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Showing 1-10 of 367 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on April 16, 2009
I seem to be the only teen/preteen girl who isn't obsessed with Twilight. Unlike the doting fangirls who seem to make up about 80% of the reviewers, I found it to be a bit like pudding~ simple and easy to swallow, but with absolutely no nutritional value.

We all know the story: Isabella Swan (what a dumb name!) moves to the rainy town of Forks, Washington to live with her divorced father, who can't cook anything despite having lived on his own for years. Bella enrolls in the local high school and meets the impossibly beautiful Edward Cullen, who she falls madly in love with within the first few months of knowing him. That was the first half of the book--after that, there's a lengthy period where not much happens, we just get lots of purple descriptions of Edward's magnificence, and how Bella couldn't possibly be good enough for this "Adonis-like creature", blah, blah, blah. Then near the end, this random evil vampire shows up to kill Bella, and--* Gasp *!?--Edward comes to her rescue.

All of the characters are extremely flat and undeveloped (some, notably Eric, shouldn't even exist), except for the two leads, who are at least two-dimensional rather than one-dimensional. But am I seriously supposed to care about these people? The only character I did like was Jacob, because he had the essence of an actual person.

Twilight has got to be the most blatant reader insertion/wish-fulfillment scenario I've ever read. It might as well be told in the second person. I mean, what teenage girl doesn't want a gorgeous vampire boyfriend (Meyer's thinking)? This is made even more blatant by the fact that Bella is very much a blank canvas onto which the reader can project herself; she doesn't have much of a personality besides being clumsy and fainting easily basically so Edward can come save her, and we never even get a good idea of what she looks like. She has no goals or ambitions--she simply wants to be with Edward 24/7. [" `I would rather die than stay away from you.'"]

And that brings us to Edward. In case you haven't gathered this already, he's inhumanly beautiful, as we're reminded at least once on every page. We constantly hear about his "angel's face", his "perfectly muscled chest", his "flawless lips", his "gold-colored eyes", etc., etc. His only defining personality trait is being very, very moody.

The two leads love each other for incredibly shallow reasons. Bella loves Edward because he's beautiful and mysterious and has saved her butt on numerous occasions because of her own penchant for getting into damsel-in-distress situations. Perhaps it's understandable she's infatuated with him, but "unconditionally and irrevocably in love"? Not right. After the halfway point in the book, she becomes annoyingly obsessed with him, not wanting to be away from him for more than two minutes.
Edward loves Bella because she smells good and he wants to take a big bite out of her jugular vein. Really, Stephenie Meyer, you could've done better than that.
It's clear even to me that their relationship is not a healthy one--it often borders in the obsessive, including the fact that Edward is protective of Bella to the point of stalking her--but Meyer romanticizes and idealizes it so supposedly no one will notice or care.

The writing style is just mediocre, with a distinctly amateurish, almost fanfiction-like atmosphere to it, as if the author were purposely dumbing it down for the target demographic. The main problem is that the characters rarely just "say" anything. Almost always, they have to "muse" it or "agree" it or "retort" it or "promise" it or "mutter" it, a feature that gets annoying after a while. [" `Very different', I agreed."] Meyer also has a tendency to overuse adverbs and adjectives, clearly with the intent of stretching out sentences ["I followed two unisex raincoats through the door." "His low voice was cold."]. She doesn't seem to be able to mention Edwards's eyes--as she often does--without also noting their color. And didn't it bother anyone else how much cringing, grimacing, glaring, and scowling there is going on?
To conclude this rant about the writing style, I feel obliged to mention this wonderful line from early on in the book: "Now my horrific day tomorrow would be just that much less dreadful."

There is no message to speak of... well, not a good one, anyway. There seem to be three here that are particularly wrong to be sending to the intended teenage female audience. The first is about the importance of external beauty. The second is about how life is not worth living without a man. The third is about how infatuation equals love, and that when you "love" someone, you should give up everything for them, even if it's dangerous to your well-being.

Twilight may be unoriginal, poorly written, and flimsy, but "boring" is one thing it's not. Despite at its heart being a true Meyer lemon (if you'll pardon the expression), it has a strange addictiveness to it that makes you want to keep reading through the mediocrity and trashiness. Perhaps it should simply be taken as mindless fun; you can enjoy it as long as you don't use your brain too much (i.e., at all). So when you're reading the book, just do as the song says...

"Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream..."

~~LJB, age 12

(Just don't spend too much time reading it, or your IQ might drop a few points.)
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on August 29, 2008
This book is great -- for people who don't write or who don't know what good writing looks like. Teens will love it.

