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209 of 260 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Story, albeit Plagued with Problems
Bottom Line: The author really didn't have enough time to let this mature, and didn't have a good editor. You need both to create something really enduring.

I read an article the other day in the Dallas Morning News about the disposable book: how publishers are now out to milk authors for all they can get in the short-term, with no thought to longevity or...
Published on July 22, 2008 by Ruthie

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1,230 of 1,398 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a rainy day fantasy...
It seems this book has received massive amounts of acclaim, but I never heard of it until I decided to watch The Dark Knight. A preview for the movie Twilight came on and mentioned that it was based on the best-selling novel by Stephenie Meyer. Since the preview looked good and I prefer to read books before seeing the movie, I picked up a copy.

Now that you...
Published on July 27, 2008 by T. Adlam


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1,230 of 1,398 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a rainy day fantasy..., July 27, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It seems this book has received massive amounts of acclaim, but I never heard of it until I decided to watch The Dark Knight. A preview for the movie Twilight came on and mentioned that it was based on the best-selling novel by Stephenie Meyer. Since the preview looked good and I prefer to read books before seeing the movie, I picked up a copy.

Now that you know why I purchased the book, I should also mention that I'm not necessarily the target demographic and haven't been for a few years. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the good YA fantasy fiction book every now and again. (I've been called a perpetual teenager on more than one occasion.)

I'm going to try and keep this review as spoiler-free as possible. In case you haven't already gathered it from other reviews, or the book description itself, Twilight is about a young girl named Bella Swan who moves to Forks, Washington and finds herself in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen. The climax of the story happens when a vampire who doesn't abstain from feasting on humans, as the Cullen coven does, decides he wants Bella. Up until this point (first three quarters), the novel progresses at a moderate, but not lagging pace and then instantly picks up.

The book itself is a rather easy read, however, the characters seem somewhat shallow. Bella is supposed to be an honour student, but behaves exactly the opposite. Edward, who has been in existence for more than a hundred years, should be more intelligent and far wiser than is portrayed in his character. Armed with this tidbit about him, Meyer had plenty of room to play around and mold him into so much more, but never truly took that opportunity.

In fact, after finishing the first book (I've read both Twilight and New Moon), I wondered what a century old vampire might find utterly attractive in a seemingly average 17 year old girl, besides the fact that she smelled delectable, could pick out a common tune by Debussy, and had a penchant for identifying the mitotic phases of an onion. Even Bella herself wonders the same thing and makes it plainly obvious by asking almost every other page what this magnificent Adonis can possibly see in her, which became rather tiring.

(On another note, I'm still trying to figure out how any person with dark circles under his eyes and lavender eyelids can be likened to Adonis. It could just be me, but the way Meyer described their features, I couldn't help imagining a well-fed crack fiend half the time.)

While I don't understand how the love between Bella and Edward can be so true and deep as made out in the book, considering they only knew each other for a few months, I can understand how Bella formed such a strong attachment to Edward: he saved her life on more than one occasion and, in a sense, has become her personal Superman. Is this right thinking? Dunno, but I guess constantly saving a girl who can barely walk without tripping does equate to being inexplicably lovable.

By the end of the novel, I realized that Bella's character, though stubborn, was unbelievably insecure--more so than one would expect from the typical teenage girl--and Edward, arrogant as he can be, used this insecurity to his benefit (whether consciously or not), thus causing multiple crises of conscience for "putting [her] in harm's way".

When one really steps back from this novel and looks at the entire scope of it, the true dysfunction of their unhealthy relationship is obviously apparent.

Plus, Meyer's overuse of the word incredulous began grating on my senses, not to mention all the glaring, whining, cringing, grimacing, and her overwhelming need to append a "he said" or "she said" to almost every bit of dialog that transpired. (Surely, even truly young minds are able to keep up with the general flow of dialog). And let's not get started on the editing: You know the editor was asleep at the wheel, or either non-existent, when there's a glaring grammatical error within the first ten pages.

But, despite all of that, I enjoyed the book. Meyer is a wonderful storyteller. There was a cliffhanger at the end of each bite-sized chapter pressing the reader to continue on, if for no other reason than to see who else is glaring or grimacing at whom. The story also had a light-hearted comedic edge which played in its favor.

