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Disclaimer: I am sorry if this offends anyone who likes Twilight, but you're allowed to express your opinions, and so am I.
I used to enjoy Twilight. I don't remember why. Maybe I thought it was romantic or entertaining or something. Now, I can't stand the books or movies, and i haven't visited the fandom since Fifty Shades of Grey. *shudders* I could rant about all the reasons this entire series is just angst piled on top of barely any research (West coast of BRAZIL—WTF?! I spent an hour checking and double-checking the facts of a FANFICTION I once wrote) and shoddy writing, but I'd just be saying the exact same things that have been said by everyone else again and again. And all my hate, all your hate, all ANYONE'S hate is going to do is make the Twihards think of us as whiners or snobs. This series made Stephanie Meyer millions, and we're not going to change that. Still, what does that say about the taste of the public?
I would love to be an author—a real, published author. I'd love to make money, obviously, but I also really want people to like my books. I want to give them an incredible writing experience, with flawless grammar, believable characters, an interesting plot completely devoid of Fridge Logic. And, being a competent writer, I think I can manage that. But it's happy thoughts like those that make me remember Twilight. Then I start thinking, "What's the point? As long as there's forbidden romance and crap tons of angst, I can shit out anything and get rich." I mean Twilight has more fans than Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Please, Twihards, if any one of you enjoys Twilight as a STORY and its characters as PEOPLE and not just abs, please explain your reasoning to me so I don't lose faith in all humanity. Thank you.
I've read Twilight series a while back, only knowing that it's a popular series about vampires. I didn't expose myself to the reviews or spoilers beforehand. I was blissfully unaware of all the controversy this book had generated, and even after reading it I still don't get it. It supposedly had some annoying, rabid fangirls once upon a time, but they seemed to have been hunted into extinction by the haters. And speaking of haters, I don't see how fangirls could have been any worse.
In the internet of today, if Twilight is mentioned it's only to bash it, compare it to something they think is lousy but “at least it's better than Twilight”. Even when people (reluctantly) compliment any aspect of it, they always feel the need to start with something like: “I hate Twilight, but...” Thinking Twilight is the worst thing ever is something of a pop cultural dogma. Hate it or you're not cool. Like it, and prepare to get flamed. Now, what is the object of this hate and what did it do to deserve it?
It supposedly ruined vampires and took the menace out of them. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Twilight's portrayal of vampires is the reason I like the series. Usually a franchise tends to make all of it's vampire characters way too similar. Either they are all angsty malcontents who complain how they'd like to be human again (Vampire Chronicles), Always Chaotic Evil beasts (Blade) overly sexualized SM lovers (pretty much all of them). But in Twilight, every single vampire is a unique individual with distinct characteristics. Cullens are different than the Volturi, nomads are different from both. Twi vamps are simply the predator of humanity. Drinking blood invariably means death of the victim (bold choice, given Meyer's aversion to writing violence), no blood bags or syntetic substitute.
Bella is just another bland, unoriginal Vanilla Protagonist, but according to hatedom she's extremely selfish, because apparently being ready to risk and sacrifice your life for your loved ones like your mother or unborn child is a very selfish thing to do. She's also constantly called a doormat by the people who seemed to have missed how she persuaded an entire coven to change her into a vampire against her boyfriend's wishes, how she stood up to him when he wanted her to have an abortion, or how she risked life and limb trying to save him from suicide by Volturi in the second book.
Edward is your usual cliché brooding hero with a dark secret, and apparently he's abusive because he watches her sleep and stole her car engine once. Besides that, he saves her life three times in the first book alone, but that's only ever brought up to point out what a useless damsel Bella is. Edward gets no points for that. The rest of the cast is more interesting but permanently Out of Focus.
Twilight has it's flaws but Hate Dumb blinds people to all else.
I've read Twilight (All of them), at least twice, and my final verdict:
Not that bad.
It doesn't deserve all of it's popularity, but you can't say that she didn't Show Their Work (She wrote all sorts of things to figure out how to make this story work!), or even that she didn't make this for herself. Ms.Meyer is a decent writer, and if the indications from the Second Short Life of Bree Tanner is any indication, she might have been a very popular writer. I'm not fond of the plot, and rather honestly, I'd like to hear more about the Volturi than the Cullens, but she's fine.
The actual story itself is a bit odd, but at the same time, I can't help but agree that perhaps a clumsy, not-really-social girl could fall in love like that. Edward is nearly one century old, and pretty much asexual on all terms until he finally meets Bella. He's got his chance at happiness, but he keeps screwing it up, and his Stalker With A Crush kinda creeps me out. Jacob has a crush on a girl he has known (and probably liked) since he was a kid.And to be fair, girls don't stick with one guy throughout high school. But since Bella likes two boys, she's automatically painted a slut.
Yeah. Something is wrong when a girl in high school likes two boys.
Maybe it's just me, but this is a regular high school story with superpowers and supernatural beings.
Girl meets guy, guy stalks her, she falls for him cause she likes him, finds out a deep, dark secret, another guy comes along, she doesn't want him and he tries to kill her, gets foiled, end of Book one.
Like so. If you want a real romance, don't look at me. I'm a teenage girl, so what would I know about realistic romance?
Though I had heard Twilight was bad, I tried to read it anyway, because I didn't want to be one of those people who ragged on something without having read it first. I didn't even reach the infamous Meadow Scene.
Why not? It was boring. I'd read all these excerpts of hilariously bad writing, but I couldn't stick with it long enough to find them. It was just completely dull, and every terrible thing I'd heard about Edward and Bella was borne out. I don't think I've ever run across a blander, whinier protagonist than Bella, ever. Edward gets a lot of (deserved) flak for being a sociopath, but she's just as bad, and a raging narcissist to boot. I don't think I've ever found a character whose reality was so at odds with what the creator not doubt intended.
The writing itself is amateurish; I would have thought it written by a teenage girl. And the thing is, I've read The Host — Meyer is actually capable of being a competent writer, so I don't know what the hell her excuse is with Twilight.
How did this get so popular? How? Paranormal YA romance is nothing new, and the only thing that sets Twilight apart is the god damn sparkling (and the sociopathy). Who got bribed, and with what? Now, admittedly, I was never into paranormal romance YA even when I was in the age bracket (which I haven't been in longer than I care to think about), but the things I did read were infinitely better than this garbage. I was too bored to stick around even for the Bile Fascination.
When Meyer began writing, she presumably meant to write a grand romance between two people destined to be together despite all the obstacles in their way.
Instead the result was a bloated series full of Unfortunate Implications and poorly developed characters, almost solely due to her abysmal writing skills. I personally found the following to be the most abhorrent aspects of the series.
1) Characterization: Meyer meant to write Bella as a stand-in for the reader. However Bella does have a personality - she begins as a whiny brat and becomes increasingly manipulative.(Just look at how she treats Charlie and initially Jacob.) Edward is a controlling asshole(he disables Bella's car to prevent her visiting Jacob). The rest of the Cullens are mostly flat characters until it's convenient.(Rosalie wasn't important until the abortion debate). Jacob and Charlie begin as well-developed characters until Meyer decided they were too popular and deliberately derailed them to get the fanbase on Edward and Bella's side. The problem here is that the so-called heroes never appear to be heroes - they come off as Unintentionally Unsympathetic at best since they're dismissive of Leah and they don't appear to care about the potential death of any human except Bella.
2)Language: Where do I begin? Poor syntax, overuse of the ellipsis and dash, clumsy vocabulary(her characters mumble,mutter,groan,hiss,spit but never say anything). Meyer needs to put down the thesaurus and consider appropriate word usage.
3)Romance: One of Meyer's biggest mistakes. I just felt that their romance was inconsistently developed - we're told that Bella and Edward are soulmates, instead we're never shown why they're right for each other, or moments of genuine affection and understanding between them. Not to mention that rather than focus on genuinely developing obstacles that could harm their love(such as present the Volturi/newborn army) as legitimately threatening. Not very promising villains(Breaking Dawn finale?)
4)Unfortunate Implications: A large amount. I'll just state briefly that the treatment of Leah, Edward and Bella's relationship and Jacob's infamous relationship with Nessie all contribute.
Bella is just the typical reluctant hero she enters a new world with a lot of insecurities and is mesmerized by the love interest that happens to be the vampire. All the questions that said that Bella didn't had any interest could be applied to MANY male heroes that don't particularly care about their grades or/and have any idea of what to do with life. But it looks like all women should want to be C.E.O or that all female character should make a feminist statement. I'm a woman and a feminist with a terrific caring husband and I do not like that feminism is taking the same route as chauvinism did where they have rules about what women should do and women should obey. I think there are as many women that want to run their own company as there are that just want to fall in love and have a family or that want both and all of them are right because is their life. I think that is one of the reasons Twilight has touched so many girls/women and SOME men is that Bella is just an average girl not a preteen superwoman and that is kind of refreshing on this time and day.
Since have first experience on abusive men on my own family this is not it: doormats don't disobey EVER their mates out of fear while Bella keeps doing that till Edward learns to let her be wich is something an abuser doesn't do. They are always right and the woman is always wrong and if she doesn't agree then he will teach her whether by physical abuse or threats to her life.
I'm not saying that Edward is perfect (he is also an 100 years old virgin idiot) but he lives on a world of predators that kill humans on seconds and that is unknown to Bella and since she is another idiot, she constantly place herself on situations that could have her killed. Now if in this world humans could find a way to kill vampires or protect themselves and Bella either never learns or Edward doesn't let her learn I would have a problem with this, but since this isn't the case what should Edward do? Let her get killed? Outside of making sure she doesn't die Sparklepire pretty much allows her to do whatever she pleases and he makes sure to let her choose if she would rather be with him or any other guy if that is what makes her happy and even tolerates the other guy hanging around. Abusive men would had her killed just thinking of this.