Twilight is a mess, to put it bluntly. Smeyer is a fanfiction-level writer whose work should never have seen the light of day in its current condition. Did this book even HAVE an editor? Perhaps the editor had taken a vacation when this book somehow missed the slush pile.

Some issues:

1. Bella comments on the weather too much. Yes, we know you like the heat and don't like the rain.
2. Bella hammers it home that she's clumsy. How many times do we need to see her getting dizzy or falling over?
3. Her friends (Mike, Eric, Jessica, Angela et. al.) aren't real friends. They are just there to play off of. She's not really interested in or close with any of them. In fact she seems more annoyed by their existence than anything else.
4. Every male in school was hot for Bella when she got there. MarySue, there's a phone call for you.
5. Edward is too perfect.
6. There's no good reason for Edward to truly love Bella. He likes the smell of her blood, that's all. That's kinda shallow to build a relationship on, no? And Bella -- she doesn't seem to truly like him, she's "dazzled" by him and unable to resist him. Is pretty much having no will of your own in his presence equal to loving him?
7. Bella is never frightened of him enough. Because if she were, that would be very inconvenient for the plot.
8. Edward is always laughing, chuckling, amused etc. The whole thing's getting old.
9. Bella has an extraordinarily good relationship with her parents; she even chose to go to Forks to let her mom spend time with Phil. What 17 year-old would do something like that for her mom and stepfather, anyway? Take into account that Bella doesn't like the dreary weather in Forks; why would she go there? I couldn't see ME doing it, even if I was on great terms with my parents. Maybe for a week, but not any great length of time. What exactly is the motivation there? Did I miss it?
10. There's too much time spent telling me about all the little things Bella does. What she cooks and how, when she showers, more about the loudness of the truck, etc.
11. Edward can't read Bella's thoughts. There's no good reason for this except that again, it would really screw with the plot if he could.

Stephenie is so arbitrary with things. She seems unapologetic about not giving us good reasons for her choices. I want things to make sense! In the words of the X Files or something, "I want to believe"! I don't want to be sitting there wondering why Edward lights up like a disco ball when the sun hits him.

Another thing Smeyer did in the book was write, "My eye fell on the book on the table." Ack. Poor Bella's eyeball fell out! It would have been better to say, "My gaze fell..." Not the eye itself. There are jokes about this ... "She cast her eyes out to sea..." stuff like that.

My next technical problem is that at the end (SPOILERS AHEAD), Bella goes unconscious and when she wakes up she asks what happened to James and is told, "We took care of him." I'm sorry but I would have liked to have experienced the ACTION here. Show, don't tell! One of the main rules of writing. She made her main character UNCONSCIOUS in a first person story exactly at a time when the action was finally happening! We want to see the villain get his! we want to see it all happening -- Edward rescuing her and all! Can you imagine if the movie fades out when Bella does and comes back to have them say, "Oh, the whole action sequence was awesome but you missed it!" No, they're going to have a huge drawn out fight scene! People like that. And with Twilight, it has to be building up to SOMETHING. But it falls flat right at the end. Right when things should be gripping and fantastically fun, it's absolute nothingness!

JK ROwling plodded me through Chamber of Secrets until about 3 quarters of the way in, when everything started happening and when I got to that point it was great fun to read to the end. She has a habit of doing that in the HP books, but I know I'll get that good, fun ending. Look at Goblet of Fire -- all leading up to THAT ENDING! And what an ending it is. Exhilarating and gut wrenching. I *cried*! But with Twilight, I just find repetition (even in these last pages Edward is still chuckling and Bella is still talking about being uncoordinated) and blank spaces. The characters are good but not fleshed out enough.

This book is like a huge outline for a book -- so many good elements but very bad execution. I read it because I like the characters and want to know them better, but Smeyer seems to be stingy with their details. We learn more about Carlyle than Edward or anyone else. I'd like to know each of them better. Some of her explanations are just lame, too. What is with Bella (SPOILERS AHEAD) being all, "I don't care if I have to go through 3 days of agony to turn into a vampire and forsake my whole family -- I just want to beee with yooou!" That's a huge choice to make and she makes it so easily. She's like a stubborn child.

This could have been a good book if only a team of editors ripped it apart and took out all the fluff, filler and cliched writing. With so many truly obvious mistakes, I can't believe Smeyer has a degree in Literature.
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on August 12, 2008
Hundreds and thousands of fans couldn't possibly be wrong, could they? I figured with so much hype surrounding Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, there had to be something to it. So I took the plunge and dug in.