Rather than feeling as though I were trudging through a heavy piece of fantasy fiction, I was able to let my mind relax and float into the story as if I were watching some strangely intoxicating reality show about a clumsy teenage girl and a thoroughly confused vampire. In the end, despite their flaws and not fully understanding their logic or reasoning, I even enjoyed the characters Meyer created.

This is a novel you should pick up when you just want to shut off your brain for a little while and escape reality. Basically, you shouldn't try to read this novel with too serious an eye. Ideally, it should be read while curled up in your most comfortable outfit eating your favorite snack with the lights dimmed, and television and phone turned off.
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1,915 of 2,192 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Are you guys serious?, December 1, 2008
This review is from: Twilight (Hardcover)
I don't get it. I just don't get it. I thought young adult fiction had hit its low point with Eragon, but apparently I was wrong. Bella Swan (literally, "beautiful swan," which should be a red flag to any discerning reader) moves to the rainy town of Forks, and the whining begins on page 1. She goes to live with her father Charlie, and is quickly established to be a mopey, ungrateful, self-pitying little toerag. Bella then attends her new school, which turns out to be an all-out caricature of high school with about zero (rounding up) grounding in real life. Her classmates' reaction can be summed up thusly: "OMG. NEW STUDENT. OMG YOU GUYS, NEW STUDENT. STARE AT HER, FOR SHE IS CLEARLY SUPERIOR TO US." Bella Sue is promptly adored by everyone in the school, except the mysterious Cullens, who spend their time brooding, being pretty, smoldering, being perfect, and sparkling. No, seriously. NO, SERIOUSLY. Bella meets Edward, the Culleniest of the Cullens, (meaning he is more perfect and emo than the rest of them,) they fall in love within thirty pages, (much of this time is spent in Bella's head going back and forth between "Does he like me?" "Does he hate me?" "Do I like him?" "Why does he hate me?" and on and on and on AND ON. That is, when she's not being a horrible snobby twit to the boys at school who show affection in genuinely sweet ways, i.e., not breaking into her house and watching her while she sleeps. While she sleeps. Not knowing that he's there. IN HER HOUSE.) The plot shows up somewhere in the last fifty pages, which involves an EVIIIIIILL vampire named James who wants to eat Bella. James is the only character I like.

I generally try to find something redeeming about books, but I honestly have nothing good to say about this drivel. Meyer writes as if the reader is an absolute idiot who has to be told every sing tiny little thing; we are never given the chance to interpret what's going on in the characters' heads. There is no mystery, no intrigue, no suspense. The characters themselves are cut-and-dried, stereotypical, and maddeningly unoriginal. Bella's (supposedly) the clever, beautiful heroine, Edward's the dark, brooding bad boy, James is... uh, the guy that wants to eat Bella. Meyer clearly wants Bella to be a strong female character, but the horrible sad truth is that she's pathetic. Bella follows Edward's every word religiously, never sticks up for herself, has no spine to speak of, plays Suzie Housewife to her father, and has no existence outside of her "romance" with Edward. On that note, let it be said that Nathaniel Hawthorne got more romance into a few lines about a rosebush than Meyer managed to cram into 400 pages. Edward and Bella's relationship consists almost entirely of staring at each other dewey-eyed and arguing about who's prettier (NO I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.)

You know what? This could have been a great book if Meyer had focussed more on the relationship between the leads, (and treated it for what it is: unhealthy, creepy, pathetic, borderline psychopathic,) and less on how perfect Edward is (interesting note: the word "perfect" or related terms like "flawless" are used to describe Edward more than a hundred times. That's just bad writing, guys.) What burns me up most about this book is that Edward and Bella are obviously meant to portray the perfect couple. Yeah, I really want my hypothetical daughter to walk out on her family for a guy she barely knows, invite said guy to sleep in her bed, have absolutely no life outside of said guy, and turn into a sniveling wreck when this guy looks at her the wrong way. And I also really want my hypothetical son to break into his girlfriend's house and watch her sleep (SERIOUSLY, GUYS?) , abandon whatever life he has so he can stalk this girl, and be so possessive of her that he throws a fit whenever she so much as looks at someone other than him. And people think these two are good role models? WHAT. JUST WHAT.

