Monday, February 23, 2009

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

See Kim's reviews of New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.

Summary:When seventeen year-old Bella Swan leaves sunny Arizona to live with her father in the small and gloomy Pacific North-West town of Forks she doesn’t expect to like it. After all she has made excuses not to go there enough times over the past few years. If living in Forks, with its constant mist and rain, wasn’t bad enough she will have to make a whole new set of friends and settle into a new school.

Bella soon makes some new friends at school but when she sees a boy called Edward Cullen sitting with his brothers and sisters in the cafeteria she is instantly intrigued. Edward is stunningly attractive, almost inhumanly beautiful, and yet he is an outsider too. Although Edward and his family have lived in Forks for two years they have never really been accepted by the townsfolk.

At first Edward is aloof, sometimes it almost seems like he can’t stand to be in the same room as her, but eventually they strike up an unlikely friendship. Even as Bella falls hopelessly and irrevocably in love with Edward, she still can’t work out exactly what makes him so different to everyone else.

On a trip to the beach, Bella is told of the local legend about the “cold ones”, a group of blood drinkers who have sworn off hunting humans but are still not welcome on Indian land because vampires are not to be trusted. Realising Edward is vampire changes nothing for Bella, she knows that she still loves him even if he’s not human.

Edward and his whole family are vampires. Edward himself was made a vampire when he was seventeen years-old, although that was at the end of World War I. For Edward his love for Bella is both a delight and a torment. A delight because she is the first person he has loved since he was made a vampire. A torment because although he has sworn off human blood and only hunts animals the craving for human blood never truly leaves him and the very scent of her also stirs his hunger for blood….

My Review: Ok, let me just start off by saying I am not 15 years old. When I first heard about this series I laughed at reading a "young adult" series. I am not young and very much not an adult,:) so these didn't hold a lot of interest for me. After all the craze started....and then died down. I decided that I could give them a try. After all 20 million people can't all be wrong, right?

This books style is playful and unencumbered. The loves story flames hot all the way through, and although there is NO SEX the steam radiates out of the book with the fierceness of a rumbling kettle. The main character is likable and we all relate to her on some level. She seems to think the way we all did in high school, and yet Mrs. Meyer captures you in a off beat, slightly kooky story line, with scenes and characters you won't soon forget (and this is my FIRST review, of the first book).

On the flip side. Ok, so in case you haven't heard this book is about vampires. High school vampires at that. So..... if you can't turn yourself over to the fantasy, don't dive in, you would be disappointed.

Overall I think the writing was good, if very simple. The author was creative and engaging, and seems to really take pride in her ability to suck you in to the lust and rampaging hormones without ever stepping over that "Juvenile Fiction" line of trust. I liked the second half a bit better, the love plus the action was a great way to lead in to the next book.

If I could sum up this book in one phrase: Did I just read a book about teen aged vampires and LOVE it? Yes, I did, even if I am a little ashamed to say so.

My Rating: Is a 4.8 legal?? I loved it, but I wanted a little more from the writing.

I will be reviewing the others in the series in the next couple of days.


MindySue said...

Yippeeeeee! I am so glad you liked it. I was holding my breath waiting for a 3 or something. I figure this is one of the books that if you read it for sheer enjoyment, you're going to love it. If you read it to find the meaning of'll probably scratch out your own eyeballs.

Iva Dimitrova said...

I suppose I'm glad you enjoyed it, but does it really deserve five stars? I'm a teen, and I made the mistake of reading Twilight. I love fantasy, and vampires can be a cool subject matter to work with, but the way Stephanie Meyer composed her story was centered all around this sort of lust that wasn't even well-crafted at most. There is no plot, the characters' actions so often don't make any sense, and to top it off, Bella is made out to be such a dependent, loyal girl--almost as a "stereotypical" woman. Meyer has almost no writing style, none that I appreciate. Her sentence structures are off, her plot is pointless, her vocabulary is so limited that it gets to the point of sheer repetition (although I love simplicity, this is just too much). And she does NOT do enough with the first-person narrative technique. She does not even develop characters that I would care about, so why should I care about the book at all?

I'm just shocked that you gave this a five, as it is definitely not an exceptional piece of literature.

MindySue said...

Hello Iva,
First, I'm thoroughly impressed by your assessment of Twilight and would love to have you write a guest review. We love conflicting opinion's here at RFS, so contact me, if you'd like, and we'll set it up.

Second, Kim gave the book 4.8 Stars. I don't think she could bring herself to type the 5 Stars. It's placement on the 5 star page was the result of me rounding up--something I used to do, but have since stopped doing. My bad. It's fixed now.

Finally, Kim just moved and is currently without internet so I'm going to respond how I think she might. How do you compare ANY YA Romance book w/ an exceptional piece of literature without it falling short. Answer? You don't. It's too difficult to weigh content, writing style, and enjoyment between books that are so completely different without giving everything else 1 star. Instead, we try to compare within the genres so that YA Romance's are rated among others of their style. It's the only way to get by or you end up beating yourself over the head trying to shake loose a rating that you can live with.

Twilight pulled in countless cross-generational readers and has been the catalyst for a kajillion (yes, a kajillion) "copycat" books. Regardless of it's flaws and how you feel about it, you can't deny that this book has resonated with people. Obviously, Twilight is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but for many people out there it was an incredibly fun, escapist read--no more and no less than it pretends to be.

Iva Dimitrova said...

I would like to write a review on some of my favorite books I've read. I'm surprised that there wasn't any Terry Pratchett books that were reviewed on here. He can be both young adult or adult fiction. I just think that finding unique gems is nice among thousands of books that are just chugged out for money.

And I guess I'll have to live with the fact that Twilight has a popular fan base... :)

MindySue said...

Please do. We'd love to have them. Just shoot me an email and we'll get started (see the sidebar).

Terry Pratchett, if I recall, is a sort of fanstasy/sci-fi/comedy writer and surprisingly that is the one genre that our reviewers don't read a lot of. Feel free to fill in our deficit with your guest reviews.

I did read a Terry Pratchett book in college and enjoyed it thoroughly, but don't remember enough about it to do a proper review.

Sweet Em said...

Iva - I'm excited that you'll be guest reviewing for us!

As for Twilight's fan base...when you are a 30 year old no-longer-newly-wed mother, then we'll talk! ;)

MindySue said...

And Emily hits the nail on the head!


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