Book Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Teenaged vampires? Forbidden young love? You say a movie is coming out? Hand me the book! 
    I devoured Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight in just a few days during brief moments between editing jobs. Having always enjoyed vampire stories (Bram Stoker, Anne Rice), I figured it would be a lark to read this new young adult series that is getting so much attention.
    I wasn’t disappointed. Bella, the 17-year-old protagonist who moves to hated Forks, Washington—one of the rainiest places in North America—becomes infatuated with her new high school’s oddest and most beautiful boy. Edward is angelic, perfect in every way, except that Bella senses he instantly hates her the moment she sits next to him in Biology. Why should he despise her so completely one day, and then be so charming the next, taking her breath away and making her blood pound in her veins?
    Bella is a believable teen with depth and smarts. An awkward new girl in town, 
she has a habit of sublimating her own needs to make others happy. So it’s no surprise that she’ll easily sacrifice herself to save those she loves. This characteristic of teen girls—making decisions far from their own best interests—drives Bella steadily toward a precipice. She falls in love with Edward’s otherworldly beauty, inhuman skills, and sweet-smelling breath—all part of a vampire’s arsenal for tempting and hunting his prey.
    Edward has it all—godlike looks, amazing strength, a fast car—everything except a companion. Perpetually 17, mercurial Edward is powerfully attracted to Bella, despite his vow never to taste human blood. Perhaps it is because hers is the one human mind he cannot read, a mystery left unresolved in Twilight. Paradoxically both impetuous and wise (having lived more than a hundred years), he is tortured by his impossible love for a human girl. How can he protect Bella from his own bloodthirsty desire?
    A run-in with nomadic vampires lacking Edward’s refined sensibilities highlights just how dangerous vampires really are. During a titanic baseball game masked by thunderclaps, a vicious vampire on the hunt takes a fancy to Bella, tasty morsel that she is. The plot speeds toward an exciting confrontation between Bella, Edward, and the sadistic hunter with suspense and tension. Can Edward keep his fragile love out of the jaws of the perfect predator? One turns the pages quickly to find out.
    Meyer’s charming characters and dancing prose enliven the pages of her novel. Her style is clean, forthright, and a pleasure to read. She makes great use of her small-town setting, gloomy Forks, which is one of the few places an incognito bloodsucker can hide among mortals, thanks to the ever-present rainclouds. It is also the place to which sun-loving Bella dooms herself, and where her curiosity ultimately gets her into deadly trouble. I enjoyed Twilight’s skillful pacing, which repeatedly imperils Bella, then saves her, and pushes her and Edward to the brink.
    Although our fascination with vampires is old, the author’s innovations are delightful, surprising, and easy to accept. Of course Bella’s paramour cannot be seen in the sunlight; his alabaster skin glitters like crystal, refracting the light and revealing his vampiric nature.
    With an excellent grasp of the teen’s point of view and love of the macabre, Meyers explores the enduring themes of desire, hunger, faith, and self-sacrifice as essential parts of the humanity we all share. What would we do for our beloveds? Would we give them up to save them?
    Overall, I found Twilight a thoroughly enjoyable young adult novel, well suited for its genre and audience. I’m looking forward to reading Meyer’s sequel, New Moon.

Review by SarabellaE

7 Responses to “Book Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer”

  • parnasus
    November 28, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I have the second and last books if you’re interested. I did the third in strictly audio format. I finished the whole series in about a week, it was cute.
    Let me know.



  • lunagirl35
    November 29, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Em says to read them all !!! But then again she’s 13.


  • lunagirl35
    November 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Oh! and Em also says that Meyer’s other book, “The Host” is really good, too, but it’s mroe sci-fi.


  • kittiliscious
    December 1, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I’ve been wondering if I should read those books. Sounds like I should! Thanks for the review.


  • sarabellae
    December 2, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Tell Em thanks for the tip!


  • sarabellae
    December 2, 2008 at 12:34 am

    They are sweet. You might like them. Definitely aimed for a teen audience, though.


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