This book really wouldn't bother me if it were being taken for what it is: a silly, sappy, shallow, juvenile, wish-fulfilling rag. The fact is, everyone is going on about how its literary merit rivals the frakking "Scarlet Letter" and how Bella Swan is the new Elizabeth Bennet (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?). "Twilight" should be rotting on some publisher's desk in a pile of rejection letters; not being lauded as the greatest novel since "Pride and Prejudice." I weep for literature.
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1,656 of 1,931 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The legends are true; the vampires sparkle, May 27, 2008
By 
Elizabeth A. Barr (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I wasn't going to read this, but all the sparkly text and hystrionics on the internet piqued my curiosity. It took a couple of goes to get into it, but once the story hooked me, I found it difficult to put the book down -- except for those moments when I had to stop and shriek at my friends, "SPARKLY VAMPIRES!" or "VAMPIRE BASEBALL!" or "WHY IS BELLA SO STUPID?" These moments came increasingly often as I reached the climactic chapters, until I simply reached the point where I had to stop and flail around laughing.

The plot revolves around Bella Swan, a Mary Sue whose primary skills seem to be having a martyr complex, attracting trouble, and falling down. She moves to the rainy town of Forks to live with her father after some banal shenanigans make it impossible to live with her mother. Or so she likes to claim, but like I said, one of Bella's superpowers is Being a Martyr. At her new school, Bella is instantly feted as the queen of the social scene -- everyone likes her except (shock!) the impossibly beautiful Edward Cullen. Who is a vampire.

(Particularly grating is Bella's OUTRAGE that the normal boys of Forks like her and want to spend time with her, and express this by being friendly and openly indicating that they have a romantic interest in her. I mean, sure, it's awkward being the subject of unwanted romantic attention -- or so I've heard -- but at least they're not playing creepy mind games and breaking into her house to watch her sleeping, because that would be -- oh, hang on...)

Edward doesn't actually hate Bella, he simply lusts after her. I mean, wants to suck her blood. I mean, sniff after her creepily. Bella apparently poses a threat to the entire non-evil vampiric subculture, so of course Edward asks her to go steady with him. But not until they've spent many, many, many chapters engaged in tedious 'banter' that is possibly intended to remind the reader of Pride and Prejudice, or at least, remind the reader of some fanfic based on a loose film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Then they hook up, and Edward glitters in the sun a bit.

Then some evil vampires turn up, one of whom is obsessed with Bella. Why? Because her blood just smells that good. Apparently there are sequels -- well, there's no "apparently" about it, I can see the sequels from where I'm sitting -- but unless they involve Bella Swan and the entire town of Forks being obliterated in a nuclear devastation, I don't intend to read them.

Twilight should be taken as mindless fun, but it has a lot of subtextual ugliness that makes its popularity disquieting. Bella is one of the most useless, insipid heroines I've encountered in a long time -- and I genuinely love Fanny Price, btw -- while Edward is like a textbook example of a creepy stalker boyfriend. There's a strong element of wish fulfillment -- average girl attracts bad boy who's willing to change for her -- but I cannot be comfortable with a text that portrays abuse as love. Apparently, the series is popular for its abstinence subtext -- Edward and Bella can't be together until their relationship has taken the proper form, that is, Bella's a vampire -- but possibly parents should be wondering if it's really a good idea to conflate "marriage" with "death".

Or, possibly, I'm overthinking. When a series has become this massive, I don't think it hurts to give some serious brain-time to the question of what, exactly, is being consumed.
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246 of 284 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Best book of the decade? Really?, April 16, 2009
A Kid's Review
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.