Twilight may not be as well written as some of the other literary pieces out there, but in my opinion, it's still worth a read. It's not the best thing out there and there are tons of flaws, but it's still a guilty pleasure. People complain that every other sentence is about Edward's looks, but if they actually read the book they would know that that's not true. It's a romance; of course it's going to focus on Edward and Bella! It's a bit sickening in the beginning, but it gets better.
The second book was where Stephanie made a mistake. Bella suffers a breakdown for months all because her boyfriend left. The only real reason New Moon was written was so Jacob and Bella could go through some love brewing, which makes Jacob imprinting on Renesmee all the more disturbing.
The third was the best of all; it had the perfect balance of action and romance. I personally can't wait for the movie's take on the story. The love triangle is prominent, and it's interesting to see how it plays out.
As for Breaking Dawn, it's written better than the rest of the series. It's too bad the story isn't as good as the third book. The best section was that narrated by Jacob. It was interesting to get a look into the "pack mind" and to hear Jacob's internal struggles.
ON TO OTHER ASPECTS:
Some call Edward abusive. Never does he hit her, call her names, put her down or act like she's lesser than him. In Midnight Sun you can see that he doesn’t think he's good enough for Bella. He treats her like a child on some occasions because she has a bad habit of getting herself into trouble. He tries to protect her (and ends up hurting her in the case of New Moon) but it's because he doesn’t want to lose her.
Bella is a Mary Sue. That's all I have to say, because personally I can't stand the way she acts. She's ditsy and stupid, but then again, so is the average teenage girl; WHICH IS WHAT STEPHANIE’S TRYING TO PORTRAY.
Overall; Tons of flaws, semi-good writing and a story line that could use some work. The Twilight Series is a guilty pleasure, and that's all it is. My ratings?
I read Twilight after hearing on how it was a beautiful book from my librarian and friends. I wasn't so focused on the (read: horrible) romance between Edward and Bella. Love At First Sight usually doesn't annoy me too much (like Disney), but this was just... Um. I can't really say it well, but I'll try. Being attracted to mere scents and looks isn't good for me. The supernatural part... I don't know where to start. I tried not to get the supernatural parts of the book get to me. I pretended they were humans the whole time. Still, I find myself wishing for something.
I wanted a different protagonist.
I kept thinking to myself, "Hey, what's Charlie thinking right now? Is he just drinking beer and watching sports again? I want to know what he's thinking about Bella! How and why did Charlie and Bella's mom get divorced?" Something about Charlie seemed mysterious and vague to me, which kept me curious. Then I read about Alice Cullen. I absolutely loved this character. Something about her energetic personality and love of clothes makes me root for her characterization! Just these two traits, and she's more interesting then the Official Couple! Heck, I found Esme and Carlisle to be a cuter couple than Edward and Bella! Maybe it's because they love each other and their power is compassion. Or maybe it's because Carlisle saved Esme from having no purpose to live.
Regardless, I wanted someone else to be the protagonist instead. Anyone that wasn't Bella or Edward. I could imagine the story on how Esme and Carlisle met and married each other. I really can't imagine someone's attraction to scent to become a couple. Instead of Edward/Bella merchandise, I see Alice/Jasper instead. Really, if Stephanie wrote with a different protagonist instead, I'll be grateful.
My Conclusion: I think that the writing of the Twilight series is crap.
Backing Up My Conclusion: Stephenie Meyer had a dream and decided to write a story filled with Wangst, Mary Sues and Purple Prose. The storyline seems good, a fight scene or two would have made it bearable for the type of person like me. But, God, the writing, Meyer has used every synonym in the book for 'beautiful', 'handsome' and 'stunning' to describe well, all the good guys. A sentence is fine, a paragraph at the most, virtually half the book? And please don't use beauty to back up Edward/Bella because I myself with be terrified by someone watching me sleep and would hit them with a shovel if i caught them. This book is literally an insult to feminism, that may be why I put it down after fourteen pages.
My Advice: Meyer, make your writing more appealing, cut down on the descriptions of the painfully-(and I mean it)-beautiful Edward and you're a woman yourself, write something that would make Susan B. Anthony proud. In short, write something less fanfic-esque. Psh, good luck doing that.
Stephanie Meyer is to be commended. She managed to create a character and narrator so believeable that I was able to form a personal dislike for them. Twilight is the first book I gave up reading because I disliked the narrator so much. I got as far as Bella blowing off that guy who nearly hit her with his car when he was annoying her with his desire to apologize. (I didn't get as far as the vampire reveal, so I don't feel it's my place to criticize or defend her reinterpretation of them.)
I hate Twilight. Sorry I need a release on this subject. I absolutely LOATHE the Twilight franchise. It's a bastardization of all viewable media from television to literature to, hell, video games and such. Twilight has some of, no, it has the worst writing I've ever come across in my entire life. Long bounding paragraphs filled to the brim about how some character (usually a vampire of some sort) is like the next Adonis/Aphrodite. We have characters so bland, one dimensional, and petulant, they make Narcissus look like a goddamn saint by comparison (the one of Greek myth, look it up). Bella is NOT plain and ordinary, she's practically everything the Author wished she was. Hell, if I might say so, Twilight is everything that Stephanie Meyer WISHED her life was like. Two hot guys pouring all of the sweaty man ab love into your face? Check. Adoring citizens, damn well near on the verge of throwing you parades because of your "saintliness"? Check. A group of devoted followers who pretty much cater to your every damn whim and desire? Check.
To me Twilight is comparable to Tween Pop stars, it/they suck ass and should all be exiled to space, never to be heard from again.
One last note on this godawful series. Why do people hype this shit up? What characteristic or aspect of this story is so good it overwhelms all of the shoddy plot points, terrible characters, flawed logic, and overall shit? well I'd speculate that it's apparently the two hot guys fawning over a girl and (quite a few I might add) Twi-hards replace Bella with themselves.
Fuck you twilight; the day that Micheal Jackson comes back to life is the day that I'll like Twilight. Good Day and Good Night
The Twilight series has some of the most shocking and appalling writing I have ever had the misfortune to read - except maybe for Christopher Paolini and his Inheritance Cycle. But for Twilight, the horrible prose actually suits it. The Twilight books are in the first-person perspective of Bella, who is a high school teenage girl. And the prose works, because it looks like it's been written by a high school teenage girl (no offense to you teenage girls who are competent writers). The bad prose adds to Bella's perspective.
Although this does not save the book from it's turgid plot and empty characterization.
Let me cut to the chase with this review. The story is blah, the characters are even more blah, and the fanbase is just ridiculous. Instead of pandering about why the book is simply blah on a literary standpoint, it's time to see it from a writer's standpoint. And it's terrifying.
The content, like many before me have noted, reads like fanfiction. Glorious fanfiction. Like Suri Cruise's first golden turd. It's shiny and pretty, but it's still a turd. When I read it, stuffed it in the garage, and pondered the meaning of life, I discovered a real shocking epiphany. I used to write like that. In fact, I'm sure any potential writer used to write like that!
Before you go hell bent by denying that your work, (even if it was random nonsense words used from bashing your head on the keyboard), would ever stoop to such a level, go back and take a read. We've all done the random purple prose nonsense, created non-engaging characters while inadvertently creating interesting background characters, wrote up a personal fantasy, and fell head over heels over angsty vampires and such. But unlike Meyer, we grew out of that phase and the few who bothered taking criticism to heart have begun writing decent, original material.
And I think this is where the hatedom comes in. They aren't pissed off that it's a terrible book, there are THOUSANDS of terrible books out there. No, they're angry because someone's glorified fanfiction not only got published, but spawned a frenzy of fans worldwide. That new fantasy novel you've been working on painstakingly to make sure there was character development, engaging plotlines, fully researched material, and believable relationships that you've been sending to publishers for years but still haven't gotten the green light? Yeah, Twilight beat you to that. And it pisses writers off.
So, what do you do? Do you dumb yourself down for a quick buck? Are you looking to have your name go down as that 'hack' writer just for a bit of popularity that Stephenie Meyer has? No, because you are better than that. And your writing shouldn't end up like that. What we should do is reflect that Twilight is that kind of book that we don't want to create just for money or to pander to the easily gullible demographic, or even fantasized about and went 'You know, I should publish this for kicks.' And that's it.
I have a niece who started to read this series, and came to me to talk about some of the characters and situations she was reading about. I, being an adult male, decided that I'd try to explain to a 12 year old what she was trying to figure out, so I picked up the book, and read it.
To quote Dorothy Parker: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."
I'm not going to comment on the technical quality of the writing, or the grammar, or anything around the background or research issues. What appalled me was the message this book was sending to its readers.
In this modern day and age, young teens are struggling with defining who they are, and how they fit into society and their relationship with their peers. Meyer's work is a glorification of pretty much all negative stereotypes for young women. Recommending this series, even for a "laugh", is just like watching the Saw or Hostel series of movies with your teenage boy, and telling him: "that's what you should aspire to when you're older. It's GOOD to be a sadistic serial killer who tortures people, because that's what boys are supposed to be." Meyer's series send the exact same type of message to young girls; and it's not a subtle message, one that teens might miss. No, it's right out there in front of them, as my niece was asking about (she was confused about whether there was something less obvious Meyer was trying to say, and I had to confirm her interpretation, sadly enough). Submissiveness to male desires is OK. Beauty is all that matters and outweighs any other consideration. Non- (or at best, dubious) consensual sex is just fine. Happiness is to be found in conforming to other's opinions. The designated "Good" people can do no wrong, ever, because they're "Good". The list goes on and on.
I can't possibly recommend this to any teen (or pre-teen), even for an escapist fantasy. It's actively harmful in its message. There's simply no redeeming values in the characters or their decisions that a teenage girl should be exposed to. Message-wise, it's on a par with Birth of a Nation or Mein Kampf, something I think we can all agree that no teen should be viewing/reading for positive role models or valuable social advice.