Now, please ... before hordes of young female fans climb all over me and shower my review with negative votes, I hope that they'll understand this review is being written by a fifty-something male for a similar audience. In summary, it just wasn't my cup of tea and I don't think it will be for any other male reader that's much past the age of twenty.

Bella is the seventeen year old daughter of a family split by a typical amicably negotiated divorce. Mom lives in Phoenix, Arizona, while her father, Charlie, is the police chief in Forks, Washington, a foggy, perpetually cloudy, rain-soaked stereotypical piece of small town America. The story is simplicity itself - Bella meets and falls in love with Edward Cullen, a boy in her class who coincidentally turns out to be a 100 year old vampire!

No less than the entire first half of the book is filled with endless breathless expressions of Bella's infatuation with Edward. Her adulation knows no bounds and while it was forgivable in the sense that it was probably a realistic portrayal of teenage first love, the mind-numbing repetitive nature of her hormonal utterings definitely started to grate on my nerves.

On the other hand, when Meyer FINALLY got around to telling the Cullen family story and outlining her somewhat modern mythology of the origin of vampires, the transmission of vampirism and their interaction with daylight and the regular world of the human species, things got genuinely interesting. But, too little too late, and even that bit of enjoyable quality was mitigated by the fact that the stars in Bella's eyes continued to shine unabated through the second half of the story.

Edward's perfection and Bella's hero-worship was simply too much for me. One star for the tedious repetition, four stars for the quality of Meyer's version of the vampire myth - that's two and a half stars on average. But I'll call it two stars because I also couldn't figure out why a 100 year old male vampire - a "man" by any standards even if he's housed in an eternally youthful boy's body - would be interested in a 17 year old girl. That was more than questionable to me. It actually started to push the needle on my moral meter into the red zone!

If you're a teenage girl, go for it with all the gusto you can manage. I'm sure you'll love it! If you're a male over the age of twenty-five, consider yourself warned. You'll probably have as much difficulty seeing the fascination as I did.

Paul Weiss
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on June 2, 2008
Twilight is, without a doubt, a thick book of fluff. It is melodramatic, cliche, ridiculous, and poorly written. And yet, it appeals to my inner vampire fangirl. The premise of "OH NOES, I AM ANGSTY VAMPIRE IN WUV WITH TEH HUMANZ" has been done to death and then some (pun intended), but taken as a fluffy bit of beach reading, Twilight isn't bad. Certainly, it doesn't make me want to throw the book against a wall like Poison Study did.

To recap, Isabella "Bella" Swan moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington because her mother's new husband travels a lot, and she would rather be miserable with her father in Podunk USA than make her mother unhappy by forcing her mother to stay home while new hubby travels for work. In Forks, Bella suddenly finds herself the Cutest Girl in School (tm), and inexplicably attracted to The Mysterious Hot Guy (tm), who seems to loathe her with the fury of a thousand suns the first time he sets eyes on her.

Turns out, Mysterious Hot Guy is named Edward Cullen, and after a long string of melodrama (involving a near car accident, near assault, a visit to a traditional Native American with Stories From The Past, etc) and an unbelievably useless search of the Internet for "vampires", Bella realizes that Edward and his family are indeed vampires, and the reason why he initially hates her so much is because she smells delicious, and he's hungry but "vegetarian".

More melodrama ensues, including a member of the family thinking the rest of the family is nuts for wanting to take up with a yummy smelling human girl, more accidents, the revelation that the reason why vampires don't go out in sunlight is because they glitter and sparkle in the sun, and a contrived showdown with a tribe of nomadic human eating vamps. The bad guys are killed, Edward is forced to drink Bella's blood to save her life but manages to stop in time because it's twu wuv, and Bella's injuries are explained away by her taking a tumble down some stairs and out a window. And all of this in time for Bella and Edward to go to prom (while thwarting Smarmy McJerkface, who lied and told the entire school he was taking Bella to prom).

Think I'm joking? I'm not. And the final nail in the coffin (whoo, vampire puns, I'm full of them) is the fact that Stephanie Meyer seems capable of only having one adjective per character, and writes some of the clunkiest sentences I've ever seen this side of high school.

And yet, I have a soft spot for vampire stories, and this one is innocent and earnest in all of its marshmallow-like fluffy Mary Sue, fanfiction wannabe sweetness. I just can't summon the fury to decry it as trash (which it undoubtedly is), but I would not demand everyone to go out and read it.

