Twilight. It was the first book I read on my new Kindle. As I am one of the last people to read it, this review will include spoilers, although I assume most of you either already know the story, actively shy away from it or don't care.
I knew this book was about vampires, and thus, it seemed quite slow, as Bella spends the first half of the book figuring out vampires exist and that her crush, Edward, is indeed a vampire. I would have loved to not know it was about vampires because the slow reveal would have been immensely more interesting if the reader expected a non-paranormal young adult love story. I won't fault Meyer for how she chose to tell the story, but her writing wasn't strong enough to make me care how it happened. Bella, our heroine, is likable enough, I suppose. I was rather annoyed at her lack of self-esteem and lack of self-awareness in general, as she had friends and multiple boys asking her out her first week at a new school. Still, I understand the teen angst.
I also could only picture Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson as these characters. Obviously, I can't fault Meyer for the casting, but I don't get the appeal of Robert Pattison. Edward is described as resembling a Greek god and being so attractive even grown women can't stop themselves from staring at him. As a reader, I could not get past the un-godlike physique of Pattinson.
After Bella finally knows about Edward and his family, things start to happen. I actually enjoyed the second half of the book, and I was surprised how suspenseful it was even for me, who didn't feel a strong connection to the characters. Bella found genuine emotion to counteract her oft-annoying teen angst. I always find the history of vampires interesting, despite finding it a little creepy that someone alive for hundreds of years is interested in a teenager. Yes, I know he's always seventeen, but isn't adulthood more about understanding the perspective of time than being in a body that is seventeen? His mind is not seventeen. (To be fair, this old vampire with teenage or young girl love story would bother me less if stories of female vampires and young men existed too. Do they? I would read those stories.)
I found the ending fascinating. I loved Bella begging to be made a vampire so they could be together forever. What high school girl doesn't envision her life with her high school love forever? Edward's avoidance of this issue highlights their different emotional maturity (and again points out how he isn't actually seventeen because he understands time and consequences quite differently.)
All in all, it was an okay book. I liked the second half a lot, but I don't need to read it again. I will read the second book, New Moon. I will see the film version of Twilight on dvd and review it here tomorrow. I'm curious to see if my opinion of the book changes after seeing the film.
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Pages: 544 pages
Publication date: 2006
Source: I paid actual money to read it on my Kindle
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