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Twilight

The first book in the "Twilight Saga" by Stephenie Meyer.

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Just like junk food

  • Jun 23, 2010
Rating:
-4

My older sister is a librarian, and for Christmas and my birthday she often gives me a stack of "good books" - the ones she's heard good things about, or would recommend. A couple years ago, Twilight was part of the stack. She was insistent that I should give it a try, even if I am not a fan of vampire stories. I am a middle- and high school teacher, so I figured I really ought to know what my students are squealing about. I read it over three days, and determined that it is definitely a junk food novel - it tastes good while you're scarfing it up, but isn't satisfying for long, and often leaves you with a sick feeling.

The story is more than a little trite. The characters are very flat - I always imagined Bella speaking in a monotone (which, amazingly, is not far from Kristen Stewart's monotone in the movie). The writing is decent - there are some moments where Meyer really shines in her descriptive writing, but then she falls right back into triteness. There are lots of questions left unanswered, particularly regarding Bella's relationship with her parents, and her father's history. More remarkably (and what drove me the most crazy), Meyer does not once touch on in any meaningful way what I see as the overriding theme of the novel - why Bella and Edward are so drawn towards one another, and the phenomenon of wanting something that is very bad for you. Instead, we get chapter long descriptions of Edward playing the piano, and Bella mooning over him. It always panders.

Add onto all that the fact that it romanticizes a very twisted relationship.  If Meyer had dealt with the squicky factor more sensibly, I probably would have accepted the book. If she would have opened up a dialogue about the difference between love and obsession, and the unhealthiness of the relationship between Bella and Edward, I would have like this book a whole lot more. Instead, Edward is presented as the knight in shining armor, come to rescue Bella. The flatness of the themes make it trite at best, and disturbing at worst.

All that being said, it's an entertaining enough read, and definitely sucks you in. I wouldn't waste much time on it though - save it for reading on the beach this summer, and then pass it along to your girlfriends.

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June 27, 2010
Ha, I haven't read the book yet, but I appreciate your telling it as it is! Thanks for sharing :)
 
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More Twilight (book) reviews
review by . June 30, 2010
I first read Twilight the summer after my senior year of high school. I was still 17, stuck up in bed for months recovering from a minor surgery, and reading at my most voracious pace yet (where was Netflix Instant in 2007, huh!?) in order to get away from endless Full House reruns. I had long since abdicated library authority to my mother and she had perfected the ability to pick a perfect mix of young adult and adult fiction and nonfiction for me. After one of these library trips, Twilight found …
review by . January 07, 2010
Hundreds and thousands of fans couldn't possibly be wrong, could they? I figured with so much hype surrounding Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, there had to be something to it. So I took the plunge and dug in.       Now, please ... before hordes of young female fans climb all over me and shower my review with negative comments, I hope that they'll understand this review is being written by a fifty-something male for a similar audience. In summary, it just wasn't …
review by . July 10, 2010
There has been a lot of smack written about Twilight, mostly because the book’s primary audience is not articulate enough to adequately voice their opinions of the book beyond: “Edward is so dreamy,” “I want someone to love me that much,” “Vampires are sexy.”  What Meyer has done is taken every romantic cliché from a book or movie and compiled it into one book that doesn’t move beyond its primary archetypes.  Without plot dynamics …
review by . June 25, 2010
Listen, I'm not a Twilight-hater, nor am I a hard core fan. I read the books a few years ago and was swept up by the love story between Bella and Edward. I certainly give this book props for how captivating it can be. However, in order to analyze this book critically, and fairly, I'm going to look at how healthy the Edward/Bella relationship really is for teens to be digesting as they read Twilight. This is more of a response to the ideas portrayed in Twilight vs. an outright review of the …
review by . July 20, 2010
I read the book because I am a middle school teacher and thought I should be familiar with the novel because of its popularity with my students.  The book is honestly poorly written and incredibly predictable, but despite this obvious reason to dislike the novel, I could not put it down and soon found myself reading the other books in the series.  The Twilight series has become my guilty pleasure.  Here are my thoughts as a teacher on the appropriateness of the text for your adults:   …
review by . January 05, 2010
Twilight- Not Worth The Time
I read a book several years ago, that I've read many times since then, also in the young adult category, called Demon In My View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, that was published when she was 16. The book is less than half the size of Twilight, with far more plot and character development then Twilight could ever achieve. It has it's faults, but was a quick, and amusing read. Then, I read Twilight, written by a woman, with supposed writing ability, with the same plot, similar characters, and far too …
review by . July 27, 2010
   This book was 'ok', I didn't go out of my way to read it, nor did I see the reason behind all the hype.      It was well written if not well thought out. Too many characters to be introduced to, and confusing conflicts of interest to the younger audience set.      I think this was meant to be a romance for the ages, that falls AGES short. To me, this is written to attract the exact demographic the writer intended- tweens. While not …
review by . May 18, 2009
I will never understand the huge following the the book Twilight has earned. In my opinion, this 'book' is more along the lines of a teenage girls fanfiction about some other vampire romance novel they picked up at an airport book store. Here are the reasons I shall never pick up these books again:    1. The characters are painfully underdeveloped.    2. While there may be one or two well written passages, they are ruined by the horrible ones that follow.   &nb …
review by . July 12, 2010
What a wonderful plot for a young adult book. What could be more heart wrenching? A tragic battle between love and death. Boy meets girl. Boy wants to eat girl, yet boy is madly in love with girl. The series I should mention is not only for teens. I've known a few adults to have gotten off on the vampire romance. Though some cynics may throw the word beastiality around, the sexual tension is what keeps the pages a turnin' and the sales a rollin.' With that in mind, the novel should …
review by . June 28, 2010
Okay, I'll admit it. I first read this book because of the hype. Also, because the trailer of the movie looked interesting. Lastly, I've been going through Harry Potter withdrawal and I'm trying to find a fantasy series to put all of my pent-up energy in. So, now, what I have to say is this: WHAT THE HELL?!!      This book's premise sounded interesting. Bella moves in with her dad to a remote town in Arizona and falls in love with a vampire. But I foolishly thought …
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I'm a teacher from the upper Midwest who is obsessed with history and all things crafty.
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Wiki

Twilight is the debut, young-adult vampire-romance novel by author Stephenie Meyer. Twilight was initially rejected by 14 agents, but became an instant bestseller when published originally in hardback in 2005, debuting at #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list within a month of its release and later peaking at #1. That same year, Twilight was named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2005. The novel was also the biggest selling book of 2008 and, to date, has sold 17 million copies worldwide, spent over 91 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and been translated into 37 different languages.

It is the first book of the Twilight series, and introduces seventeen-year-old Isabella "Bella" Swan, who moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington and finds her life in danger when she falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen. The novel is followed by New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. A film adaptation of Twilight was released in 2008. It was a commercial success, grossing more than $382 million worldwide and an additional $157 million from North American DVD sales, as of July 2009.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0316160172
ISBN-13: 978-0316160179
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Vampires
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Date Published: October 5, 2005
Format: Format
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