Twilight by Stephenie Meyers

Her fans call her “underrated.”  Stephen King calls her “not very good.”

After picking up and reading Book One of the Twilight Saga, aptly entitled Twilight, I have to side a bit more with Stephen King.  Lemme briefly explain.

As with all ideas, Twilight has potential.  The story is about 17 year old Bella Swan moving to live with her dad in Forks, Washington.  She has a history of hating the town, but has decided it’s for the best so her mom can run off to Florida to be with her wannabe baseball boyfriend.  Bella’s dad is the Chief of Police in Forks, so he’s no stranger, and as such, Bella feels she’s in the public eye. 

I’ll veer off course here to say that a friend on Facebook pointed out how well Meyers did in relating the horrors of high school.  If you call being smart and knowing all the answers, making straight A’s, having instant friends and people of the opposite sex asking you out and flirting as soon as you walk in the room horrible, then yeah, I suppose she did a bang-up job. 

Anyways, Bella is played as the angsty emo-teen who mopes around talking about how she just doesn’t fit in.  Then she sees Edward Cullen (he’s the vampire).  He’s all goth-emo and tries to be serious and scarey because she smells like a flower, we come to find out, and evidently the smell of lavander in her blood makes him all “rawr” and stuff, creating the urge to caress her flesh and hurl trees around the forrest while sparkling to try and scare her.

I suppose the biggest problem with the novel is that the adults are treated as complete idiots.  Not by the characters, but by the author herself.  The sheriff dad is never home, he wakes up early and leaves, comes home late and watches television.  He’s off on weekends fishing or working.  Hey, how about that daughter that you only see twice a year?  Yeah, she lives with you now, how ‘bout starting to make amends for all those times you weren’t around?  Sure, it was the mothers fault, she’s the one that walked out, but still, there’s some lost moments there, buddy.

And while this is a romance novel, there’s also the underlying issue that we have a 90 year old vampire (that’s how old Edward is,) hunching all over a 17 year old girl because he can’t read her mind and loves her smell.  Guess vampires don’t believe in that old nonsense about pedophilia, but why should he?  He repeatedly tells her how he can kill her in a second and how dangerous he is, then charms her while saying she shouldn’t hang around him.  I kept waiting for him to offer her some candy and invite her back to his van to look for a lost puppy.

Oh, and the whole, “I’m dangerous, stay away … okay, nevermind, just kidding.  But I mean it, I’ll kill you if you aren’t careful,” thing … What?  He’s a vampire, folks, they have the ability to make you swoon and follow their commands.  Has it not crossed anyones mind that Bella isn’t really in love with him, it’s simply his natural powers.  He’s basically taking advantage of this young girl, and it’s okay with everyone because it’s a romance novel aimed at young girls. 

What?!  Young girls, you say?  A romance novel for young girls that deals with a 90 year old (young looking) guy threatening and rubbing all over a teenage girl?  Oh, and I won’t even touch on the subject of him stalking her – even if he did save her life, it was freakin’ stalking and you all know it!  Why, this is great literature!  Mmhmm …

Yet, oddly, I was giving the book the benefit of the doubt, and I wouldn’t have been so harsh on it.  BUT … around page 300+ something, we had to experience the baseball game.  After that, everything went to hell in a handbasket.   Meyers can’t handle action, at least not in this book.  And the fact that the town sheriff, Bella’s dad, would let his daughter just leave in the dark to wander off in a broken down old pick-up truck that he didn’t even want her driving to the neighboring town the weekend before makes NO SENSE WHAT SO EVER!!

Also, Mrs. Meyers … why, 400+ pages in, did you suddenly decide to throw a surprise into the mix by giving the sorry excuse for a bad guy an alternate story that has no warrent in our current story?  This stranger enters the baseball game, he’s a “tracker” vampire and he’s on his hunt for Bella.  Everyone runs in opposite directions.  He eventually tricks and lures Bella to point X and … what?  He has a past history with another character that has no idea?!  Wow!  And to drive that point home, it’s mentioned in maybe 2 paragraphs, then it’s done …  No more is said about it.  Whew!

But, the novel progresses and all ends well.  Why, even the shallow shells of our characters grow in all of this angst.  The vampire family who have, for years, sat alone and confined in the school cafeteria during lunch suddenly show up at the prom and dance the night away.  You know what, I’m just gonna stop right here.  I wanted to give a serious review, but I find it hard at this point in time.  I wanted to like Twilight, but the more I read, the worse I felt on the subject.  I’m sorry, Mrs. Meyers, I can’t support this travesty.

Anyways, just for the experience itself, I’d recommend giving Book One a read.  Will I dare to read Book Two?  I have no idea.  I’ll have to think about it long and hard.  Reading is reading, though, and I applaud you if you’re strong enough to pick up a book and invest the time in it, no matter the subject.  If this is your cup of tea, then stick to it and sip it slowly, enjoy the moments.  Reading is a gift, not everyone has it.

And with that, I leave you once again with an all over the roadmap review/opinion of Twilight.  Send your complaints to someone else, I don’t wanna hear ‘em. 

Amazon: Twilight – Book 1 of the Twilight Saga

As an added bonus feature, I’ll leave you with this review from Goodreads, by a gentleman named Joe.

Save your time: here’s the entirety of Twilight in 20 dialogue snippets & a wiggedy-wack intermission.

First 200 pages:
"I like you, Edward!"
"You shouldn’t! I’m dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"But I’m dangerous!"
Next 50 pages:
"I’m a vampire!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"But I’m a vampire! I’m dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"
Next 100 pages:
"I like you, Edward!"
"You smell good, Bella. I’m dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"Damn, you smell good."
"I like you, Edward!"
"Also, I glow in sunlight."
Next 50 pages:
A. VAMPIRE. BASEBALL. GAME.
(I wish I was kidding)
Last 100 pages:
"Help me, Edward! I’m being chased!"
"I’ll save you!"
"Help me, Edward! I’m scared!"
"I’ll save you!"
"Oh, Edward!"
"You smell good."
(One half star for lack of quality, and one half star for being unintentionally hilarious… especially page 314.

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