Twilight

I wanted to like Twilight.  I really did.  But seven chapters in (about one third of the book) and I’m still waiting for it to give me something to like.  Anything.

I don’t know about any of you reading this blog, but at my school you can’t pry the students away from their Twilight books.  The girls especially!  Some have been banned from reading it by their parents, so are reading their contraband at school, keeping it in their friend’s lockers.  The school librarians are even making students in years 7 & 8 bring in a note before they are allowed to borrow Twilight, such is the hype around this book.

I volunteered to read Twilight, if for no other reason than to see if we really need to be getting permission notes for lending it, but also because I love a good YA fiction series.  But so far the writing is so dreadfully bland, and the plot has barely moved.  Here is a rough idea of what is covered in the first 7 chapters of the book, told through they eyes of female protagonist Isabella (Bella) Swan:

  • She has moved to live with her Dad – the town is small, boring and cold
  • There is a boy at school called Edward Cullen. He is mysterious, and very good looking
  • Many other boys like Bella. she doesn’t see why, but is happy to use them
  • Sometimes Edward talks to her, and sometimes he doesn’t…boy, he is mysterious!
  • Sometimes Edward’s eyes are black, sometimes they are ‘honey coloured’…this is a mystery
  • Sometimes Edward is at school, and sometimes he is away. This is agonising. And mysterious.
  • …did I mention that Edward is good looking, and the town is cold?

Paragraph after paragraph of this.  ARGH!  And because it’s told in first-person (and because Bella is so boring and such a bad storyteller), we aren’t finding much out about any character other than her.

It is excruciatingly like being trapped in the mind of a love crazed 16 year old girl.

It’s like Mills and Boon for teenagers.

IT IS TRASH!

(seriously…have ANY adults read and liked Twilight?  Can ANYTHING redeem seven straight chapters of tripe?)

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  1. #1 by Leah on October 14, 2008 - 2:36 am

    Hi Kelli,

    I’m a huge Twilight fan, but I can see that it is not for everyone. Being in Bella’s head and all the mystery surrounding Edward is something that I really like about the book. You get to witness what it would be like to be a normal girl, who is suddenly surrounded by the supernatural. I love the way the writing is so simple, yet so beautiful.

    I agree that the beginning of Twilight is not the best part of the series. I think it was the author’s intent to drag it out and make it repetitive. It sets the precedent of what is to come.

    Throughout the rest of the book and the rest of the series, you definitely begin to learn much more about other characters. But seeing as it is all through the eyes of Bella, you don’t get to learn more about others until she does.

    There are many adults who are fans of the Twilight series. There is a huge organization called the TwilightMoms, comprised of women over the age of 25. I constantly see older people saying that they love the books. I think it’s a big misconception that the Twilight fandom is only made up of crazed teens.

    Most of all, Twilight is a beautiful love story. As I said, this isn’t for everyone.

    Anyway, just my opinion. I hope that gives you an idea as to why some people really love the series. I hope you find a book that you absolutely fall in love with, the way so many have embraced Twilight.

    -Leah

  2. #2 by kellimcgraw on October 14, 2008 - 8:46 pm

    Thank you so much Leah, this really gives me hope! Being only a third through the book obviously I’m not really into the great love story yet, and now I’m looking forward again to being swept up in this.

    I guess I cannot help but compare a book like Twilight to books like Harry Potter – only because, at a very basic level, they are both in the fantasy genre, they are both series books, and they are both written for children/teens (as well as having layers of meaning and value for an adult audience). In Harry Potter the audience often doesn’t find out about the other characters until Harry does (just like in Twilight), but I do think that Rowling’s character descriptions are so much richer than Meyer’s.

    The other thing that I don’t like about Meyer’s writing (so far) is that Bella’s observations are usually so laboured. When I read books like this, I enjoy looking for the ‘clues’ – but Meyer doesn’t seem to give the reader a lot of credit, repeating information and spelling everything out all the time. Maybe this is just to develop Bella’s ‘voice’ – she is meant to sound like a teenager after all – but that has been a big turn off for me.

    I will keep at it. Stay tuned for updates, I’ll let you know if I’ve changed my opinion by the end of the book!

  3. #3 by Leah on October 15, 2008 - 11:20 am

    To be honest, I have not read the Harry Potter series. I read bits and pieces of the books when I was younger, but I never really got hooked by the story the way I have with Twilight. Perhaps I should give them a chance again and try to read them. I do enjoy the movies.

    That being said, I can’t comment too much about how Meyer’s and Rowling’s character developments compare. I can definitely see how the books relate to eachother at a basic level. The fans surrounding both of the series seem to be quite similar as well. I think one of the biggest differences between the two is the way the authors approached the supernatural. Rowling created a whole new magic world, while Meyer set the magic in the real world.

    I will definitely watch for updates as you continue the book!

  4. #4 by kellimcgraw on October 17, 2008 - 11:56 pm

    Half way through, and the book is definitely growing on me. Though it seems a shame to waste half a book of reading to really get going. Very presumptuous to assume that readers will not lose interest!

    I’ve just written and update on the main page.

  5. #5 by aliice on October 20, 2008 - 1:23 pm

    u guys r sooo sadd
    wastin ur times talkin abtt twilight

    ohh plzz mann

    p.s. i would rather hav sexx

  6. #6 by kellimcgraw on October 20, 2008 - 4:21 pm

    …and yet, here you are, commenting on my blog.
    Nice to know how highly I rank on your priority list!

  7. #7 by Heidi on November 5, 2008 - 9:10 am

    The reason young girls adore this book is simple in my eyes. Edward is a singular character. He has eyes for one girl and one girl only. Bella Swan sees herself as undeserving and a lot of young women have the same feelings of inadequacy. Stephanie Meyer knows her audience well and writes to them with skill. I was bored by the whole Green, green, cold, icy.. blah, blah… icy, cold, marble.. etc and the phrase “a smile that didn’t reach his eyes” (or variation of that phrase) However I am reading the books for a second time and still can’t put it down.

    Did I mention I’m a 27 year old mom of two?

  8. #8 by kellimcgraw on November 5, 2008 - 10:22 pm

    Snap on the 27 years old bit, but no kiddies over here!

    Heidi, I am halfway through New Moon now, and I am finding the same thing – boring writing, but captivating story. I wonder if it is because it is so bland, that we find it easier to write ourselves into the part? It is such a page-turner!

    Still, I get a nagging feeling every time Edward talks about Bella being the the first person he has felt this way about…he has been alive so long, that it is just so unlikely! But does the ‘unlikely-ness’ of the supernatural stuff bother me? Nooooo! Just the melodrama of the storyline :)

    Had to laugh: ‘the phrase “a smile that didn’t reach his eyes” ‘
    Ha! Indeed…or the other half of the time “a smile that lightened his whole face” etc.

  9. #9 by Daniel on December 9, 2008 - 11:41 am

    It seems I’ve heard the phrase about a smile that didn’t reach the eyes, but I haven’t read Twilight. I wonder where it’s come up before.

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