I had my first encounter with Twilight when I was twelve. I loved them. I dreamed that I was Bella and she became a role model to me. I read them again to see if they were as bad as people said.
They were worse.
Now, when I look back, I feel ashamed of myself. I read the books in Spanish the first time, and you can clearly see that the translators did their best to tone down the Purple Prose, the bad writing, and even Bella's bitchiness.
However, the book reads like an immature housewife's wankery - probably because it is. We're supposed to believe that two strangers meet at school, are nothing but rude towards each other, have a total of two conversations - both of which aren't even in friendly terms - and, somehow, they've fallen in lurve. Jeez.
I guess I could deal with that if the protagonists weren't so unlikable. Seriously, Bella is a classical Alpha Bitch, or Bitch In Sheeps Clothing, if you will. She whines all the time that she has no friends, yet she doesn't do anything to make friends. Everytime someone at school is nice to her, she dismisses them. Jessica, the girl who talks to her and introduces her to everyone, talks too much and her hair is big: she's a backstabbing bitch (despite that we don't ever see any proof of that). Mike, a guy who makes sure that she finds all of her classes and happens to have a small crush on her, is a puppy dog. Eric, who acts just like Mike but is ugly, is the overly-helpful chess club guy. Lauren, who is the only one who sees the bitch in disguise, is EVUL and has an annoying voice. Actually, S.Meyer later Retcons the reason for Lauren's attitude as Lauren being jealous of Bella, when it's pretty clear that it's because Bella is a bitch and she's obsessed with the Cullens. She's incredibly shallow, too: she considers Mike and Eric to be practically stalkers, but Edward, who is actually a real stalker, is perfect in her eyes - because he's PRETTY, which we're reminded every five sentences. We get it, woman, Edward is hot. Will you bang your fictional character already and move on to the plot? Oh, that's right: there isn't any. Edward is even worse, but at least we don't have to read tings from his perspective.
Okay, say whatever else you like about the books as a whole and the previous films, but I loved every minute of Breaking Dawn Part Two. There were so many CMOA's that I barely know where to begin. Bella's first hunt, her completely terrifying Freak Out when she found out Jacob imprinted on Renesmee, and of course, the absolutely epic fight scene at the end, even though it turned out to be a psychic vision. The whole thing was visually awesome, well-coreographed, well-acted...I could find absolutely no fault on it. This was so different from the other Twilight films that a couple of times, I forgot what I was watching.
Movie ticket: $11.50
Small soda: $4.75
Small popcorn: Free with my Regal Crown Club reward.
Memorable movie experience: Priceless.
I am a staunch believer that you have to read/watch/generally pay attention before you judge anything. It's why I love anime, why I love fanfiction reading and writing, and why I am a shameless brony.
So, while hearing all the hatred for the series in general, I decided to read the series.
And so, in response to all of the hate that the series has...
It's completely justified.
The "romance" is unbelievably unhealthy. Bella is a war-starting little punk, sacrificing so many lives just for her foolish teenage "romance," which isn't even characterized correctly!
Then comes the padding that is the "plot." First major problem: plot holes. Vampires can exist without a need for human blood, yet the vast majority of them drink normal blood. Why would you do that?! There's no real reason for it! Just for a bit of free food? By this time, more than a few exceptional vampire groups would be drinking animal blood!
For that matter, why is the vampire capital in Italy?! There's no reason for it! Granted, I shouldn't be picking out fridge logic, but this is too obvious to ignore!
Then you add the lack of biological research, the fact that sparkling in sunlight is retarded, Edward's needless, mindless angst, and then you get a mess of almost unreadable purple prose.
It's a disaster!
The fact that this thing is popular is only icing on the cake. It's not deserving of its popularity. And now excuse me while I go cry in a corner.
There are a lot of problems with Twilight(Unfortunate Implications, Mary Sue etc.), but people have gone over them elsewhere.
I think my problem lies in the wasted potential this story has. The world and a lot of the characters in it have the potential to be really interesting. The problem is, the story focuses on the love story between Bella and Edward. This drags down the entire story. This is also why I like Twilight fanfiction more than the actual book.
I honestly would have liked this series if it focused on someone else. Meyer gives enough backstory on her characters to make the idea of a story about them more interesting than the actual plot of the book.
Many people claim Twight's vampires are mockeries of dark counterparts.
Edward proves this assertion wrong, in one of the most insanely terrifying explorations of a Marty Stu's mind.
Seriously, the whole first chapter has him planning to murder an entire school worth of students, and cautiously rationalising how he would do it.
It of course, never happens, but it tells a lot about S Meyer when her idea of a romantic character is a sociopath of the worse caliber.
It is, overall, screaming with wasted potential, as it is otherwise a very good exploration at a psychotic mind.
Let's get one thing clear from the get-go:
I have not read the series, I have not watched the movies, I won't even look at the fanfics!
I would actually consider it torture to do any of the above!
Here is what I know about the series: Anything posted on this website! Every trope, every review, every YMMV, WMG, Headscratcher, Character etc., etc.
And it's enough for me to write this review without even having a shred of guilt or pity about doing so!
Bella is a Mary Sue on the most horrific scale imaginable! We have characterization that makes about as much sense as painting a stealth bomber in bright florescent yellow paint! We have a portrayal of mythical creatures, that... I would have laugh out of my office if I was a publisher!
The plot exists only somewhere in the head of the writer and is lost to the fact that Bella is a character from a Victorian play: Helpless, useless and completely self-centered, who causes destruction everywhere she goes! The rest of the "plot" is a romantic triangle between a VAMPIRE (Who, for the love of everything that vampires stand for, SPARKLES!), a WEREWOLF (Who is about as scary as an overgrown puppy!) and said teenager!
I am not going to go into how much these books have shattered people's understanding of vampires and what the Mythos stands for! (I just don't have enough allowed words for that!)
The fact that these books are selling is I believe the most accurate display of the current state of human intelligence, right after the fact that Justin Bieber is popular!
My final verdict on the series:
Stephanie Meyers deserves the same fate as whoever wrote Agony in Pink! (I'm not sure what happened to him or her, but I am fairly sure it wasn't good!)
The publishers deserve to be beaten, black and blue for agreeing to this... Hideous, ungodly (no pun intended) waste of ink and paper to ever be released upon the unsuspecting populace!
In conclusion: This "epic" "saga" about "vampires" should be gathered up and every single copy burned in a gigantic bonfire, while REAL writers roast marshmallows over it!
I've read all four books, and seen the first two movies. I thought the books were alright, nothing special, but not the trash a lot of commentators would have you believe. The movies, on the other hand, pretty well suck. I'll stick to the books, though, since this review is a positive one. What mainly appealed to me was the first person pov. I liked getting inside Bella's head, and she actually felt somewhat relate-able to me. Not that I would act like her, but I still sympathized with her more often then not. The characters were shallow, but things like that don't overly bother me, so I was able to get past that. I want to address one thing though: they are not horror stories. They're teen romance novels. Of course the vampires aren't going to be like typical scary vampires. Criticizing the books for not being a genre they were never made out to be is just retarded in my mind. And come on, people, they haven't ruined vampires. Other types of vampire stories are still being written or filmed, so stfu. The books just add diversity to the vampire subgenre. There I'm finished. I liked the series, for the most part. *ducks*
Doesn't seem like it. I am a teenage girl who, frankly spend most of her time on the Internet, ignorant to the world. So when Twilight first came out, my reaction was similar to that of my reaction to Justin Bieber: Woah, WTF, when'd this start up and how long's it been popular?
So, when I heard about the series, I began to get skeptical. It was original, I will give it that, but also boring. I wasn't attracted to it in the least, and I am an avid reader.
Now, with some people, you will either fall into a certain part of a fandom yourself, or suddenly find yourself in it. For me, I suddenly found myself in the anti-Twilight fandom. The more I heard about this series, the more I began to thing 'Dafuq is going on here?' I read anti-Twilight stories, and they all pointed out a lot of good things.
Bella is stupid, clumsy (Seriously, not even real life people are clumsy enough to fall flat on their face with one step), and dependent on Edward, who is controlling, emotionless and he sparkles. Meyer supports women's rights, yet with how she writes Bella, I honestly doubt that.
Bare in mind, I hadn't actually read the book yet. However, I suddenly wanted to see if my hate was justified. My cousin had the books, so I asked for the first book. She gave me that and New Moon.
I'm only half way through Twilight and I haven't finished it. Hell, I don't plan on finishing it. Whenever I see the book, I think, 'Crap, got to return that' but it then slips my mind.
Frankly, I personally think Jacob is the only decently developed character in the book series, and again, considering I haven't finished the first book, I've gotten this from my first impression and others telling me more about the series. He has an actually personality as opposed to Bella's fake character and Edward's stoic controlling paranoid-ness. The only downside to Jacob is that he imprints on Bella's daughter as soon as she's born, so he loses a few points for being a pedo (In my opinion. And frankly, I don't give a damn if it is what his species does).
Overall, this book is undeserving of its popularity. The main characters are flat, their romance is unbelievable, and to be honest, if I were given the option of reading the book or reading My Immortal, I'd choose the latter, because at least I can read an MST and have a few laughs.
Somehow, I decided to pick Twilight up and read it. Like many of the other reviewers, I am an avid reader. I love all sorts of books, from Sci-Fi to Fantasy to Mystery to etc etc etc. I even read some fanfictions, and I really enjoy the good ones. I've even written some fanfiction myself, but please don't go looking for it, it's total crap.
Twilight is not one of the fanfics I enjoy. And yes, it is a fanfiction. The main characters are flat, unlikeable Mary Sues. The plot is something out of a fifth-grade writing project, and perhaps worse than the drivel I've written. The background characters are fascinating, but Ms. Meyers refuses to focus on them, preferring to blather about "Eddykinz" and "Bellabear" and their "incorruptible pure love and purity". There is no character development, and even less reason for their relationship. I never once saw them do anything but act lustful. No talking about movies, comparing books, nothing. Heck, even my characters at least did a little stargazing! The only thing close to a "relationship" is Edward stalking Bella, and coercing her. Later, it's more "Bella screwing Edwards brains out", and paying no attention to their daughter.
