Book Reviews

Book Review: Twilight

So here it is, the first book review of the year. Exciting, right?

I’ve literally just finished reading Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer.

If I were editing it, or reading it on Fiction Press, my review would begin something like this:

“Prologue is nice, but the last sentence could be reworked to add a bit more suspense and make it more of a cliffhanger. Perhaps “He sauntered forward to kill me,  and his friendly smile drilled fear into my chest.”

Throughout the story, you begin many of your sentences with the same word or phrase in succession, and it’s repetitive. (“it was” is one of them.) Also, we should know what Bella looks like before you say that “my mother looks like me” otherwise the phrase has absolutely no significance.

“… full of papers and brightly colored flyers..” — should be “fliers” not “flyers.” (Flyers= a device that twists yarn.)”

But I’m not editing, I’m just reviewing.  So I will spare you all from reading my edits, and get straight to the overall review.

I said a while ago that I had the feeing Twilight would be one of those books that only  brought out the extreme lovers and the extreme haters, because normal people read it, forget about it, and don’t let it control their lives. I figured that most people either give it way too much credit, or way too much critique.

I was right. It’s one of those books that is very enjoyable while you’re reading it, but easily forgotten once you’ve finished, unless you’re swayed by extreme hate or extreme obsession. Even though I’ve just finished reading the book, I can’t really recall one single scene or character that stands out. It hasn’t produced any lingering feeling in me other than “thank goodness I’m finally done!”

Not that I didn’t like it, I was just ready to be done reading the story.

The first three-quarters of the book blur together into a sequence of mundane chapters detailing the inconsequential life of Bella Swan, a normal 17-year-old teen living in a small, rainy town in Washington state. The only abnormal thing in her life is Edward, who is (of course) a vampire. An abnormal one, who doesn’t drink human blood, sparkles in the sunlight, is going through high-school again for lack of anything better to do, and has been seventeen for somewhere around a hundred years.

Somehow, despite the many abnormal things about Edward and his “family,” nobody at the high-school seems to really care or notice that they don’t eat, that they’re unusually pale, and that they’re constantly away from school. Nobody, that is, excepting the heroine of the story.

I was a little bored by the end of the book, when things finally started to happen, because nothing happens in the first part. Oh, except that Bella is a wee bit obsessed with Edward because he’s angelic, beautiful, dazzling, breathtaking, stunning, gorgeous… etc. Take your pick. I was annoyed with how many times Bella/S.Meyer mentioned the fact that Edward is perfect, and I wanted to say “Yes, we know. Edward is beyond beautiful and perfect and muscled and pale and gorgeous, now get ON with the story!”

Really, Bella is more of a creeper than Edward is if you think about it. Talk about obsessive… (On a side note, Bella seemed a bit too emotionally involved with Edward solely based on his physical appearance. It irritated me, because it wasn’t very realistic. But he is a vampire so I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and say that his vampiric skills had something to do with it.)

Overall, though… I honestly can’t say. I was annoyed by the ways that Meyer’s writing technique needed improvement, but the story itself was… okay, I guess. Edward has more character than people give him credit for- he’s not as brooding and stoic in the beginning as he’s widely said to be- and Bella isn’t as whiny as people think she is. And I will credit Meyer where credit is due and say she has the talent of writing about nothing at all and making it somewhat entertaining to read.  I think that perhaps with a few years of experience to hone her skills, she could become quite the author.

I suppose my rating for Twilight would be… C. It’s not an amazing piece of literature, yet neither is it a horrible one. It’s engaging while you’re reading it, but completely forgettable once you’ve finished. The characters are average, the basic plot has been done before, and only the insignificant and completely unimportant details – such as sparkling vampires- make it slightly different from any other teen vampire fiction.

It’s not a book I’d care to read again, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it if they so desired. My biggest critique would be that it was drawn out too long with too little happening, and my biggest praise would be… it’s… not as bad as everyone says it is? I’m sorry I can’t think of anything better, but I’ve forgotten half the book already.

So read Twilight if you want, or leave it. It was entertaining while it lasted, but it’s not something I’ll be reading again, nor is it something I’d necessarily recommend to anyone, merely because I’d forget about it.

I’ll be reading all four books in the series, but I’m only going to read one per month so that I can review any other literature I read in the meantime.

Like my book reviews? I’ll be doing them every Tuesday. Tune in next week… I’m pretty sure I’ll be reviewing The Stepford Wives.