Book Review – Twilight By Holly Stoner
Twilight – By Stephenie Meyer – Was #1 on NY Times Bestseller list – part of a 4 book series
Summery from the book’s inside cover – “When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human.”
The author, Stephenie Meyer, has now 4 novels behind her in the Twilight saga, as well as a new book, The Host. Here is my review of book 1 in the Twilight Saga, Twilight.
Looking at the book’s cover, it’s hard to really get a sense of what the book is about, but as you read, and understand, you do get a sense of the symbolism. Just 2 hands, cradling an apple, but as you open the book, flip through the first few pages, beyond the table of contents; there is a scripture reference that the author felt applied to the story. It’s a reference to the Bible story about Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit and the consequence of partaking in that.
This is a work of fiction, for young-adult readers. The title Twilight may not be immediately understood as to why the book was called that. The preface of the book does give you a glimpse of what might be coming later in the story. It’s somewhat of a spoiler if you read the table of contents, something I could have done without, however, it’s not overly revealing in this first book.
The story is centered on Bella Swan, as the summery states, a seventeen-year-old girl who just moved to a new place, to live with her dad, allowing her mother to travel to Florida with her new husband. Right away you can empathize with Bella. The new girl in town, one who never really felt she fit in anywhere, who obviously does not enjoy the spotlight, someone who thinks of others more than herself.
That said, as the story progresses we that learn that Bella is being referred to a teen that’s more mature for her age, having to play mom to her own mother. She doesn’t seem concerned so much with the same things that the other kids in school are, like dating, Friday night hang outs, and who’s taking who to the prom. She sort of makes friends, without really meaning too and is very nonchalant about it. Her personality seems to be one who goes with the flow, likes to keep to herself and not reveal too much about herself, and she has a very low self esteem. It’s a seemingly typical teenage angst story.
As stated, she meets a boy at school, not any ordinary boy, who changes her life, forever. His name is Edward Cullen. The story is written in first person, from Bella’s point of view, so we are reading all her thoughts as she marvels over this beautifully pale boy with bronze hair and golden eyes, although when they first meet, his eyes were the blackest of black. She became infatuated with him from the very beginning but he seemed repulsed by her.
The story is very visual; you can see the small grey town of Forks, by the vivid description that the author paints for you. The writing is done very well to keep you interested, and draw you in. You feel as though you are Bella, as you listen to her thoughts about herself, about Edward, his family and her own struggles; when Bella struggles with a specific aspect of her life, which mostly consists now of learning more about Edward, you struggle right along with her.
Of course no love story would be complete without some sort of conflict. The first is simple, just that she becomes desperate to for Edward to change her into a vampire so she can be with him for all eternity, something that he is dead set against doing. He doesn’t want her to be dammed like he is. The relationship progresses and they develop a closer bond, but all the while I couldn’t help thinking that it was merely because that is what Edward’s body was meant to do, the predator and his prey. Like the hunter using pheromones to attract the deer he’s about to shoot. She wouldn’t stand a chance against it. It’s what he was designed for.
The same is true of Edward being drawn to Bella’s scent, the sweet smell of her blood in her veins. Even though there are many new, interesting, and never before seen things about the authors vampires, one thing still holds true, they need blood to survive. But Edward and his family have chosen a life of non-human blood, and instead live off the blood of animals and are able to live amongst humans without killing them.
The action in this book is when the Cullen’s encounter three nomad vampires, who do feed on humans and encounter Bella accidentally. This is something that seems to happen to Bella over and over, she’s the damsel in distress, and Edward has an overwhelming desire to protect her throughout. He saves her on more than one occasion, which makes Bella feel merely human, as she is. At the end of the book she is still pleading to become a vampire but is happy enough, for now.
The theme is girl meets boy, maybe not a boy your parents approve of, the bad boy, the pretty boy, the one you’re so attracted to, but might not be much else there. Is it just a crush, or is it deeper than that? You’re still asking yourself this question by books end, since not a whole lot of time passes before they profess their love for one another. Edward lives his ‘life’ to protect Bella, but is that true love? There’s a sense that something more is about to happen since not everything has been wrapped up tight, and that’s when you need to move on to book 2, New Moon.
Overall I liked this book. It is very well written, with very good descriptions. You can see yourself in Bella’s shoes, you can feel how she felt though all her trials and triumphs. There is some humor in the book between the characters banter. One thing I did not particularly like is the fact that she seemed dependent on Edward for everything and I had the feeling it was more of lust, then love. All the talk of being a mature seventeen-year-old girl, I found that to be the opposite when it came to how she acted and felt about and around Edward. She almost seemed younger to me.
I give Stephenie Meyer big thumbs up for her imagination in this book. She takes vampires to a new place. If you take the element of vampires out though it’s just a teen trying to find herself, one who doesn’t think too highly of herself, but falls quickly in love with the gorgeous guy in school, who seemed uninterested at first, and then comes around. She’s very quick to want to end her own life, leave her family, and not think of anything but being with Edward.
Bella knows what she wants, and she will stop at nothing to get it. As happens in many teenage girls’ lives, she falls in love, it’s the happiest she’s ever been, and she never wants to lose that feeling, and so what if he happens to be a vampire.
There is absolutely nothing boring about this book. It kept my attention and kept me reading and wanting to know more and more. It’s a feel good love story for young adults with some elements of suspense mixed in. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. If you are a teen girl who’s over 16, yes, read it, and enjoy it. It may be geared toward teens, but many older women in their 20s and beyond have enjoyed and are enjoying this book, I am one of them.
SAMPLE TEXT FROM TWILIGHT
“I’m the world’s best predator, aren’t I? Everything about me invites you in -my voice, my face, even my smell. As if I need any of that!” – Edward to Bella (page 264)
“He pressed his cool lips delicately to my forehead, and the room spun. The smell of his breath, made it impossible to think.” – from page 319. Bella’s voice, book written in 1st person narrative.
I will be reviewing the other books in the series as well as I have read them all (about to finish Breaking Dawn). If you like my review, look for the others soon.