If I'm reduced to a grudging enjoyment of it, I can see why the fangirls, the tweens/early teens whom this novel is aimed directly at love it so. They don't know any better, and at the very least I can say they could be reading worse (the retinal scarring of Anne Rice or Laurell K Hamilton come to mind).

I will also say on record that Edward Cullen is an angsty, glittery ponce. Let the rabid hordes come at me with their pitchforks and torches.
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on May 16, 2008
Perhaps you're a fan of the vampire "genre." Perhaps you're looking for a little horror/romance. Or maybe, like most fans of this book, you're just looking for an unrealistic romance fantasy. Unless you fall into the latter category, you are bound to be disappointed.

The characters are supremely unrealistic--and just as uncreative. The heroine of the story, Bella Swan, is a typical damsel in distress. She has low self-esteem, despite the fact that she is apparently drop-dead gorgeous, and from the moment she enters her new school immediately has plenty of friends and admirers--and of course the required "jealous mean girls."

Aside from her self-esteem issues, Bella also has another problem. To put it bluntly, she is too stupid to live. Every chance she gets, she manages to put herself in danger--a fact that even the other characters mention. Despite having grown up in a city like Phoenix, she is naive enough to go wandering around the first unfamiliar town she comes to, and is almost raped by a gang of men (that she plans to fight off, instead of running away from). Luckily, her knight in shining armor, Edward appears out of nowhere to save her, in his shiny Volvo.
Later, she also goes to give up her own life by facing off against a vampire that wants to eat her, in order to try to save her mother--without telling the entire family of powerful vampires that she is friends with, or asking them for help. In fact, she does everything in her power to escape them, so that she can sacrifice herself without them trying to stop her.

Edward, besides being a vampire, is also apparently a stalker. Besides following Bella to another city, he also reveals that he has made a habit of breaking into her house and watching her sleep at night. And all this happens before they even begin dating. When Bella hears this, she is FLATTERED. Whereas she views her other admirers, who show their affection in far more normal ways (not the least of which by making her feel welcome in a completely new environment--something most teenagers would be grateful for), with mild annoyance.

Edward also does not suffer from ANY traditional vampire vulnerabilities. Not even sunlight. Why, then, do vampires stay out of the sun? Rather than burst into flame, they sparkle. Which would just draw too much attention.

Of course, he keeps the immortality, indestructibility, pale beauty, lighting fast reflexes, blinding speed, and all around perfection that comes with being a vampire, and is psychic to boot. The only drawback to his gift is that he requires blood to survive--which he gets from mountain lions.

Of course, such unrealistic characters deserve an equally unrealistic relationship. It is love at first sight for both characters. It is easy to see why Bella falls for the pretty boy, since his astounding, "god-like" beauty is described vividly at every opportunity, but why does Edward, who has had hundreds of years to find the perfect mate, choose Bella, a normal, clumsy, unremarkable, and reckless girl?
Well, we never really know--the closest thing to a reason we get is that she smells good.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, by all means, order this book. If you would like to imagine yourself the prettiest girl in school, who instantly makes friends, and has four or five admirers to turn down, before settling with her stalker vampire honey, who constantly saves her from her own stupidity, then you will love Twilight.

If you want a good read, with realistic and interesting characters and a plot that makes sense, look elsewhere. It won't be hard to find something better.
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on August 3, 2008
I Read this book in 3 days and yes I couldn't put it down. I really wanted it to catch some speed. It never did. This book is very half baked. The character development sucks and the characters are extremely boring and under developed. The author spent more time describing Bella's truck than the main characters, especially her father. They are some real fundamental flaws in the story. The main character is not lovable at all so you don't feel sorry for her, you don't feel for her and you don't cheer for her...Bad character development....

The book has many many pages, unfortunately, she wastes this "space" by repeating the same situations over and over,day after day after day. She went to the cafeteria, she sat down opposite of Edward, Mike tried to ask her out, Tyler asked her to prom, and that stupid BIOLOGY CLASS, over and over, biology class biology class...

