Guest Review: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Posted August 6, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Twilight by Stephanie MeyerReviewer: Missy
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #1
Also in this series: Eclipse, Eclipse, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Breaking Dawn, Twilight

Publication Date: February 26th 2009
Genres: Young Adult, General
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town.
But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella.
Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away - until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car.
Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward's coldness. He, and his family, are vampires - and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close.

 
I realise I am way behind.

I kept hearing that Twilight was a great series, that everyone was in love with it. I meant to read it, I really did. But I have been crap at reading books that aren’t required for uni (and even some that are!) so I never got around to it.

Until I had to fly a bajillion hours home, needed something to read, and had it recommended to me by Holly.

This is what I think. (May be hilarious to those of you who have already read it and the subsequent books, I have no idea.)

It builds very slowly. There is a lot of detail and setting the scene. Once I settled in to the idea that this was her style and not a lack of appropriate pacing, I managed to enjoy it a lot more.

I had a heard the phrases “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” bandied around the internet (I deliberately haven’t read anything on the book since I read it myself, by the way, and really didn’t know anything going in) but … I guess that’s later in the series. I wasn’t sure whether I cared if it appeared or not, but now, yes, I think they’re going to need some kind of conflict. We’re all getting along too well at the moment.

Bella, grr, the girl annoys me sometimes. I don’t hate her by any means, but I wanted to smack her a time or two. I just went looking for some examples, because I knew there were some even if I couldn’t mention any off the top of my head. And I found one, only seven pages in: “No need to add that my being happy in Forks in an impossibility. He didn’t need to suffer along with me.” I doubt this annoyed me at the time, but it illustrates one of my problems with Bella: she’s just too damn self-absorbed and sorry for herself.

I found myself snapping “We get it!” at her (Bella or Meyer on different occasions) way too many times. We know she’s smart; she doesn’t have to be such a snob about it. We know you don’t like the weather (hell, neither would I) but WHO DOESN’T LIKE SNOWBALL FIGHTS?

This idea of Bella wanting to be turned. I read the excerpt of Book Two and man she is whingey (Holly: I have no idea what this means, either) in that part. I can understand maybe later on this might be an issue. I mean, Buffy figured it out as well (that Angel wasn’t going to age, while she herself would), it’s bound to come up. It seems like a) Meyer threw it in there at the end of this one so she could have conflict over it in the next one and b) it should have been developed over time, maybe as the major issue in the last book.

Bella being clumsy. Is this going to have some huge meaning in the future? Because if not, it’s annoying and unnecessary. I was waiting for the revelation that she actually has MS or something and that’s why she’s falling down all the time. If the only reason is so she could show up with scraped palms (blood! plus vampire!), that is cheap.

Also cheap? The way Meyer throws in these “subtle” allusions. She managed to mention Eve and apples within about five pages of each other, and never mention them again. Twilight is his favourite time, because it’s neither dark nor light, not one or the other, he struggles with his human/monster sides, like, SEE WHAT SHE DID THERE? This is acceptable for bloggers who use the “subtle” device ironically, because then it’s funny. An author who cannot create truly subtle yet meaningful references throughout her text has no business doing a half-arsed job at it.

I felt at times she struggled with descriptions, especially of Edward’s skin tone. You just know she got “alabaster” from the thesaurus (or maybe from Anne of Green Gables). And I’m pretty sure certain phrases, like the one about Bella using her hair to hide, were repeated. (I could be totally wrong. I am not fact-checking at 10:30 at night.) I hate that! Noticing individual words and phrases distracts from the story. Don’t do it to me, please.

Wow, this kinda sounds like I didn’t like it. I actually did. I don’t think her writing is the most elegant I’ve ever read, but the story was interesting, the characters less so but only a little. I just glanced back through the book and remembered that I really like the relationship and banter between Bella and Edward. Even though the Q&A could have got a little exposition-y, most of the time it was interesting, true, and revealing. I will keep reading the series – who knows, I might even catch up with the rest of the world, by which time I’m sure it will have moved on to the next big thing – and I’ll be interested to see how the movie portrays the story and characters.

Grade: 3.8 aka 3.75 (H: Zeek, I swear she chose this grade on her own!)

In conclusion, you should probably stick with Holly for your reviews in the future.

You can read more from Missy at Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch.

three-half-stars

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2 responses to “Guest Review: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

  1. To assist in interpretation:

    whinge (whingey) – combine whine and grumble and you get whinge.

    An Australian term. n.b. Australians do not whinge, other nationalities do – particularly the English – “a whinging Pom”.

    I live to help.

    vsquared.