And, on a side note, do females ever wear the pants in these relationships? All the female sparklepires are sterile. The one female werewolf that we meet is sterile, and cannot imprint on anyone. And this drivel is aimed at MY demographic! This is the first time I have ever burned an entire series of books, and I don't regret is at all. I had to read a lot of Michael Crichton to help me forget this traumatic experience.
In short, if you want to read a book, you would be better off looking up slash fanfiction or reading "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair than even looking at this book series.
Twilight is a description of a vampire sparkle named Edward Cullen. Seriously. Cross out any sentence with a description of Edward's beauty, or referral to his being cold, and you'll lose more than two thirds of the book. Not counting the descriptions of his eyes. I crossed out all description of Edward. If I had a pie for every time Edward was called beautiful, I'd have at least 245 pies (for every use of the word Beauty and it's derivatives alone), and enough pies from the rest of the descriptions to solve world hunger. Not counting the descriptions of his eyes. Or his coldness.
The book has fulfilled its purpose however. As entertainment it got an audience, made people have an experience of some sort, and made money. It became popular among a niche of people, so much that when a teenage girl tells you she only read four books this year, you know what they are. It did what entertainment is meant to do. It did not entertain me, nor did it educate me. I believe that when you entertain, you have an obligation to do research and educate as well. I believe that you need to get your audience to think and feel. I believe that a book must have some substance, some meaning to it. I believe in the power of words to bring characters to life, and make a setting real. I think that Twilight failed at this.
Learn to avoid the failings of this book, and you will become a better writer.
I read The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aenid together in one sitting. I read multiple encyclopedias in one sitting. I read The Count Of Monte Cristo in one sitting. I've read many good and long books in one sitting. All unabridged, and without any distractions or breaks, and without looking away from the book at all. But Twilight took me I don't know how many sittings to read. It's just too many to count. So many times I had to look away. Those good books made me feel happy and fufilled, like I'd done something worthwhile, but Twilight was extremely difficult to read, and made me feel awful. To cure myself, I read Calvin And Hobbes. And then I read some Discworld books.
I think that the best thing that can be done is to forget about this book. If it is forgotten, it can't affect us. Twilight won't last, anyway, so those who forget it are merely speeding up the inevitable. It will fade, and better books will take it's place.
It's public knowledge that the writing of Twilight is verbose, purple, pretentious, lifeless, un-edited drivel; but in the case of this adaptation it's well-executed drivel. I haven't seen much of the prior movies and I'm not paying to see the next one, but I believe this a well-made adaptation that stands on its own.
The film can be broken down in five sentences:
Bella and Edward get married.
Bella and Edward go on honeymoon.
Bella gets pregnant.
Bella gives birth.
Michael Sheen gives a great cameo.
There are some sub-plots as well, but they don't get any oxygen (What was the deal with that woman and that dead Laurent guy? Does that go anywhere?).
What makes this film is that there is some real talent behind the camera who know that the source material is bollocks, yet they try their hardest at polishing this shit 'til it shines. What we have is a one hour film that is stretched to two and feels like three, but it's a three hour film with many highlights including:
Jacob ripping his shirt off in the first minute.
Bella brushing her teeth and shaving her legs to an epic montage.
Edward breaking the bed during sex ("I'm sorry. This has never happened before.").
Bella drinking animal blood as she would a Mc Donalds Coke.
Jacob expressing romantic feelings for a newborn baby.
Bella having flashbacks, recalling stuff that happened ten minutes ago.
You can probably start anywhere in watching these movies since there's little in the way of character arcs or plot development. Bella is a vampire from the beginning in all but name, she'll likely be no different in the next movie. The more interesting supporting cast seldom get time to shine. The whole plot of this saga can be summed up in a few sentences. The story of Twilight lacks honesty: it's not a romance, it's a wet dream. I'm sure everyone involved in making of this half-decent film bar one knows that.
I'll get it out there now, I used to like Twilight, when I was eleven. I'm fifteen now and decided that before I nitpick I better reread.
I didn't get past page ten, and I came here insead.
As I commented on Paulamore's review, I believe Stephanie Meyer is a lazy writer. Notably, the lack of research and the disappointing "battle scene". Now, I'm an anime fan, specifically shonen, so I like a good fight. The fact that the author created so many characters and just had them stand there while the Volturi gnashed their teeth at the protagonists was actually kind of depressing. There's a bit of build-up, but at the end it was all pointless and I could have skipped the second half of Breaking Dawn without really missing anything.
While there does seem to be some research thrown into the first book (Bella looking up vampires), the rest of the series falls a bit short. The most glaring example is Bella and Edward's honeymoon on an island OFF THE WEST COAST OF BRAZIL.
As for the characters, both our main protagonists are flat. There's no other way to put it. Both are made out to be perfect. In fact, every flaw Bella is given is endearing to everyone else, so they're hardly a setback. Everyone loves them by default, and they don't even have to do anything. But Bella annoys me. She constantly moans about her situation, when she's the one who put herself into it. Granted, she did it for her mother, but personally I'm living with my mother rather than my father, and my mom accepts it and understands why I want to stay with her.
I understand that as a fifteen year old girl I am exactly the target demographic, but I can't relate to someone so shallow yet universally adored.
Five minutes after finishing the book, I could no longer remember the plot. I've never read a book that made so little impression on me in any way.
It wasn't even bad, really. I would have remembered that. It just wasn't there for me. It was the media equivalent of the way air tastes.
Kind creepy, actually.
The Twilight books came out when I was in high school and I've always been curious about them, even now. I remember seeing a few of my friends carrying them around and I'll admit that I was intrigued by their iconic covers, but never enough to buy them or beg my mother for them as I've done with several other books series, like the Harry Potter series. I was eleven when I began reading those books, so I literally grew up with them. When I think really hard about it, I'm pretty sure that Harry Potter is the reason I don't like Twilight.
I understand how a series can be so impactful that it becomes a part of your life, a memory as precious as learning how to ride a bike. That's what Harry Potter was to me; it was excellently written with character development, suspense, humor, horror, hints of romance, actual romance, action, and magic -the kind of paranormal activity you hoped was real. Harry Potter made me want to be a writer. It gripped me from the beginning and didn't let go until the end. It blew up and I felt like it deserved to.
That being said, I tried to read the first book of the Twilight series and I stopped trying at page 136. I had been hearing all this stuff from the media about it being the next Harry Potter, but the actual Twilight book was boring in comparison and it made me anxious. I was honestly waiting for the plot to happen and it upset me that I couldn't finish it, no matter how much I wanted to. It still bothers me to this day that in the year 2007 I couldn't get past page 136 in that book, but now I won't even bother trying.
At this point, along with the Harry Potter-bias, comes the influence of the Hatedom targeted towards the series and even from the actors portraying the characters in the series◊. It all proved to be way too overwhelming. I never saw the movies, but I watched Vampires Suck, which I was told got the basic gist of the movies it was based on. I understand that Twilight is a guilty pleasure for most and I have some of those myself -in the form of those trashy novels Fabio used to pose for- but I honestly think it doesn't deserve to be as big as Potter. But that's just an opinion from someone who'll fondly remember R Pattz as that dead guy Voldemort stepped on.
So I watched the first movie (DVD) and second movie (Theater) last night. Having no experience with the series outside of random people gushing or gaging, I dove in.
Bella is a textbook Mary Sue — she arrives at school, is antisocial to everyone, and yet literally every single male character wants to date her. Instantly. What??
Edward has the personality of a stump. Every so often he lapses into something... happy, but then it's time for "close up, stoneface Edward". Word Of God says he's old and Bella smells really good. But all the other vampires are much older and they have personalities. So what gives?
Combined, they have absolutely no chemistry. I know, love at first sight, but this is pushing it.
Jacob was an interesting character, at least in the second movie. (In the first, he was just "guy who wants to date Bella #8".) At least, until he gets his haircut, then it's time for him to be a prick.
The general plot is kinda... bouncy. First movie had Bella being stupid (Hey, he's a serial killer, lets go into the woods), Edward being pathetic (This is the face of a killer! *glitter*), and a surprise meeting of 3 new vampires interrupting a baseball game, who are evil. We know this because Edward's psychic (oh, did we forget to mention that? Sorry!) and they dress funny. Quick fight scene stretched out over 45 minutes, the end.
Second movie, Edward leaves, Bella has a nervous breakdown but isn't committed to therapy, and Jacob is conned into fixing up bikes cause she keeps hallucinating when she almost kills herself. Ok, fine. Then the idiot ball is grasped firmly and Edward tries to kill himself in some sorta stupid dramatic way, leaving to a last minute save in Italy. Evil Eurotrash Vampires take issue with Teenage Mary Sue Bimbo knowing the secret, Prophet Vampire Bimbo says it's all ok, cause her unreliable visions say it is. Yay!
Jacob (Remember him? Bella doesn't!) has a problem with this, Bella calls him a monster... Who's she dating again?
Edward asks to marry her after being gone for months and her dating someone else, the end.
In short, the movies were tollerable, but not great. Bella and Edward aren't likable at all. Jacob was, but that had to end because he was getting in Edward's way. I'll watch the 3rd if only to see if it improves, but I'm not hopeful.
I've only read the first book, Twilight, so far. So I'm going to review that book. The series as a whole will wait until I've read it.
Twilight, as a book, honestly confuses me. When I read it, I find myself reading for at least an hour at a time, dissolving about 150 pages each time I start it. When reading it, I honestly think I enjoy it.
