? Whats the story with him and his strange family?
I'd be surprised if you've managed to miss the twist with this one but just in case, lets just say Edward isnt entirely human. But this doesnt stop Bella falling for him and him for her. Ad just like in the case of all great romances true love doesnt exactly run smoothly.
The book is written for teenagers and you can see this from her style of writing. But that isnt a huge issue. She does write in a very readable style and about characters that yiou want to get to know.. particularly Bella who has elements of an anti-heroine about her, and the mysterious Edward.
The descriptions of her first day at a new school bring memories flooding back and the supporting cast are well written.
The book definitely kepy me on the edge of me seat.. in fact I bought the second book before I'd even finished the first!
Firstly I need to point out that I am hugely appreciative of the Twilight series and of Stephanie Meyer for her literary work. Would I call myself a Twilight hard core fan-a Twihard? Probably not. Would I call myself simply a fan? Yes. Now I would, but it hasn't always been like that and I think my appreciation of the plot is very different to that of the thousands of teenage girls out there who obsess over this series.
A friend recently asked me why I was reading Twilight, it was after all a teenage novel about vampires, wasn't it? I couldn't disgaree more. This was my response to her. Twilight is a love story. It's a love story where one of the main characeters is in her teens at the time the story is set, but it's by no means only young adult fiction. It's actually suitable for all ages. I know it was intended for a young adult audience when writen but I think it's popularity with people of all ages has prooved it's adapted to suit the needs of an older reader too.
Twilight follows Bella Swan, 17 years old and what can only be described as clumsy, awkward and shy. The plot centres around her and the whole book is told through her eyes. Very early on we are shown the state of Bella's family and living situation, which I feel helps to contribute to our connection with her personality. Her parents are seperated and she is in the process of moving from sunny Phoenix, Arizona where she has been living with her Mother and her new Husband. Her new home is with her Father is a small town called Forks in Washington which is described as the "wettest place in the continental US'. Her move catapultes her out of her comfort zone, if this is possible for Bella and she has to adjust to a new school and new people. And people were not her strong point in Phoenix, it's obvious so is social inept, but lovable too.
Slowly becoming accustomed to the Forks way of life, Bella lays eyes on Edward Cullen and his family. The Cullen family also have a fractured living situation which intrigues Bella and her classmates. The attraction between the two is instant. It's intense, it's deep and is unaided by many words. The curiosity of it catches Bella unawares and sweeps through her, while Edward's bizarre attempts to quash it seem ill-fated. Twilight is their love story.
My thoughts on Twilight at the beginning was one of apprehension. I have already seen the film several times and I must say that it was the sexual tension between Bella and Edward that captivated me. It was their emotional connection, their tension and the intensity of their love that drew me in as a viewer of the film. And I was pretty sure that the book would not be able to touch on that tension, on that connection. I knew the plot, so I wasn't expecting suprises but within days I had hungrily read the entire book-something which suprised me greatly and also shows how difficult this is to put down-even knowing the plot ahead of reading it.
From the beginning Meyer uses Bella to give us our basic thoughts on the characters we meet. The way Bella's mother is portrayed as the one in need of care taking in their relationship and the minimal contact she has had with her father since she reached adolesence gave me reason to wonder if her social awkwardness was due to her lack of structured parenting. However as the story progressed we see that Bella is actually more mature than given credit for, more mature than she knows. She lacks little enthusiasm for fun, for entertainment on any level which is unusal for a teenage girl but somhow fits Bella's character perfectly. She is content with her lot, not hungry and desperate for more than she's been given. It allows you to sympathise with her, to feel sorry for her being so shy, so unable to assosciate with people her own age. It also makes you respect her too, or it made me respect her should I say. Her maturity is far above her age and made me feel more able to connect with her, to associate to her (I am in my mid twenties). Don't get me wrong, Bella isn't depressed. Despite her social inexcusability she is actually perfectly accepting of herself. Happy isn't a word I would ever use in conjunction with Bella, it just doesn't fit. That's not saying she's miserable, because she isn't but her character oozes depth and darkness in a positive way. If at all possible!
Edward on the other hand is harder to warm to. I have a feeling though that this is the way Meyer intended it to be. He is after all a 104 year old vampire, stuck constantly living the life of a 17 year old! Who on earth would want to constantly be a teenager?! However what I like about Edward is the conflicted way in which he behaves. Yes he may be a 17 year old boy but she has used the fact that he was raised (as a human) in an age (Victorian age) where childhood was long gone by the teenage years. It's because of this that Edwards maturity matches Bella's, and in some cases outdoes hers. He was raised as a gentleman, as a grown man and when he became a vampire he was far from childlike. Therefore stuck at that point forever he is having to live in a world where being the same age means something completely different. I like the way Meyer shows his ability to do this without making him resentful, he likes the whole schooling side of his life, even if it is just a front and you get the feeling very early on he doesn't take it too seriously but is naturally gifted in the classroom. It's easy to understand why though as I'm sure he's completed the curriculum many times over.
