Saturday, May 21, 2011

Twilight (The Twilight Saga #1) by Stephanie Meyer

Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife—between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

First Look: ***** Warning: this review is going to be extremely chaotic, and at times probably more like a rant than a review.  Just bear with me.  First off, you should know that I didn't read this because it looked interesting.  I didn't pick it up because I liked the cover, or because the plot drew me in.  I picked it up because I had heard that it was either "Really really good, amazing beyond belief" or a "worthless excuse for writing: a disgrace to the name of literature".  I decided that it was time to make up my own mind.  I figured I'd come down around the latter end of the spectrum.  

Setting: *****  I've been to the general area where this story takes place.  I have to say, it really didn't rain all that much when I was there.  I never got a feel for it from this book, which is bad considering I should know what it's like.  It was just...bland.

Characters: *****  I now understand why this book inspired the call for strong female characters in YA books.  Oh my goodness, where do I start?  Bella was utterly pathetic.  She was helpless.  She couldn't do anything for herself.  Her clumsiness was apparently supposed to make her relatable, but it didn't work.  Instead it just made her whiny and annoying.  Edward was waaaaaaay too perfect.  It just wasn't real.  And besides...he watches her sleep.  He's decades older than her.  In my book, that makes him a creeper child stalker that should go to jail.  But no, instead Bella's all "Oh my gosh he really loves me!"  No, no, no!  Reality check!  That isn't love, people!  It's stalking!  It also bothered me that Bella's parents were so completely clueless and came off as ignorant idiots.  That's just not real either. 

Plot: ***** For starters, it took me more than four hundred pages to actually find a plot.  Not good.  Nothing happened for that beginning part.  It was just "Oh wow, he's hot, but he's creepy, but I still have a crush on him, but no, he wants to drink my blood, but that's not scary at all and now I love him more and oh, Edward, you sparkle!"  And the famed baseball scene...  I had heard it was brutal and bloody.  Um...all they did was talk and glare at an enemy vampire.  Yup, people, that sure is morbid.*  Once something actually, happened that plot was halfway decent, but it took way too long to get there.

Uniqueness: ***** I'm not quite sure how to give this a uniqueness rating, since it's been copied over and over and over.

Writing: ***** 
There were places where I wondered "Am I reading this right?"  If I see the words "his muscled chest", "his beautiful gold-flecked color changing eyes", or "his perfect" anything, I will scream.  Really, we got it the first time around.  The author paid so much attention to irrelevant little details, like getting a bowl of cereal.  Do we care?  And about four pages at the beginning were spent talking about Bella getting a car.  I don't know about the rest of you, but nothing makes my eyes glaze over faster than talking about cars.

Likes: I prepared myself for the worst.  It didn't quite get to the "I hate this so much I'm gonna burn it" range, but...

Not-so-great: Quote: "You are so absurd."**  Words of wisdom from the sparkly dude.  Okay, Bella, listen up.  Your boyfriend is a vampire.  He thirsts for your blood.  You smell yummy to him.  He's telling you himself to stay away from him.  And you don't listen?  That's just not right!  And at the end...Bella wants to become a vampire.  The one and only Edward Cullen himself is telling her no.  Listen to the voice of reason!  This is my huge problem with this book.  Bella wants to give up her soul just so she can live forever with her immortal sparkly boyfriend.  She's giving up the chance to go to Heaven.  She's giving up her eternity with God.  Don't look me in the eyes and tell me that's right, because it's not.  It's just plain wrong.  And the sparkleman himself said that vampires are evil creatures.  But he's good?  How can you be good if you're inherently evil?  It doesn't make sense. 

Total Score: ***** Wow.  This book is a fairly plotless pile of 500 pages.  The characters were one-dimensional and pathetic.  The romance was one-sided and the love interest is a child stalker.  The writing was awkward and paid attention to minute details that didn't matter one bit.  Just because this book has been copied over and over and over doesn't mean it deserves the attention.  That being said, I couldn't find it in myself to despise this book.  I didn't like it, but I can't find a good reason to want to burn it.  Still, I would never recommend it.


*I feel mean doing this, but let's compare this to Brisingr, shall we?  Perspective: Brutal in Brisingr counts as the first fifty pages or so, where insane people...erm, deliberately hack off their own limbs.  Brutal in Twilight counts as "Hey, look, enemy vampires!  No way!  I'm so scared even though all they're doing is staring at us!"

**"You're absurd!"
"Why that's absurd!  Say that to my face!"
"You're absurd!"  
Oh yeah.

3 comments:

  1. Oh, yes, I greatly enjoyed this review. Love the "absurd" comments, haha. I read Twilight back in 2007 (or whenever it was published, not really sure) and I didn't really love it or hate it. I did read the rest of the series though. The writing was too awkward and the characters, as you said, were too perfect or pathetic. Sigh. Rant over :)

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  2. :) Interesting review! I'll always hold a special place for Twilight in my heart, but you are very correct with your review. I think most people forget that Bella exists and put themselves in her place, and their main attraction in Edward's. It's great for escapism, but as far as real novel writing goes, this is definitely below par.

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  3. Haha! I love your review.
    It made me laugh a little. I can't believe how much people like this book.

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