But when I'm out of my reading daze and actually think through the book, I find it sub-par. The writing is about equal to a 14-year-olds and the plot needs work. I can't find much depth or attachment to many of the characters. I seem to have randomly bonded to Alice of all characters.
But I can enjoy the book. That means that it must have something, though I currently can't imagine what.
Before people start yelling at me for treating it differently because it's popular; yes, I do. I only read it because I wanted to be able to give an accurate review of it. I take it more seriously than I would if I had just picked i unknowingly off a shelf.
So, to appease everyone; If I had not known what Twilight was, I probably would have found it in a library, the cover is the type that would catch my eye. In fact, both my older sisters were fans of it (though they both agree it doesn't deserve to be popular)
Anyway. If I had found it randomly on a shelf, I probably would've read the whole series in a week, obsessed over it for two weeks, and then it would pretty much completely fade out of my life in the next week. It's a meh book, cute when it's a random novel you just read and return to the library, but definitely not deserving a massive amount of attention.
For my senior college thesis, I decided to discuss and analyze Bella Swan's worth as a female protagonist for adolescents. I read all four books in the series—I even read Eclipse and Breaking Dawn in the same night. All I'll say on their quality is that you can tell this is Stephanie Meyer's first book series. There's so much padding the plot seems to burst at the seams, she tries to establish rules that she then breaks (Breaking Dawn, I'm looking at you), and the "cute" and "romantic" parts are creepy. But it's not anything special—just standard romance fare I could find in Barnes & Noble's Harlequin section.
The troubling part is Bella's attitude throughout the books, and what that communicates to young adults.
As a feminist, I don't ask for much in my female heroines. Just give me a competent, likable girl who has dreams and ambitions beyond the perfect body and her boyfriend and I'm a happy camper. I consider these especially important in YA fiction—a lot of who we'll be as an adult comes from what we learn from parents, friends, teachers—and what we read. Every little bit gets absorbed into a growing brain and utilized in practice.
So what do young adults learn from Bella Swan?
Falling down constantly is an endearing trait, rather than a possible medical issue. Beautiful men are wonderful and loving, even if they've admitted to killing. Your life should revolve around your significant other, and you should have no friends or hobbies outside his family. Bruises and black eyes on your wedding night are sexy instead of disturbing. If a man sneaks into your room at night and tries to control where you are and what you do, it means he loves you and should face no consequences for his actions. Getting married right out of high school is every girl's dream.
I could go on.
And yet, despite this, I would have no problem with Twilight if its market was for adult women. But marketing campaigns and merchandise are targeted towards the YA demographic, reinforcing these values as positive through prettied-up actors. And when girls as young as twelve are reading these, I start having problems.
My advice? Stick with Coraline and A Wrinkle In Time for heroines who are well-rounded, learn from their mistakes, and take active parts in shaping their own destinies.
I am a Twilighter, and I love the series. I will wait for the rotten tomatoes to stop hurtling in my direction. I don't see why so many people have to bash on the series- it's a freaking series, not a political document! If you don't like it, why ruin it for those of us who do? I can see why Your Mileage May Vary on this series, but this is my opinion as a person who had a positive experience reading the book.
I am not a big fan of the human characters, Bella included, but I find the supernatural ones (vampires and werewolves) to be far more interesting. The vampires all come from different backgrounds and situations, so that makes them more interesting in the present. Take, for example, the effects of being the son of an Anglican pastor on Carlisle. This upbringing sticks with Carlisle through him believing that being a vampire has not cost him his soul, and that he still has the potential to be good. Rosalie's vanity originates in her beauty being used by her socialite parents to raise their status. In the Twilightverse, Meyer explains this as a part of Our Vampires Are Different, saying that each vampire's most prominent human quality was amplified in their conversion to a vampire. This helps build the Expanded Universe of the series by encouraging readers to build backgrounds for each vampire based on their personality.
The werewolves' world, as Edward states in Eclipse, is "like a soap opera." Each one of the pack members is affected by being a werewolf in a different way. Sam, the alpha wolf, is forced to abandon his relationship with Leah as a result of imprinting on Emily. Jacob's transformation into a werewolf instigated the conflict between him and Edward over Bella. Their attempts to reconcile themselves to their respective fates leads to their Expanded Universe. It gives a lot of insight into Team Jacob's case for their relationship to Bella.
In later books, the Vampire Universe expands into different countries and times as various vampires enter the plot, especially in Breaking Dawn (with vampires from all over the world coming to the aid of the Cullen Clan). It makes for a very interesting read to try and connect all the different characters with their histories and to compare them with other forms of vampires in literature (again, a case of Our Vampires Are Different).
I won't go into detail about the book, as I could only read through a third of it.
Edward was actually a better character in the book but I digress.
I had no idea about Twilight when my sister convinced me to watch it with her.
I was so blissfully unaware that...vampires or characters in general could be so weak.
An hour in and I was BORED.
Even the make-up was bad. The MAKE-UP.
Everyone's role was awkward and just plain weird. Not in a good way.
Edward's watching her sleep was creepy as hell; ironically it was meant to be romantic.
Bella was worse than most damsels.
And when he Sparkled. Oh. My. God.
"WHAT THE HELL!?" was my response.
By the end I had to watch 30 Days of Night the next day, for I felt my respect for fictional vampires plummet to the Earth faster than someone falling over.
Bad, BAD movie. Worse than most low-quality horrors, and I've seen my fare few.
Maybe for the romantic saps who don't care about lack of research, decent character development or boring plot-changes.
Or twilight fans. They can read it.
I just won't see another film or read another book about it again.
Let me start out by saying that there is virtually nothing good about Twilight. The characters are all cardboard cutouts without any interesting traits. The writing style is ametuer and there is WAY too much filler and purple prose. Most of the book is focused on nothing important to the plot, it's either the characters doing mundane, everyday things or the narrator going on about how hot Edward is. There's very little true conflict going on. As readers we have this informed conflict that there's some "forbidden romance" going on, yet there aren't many people actively trying to keep Bella and Edward apart. The whole thing reads like a wish-fullfillment fantasy: the main character is perfect and loved by everyone, she gets a hot supernatural boyfriend and everything works out for her. It's just awful, really.
But all of this, these many, many, many flaws, aren't what really make me hate Twilight. All of that can be tolerated, if the book didn't have one thing: It's Bella. The narrator. She is just one of the WORST characters I've ever come across in literature, movies, and other media. She is just a horrible, horrible person. Where do I begin? For starters, she's incredibly whiny. I wanted to put the book down within the first chapter because she was already bitching about nothing. Second, she's incredibly bland. She has few personality traits, at least not good or interesting ones, and with nothing interesting, funny, or thought-provoking to say, she's a poor choice for a narrator. Third, she's just a shallow, mean person. She's constantly judging people based on their appearance, and she's quick to leave her "dorky" human friends behind when she starts hanging out with the attractive vampires. (I'm convinced she has Histrionic Disorder. Look it up, she seriously displays many of the symptoms) What makes this all especially jarring, though, is that no one calls her out on it. What's more, people LOVE her. She's immediately popular in her new school, and she's the first girl that a vampire found himself attracted to in a hundred years. I find it hard to believe that this shallow, whiny bitch is so popular and loved.
All in all, Twilight is a terrible book and only exists as an example on how NOT to write a good book. I strongly suggest avoiding it.
I only read five chapters of the first book and couldn't drag myself any farther. I tried to read it, wanting to give it a fair chance, but I just...couldn't.
The first five chapters were about 80% listening to Bella bitch about how much the situation that she voluntarily put herself in sucks (despite the fact that it's not that bad by any stretch of the imagination) and the rest is her talking about the weather and having the same (BORING) conversation with Edward every time she bumps into him. Honestly the only way I can imagine someone not being bored by that is if they're so simple minded that they actually need that much repetition to understand what's going on (which isn't much.)
I also couldn't empathize with Bella at all. She's a shallow, whiny, self absorbed popular girl who likes to pretend that she's a misunderstood outcast because she thinks it makes her seem more mysterious and interesting. Don't believe me? Let's have a look; she pretends she's being forced into some kind of exile, when in fact she made the decision to go to Forks herself and her father goes out of his way to accommodate her (Martyr complex anyone?) She brushes aside all the normal people who (inexplicably) are desperate to be her friends, treating them at best as annoyances, and doesn't pay attention to anyone but herself until she sees the one table of really good looking rich people, with whom she them becomes obsessed, not being able to think about anything other than them (because they're SO pretty.) She's obsessed with looks to such an extent that she feels the need to reiterate how "OMG PERFECT" Edward is every time he enters her field of vision (which is tiresome as hell.)She's ether so insecure, or so egotistical, that she actually cries when she thinks Edward doesn't like her, despite the fact that she hasn't even had one conversation with him and EVERYONE ELSE she met that day threw themselves at her. So, based solely on his appearance and the knowledge that he's (apparently) too good for all the other girls in the school, she values his opinion above all others? Really? Honestly, if Bella had been a more likable character I may have been able to make it all the way through the (boring, amateurish) book, but the sheer repulsiveness of her shallow, pretentious, self-centered world view made that impossible.
A lot of people hate this series. I decided to go watch it solely for that reason alone. That said, I was going in with a fairly open mind. I dislike judging things without seeing them. Having watched I feel that after watching the first movie, all the scorn heaped onto this series is justified and I'm going to explain why.
I'm not against the reimagining of vampires and werewolves. And despite how silly certain scenes are, that is not the biggest problem of the movie. I realize that I'm not the target demographic of this movie, but I have a decent point of reference as far as this genre goes, and even then I can enjoy it if its done well enough. The movie fails because of how absolutely boring and uninteresting the actual reverse harem is. The movie relies on two things; To appeal to different female fetishes and to design the characters, dialog and setting to fit in the mood of the romance. It fails on both these levels. We are stuck with only Edward as a love interest the entire movie. As main love interest he is expected to be the best written character in the movie for this genre. Instead we are stuck with a childish, twitchy character who completely fails at the "Dangerous, dark, more effeminate" appeal he is supposed to have. The only scene where he is interesting, likable, reasonably realistic, or falls into the role he has is the scene where he pays a visit to Bella while she is working on her truck. He turns around and nonchalantly fixes a large dent in her truck by just grabbing under the body and pulling with his super strength.
