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Twilight

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

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Twilit Wonders

  • Oct 13, 2007
Rating:
+2
Is it possible for a book about vampires to avoid the monstrous nature of Stephen King's creatures, the self-absorbed boredom of Anne Rice's Lestat, the innate pessimism of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, and even the ancient menace of Bram Stoker's classic Dracula? Can such a story, in the end, even leave you with a good feeling about its characters and about the themes behind the story? Stephenie Meyer proves that it can be done, and she begins the story in 'Twilight', one of the most original vampire novels I have read in years.

The secret of 'Twilight' is that it does not focus on the mythology of its creatures (though you do get their history as the story progresses), and doesn't rely on an action-packed story (though there is lots of action to be had). Instead, the main focus of 'Twilight' is its characters. The story is told from the perspective of Bella (short for Isabella), as she moves from warm and sunny Phoenix, Arizona to cold and wet Forks, Washington. We get to know Bella as she adjusts to living with her father and tries to integrate herself into the local high school. It is a story that should be familiar territory for most of us, and Meyer tells it well and keeps it interesting. Of course, the fun really starts when Bella meets Edward Cullen. Edward is a vampire. In fact, Bella soon learns that his whole family are vampires.

This is where the good stuff comes in. Meyer's vampires are unlike any vampires I've ever read about, as soon becomes apparent. To give away why would be to give away some of the best surprises in the book, but suffice to say that these vampires incorporate popular mythology of what vampires are, and at the same time they manage to throw most of those myths right out the window. What we see in 'Twilight' could be the reality behind the myth.

Beyond the mythology, though, Meyer also creates real characters in the Cullens. Each member of the family is unique, and many of their personality traits are quite surprising in themselves. Very little brooding or angst here, instead we get real people and real depth of feeling, in characters who just happen to be pretty much immortal. Bella's reaction to meeting the Edward and the rest of the Cullens is the best part of all, as she gets to know them and, eventually, to fall in love with Edward. Complications, of course, arise from this.

I had heard of 'Twilight' before I read it. My daughter read it first, then re-read it, and some of my friends have read it too. All of them recommended it heartily. They knew I would love it, and they were right. I got swept up in the story, in the originality, in the romance, and in the characters. Since I finished the book, I have since recommended it to my own friends, and they also loved it.

This is a book that has gotten notice, and for good reason. It is a good story that can be appreciated by young and old alike. It is a dark wonder, like a perfect memory, bathed in a twilight glow and preserved in the minds and hearts of anyone who reads it. Enjoy this one again and again -- it is a true treasure.

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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 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
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 …
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.
About the reviewer
Rich Stoehr ()
Ranked #80
I often hide behind a pithy Douglas Adams quote or maybe some song lyrics. I guess it makes sense that much of what I share is reviews of things I like (or don't).      People … more
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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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