Twilight (Twilight #1) by Stephenie Meyer (2006)
YA Fiction | Paranormal Romance
“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 might be – that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
In the first book of the Twlilight Saga, internationally bestselling author Stephenie Meyer introduces Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose forbidden relationship ripens against the backdrop of small-town suspicion and a mysterious coven of vampires. This is a love story with bite.” -Goodreads
How to write a review on the Twilight Saga…that is the question. Honestly, I suppose I shall have to write a two-part review for each book in the series: a) How I felt when I first read the books at age 12-14 and b) How I felt every other time I read the books. Yes. Yes that shall be my format for the following four Twilight Saga book reviews. Now let’s proceed.
pooled ink Review:
AGE 13: When I first read Twilight in seventh grade it was still a relatively new book and most certainly had not exploded the market as of yet (but it was definitely on its way and far from obscure). A friend recommended it to me and so I put in my request at the library to wait my turn with the book. I finally got the book, I read the first couple chapters or so and returned the book. It just really wasn’t for me. But lo and behold the book had gained some momentum and a year later in eight grade I decided to give it another try.
Maybe it took that extra year for something to click because this time when I read it I read it in one sitting. No joke. I blew through that book and loved it. I couldn’t put it down and soon I was promoting the book amongst my friends and soon my whole group of friends were reading it and then a year later in my freshman year of high school the Twilight movie was to be released and I was ecstatic.
Bella was so relatable and she was average! Finally a heroine who isn’t a born beauty queen but instead is someone who isn’t ugly but isn’t gorgeous either and who would rather read books or do well in school than go shopping for dresses or drooling over boys. And yes, somehow in this lonely world a beautiful, handsome, chivalrous, old-fashioned boy with enchanting golden eyes and a crooked smile falls in love with her. Her the average American girl. Okay so he turns out to be a vampire, that’s not ideal obviously but it’s something I could easily overlook. In this world where girls were starting to date boys, wear makeup, follow fashion trends, and be beautiful, in this world where I (like many other young girls I’d bet) felt I didn’t belong, I didn’t measure up, I would never fit in…I found someone who was like me but still found love. This book swept me off my young teenage feet as it filled me with hope and a thrilling paranormal fantasy. This book told me that I had a chance.
AGE 16+: Flash-forward to age 16 or so after I had read the whole Twilight saga twice and decided to re-read them yet again (as I am prone to do with my favorite books). Bella. Is. An. IDIOT. She’s ridiculous, clumsy, awkward, so incredibly awkward, pathetic, and just an all around idiot. I felt like such an embarrassed idiot. I mean, how could I have not seen its insanity before??
I mean she was antsy and daydreaming and drooling about the guy after she had one freaking class with him and her extremely non-freaked out reaction to his coming out as a vampire was just drop-dead unrealistic. No, dear Bella, the appropriate response to when he tells you he’s a freaking vampire and even decides to show you how easily and desperately he wants to kill you is “AHHHHHHHH asjdfhg*$%^&#(@%#^ajkhdjkahsd AHHHHHHHHH” but you ‘love’ each other I guess so whatever…except no, not whatever this is a serious situation. SERIOUS I tell you. This isn’t finding out that the football quarterback asked you out to the dance as a prank but then he’s having second thoughts as he reveals his true motives to you. No this is way way WAY beyond that. This is more like you develop a serious crush and I guess fall in love with a guy who turns out the be a serial killer but you go “well, I mean, it’s okay because he at least tries not to kill people anymore plus he’s super hot so it’s okay, right?” NO. This is a dude (gorgeous and perfect supposedly) who just said the original reason he gave you any interest was because you smelled incredibly tasty and even though he’s somehow fallen in love with you he still would really love to drink your blood and although your death would give him some guilt it honestly wouldn’t be something he couldn’t get over in a hundred years or so especially since he’s killed people before and dang if they ain’t tasty! NO BELLA NO. I mean at the very least proceed with extreme caution!
I’m not sure what two or three years of growth did to me but somewhere between 8th grade and 10th grade my brain broke past that ridiculous falsehood so many girls fall prey to when they enter puberty and praise the Lord I made it through because some young women are still living in this illusion. Basically just Google any Hermione Granger vs Bella Swan comparison and it’ll set you right. Yes I saw all of the movies and at the midnight premieres no less (after the first two it was more of a friend-group tradition than an actual desire) and yes I genuinely loved all of the books when I first read them. But I grew up and I saw that there are far better love stories out there and I should set my sights on them because they contain stories of true love and real heroes. So I won’t make fun of you for liking Twilight (too much) because I’ve been there but if you’re past teenage-hood and you still can’t see its ridiculousness then I’m sorry. #swerve
P.S. And if you’re one of those people who are fans of Fifty Shades of Grey well then NOPE. Hands up. I’m out. Ain’t nobody got time for people like that.
P.P.S. Okay so there’s a lot wrong with the Twilight saga but just because it is ridiculous and not particularly helping the feminist cause doesn’t mean you should try to tear out Meyers’ soul. Don’t be cruel. I hope my reviews are more brutally honest than particularly mean. Is she the greatest author? No. Did I like her books? Yes. Do I like her books? No. But writing, publishing, and sharing a book is like any other form of art. You take a piece of your soul and hold it out to the world in your quivering hands with utter vulnerability risking either an embrace of love or an attack of hate. She got a lot of love at first and then she got an avalanche of hate. I am far from a “Twihard” but that does not make it okay to hunt her down and stab her in the heart with a wooden stake. Cool. I shall descend from my soapbox now.
Meet Stephenie Meyer!
I was born in Connecticut in 1973, during a brief blip in my family’s otherwise western U.S. existence. We were settled in Phoenix by the time I was four, and I think of myself as a native. The unusual spelling of my name was a gift from my father, Stephen (+ ie = me). Though I have had my name spelled wrong on pretty much everything my entire life long, I must admit that it makes it easier to google myself now. -Goodreads