It also fails to grab the periphery demographic of men because its action scenes fail equally hard, lacking any tensity or even interesting fight scenes.
As such the reverse harem completely fall apart in this movie because the only character in it absolutely fails at even fitting the lead male into his designated fetish. You're better off just Googling images of Robert Pattinson.
The hatred this series receives is justified. The thing is, its not just a bad story. There are plenty of those. At this point the movie is a cultural phenomenon, and probably the worst one in history. The more something is loved and in the spotlight, the more scrutiny it will be placed under and deservedly. Its obvious it cannot stand up to the pressure. It cannot even live up to its own genre.
It is bad I think, when an avid reader has to put down a book within the first chapter, or the movie for that matter simply because said reader finds themselves feeling like they are reading badfanfic. While I've read and seen only snipits of the series, it was enough to have Bella's character bother me. Her first person narritive is supposed to make the reader pity and sympathize with her, but instead had me rather upset due to the fact that I know there are people who happen to have worse lives then her. She ends up getting everything handed to her despite the fact that she never works for anything in her entire life and this has worked its way into fanfiction.
Many young ladies look up to Meyer and wish to become a famouse writer like her. Normally, this would be a good thing, but these girls have picked up on Meyer's bad habits and don't see the point in changing them. They don't care about spelling, they don't care about research, or having realistic relationships. They hand things to the characters and they never work for them. Yes, this series has gotten girls to read. What it hasn't done is to get them to understand what they are reading on any intuitive level. That aside, I can understand why it is such a nice candy read for people.
Ok, first off, the universe it's set in seems actually really cool, but Meyer wasted a possibly awesome and really good plot because she needed to focus on her fantasies.
And the characterizations.
Oh God, the characterizations.
First off, Bella and Edward are bland. They appeared to me as audience and author surrogates,nothing more; just another Mary and Marty Sue. Jacob has the possibility to be a really awesome guy, but Wangst and other stuff gets in the way. All the vampires appeared to me as either Purity Sues or Villian Sues; boring. Maybe if there was some more fight scenes and interesting/plot-relevant conversations, I'd be interested.
The movies really ruined it for me, too. The books were okay, but the movies were terrible and I didn't like them one bit.
So, some advice to Stephanie Meyer: Work on your writing style a bit, and try to include less Mary/Marty Sues as possible.
My reaction to the first Twilight book was honestly and seriously “meh.”
It wasn’t a TERRIBLE book. It was fairly readable, if a little bit boring in some parts. I wasn’t deeply offended by the sparkly vampires or the gratuitous purple prose. It was simply a book that I read. I then put it on my shelf and promptly forgot about it. At the height of the Twilight Craze, my friends tried to get me to read the other books, but I just couldn’t work up the interest. Twilight was just…okay. It wasn’t extremely compelling. I really had no desire to continue the story.
What makes Twilight so polarizing is not the book itself, but the fandom. The book is piercingly ordinary. It had a few sweet moments. Edward, as a character, seemed rather cold and thus somewhat unlikable. I didn’t feel the pulsating attraction to him that Bella felt. However, I didn’t hate him. I didn’t even find his behavior strange. He’s a vampire, right? He’s supposed to be creepy and off putting. And Bella’s supposed to fall for him like a ton of bricks – it’s how he attracts his prey. The last part of the book where James (that’s his name, right?) was chasing them was probably the most thrilling. If Meyer had extended that sequence a bit, Twilight might have made a fairly compelling fantasy book. As it stands, the book is readable, but can get a little dull in parts.
The reason Twilight is either the “ZOMG BEST THING EVAAAAAR” or the “WORST PIECE OF GARBAGE EVER WRITTEN” is mostly thanks to the highly devoted fanbase and the equally devoted Hatedom. I sincerely recommend avoiding both. Twilight is a somewhat cliché urban fantasy teen romance. If that’s what you like, go for it. But it certainly won’t go down in history as a classic. People are already starting to forget about it. It’s a book to read, enjoy, and then forget. Simple as that.
First off, i don't hate Twilight. I actually somewhat enjoyed reading it. It was easy to read like Harry potter (Another fantasy series), straightforward with a very interesting take on established supernatural lore.
But that doesn't change the fact that Bella and Edward are but hollow shells whose only purpose in life are each other, and for no good reason. Their relationship is unrealistic at best, serving really only as a glitter coated fantasy for a generation of teenage girls to imagine themselves in. But fair enough, millions of girls like it, maybe im the weirdo.
My main qualm with the series is the author's stubborn aversion to violence and/or the narrating of it.I understand it's a romance novel, but having the perspective character FAINT before a climatic fight is overboard isn't it? Which is probably why i enjoyed the movie much more, as they elaborated more on the few fight scenes, even those that Bella's eyes weren't privy to. Thanks to 3/4 of the saga being written in her perspective, if shit befell her like in the first book then curious readers were out of luck.
Considering how much is written of the Volturi's strenght or the multitude of abilities powerful Vampires had(Eg. AOE Complete Sensory Shutdown), as well as oversized Anti-vampire wolves, you would think that there'd be some in depth fight scenes. Wrong. Half of the last book was spent preparing for a massive showdown against the Volturi, culminating in the meeting of two armies of supernatural beings where they engage in talk, counter talk, counter counter talk before the Volturi nobles realized how stupid the story had become and left peacefully. Okay so they actually got fed up with how rigged Vampire Bella's barrier was, but did the story had to go THAT way? It cheapens the whole reading experience.
All in all, i recommend sticking to the movies. They pretty much cover what was in the book and do it better (Edward vs Volturi's guards in New Moon and the battle in Eclipse were very well done IMO). The universe Stephanie Meyers thought up is actually quite creative and nice, but seeing as she insists on nothing but Edward and Bella, expect to be disappointed.
So, the first thing you should know is that I do not like Twilight overly, but I have to say the Hatedom does tend to over exaggerate the horribleness contained. Now, as a straight, male who does not particularly care for vampire stories, I must say that I am not a targeted audience at all, and I can't expect anything good out of it, and it may be just my desire to find some good in everything (despite being a big proponent of Hobbes Was Right, yay contradictions!), but I do believe I have found SOME decent nuggets within Twilight.
Now first off, Bella and Edward are HORRIBLE main characters. They're boring, exist to be either author or audience avatars, adn their relationship is borderline abusive, YMMV on who the abusive one is. But, the thing I happened to notice is that...outside of the main characters, it's a pretty damn interesting universe. The primary problem with the series is simple: Bella and Edward. So, since their flaws as characters have been dissected and examined by people far better qualified than myself, I won't go there. Instead, I will focus on the redeeming features of the series...bear in mind this does not make it a GOOD series, rather it shows that is not as horrible as people seem to think.
Now, I have to say that not being a vampire fan has made it easier to accept the whole sparkly vampire thing, and I've decided that if I can accept that there are vampires and magic shape shifters in the world, I'm not going to worry myself about the science about how they work. A Wizard Did It, and we'll just ignore Stephanie Meyer's, frankly, IDIOTIC, attempts to scientifically explain her creations. But yes, look at the world that is going on around our two idiotic main characters....if you're able to stop cursing their idiocity long enough (and beleive me, it took a while for me to get to that stage) you'll realize that the world they live in is pretty intersting. I mean...Southern Vampire Wars? The overthrow of the Romanian vampires? The Volturi's rise to power? Hell, I want to know how these things happened!! I want to know how the whole vampire political scene works! That could be a damn intersting story, no?
But, alas, we are stuck with the inept romance story, and a potentially awesome universe is wasted, because the author felt the need to focuse on her fantasies....
What follows is a (slightly lengthened) version of an article that I wrote for my school paper.
While I can hardly blame anyone but myself for reading Twilight (I did suggest that I read it, after all), I feel as though it abolished any hope I had in the intelligence of mankind.
The characters aren’t the least bit relatable and are extremely dull. Edward Cullen is too perfect and beautiful for any conflict to possibly be at all interesting. The only real flaw he has is his personality, which everyone, especially Meyer’s self-insert, Bella, blissfully ignores, treating him like a saint, despite his chronic and disparaging comments against her intelligence and physical capabilities.
Bella Swan, the narrator, treats everyone except Edward like they have the plague. Despite this, everyone (read: everyone) treats her like the Messiah, when she should be a social pariah! (the rhyme was entirely unintentional, I promise.) She's the new kid, and as soon as she arrives, everyone bows down before her, treating her like a Goddess, and what does she do? COMPLAIN. She complains about the whole shebang, right from the get-go. A guy carries her books for her? COMPLAIN. The sun, which would possibly harm her milky-white skin, does not shine very often? COMPLAIN.
Unlikeable characters are forgivable if the story is interesting, but it unfortunately isn’t. The ‘plot’, used in the loosest sense of the word, is nothing more than disconnected, uninteresting events with no building action or logic behind what little conflict there is. When the conflict does finally show up, it is un-foreshadowed, pointless, and oh hey look, it's over.
However, the book is a romance novel, so I might as well focus on the ‘twu wuv’ between Edward and Bella. To put it simply, it sucks. Edward’s only real attraction to Bella is the way she smells, with literally nothing else attracting him to her. Bella’s only attraction to Edward is his appearance. The characters have no chemistry, and the relationship is mutually destructive and idiotic, as well as out of nowhere.
As a lover of the English language, what distressed me the most was the syntax. Meyer's writing style seems to consist of picking words at random from a thesaurus.
Twilight is an irredeemable, worthless excuse for a novel, and due to my own stupidity, I've decided to finish the series.