The biggest problem with this book is that it's narrated from Bella's point of view. so she's the narrator and the most boring unambitious hopeless girl ever, so the book takes the very monotonous tone. How can a 100 year old amazing god like creature (BTW what the hell is up with casting that "ugly" guy for the main role?) fall in love with this incredibly boring individual? This entire book is about OH MY GOD HE"S SO CUTE and OH MY GOD SHE SMELLS SO GOOD. What happened to Character, substance and suspense? So after she falls in LOVE and find out he's a Vampire, it's like OH, you are a vampire....OK...does that Scare you? NO, are you surprised? NO.... The other thing that really bothered me that there was no rivalry no other girl that was in love with Edward the GOD...the entire town of FORKS never wonders that these weirdos who live among them might be vampires and no one else was in love with him? Jacob's family knows they are vampires but no one else does? the town folk don't whisper and talk...Give me a break. HUGE DISS APOINTMENT> VERY amature and I'm glad I'm a fast reader and I didn't waste too much time.
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VINE VOICEon August 23, 2007
I don't know, maybe it's because I read this book through adult eyes. Maybe it's because I have read dozens of books with vampires, and seen countless movies with them also. Maybe it's because the characters are so transparent I can see right through them. Whatever it is "Twilight" was disappointing.

I haven't found it yet, but I know it's out there. A website where you can enter in different words, variables, clichés and "Shrapoing" out pops a perfectly manageable Young Adult book. In this books case someone entered "brooding,gorgeous,pale,outsiders,misunderstood, danger,lonely,witty,highschool,good,vampire,beautiful"

No real storyline, unless a "good" vampire meets intelligent girl and they just HAVE To make it work, fits. If I were the Cullens, I would seriously cry fowl if I had to after moving somewhere go through high school over and over again, I mean that's just cruel. Bella, and Edward have no chemistry. I got no sense or feel or inkling of "they just fit" I find it hard to pay attention when characters aren't well fleshed out, but I finished this book and felt relieved I didn't have to endure it anymore. In a society where so little is placed on the literary arts, and so much is placed on trivial pattering I fear for the YA community in the future.

Reading the authors interview I now see why I couldn't get into this book. She has no clue what vampire lore is, the girl hasn't ever even seen a single vampire movie and her favorite vampire book is "the vampire lestat" which is the Worst of that series....Lestat as a rock star? I am still reeling from that bit of fluff.
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on August 19, 2008
All the fuss over this book was really making me curious to read it for myself. Romance is not my thing, but my curiosity wouldn't let me ignore the buzz. Killing some time as I was waiting to be seated at Olive Garden, I walked to a Borders Books in the same shopping center. In front of the store was a table dedicated to Twilight and the sequels. I gave in to my curiosity and decided to buy it. As I waited in the car for the restaurants pager to go off I started reading. Turned out my pager was dead so I got about 100 pages in. I guess I read close to another 50 later on that night. At this point I was totally baffled why this book was so successful. My journal entry for that day read "She is far from being the best writer in the world as some people are claiming. The whole premise is kind of silly. I'm not sure how much longer the book can go on before it is ridiculous."

Having just finished the book I agree with myself. The book is very cliché and predictable. Bella's name should be Mary Sue. I definitely feel the authors self insertion. Why doesn't Bella have any aspirations or dreams for her future? She acts like a house wife in the making. For being the main character her development is rather shallow. Besides being infatuated with Edward the only hobby she has is reading. How many times do we need a stock character that can't see her own beauty, has a man think for her, in love at first sight, pursued a male who has a secret, or is a damsel in distress? Young girls are swooning over Edward. Is he really someone you want a young girl to swoon over? He stalks and breaks in to watch Bella sleep. What 100+ person would even want to be around a teenager let alone date one? Supposedly he has hunted and eaten people, but he is 100+ year old virgin because he wouldn't have sex with someone he didn't love. Not to mention that he claimed he could accidently crush the person. Wouldn't he rather crush someone he had a one night stand with then a loved one? He could have a snack after too.

One thing that stood out when I was only 150 pages in was how everyone was depicted as beautiful. Pretty much the only people who weren't, the old lady in the book store and Bella's almost rapist. By using the Amazon search inside feature I found that she refers to how beautiful everyone is 50 times. That's a lot considering how thin the plot is. In a nutshell the book is, I hate the rain and Edward is a hot vampire. Eyes are also over mentioned. The word appears 293 times. Most of the sentences in the book start with "I..." It's like reading a diary of ditsy teeny bopper.

Up to page 375 there is hardly any action. This action ends on page 451. With 498 pages you think there would be more the 47 pages of something happening. This book should not have gone over the 200 page mark. Even with trimming off 300 pages there would still be a lot of filler.