Between Bella and Edward the most beautiful love story is born. One of intense connection, one that shows two souls intwined together with no reason for being so and so much pushing them apart yet their loves draws them to each other like magnets. It's captivating to read. My only critism of the novel is the speed in which their love is born. Being older (and wiser) I don't believe in love at first sight and I would have prefered it if Meyer had addressed the beginning of their relationship as an infactuation, rather than instantly 'Love'. Perhaps (in my opinion) this is why it's technically classed as young adult fiction. After all the glory of being a teenager means you can still afford to believe in that sort of love at first sight!
I enjoyed the way the story developed. Sometimes jumping longer periods of times, sometimes painstackingly stretching chapters out over short periods. However it worked and created a jumbled sense of cohesion which actually wasn't really that noticeable until afterwards. I like the way we still see Bella as awkward but as though Edward awakens her. As if he is the part of her that brings her to life. Suddenly her clumsyness is partly down to being love struck and down to sheer excilleration and it's interesting to see how this alters the perception of Edward as a result. His safe 'wickedness' is captivating. By this I mean that he adds the slight element of excitement to their relationship, after all between someone as deep and shy as Bella and a Vampire there had to be some light heartedness somewhere or the relationship would have been the most absurd detail of depression! It suprised me that Edward was the one of the two to bring this to the table. But as the plot develops it's humourous to read and makes you smile, it makes your heart warm to their love story despite there 'differences'.
Another thing I found myself in awe of as I continued through the story was the way in which two people, supposedly so different were bound together by their love creating a personality that reflected the other perfectly. It's as if their love made them the same, yet from totally different pieces of cloth. I've never seen anything like it and I've read a lot of books!
Bella as the main character is supported by a cluttering of other characters who complete the story-family and friends. All of whom perfectly fit the bill in completing the story and the surroundings of the Bella/Edward love story. Meyer managed to create characters that perfectly complimented not only both Bella and Edward but also that complimented the date and the background lead up. These characters also provide depth to the surroundings in the situations we see in the book, and they also give readers of all ages further characters to associate with thus making it more adaptable to readers of all ages.
After seeing the film and then going back to read the book I had expected more of a lead up to the events seen in the film, more 'scences'. However there weren't many other sections of the book that could have created new scences for the film. Obviously the situations were more described, more explained than on film but the main difference was the depth of emotions and connections that were expressed. The depth of the feelings behind things that Meyer perfectly decipted in detailed prose is where I was able to find my fulfilment of the depth of the relationship between Edward and Bella. This is where I was suprised, very pleasantly that the book was just as captivating as the film.
My overall opinion on Twilight is that it's something everyone should read. Whether it's your 'thing' or not, it's a piece of written genious and if you don't like the story, you will appreciate it's potential regardless. I think it's popularity has gone against it with some people, and made them not want to read the books as they have categorised the story without seeing or reading it. I would urge these people to read the book. It will, if nothing, grip you and intrigue you in a story that brings something for everyone.
No, I'm not a twihard fan. Yes I love the characters and am passionate about the story itself but as an adult and not one who is easily impressed with things like this, I feel my five star rating of this novel should implore all to read it and give it a go.
I did, and I've found nothing like it before or since.
Available in all good book shops for between £5-£7 or available to download as I did on the Ipad via Itunes for £6.99.
First there is Bella. She has just moved to Forks to live with her father Charlie, who is chief of police. Her mother Renee and stepdad Phil are travelling. She eventually finds a group of friends to sit with a t lunch they are; Jessica, Angela, Ben, Eric, Mike and Lauren. Bella eventually catches the eye of Edward Cullen. A sullen, yet gorgeous guy, who hides a dark secret he and the rest of the Cullen's are vampires. They consist of the local doctor Carlisle and his wife Esme. Then there is Rosalie (blond haired beauty) and Emmett (think the size of a bear). Then finally Alice and Jasper Cullen, they like Edward have special abilities. You also meet Jacob and Billy Black, who she has known since childhood. In this book the villains are James, Victoria and Laurent. James is a tracker who is partnered with Victoria the fiery red-head. Laurent looks like the leader of the group, but is not, he eventually leaves this coven.
I will try not to spoil it for anyone who has not read it yet, so here it goes. The book follows Bella as she stumbles her way around her new home town Forks. Here she meets the love of her life Edward. It turns out that his charm and good looks are all down to the fact that he and his family are Vampires. They welcome Bella into the family with open arms. But being in such close proximity with a large coven of vampires does have its drawbacks as Bella and Edward soon to find out.
I am a major fan of this book. You could even call me a Twihard fan, I am obsessed. I can read this book over and over and it still never gets boring. The thing is that Stephanie makes Bella so human that every young girl reading this book feels that they are similar to her in some way and they can totally relate to how she is feeling. I think the draw for me with this book is the love story. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Edward is also painted to be the perfect guy; he is good looking, rich and willing to die for the girl he loves. All girls dream of finding their version of Edward and reading about it, sort or make the reality a bit more real for some girls. There are twists and turns throughout this book and it still is a book I can never put down once I begin to read. Well done Stephanie for bringing Edward into our lives.
