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

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One Rotten Apple

  • Jun 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 entire novel. I find examining these questions to be more rewarding than a quick summary of the book. Hopefully you'll agree.

With its extreme popularity, it’s important to look at the message presented in Twilight, the content of the novel, and especially, the characters of Bella and Edward. Is the relationship between Bella and Edward a healthy one? Will impressionable teens model their own expectations for relationships after this fabricated one? These are questions I find the most important to discuss since millions of young girls read these novels and are influenced by the characters in Twilight.
            One of the essential aspects of Edward and Bella’s relationship is that Edward fills a void in Bella’s life. She left her mother in Phoenix to live with her father, a man she’s only seen the last three years for two weeks out of the year. You can hardly call Charlie a presence in her life since she spends so little time interacting with him. Their father-daughter relationship is lacking, which illustrates why Edward and his many fatherly traits, fills this role in Bella’s life. He is overprotective, authoritative, and somewhat controlling. Edward gets angry when Bella doesn’t tell Charlie that she’s with him, asking, “Are you so depressed by Forks that it’s made you suicidal?” Edward exhibits these overprotective qualities almost in the same manner that a father figure would. Bella seems to thrive off of his constant attention but this relationship sets a bad example for young girls since a boyfriend is not a replacement for a father.
            Another troubling aspect of Bella and Edward’s relationship is Bella’s complete dependence on Edward. She doesn’t have any interests outside of Edward, nor does she interact with her friends or even mention friends from Phoenix whom she may keep in contact with. Since she has nothing to occupy her time, Edward becomes the focus when they begin their courtship. She becomes emotionally reliant on him, even noting that his influence over her “was pathetic. More than pathetic, it was unhealthy.” She obsesses over his looks as well, which is detrimental to her own self-esteem. Meyer writes, “I tried to keep my eyes away from his perfection as much as possible…each time, his beauty pierced me through with sadness.” Bella puts far too much emphasis on Edward’s perfection, which only irritates her own imperfections. To make matters worse, Meyer has written Bella as perhaps the clumsiest person alive, almost to the point of satire. Even a short hike through the forest renders her helpless and in need of Edward’s “savior-like” qualities. With Edward always at her rescue, the message that Bella is weak comes in loud and clear. This is not the type of message young adult novels should be sending to girls. With their already fragile self-images, teenage girls may actually begin to believe that they are powerless and that they need a man to validate their existence.
            After reading Twilight it’s apparent that the relationship between Edward and Bella is far from healthy. His overbearing nature and her passive temperament coalesce and create a sickening relationship that somehow reads as a whirlwind romance. Girls should not strive to be fragile dolls, nor should they set their expectations for mates so high as to belittle themselves in the process. Girls need strong, independent female role models in their literature who choose healthy relationships over toxic ones. 

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July 19, 2010
i thought the same way about their relationship in the first book. i didnt really think differently until i read New Moon when they are discussing the pros and cons of marriage and Bella is against it because she not "that kind of girl" and Edward makes the point that in his time it was perfectly acceptiable and expected for people of their age to be married. it made me think that maybe his overprotectivness may come somewhat from the era he was raised in. Girls in that era wern't as...free and girls today are. they generally courted the man they would marry not multiples.
July 13, 2010
Interesting take on the relationship, makes sense.
June 30, 2010
Great review and title! I'm still working on my own review of this book. :)
June 30, 2010
June 30, 2010
Welcome! I'm going to have trouble picking a title for it, lol. You had such a good one too! Absolutely loved the pun. :)
July 01, 2010
All great points, James!
July 01, 2010
I agree! The depression Bella falls into in New Moon is really unfortunate for readers. What kind of message does that send? That it's okay for girls to completely devote themselves to a guy so that if he breaks up with them, their morale and enthusiasm in life are crushed? Ouch. I think you're right James, I think lazy writing is probably the culprit there.
July 01, 2010
Yeah...I was really disturbed when I watched "New Moon," and it's the main reason I'm balking reading the book. I did not understand her depression over a simple high school break-up, which occurs all the time in real life, and then her attempted suicides. My niece of nine years old was in the audience, and I kept thinking: Why did we take her to see this? I know the drama is supposed to be that he was her soul mate "yadda yadda," but man...you don't off yourself when/if your partner in life dies...I mean...what does that say about your self esteem? And it wasn't handled gracefully like other love stories have tackled this theme, like "Romeo and Juliet," which was tragic because their deaths could have been avoided if they hadn't received mixed messages from the priest and their families would have stopped quarreling). Plus, I think the time period made a big difference as far as the tragedy aspect. Either way, Bella had Jacob being a good friend and head over heels in love with her, and she treated him horribly! It wasn't like she was alone. I guess we're supposed to believe that he did take care of her, and that was the only reason she didn't succeed with her ridiculous suicide missions. :-P
July 01, 2010
All I can say is that I hope you are right. You never know with teens these days. Times are rough, and they are just as tough for the younger peoples. They have more issues facing them then we did in the past, like an increase in teen pregnancies, suicides, and now school shootings. I am so glad I'm not dealing with these issues. I also agree that Anita Blake is a much stronger character.
July 01, 2010
I'll probably see it but only because my entire family loves it minus me, my mom, and my dad...geez...I feel either old or really wise for my years, lol! My entire family knows I dislike the series passionately, but they still want me to come cause they don't want me to miss out. It was a lot of fun watching "New Moon" with two rows of the theater being filled by my family and friends. I also have a feeling that "Eclipse" will be better than "New Moon," which most fans agree is the worst book in the saga.
July 01, 2010
LOL! Still sounds like a death wish to me no matter who she thought she was seeing or hearing. Like he would have been there to save her when something went wrong. Sounds like her conscience was taking on the form of her true love. Crazy kid! She's lucky that motorist didn't take her in the alley and have his way with her... :-P
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 . 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 . 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
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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Ranked #1589
I am a certified bibliophile by nature. I love everything about books--reading them, owning them, writing them. (okay, so i haven't quite gotten as far as that last one, but hey, maybe someday?) I … more
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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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