Fans tell those who aren't drooling over the books to not take the book so seriously or to not suspect much from a young adult book. Have these fans not heard of C.S Lewis? Why can only Twilighties write a serious review? People read reviews to learn the good and the bad points. Not to mention criticism helps a writer grow.
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on October 24, 2006
"Average" girl from Phoenix moves to Seattle to live with her father after her mother's remarriage. Suddenly, she's beautiful and popular. Meets boy who looks like Greek god. Falls in lurve. Boy says "I'm too dangerous for you". Girl says "I don't care. I loooooooove you." Boy turns out to be vampire. Girl doesn't care. Because she looooooves him. They makeout for the remainder of the book. The End.

Here are my problems with Twilight:
1. S.A.S. Selfish, Angsty, and Shallow. Once Bella and Edward realize their love for each other, they simply don't care about anybody else. "True Love" is never selfish. Honestly: Edward is over 100 years old--yet he never seemed to have got over the angst stage in life. Both Bella and Edward come across as extremely shallow and unbelievable. Bella faints when she sees a drop of blood, but she doesn't give a darn that one of the reasons Edward likes her is because he wants her blood. Also, she is unaccountably clumsy. People as clumsy as Bella usually get put in straight jackets---except Bella's clumsiness is (italics, please) attractive.
2. The characters are not believable. Bella talks like a whiny, middle-aged woman, not a "mature" 17-year-old. Edward is the reverse: he comes across as an angsty teen when he is really 100+.
3. The whole "damsel in distress" plot is getting old. One hundred years ago, it could have been believeable, but things are different now; Bella needs to buck up and use her brain for once.
4. After Bella and Edward meet, they fall in love without getting to know each other. They spend more time making out then talking to each other. Love-at-first-sight doesn't mean that you're all set to have a relationship with that person without actually knowing them.
5. Plot holes. So many plot holes. The novel was not thought out very well. Maybe the first draft was published by accident. The biggest plot hole was in Bella and Edward's attraction for each other. Basically, Bella fell in love with Edward because he was different, amazing, perfect (just to top off a long list of dazzling adjectives). Edward fell in love with Bella because she was different--although I didn't buy that one. Bella begs Edward to turn her into a vampire, but neither of them seem to realize that if Bella is a vampire, their attraction for each other is over. Then Bella is stuck in immortality with a guy she no longer feels attracted to.
6. Bella, again. The whole time I was reading Twilight, there was something nagging me about Bella and I couldn't figure out what it was. I turned the last page and saw the picture of the author. She looked almost exactly like my mental image of Bella. It occurred to me that the author used A LOT of personal experience in creating Bella. Big mistake. You can't try blending yourself into a fictional person. It's an unbalanced equation: it just won't work.

This book made me almost ashamed to be a 16 year old female. Are teenagers of the female sex all this stupid and pathetic? For the love of God I hope not. If you want a modern vampire story, read "Sunshine" by Robin McKinley.
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on August 27, 2008
If you love Twilight, have an open mind.
If you don't, WOW - we're a rare breed.
If you haven't read it, I suggest you don't. Here's why:

At the start of the summer, I bought into the hype and ordered my copy of Twilight from Amazon. I figured if this much people love it, how bad can it be?

Very bad, apparently.

The premise is a teenage girl, Bella Swan, who moves to a new town where she falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen. It really had the potential to be good, or at least decent. But it is at the plot and character development where Meyer failed - big time.

The heroine, Bella, is completely one-dimensional. Everything about her seems highly unrealistic. I know this is fiction, but fiction writers are supposed to make things more interesting - not the other way around. She is unbelievably clumsy, describes herself as plain-looking, and unbearably dull. Her favourite activities include glaring and grimacing. Yet somehow, she inexplicably attracts several boys at her new school, including Edward.

When Bella first sees Edward, she is struck by how beautiful he is. After a series of damsel-in-distress and hero-to-the-rescue mishaps, she falls in love with him. When Edward reciprocates her affection, despite his attempt not to, they engage in verboten romance.

Unfortunately, Meyer spent way too much time dwelling on Edward's impossibly good looks and Bella's boring life that it just didn't work.

Eventually, after seventeen chapters of mushy stuff, the plot finally picked up. The action was highly predictable, though admittedly exciting. But it died quickly, and we're back to where we started from - Bella and Edward, the star-crossed lovers and their forbidden love.

My biggest complaint about the book is Bella's total dependence on Edward. She is completely helpless as a person, and needs a boy to validate her worth. Not to mention superficial. Would she have even fallen in love with Edward in the first place if it weren't for his looks? Probably not.

Meyer could be a good romance novelist. Certainly, her long-winded descriptions are impeccable. But as YA fiction writer, her debut novel is mediocre at best.
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