**Where to buy**
First novel in the Twilight saga, we discover the heroes Bella and the beautiful Edward ... well I'll spare you the details by telling you the summary as you'll find it all other reviews and other sites!
Why I chose to read it?
I started by watching the first episode on DVD blueray. With my sister we were captivated! I do not know if it was the effect of the super big TV screen in her living room but I really loved this episode! Back in Germany, where I live, I bought the 3 DVD's we have watched with my boyfriend, then we went to see the last part to the movies just two weeks ago. After that, my sister gave me for Christmas the books and I started very quickly with the first volume.
I read it in about 3 days ...
I was fine seeing the film, frankly the book was exciting. We are rediscovering the characters from a different perspective and sometimes one can distinguish scarlet between the book and the interpretation that was made on the screen. From analytical point of view it was very interesting to do this parallel.
The novel is written in first person, through Bella's eyes, the heroine who falls in love with our beautiful vampire. This gives a completely different perspective from the film which follows each character independently.
The fact that I watched the movie before reading the book, is a key element of my opinion on it. It made me feel like comparing and get to know more and more details. The writing is not exceptional I have to say, it's still a novel for teens, with ideal love and all that goes with it "I've known you for 3 days but I want to die for you. " This effect is emphasized even more in the writing than in the film.
I have already started the second volume and I think it will be interesting because I have not really liked the following episodes on DVD's, so maybe it will be an opportunity to take a fresh look on them.
Somehow I managed to completely miss the whole Twilight hype until just after the first DVD was released. When I heard about I watched the DVD and after seeing it bought this book. I don't read books often (an understatement) partly because it seems to take me so long to read them and I lose concentration easily if it's not interesting. However I discovered very quickly Twilight was the exception to that rule.
Without including too many spoilers, although I'm sure if you've heard of Twilight you know what it's about. Twilight follows the love story between human teenager Bella and a vampire called Edward. This book tells the story of how they meet, getting to know each other and coming to terms with the obvious differences in their lives. Even though I'd watched the DVD so already knew the story I was still hooked on reading. The book includes much more detail as the story had to be cut a little for the film. Nothing major was cut but it shows their journey in a bit more detail and possibly makes it a little more believable (as believable as a love story between a human and a vampire could be) as things don't happen quite so quickly.
This is a love story aimed at teenagers and reflects that in that it is full of tension and will they won't they moments. For me it was definitely one of those books you don't want to put down and I was up till the small hours at times reading it. I've heard some comments that it's not very well written but I think (although I'm not literature expert) for the type of book it is it gives you everything you would want.
I'm slightly older than the stereotypical Twilight fan but I found myself hooked on it all the same. It's a nice, easy, pleasant read which is good for a bit of entertainment if you don't want to get yourself stuck into something too complicated. I loved Twilight and went on to read all four books and watch all of the films so far.
Twilight written by Stephanie Meyer follows a teenage girl who moves to Forks and meets a Guy called Edward who turns out to be a vampire. They fall in love but three other vampires come after Bella leaving Edward to try and save her before its too late.
I read this book before the first film came out as my friend recommended it to me. At first I was a bit apprehensive about reading it as I thought the story line was weak but after reading the first few chapters I got hooked. It has a great story line is written really well and you never want to put it down. This book is just over 400 pages and I read it in two days, but my friend read it in a day.
A lot of people see the film and don't want to read the book but the book is totally different the amount they leave out of the book in the film is quite shocking when you read it its sometimes like reading a different series.
Great read. I have recommended this book to so many who thought they would hate it and actually they got hooked and read all the others.
An Amazing series
First Id like to apologise for anything I say about this book that isnt complementary as this book has had a special place in my heart since the first time I read it but my opinions about what makes a vampire a proper vampire have changed a lot since then, now onto the review. The books story is fairly simple on the surface, new girl comes to town and is instantly attracted to the dark mystrious guy that everyone thinks is weird (you know, just like how that one guy that stays on the fringes of things at school seems to be talked about amongst girls only while the guys ignore him) but once you get into it their teenage love story has a couple of little snags 1. hes a vampire 2. her blood smells really good to him 3. there are other vampires in the area that want to kill her. (Im trying to be a little humourous so if you think Im being negative it wont sound too harsh) I have some problems with the book but overall it is a great book and in my mind Edward and Bella are right up there with Romeo and Juliet, Sweeney and Lucy, Shane and Claire, and Stark and Zoey as the top five best couples of all time. Id reccomend this book to anyone but wouldnt expect totally positive reviews back, if I made a list of my all time favourite books this would be at number 4, all in all its a good book that just gets a little silly sometimes but can bring it back to seriousness very quickly (with the exception of the vampires sparkling, thats unforgivable Stephanie Meyer)