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

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Twilight: A Little Bit of A Tough Read, and A Segway to Theatrical Differences

  • Jul 16, 2009
  • by
I wrote up this review previously for my blog, and decided to tweak it a little to share with everyone. I'm going to try to be as objective as possible. I don't like to say mean things about anyone or their work, but I am honest. That being said, I'm sure some of the things I say aren't going to thrill everyone, but honestly, I am not trying to be mean or offend anyone. Feel free to comment me and post your own thoughts about the book. I've talked to several people about their view on this book, or more or less Stephenie Meyer's writing, which I will get into in just a second, but first, let me just start with the concept of the book in general.

First of all, I am not and never have been into the whole vampire scene. I have nothing against it, but it never tickled my fancy, so to speak. I really hadn't heard of Twilight to be honest until the movie came out. I didn't realize that there was this whole phenomena out there just waiting for me to explore it. Still though, it didn't spark my interest. The movie trailers, posters, and propaganda were pushed in my face everywhere I turned. Hot Topic, the internet, television, theaters, just everywhere. I began to wonder what the fascination was with this whole Twilight thing, and after hearing that, when you go to see the movie, you don't feel like you're watching a vampire movie, I decided to check it out. Lies, I tell you. It's quite obvious that you're watching a vampire movie, but I still really enjoyed it and decided that I wanted to venture into the books.

I think what made Twilight unique and made me enjoy it was that the vampires are very human, for all intents and purposes. They aren't savages that go out and are constantly sucking the blood of those around them. It's obvious they're vampires, but they're extremely civilized, which left many unexplored dynamics that intertwined with the plot. These vampires don't even suck the blood of their worst enemies. Also, the addition of the Indians, friends of the Swan family, and their legends made the story ten times better and gave it a hefty backbone. This concept gave Stephenie Meyer a lot to work with. The dynamic simply worked.

The beginning of the book, just as in the movie, is slow moving. The movie and the book fall together pretty verbatim for the prologue and first half of the first chapter, so much so that it's scary. I know this review is more on the book, but it's kind of bilateral in a way, as I wanted to throw in the comments on how it compared to the movie so that I covered everything full circle. In all honesty, had I not seen the movie and was reading the book out of pure curiosity, I'm unsure of how far I would have actually gotten through the book. This is true for several reasons.

The first reason is that, as I said, it's slow moving at the beginning. I understood why the book was formatted and written in the way that it was, but I felt like I wanted just a bit more action. Comparing the book to the movie, I actually liked the element of having the other three vampires in the movie through out stages in the beginning a little better, however, I can see how that would have been difficult to write into a book that is told in one characters point of view. One thing the book had going for it though was that no one died from the wrath of the other vampires like they did in the movie. This just made things better for whatever reason. (Sorry if I'm giving stuff away. Insert your kicking of me here.)

The second and most prominent reason that I had issues with the book was the writing and editing. I honestly have not met anyone who hasn't had an issue with this aspect of the book. As my one friends said, her writing is good for children and illiterate people. This is true in a way, however, I don't really know if I blame Stephenie Meyer or her editor, but I'm more apt to blame the editor. There are so many problems in the book esthetically that it is unbelievable. The grammar is bad, the use of punctuation is worse, there are spelling errors, and several places where two different tense are used in the same sentence. Also, there are several places where someone will say one thing in one paragraph, and contradict it in the paragraph directly below it, almost as if a train of thought was lost between the two, having some parts make no sense, so you have to take it for what it is. In all honesty, if it wasn't for seeing the movie first, I'm unsure of how much sense some things would have made due to this. These are things that the editor should have caught. If I was a publisher, I could not have warranted publishing a book with this many mistakes. It almost seemed as if the rough, non proofread draft of the book got published. I know I'm not the only one thinking this.

It was a rough read, but overall a good book. I'm glad that I did stick with it because I immensely enjoyed the story as a whole. I am slightly reluctant to see how the second book is going to go. Hopefully there will be less errors, making it an easier read. I'm already seeing where the movies are going to veer away from the books, so I would like to get the books read before the movies come out, which shouldn't be too hard. Famous.last.words. So how did the movie compare to the book?

I actually liked the movie better, but I know there's a very strong split line between people's opinions when it comes to that. The book had a lot more romance, whereas the movie didn't really showcase Edward and Bella kissing, cuddling, and doing other such romantic but not sexual things as much. Their relationship seems very deep on a spiritual and emotional level, but the physical part seems almost absent in the movie. In the book, it's apparent that every time Edward kisses Bella, she has some sort of weird reaction as it's such a sensory overload for her. This was not shown in the movie, and I'm still unsure of which I liked better. Because the character of Edward is so very different, it was slightly uncomfortable to watch the romance develop between he and Bella in the movie, but beautiful at the same time. It's something I don't think I can really explain.

I personally liked the way that the movie was formatted a little better than the book. The same events happen, just in a different way or in a different place in both. The way things happened in certain places in the book seemed a little more unrealistic than how they did in the movie. The book is much more fairy tale like in a dark way, whereas the movie tries to make this fictionally intriguing story more realistic, or as realistic as it can be. That being said, I'm a fan of fairy tales and romance, so had I read the book first, I would have probably liked it better, if I could have gotten through it. However, after seeing the movie, I was thinking more logically and realistically than romantically and didn't let myself get caught up in the story as mush as I should have. I'll be interested to read New Moon before the movie comes out, and then compare and see which I liked better. I think that will really be a good test.

As suspected, the movie and the book ended the same, but differently. There was one additional scene added onto the end of the movie that was not in the book. I suspect this is for two reasons. One, I don't know if the book was ever meant to turn into a saga, so she ended it infinitely instead of leaving it hanging. Does anyone else know if the book was supposed to be a lone one, or a saga from the start? Two, they had to add some movie magic to keep you wanting to come back for me, and so you knew there would be a sequel. (As long as someone agreed to actually produce it and add the necessary financial backing.) The movie foreshadows, which is good, but in a way it almost ruins part of the next movie by giving something away, however I think you about figured what it gave away already. I'm interested to see though, if, in the books, Victoria does pop up again in New Moon, or if this is just going to be a movie thing. I'm assuming she would, but I don't really know as the book doesn't touch on it at all. It is what it is in the book, the focus being more on James, so I want to see where this goes.

All in all, if you're looking for a book that holds an age old concept with a new, fresh, wonderful twist, Twilight is that book. Just be prepared for the errors and a little bit of a tough read. If you focus on the story though, you will really enjoy the book. It's easy to get lost in and a good way to get rid of some stress at the end of the day.

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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
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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 23, 2010
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 …
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
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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 …
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
Clumsy generic insipid character has a sparkly vampire boyfriend who should have been spiked through the chest in the first book.
review by . July 12, 2010
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Cassadee ()
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Hello everyone! My name is Cassadee and I am currently elbow deep in writing my first novel. I am aiming to have my fictional novel finished by the end of 2010, at very latest. I want to write something … more
About this book


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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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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