An interesting fact is that a lot of people don't read twenty books a week. Many, in fact, barely read one book in the course of an entire summer. Think of the average book as a meal, exceptional books as your favorite food... and Twilight as something from the Sonic down the street from me. That Sonic opened a few months ago, and I have to be blunt again when I say that the food is not what I'd call gourmet. Or even good. Yet, whenever I drive by, there is a ridiculously long line for it.
For those who don't read a lot, Twilight is Sonic. They've heard quite a bit about how amazing it supposedly is, and go in determined to enjoy it. Unlike Sonic, they have little to compare it to save for whatever books they had to read in school, which they probably don't remember entirely well (assuming that they even enjoyed them. I'm a major bookworm and English major, but even I've wanted to throw half of the assigned reading material I've had over the years through the nearest window). However, similar to how going to Sonic is where I live, even the mention of Twilight has become an almost foolproof way of starting a conversation, especially after the movie.
The Twilight movie, like the book it was based on, is junk food. I went into it expecting to enjoy it—what had kept me from going through the series had always been the writing style (if it can even be called that); and I'd always heard that The Host was nowhere near as enjoyable in terms of the story. My cousin, who had invited me to watch it with her, couldn't stop raving about it. So, I went in hopeful, and came out... very glad that I'd never forced myself through the book. There are no actual words that I can use to describe my reaction to it, so I'll simply go with 'urg'. I tried, I really did, yet in the end I spent most of the movie alternating between pointing out the flaws and climbing back onto the couch after I'd laughed myself off of it.
But much of the audience of the movie watched it because of their love of the books. For many of them, it was the equivalent of a large burger to the small one that had been Twilight in written format.
I've never liked burgers, just as I've never really seen the appeal of going to a place where you eat bad food in your car after watching someone bring it to you on rollerblades. Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy Twilight, either.
I first learned of the Twilight series through a TIME Magazine review of Meyer's lone non-Twilight book, The Host, and thought that maybe a "non-traditional" romance novel would be perfect for the slightly embarrassed male romance fan such as myself. The whole "supernatural" aspect...didn't really play in that greatly in the early books, other than to make things weirder. I have yet to see the movie of Twilight, but I can imagine that it would only appeal to a select few, most of whom have already read the book.
But fear not, unwilling drag-alongs: It Gets Better.
Yes, while the Purple Prose never completely stops, the romance does get toned down in later volumes. Eclipse has an awesome war between the "evil" vampires and the combined forces of the good vampires and the werewolves that aren't actually real werewolves so much as people infused with wolf spirits that allow them to shapeshift, and Breaking Dawn has the vampires gearing up for an all-out vampire revolution, the rebels against the authority figures. Also, Breaking Dawn gives the everyman Unlucky Childhood Friend Jacob Black, who comes off as much more sympathetic than unrealistic female dream guy Edward Cullen, the happy ending he so richly deserves. Furthermore, it actually spends more time being a vampire novel than it does being a romance novel that happens to feature vampires—which is probably why the majority of the fanbase didn't like it as much as the others. I think that the last two books will actually make for movies that have Multiple Demographic Appeal, and if you can get through the first two (probably a tougher task for a non-romance fan than for a multi-genre fan like myself), the end will provide something that traditional fantasy fans can enjoy.
My first experience of Twilight came from a classroom, long before the hype. My friend and I had finished all our work and she was reading New Moon. Fifteen minutes later my friend shouted out in the middle of the dead silent class "DON'T BREAK UP WITH HER, EDWARD!!!" Out of sheer amusement, I decided to buy the book.
And I liked it. *gasp*
However, after reading the books again and witness the antics of the ever growing hoard of fangirls, my admiration lessened. Bella began to irritate me, Edward's stakler-ish behaviour came to light (and sparkled) and my dormant feminist lashed out with a vengence. (My father became twihard and that killed my admiration DEAD- don't ask)
I was skeptic about Breaking Dawn but since my father bought the book *twitch* I thought I might as well read it. I was caught up AGAIN... until the anticlimax ending. Then I woke up and realised what I was reading. I remembered that imprinting on a child is creepy... even if Jacob's chapter titles were kind of funny. I remembered that Renesme was a baby Mary Sue. I remembered why I hated the series.
But I liked it at the time. Wall Banger ...
Due to the fact that we were female and watching the movies was apparently compulsory, I reluctantly watched the film with my friends. The corny, crap moments in the books were sometimes cut out or made HILARIOUS. Also... there was a real vampire fight scene. New Moon was upgraded from wangst-fest to...bearable and slightly amusing angst-fest with good music. Brownie points to Kirsten Stewart for giving perhaps the most insipid fictional character something vaguely resembling a spine.
My conclusion? If you wish to enjoy the Twilight book, read it once and don't think too much about it. The movies are genuinely worthwhile (if you hate the books at least.)
My friends, an English teacher, and a couple librarians thought that this is a wonderful, phenomenal, fantastic, great, superlative, awesome, et cetera series. The internet thought this series was offensive, poorly-written, plotless, and worth going into a frothing rage over. I've learned, over the years, to approach any book with no expectations at all. It's safer that way. What I have to say about each book:
Twilight: It's "meh". It's So Average It's Horrible. Contemplation made me hate the abuse in Bella and Edward's relationship-term-used-loosely, but I couldn't notice that stuff while I was reading it because this book was so dull my brain literally shut down.
New Moon: Jacob. I love Jacob. He's nice, he's cheerful, he has interests outside of Bella, and he makes me think that maybe it's not so horrible to create a character just so he can love another character. The ten blank pages, though are pure Narm, and this volume inspires a lot of Fridge Logic that I don't have room to discuss here.
Eclipse: The writing was... better. There's an actual plot. Bella seems to occasionally show signs of internal conflict. That's the good stuff. The bad stuff was that Edward is back and more controlling than ever (this time I managed to be offended while actually reading the book). Poor Jacob has suffered Character Derailment. We all knew how it was going to end (actually, that's applicable to the entire series). Rosalie, however, gets backstory and becomes extremely sympathetic. Alice is beginning to get on my nerves. Please shut her up.
Breaking Dawn: Yuck. Meyer breaks the laws of her universe. There's even more fridge logic. It's utterly squicktastic. Renesmee is way too perfect. I found myself actually liking the Vatica...I mean, Volturi. They make sure that the murderous vampires who would endanger not only themselves but all vampires and the vampires' primary food source behave. Why, though, are they so obsessed with Bella? Edward's mind reading and/or Alice's precognition would be way more useful to them than Bella's "love shield".
TL;DR: They're useful and entertaining only for the Bile Fascination, seeing what all the hype is about, as an example of how not to write a book, and possibly as a narcotic.
Maybe this is because I am not a teenage girl nor do I see the need to relentlessly obsess myself with what teenage girls do with their time. But I've seen the Twilight movie - because of the Rifftrax, mind you. Through sheer osmosis thanks to the Hatedom that cannot shut up about this series, I know more about it than I ever wanted to know. So after finally exposing myself to a Twilight product first hand, I just...don't...get it. Yea, I'm not sure why it's popular - but I don't see why it's really that hated either. Bella is the same empty-headed teenage girl hero destined to cleave herself to a strange but compelling loner that I've seen in films and books since I was a teenager myself in the late 90s and 00's. Aside from throwing vampires into it, there's nothing here that's drastically different from any other film or book following this plot in lockstep. The sparkling vampires are funny, but the way people act like it's a mortal sin? Oy, have you guys never read Anne Rice?
Frankly, I find myself bewildered as to the obsession people have with liking and hating this series. It seems to have nothing compelling to sustain its momentum aside from "teenage girls really like it and geeks are required to hate whatever teenage girls like". Yes, I'm aware of the feminist critique. I would like to ask the people that are so certain Twilight is leading "today's youth" astray where they were when my generation had these kinds of relationships thrown at us (Stalking Is Love did not start with Twilight). Amazingly, my generation survived the likes of Sweet Valley High and the Babysitter's Club, so I think today's girls will not suddenly revert to a pre-liberated state because of a silly book series they're going to get over once they turn 18. Somehow, I imagine most of the attempts at "feminist" critique are really an attempt to cover irrationally hating pulp literature aimed at teenage girls with a visage of respectability.
Ultimately, I find Twilight empty and meaningless except when a bunch of middle-aged men make fun of it (to the point I've seen the film four times just to watch the Rifftrax over and over). So, to recap - a lot of people need to grow up and stop obsessing with sparkly vampires and people who like sparkly vampires. And Rifftrax is awesome.
I read the first book when the movie came out to see if it was as good as everyone said it was. I flung it against the wall and narrowly avoided having to pay for a new copy for the school library. Then, I was forced to finish out the series by my friends whining, "IT GETS BETTER!" God, they couldn't have been more wrong. I flung them against the wall some more and I did have to pay for a new copy of New Moon because I hurled that one really, really hard. My main problems are with Edward and Bella's relationship and how the thing was written. I can take all the turd you toss at me, so I'm just going to go out and say that it is an abusive relationship and Edward IS a stalker and Bella a useless sack. No, he never hit her. But an abusive relationship doesn't need violence. It just needs a control freak and an idiot. As for watching her sleep? That's not romantic. That's creepy. The purple prose was so annoying that they might as well have printed it in violet ink just to rub it in. (Bad analogy, but oh well). And her FREAKING DEPENDENCE on him, most apparent to me in New Moon, made me want to go in the book and shoot her. After she falls in "love" with him, her life consists of basically nothing else. No hobbies, no goals, nothing. Her Distressed Damsel status also was sickening. In other words, this series sets back feminism by so much I can't express it, and that really, really, really pissed me off. And then the lack of plot. Oh, God, there was no plot other than "EDWARD! SCREW ME NOW!" and "I'LL KILL YOU, MY LAMB! NUUUU!" Besides, vampires cannot be "vegetarian" unless you're making an analogy, which it is in this case as I found out. And don't even get me started on the sparkling. Not only is it simply ridiculous, it makes the vampires look even more stupid than they already are. That was the last thing they needed to be fairies, and Smeyer just had to give it to them. I can't express my full rage very well on the Internet, but it is an awful lot of rage. I have always respected vampires, but this really humiliates them.
