Twilight – Book Review

Twilight

by Stephenie Meyer

ISBN:9781904233657

No. of pages: 434

Published: 22/3/2007, First Published: 2006

Did I like it?… Yes, loved it.

Do I know why?… Not really sure.  Could be the romantic in me or maybe the cover is laced with something addictive.

The story of Bella Swan, a freakishly rational teenager who moves from hot sunny Phoenix to a little rain soaked town called Forks, to live with her dad.   That, in itself, should be fodder enough for a great teen angst story but throw in some sexy mythical beasties and you’ve got something special.

Bella’s first day at school introduces her to the Cullens.  An unnaturally attractive family with a secret and Bella finds herself fascinated by the youngest Cullen, Edward.  However, her compulsion to be with him puts her in mortal peril.  Edward also is drawn to the new girl in school but for two very different reasons.  One, being an intense curiosity and infatuation; the other would drain her of her blood and expose him as a vampire.  The Cullens battle their true nature and do not hunt humans but Bella’s scent is so delicious to Edward it threatens to unravel the peaceful life they have made for themselves.   How can they love each other and manage to keep Bella alive.  We’ve all dreamt about being in a fairytale but what if  the myths turned out to be true, the good and the evil?

Stephenie Meyer has created a beautiful compelling tale about teenage love and sexual discovery.  Each book isn’t action packed throughout but holds you in suspense for something to come.  The action does pick up dramatically toward the end and leaves you hungry for the next book. After finishing Twilight I madly scrambled to the book store to buy the 2nd book before closing time – made it as the grates were being pulled down and left with New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I just had to know more about the strange couple and their families and friends.

Twilight deals with teenage sexual discovery in a lovely simple and moral manner.  It certainly isn’t prudish but it is refreshing to not have too much rubbed in your face.  In fact the series is quite sensual.  Despite her frustrating and I’m sure deliberate technique of leaving all the action till the end, Stephenie Meyer converted me from reader to fan with one book.

I have to admit to struggling with the characters at first.  Being a 40+yo mum makes being in a drama filled teenage mind a hard place to be. So I found Bella and Edward really annoying.  Before all you twilighters crucify me, let me explain further.  They were supposed to be mature for their ages but there was still lots of teenage drama and it was wearing on me.  I had trouble accepting a teenage character who is happy to cook, clean and do the laundry.   Who has one of those teens? The obsessive nature of the relationship also set off alarms for me and Edward watching her at night was so uncomfortable.  So after checking my 40yo response, I decided that a vampire would sneek around stalking beautiful damsels.  I also decided that a book aimed at a young adult audience would contain ‘all consuming’ romance.  That’s when I got past my discomfort and started to enjoy myself.

I now like Bella very much and after reading the part outlining her reading tastes, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, I realise why I like her.  She very much reminds me of some of Jane Austen’s women but with a little more drama thrown in.  I’m not sure if Stephenie Meyer wrote her with them in mind but I definately see similar qualities.   I’ve always thought that every young woman needs to be introduced to Jane Austen.  She created the most glorious women, smart, strong but not without faults.   They wouldn’t accept that they had to compromise themselves to achieve everything their hearts desired.  These women lived in a time that oppressed them but Austen wrote characters that could achieve free thought, occupation, family and love without needing to think or act like men to achieve it.  This is how I see Bella.  Stephenie Meyer has created a lovely smart young woman, with a strong sense of right and wrong, frightened by her failings but unable to be anything other than who she is.  She finds the strength to withstand the social barriers and dangers presented by her intense relationship with Edward.

Edward, what can I say about Edward.  His strength to resist both her blood and her body just makes him all that more sexy.  I’m sure Stephenie Meyer must have developed a crush on Edward while she was writing him – I’m sure I would have.  What a wonderful character to create.  Sorry to keep harping back to Jane Austen but Edward could easily be a wonderful Austen man.  Mr Darcy with immortal life is almost too delicious to bear.   Despite being a century old, Edward has to confront his 17 year old teen self for the first time.  Delightfully, his journey into love and sexual discovery is just as new as Bella’s.  Twilight is a love story, all be it complicated by marauding mythical creatures .

I discovered Twilight at a time when I was recovering from extended illness and I was quite out of touch with myself.  I couldn’t trust my feelings or instincts and was really quite frightened about how long it was taking to recover.  Twilight did something for me that I can’t quite put my finger on.  This simple, innocent love story  somehow helped me to feel human again.  My copy of the series is now well on it’s way to becoming the most well read on our shelves.

Falling in love ages us all.  You cannot feel intense love without exposing ourselves to intense pain but what a wonderful gift for growing up.

Thank you Stephenie Meyer for giving us…. Twilight.

Posted on 24 July '09 by , under Paranormal Fantasy, Reviews, SciFi/Fantasy, Young Adult.

One Comment to “Twilight – Book Review”

#1 Posted by Twitted by michrm (27.07.09 at 07:33 )

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