Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight Review

Working at the library, I see Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" books go out the door as soon as they came back in. I wondered what all the hype was about, but really had no intention of reading the books until my good friend called me up and said they were the best books she has read. She read all of them in just four days and in fact she thought they were better than Harry Potter. Better than Harry Potter? Impossible. So I decided I had to find out for myself what is so great about the books.

Now I am in the midst of reading the Twilight series and have made it through the first three books, Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. I will be writting a review for each book with this being the first. If you haven't read the book but plan to, you may want to skip the review so I don't spoil any of the book for you. I personally hate it when any of the plot is revealed before I have had a chance to read it.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight is the story of a teenage girl named Bella Swan who moves from sunny Pheonix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with father. On her first day of school, Bella meets the unnaturally handsome Edward Cullen, who harbors and obvious yet unfounded dislike toward her. Despite Edward's aversion, Bella is mysteriously drawn to him. Then Edward unexpectedly saves Bella from being killed by a car sliding uncontrollably on ice. He shields Bella with his own body. Miraculously, he survives without so much as a scratch, fueling Bella's intense curiosity. Shortly after the accident they become friends; however, Bella begins to suspect that Edward is not entirely human.

On a trip to the ocean with some of her high school friends, Bella meets Jacob, a Quileute Native who lives on his tribe's reservation. Jacob tells Bella Quileute legends about "the cold ones" who feed off of human blood. According to legend, the Quileute "wolfmen" protect the tribe from "the cold ones" until a treaty was reached in recent years by a group of bloodrinkers who feed on animals only. The treaty allows "the cold ones" to live in peace and hunt animals, though they are not allowed on Quileute land. Bella then realizes that Edward isn't human, but a vampire, and she still wishes to be his friend. They soon fall in love and she discovers the reason behind his less than friendly behavior is that he is unresistably drawn to the scent of her and her blood. The story continues by illustrating the complications that arise from a human-vampire relationship until Bella is threatened by a human feeding vampire and the Cullen family is forced to fight for her life.

I enjoyed the book, though at times it was a little over-the-top romance as well as obviously written for a teenage audience. Meyer constantly reiterated Edward's beauty to the point of redundancy in the typical romance cliche style of the "he was so beautiful I kept forgetting to breathe" genre. This, however, was balanced out by wonderful storytelling and good character development.

Written as a first person narrative, the story is told by the main character, Bella. The fantastical world of Edward Cullen's vampire family is revealed slowly as she herself discovers them. This has the reader always wanting to know more, and makes the book hard to put down. Bella's character is that of a normal teenager, a little pessimistic, sarcastic and self-conscious, which makes her easy to identify with.

While the book is definately written for young adults, something that was strongly evident, by the end of the book I was engrossed enough in the story and characters that I was ready to read more. Meyer's has a beautifully descriptive writing style with a talent for subtle suspense, which kept me glued to the pages in search for the next discovery.

Stay tuned for the upcoming reviews of New Moon and Eclipse.

P.S. Harry Potter still wins.

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