I finally decided to read at least the first book to see what all the hype is about and if the series truly deserves all the love (or hate) it's inspired. I managed to read one chapter a day for a week. Each paragraph got more annoying than the last. Bella's constant whining about her clumsiness is exactly the kind of thing they advise Fan Fic writers not to do — a textbook case of Anti Sue writing! Stephanie Meyer, this amateur technique ALWAYS fails! To think that at first, I actually thought it would be interesting. Some brief scenes were like a Super Hero or fantasy setting as seen from the point of view of a Muggle. It could have been interesting if Meyer pursued that angle. Instead, everything gets swallowed up by Bella's baseless obsession with Edward. Out of nowhere, barely knowing the guy, she falls hopelessly head over heels for those golden eyes. If I knew it was heading towards her realizing that being around the vampire magically affects her mind and that she's being hypnotized or something, I might have continued, but I know that she ends up falling in love with him, meaning there will be no end to the zombie-fangirling. There's no point in having vampires and werewolves around when you're going to focus on a girl's instant romantic obsession in a hot guy. And guess what, Meyer? Even the romance in all those Jane Austen novels you keep referencing is always a B plot after the A plot of social commentary and satire!
Finding nothing to hold my attention, I abandoned the book for two weeks before finally deciding that, if I really wanted to be able to form my own opinion of it, I ought to finish the whole book. I gritted my teeth, opened it to Chapter 8... and closed it after the first paragraph. I had to admit defeat. I couldn't handle 300+ more pages of Bella wangsting and obsessing over Edward. The girl is just so poorly written, and the book is just too boring and annoying to finish. I cannot understand why it is so popular.
I should be fair, though. There was one character who actually intrigued me, who I wanted to know more about, and who temporarily made his scene wholly engrossing and even entertaining. And despite my exposure to the fandom on TV Tropes, this was completely unexpected, I swear. The only good thing I found in the Twilight series before giving up: Jacob Black.
Isabella, you're an idiot.
Romance is a form of character development; a delinquent might find himself trying to ditch some of his bad habits in order to persuade the girl he likes that he isn't such a bad guy at all or an ice queen may find herself slowly thawing her heart when someone shows her genuine kindness, helping her to open her heart to the world again. I don't get that with Edward and Bella; the two of them pretty much stay the same throughout the entire series. Bella continues to be an asshole towards her family and human associates while Edward continues to be a mopey manipulative asshole who can never seem to make up his mind on whether he is dangerous or not to Bella.
The romance is a badly-written piece of crap; are we really supposed to believe that these two are one of the most romantic couples of all time when the basis of their romance was "she smells good, he looks hot"? This is one of the main problems I have with Meyer; she tells too much but doesn't show. We are constantly having the idea that these two are the ideal couple shoved in our face but we do not see any real evidence how they are so. If Meyer took the time to develop their romance instead of rushing through it so she can spend several chapters of verbal masturbation over how handsome Edward supposedly is, this book would be much better.
The main characters are badly written as well. We are supposed to believe Bella is the perfect girl, what with all the guys pining after her despite her 'ordinary' appearance, yet she comes across as a sociopath who is worthless without Edward at her side and does stupid things just to hallucinate about him without regards to the large amount of worry she would cause her father or her human 'friends.' We are supposed to believe that Edward is the perfect boyfriend, yet he comes across as controlling such as when he has Alice kidnap her or when he takes out her car engine to stop her from using it. Claiming he's doing it for her own good is no excuse; that's the sort of excuse a domestic abuser uses.
Twilight is a terrible book, but to be fair, it's a guilty pleasure. It's the sort of book that one reads just for the fantasy of imagining oneself being handed a happy ending without having to work for it. It is not a masterpiece and it will never be one, but it gets it's job done as an escapist piece.
Reading the book Twilight was an experience akin to physically eating the book Twilight. It leaves a disgusting taste that reminds you that not only does Meyer fail to achieve the genre she was intending completely, but she also used bad-tasting ink. The genre supposedly is a kind of gothic romance epic. I'd go as far as to say she's tried to emulate another story and just done it badly, but to my knowledge there isn't a gothic romance epic quite like this, so it feels like a bad emulation of something that doesn't even exist yet, which would be quite an achievement if it wasn't an absolute trial to read. She has at least tried to spew forth her ideas, and either those ideas were vomit to begin with, or they were lost while being translated to fourteen-year-old-girl.
None of the characters have realistic emotions or reactions to anything, especially the main couple. Edward is meant to come across as a grim cynic, but when compared to other vampires and his reasoning for this he appears more as a moron who wishes he understood how to act like a living being, something I believe he has in common with his author. Bella I can forgive. It is perhaps possible Meyer was intentionally making her dull and mindless to turn her into the "Everyman," a placeholder for the reader to experience her story. This was also a failure however, considering how the driving plot thread features this badly-written person.
I'm not going to complain about how the Vampire Mythos has been butchered, even though it has. Stephanie Meyer has attempted to create her own spin on them, but the unfortunate part of this equation is that she is Stephanie Meyer.
Did I mention the Purple Prose? Well, there's plenty of it, and it's not done well. If you've read Lovecraft before reading this, you'll understand the pain one feels seeing someone ruin it in the most pretentious way possible. I can put that down to Meyer not realising that the style of writing she has purloined is not the ultimate style that all writers strive for, rather an elegant strategy only those who know their stuff can pull off right.
Bottom line: Bad story, poor writing, undeserved fame.
I wasn't disappointed by this book, mainly because I had no expectations for it whatsoever. And, maybe it's because I thought it was going to be horrible that I kind of enjoyed it. Yes, Edward and Bella are thin, flat, one-sidedly perfect characters and whatnot. And yes, I can't go three pages without reading about how pretty Edward is. And yes, Edward sparkles. I am well aware that the book is trash. I just couldn't put it down.
Ironically enough, If the book had been written about the minor characters, it may have been a better story. Carlisle's back-story, for example, was particularly engrossing.
My female classmates insisted I read the Twilight Saga. So I did, and I hated them. However, I was able to see that they did have some potential. The plot was actually fairly good—it's just that all the poorly done plotless romance got in the way. While the protagonists were flat and had no depth behind the relationship, there were good, likable characters. There's a ton of Purple Prose, yes, and it has major flaws, but the series had the potential to be a good one. Change the romance and protagonists so that they have actual depth, focus less on the romance and more on the impact the romance had on the plot, give the other characters some more screentime, make vampires a bit less...lame, and completely rewrite the final book. Then, it might have been a good series. As it stands, it's kind of crap.
I'm one of the few people in the world who actually read Stephenie Meyer's other book The Host before having even heard of Twilight. I enjoyed that book. So I went into Twilight expecting to like it. It was disappointing compared to The Host, but still worth reading.
The main problem with the series is the author fiat nature of the central relationship. There's a very rapid progression from "what's that guy's problem?" to "he's my one true love." Once that true love is established the reader must simply accept it as an unquestionable fact. An odd sort of Willing Suspension Of Disbelief is required.
This is particularly frustrating in the second book. When Meyer demonstrates her ability to write a character falling in love in a much more natural and satisfying way. Then consigns that character to third wheel status to protect the canon one true pairing.
The series starts to hit its stride with the introduction of the werewolves and Volturi (the vampires' self-appointed "royal family") in the second book. We start to see more of the mythology of the setting. The narrative becomes a little less tunnel visioned on Edward+Bella forever, and more about conflict between different groups of supernaturals. This comes to a head in the last book with a suitably tense final showdown. Though the final resolution is a bit out of left field.
Overall it was an enjoyable read, but nothing special. The intensity of both the fandom and the hatedom continues to amaze me.
I want to start with an admission: I did not go to this movie with an entirely open mind. I was not expecting to enjoy this movie. However, prohibited from snarking as I was, I figured I ought to give it a chance.
I'll start with the good points. This movie has an excellent soundtrack, featuring the diverse talents of Radiohead, Linkin Park, and Iron & Wine, among others. Carter Burwell's score is also great: dark yet emotive, very appropriate for a vampire romance, and highly listenable.
The pace of the movie is a vast improvement on the book; it's amazing what difference a little foreshadowing can make. The movie also has the decency not to skip over the action sequences. On screen, and accompanied by Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole", the baseball scene is actually pretty enjoyable.
The characters are a mixed bag. Bella is rather bland and uninteresting, but at least we aren't subjected to her constant wangsting about greenery as in the book. Edward is dark and brooding, but some of his lines are unintentionally silly, and his stalking of Bella is still creepy (more on that in a bit). Carlisle seems fairly cool, Rosalie is annoying, Alice is unexpectedly badass, and everyone else is rather forgettable.
Improved pacing notwithstanding, the plot suffers from many of same problems as that of the novel - namely, that it centres around a highly unrealistic and rather unhealthy seeming relationship between a doormat of a heroine and the vampire stalker who craves her blood. This is supposedly justified, because he's only bossing her about and following her around because he worries about her. Even if one overlooks the fact that this claim is frequently used in real life to justify the behaviour of abusive partners, the implications still seem to be that women are incapable of fending for themselves and need looking after, a rather dated viewpoint.
That said, it's probably best not to overanalyse what is, essentially, a light, fluffy romance intended for teenage viewers. Ultimately, this movie feels like a gothic, sparkly version of the Harry Potter movies, only with less interesting source material. It's certainly not groundbreaking, but on balance, it's not terrible, either. If you're curious about Twilight, but not masochistic enough to stomach Stephenie Meyer's prose, this is worth a look.
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