{{WARNING! THIS PARAGRAPH CONTAINS SPOILERS!}}
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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516 of 601 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars did anyone actually read this book before it went to print?, November 29, 2007
By 
M. Lohrke (Saratoga Springs, UT) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
there are so many problems with this book that i can't even begin to address them all. but i will say this, 'twilight' is probably one of the worst, if not THE worst, books i've ever read. the writing is amateurish at best [cliches, stereotypes, purple prose--how anyone can applaud meyer's prose is puzzling]; the editing--or lack thereof--is appalling [this is a 200 page novel, no more and probably less]; the grammar and syntax are unforgivably bad; the plot is onion-skin thin; and the characters are uniformly dull and uninspiring.

it's hard to imagine how so many people got suckered into this book. the novel's protagonist, bella swan [really? i mean, really?], is a complete idiot. she has no dreams, no motivations, no ambitions, no hopes, no goals, and not a single original thought of her own. she spends 500 pages spewing endless platitudes and commenting on edwards 'perfect face,' 'amber eyes,' and 'perfectly-muscled chest' ad nauseum [those references number in the HUNDREDS, easily]. she constantly wonders why edward, a 100-year old domineering vampire, wants her. apparently she's the only one who doesn't realize how 'beautiful' she is. honestly, this is the kind of novel you'd expect see selling for $1.99 at the supermarket checkout, not winning all sorts of awards. at one point i was half-expecting to close the book and find de-shirted fabio on the cover. and a glittery vampire? gimme a break.

frankly, i'm mystified at its popularity. if nothing else, i guess it goes to show what clever marketing and stories of wish-fulfillment and so-called 'forbidden love' can do to some women. it's made meyer a multi-millionaire, i'm sure, and turned her publisher into a cash cow. i don't begrudge anyone his or her success, but when it comes via a turd like 'twilight,' it's well, more than a tad saddening.

what's even more disheartening are the 'twlight' apologists who say that 'at least young women are reading!' [as if reading trash is preferable to not reading at all.] i guess you could make that argument, but with that kind of logic you might as well congratulate an anorexic for eating a marshmallow.
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475 of 554 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where are all the mothers out there?, April 8, 2008
By 
Tinamom (Chattanooga, TN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Twilight (Hardcover)
I was given Twilight to read by a 14-year-old daughter of a friend. She practically glowed when describing it. I borrowed her copy and finished it in about 24 hours. As I read, I became more and more disturbed by what I was seeing. While it's a page-turner and certainly draws you in, the book is poorly written and extremely superficial. But that's not the problem. Pretend for a moment that Edward is not a vampire, but merely a controlling, obsessive, dangerous, violent, stalking, unpredictable, unstable human male. Try re-reading some of the main characters' conversations with that in mind. As a mother, I'm not so worried about my daughter falling in love with a vampire. What I am worried about is her being influenced by the kind of all-too-human male I've just described. And Bella is the worst possible heroine. She puts herself at mortal risk over and over simply to satisfy her own physical desires. She is ready in an instant to sacrifice her whole life for some ridiculous idea of love that is obviously just intense sexual attraction. Is that what we want modeled for our daughters? Do we want them to think that it's okay to give in to their feelings even when they go against everything we have tried to teach them, much less their own common sense? Or do we want them to be self-controlled, self-confident, inspired, patient, hopeful, smart, accomplished, sensible, and wise? I am afraid that by romanticizing this kind of unhealthy relationship, Meyers gives her young readers permission to be victims, as long as it's all for love. Don't we see enough of the results of that every day on the news? I understand why teenagers might fall for this erotic daydream, but where are all the outraged mature women who should be setting the record straight? Why are they giving their silent (and not so silent) approval to this regrettable book?
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184 of 213 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh man. I can't believe I spent nine bucks on this., July 27, 2008
By 
I started this book two days ago. I'm currently more than 200 pages in, and I can't finish this, man. I just don't think I have the strength.

Seriously? This is what everyone is freaking out over? I've read better fan fiction on Livejournal. Really, truly, waaaaaay better. Like, with sparkling, funny, romantic dialogue, great characters, the whole shebang. This book is..well, crap. Sorry, I tried to like it, but...yeah. No go.

The major problem I have is that I just don't care about any of the characters. Meyer's character development isn't just lacking...it's absent. I don't know these people, and therefore I don't care about them. Describing their appearance (barely) isn't an adequate substitute for developing their personalities. Also, they make no sense. Is Bella a hottie? A plane Jane? Who the heck can tell? Boys at her old school don't know she's alive, but the second she gets to Forks she's Miss America. Boys in Phoenix are blind, maybe? There's a toxic waste dump in Forks that makes all the native residents fugly, and Bella is hawt by comparison? What is it, Stephenie? Come on now. How can I like this protagonist? Bella is boring. She's not funny, she's not even mildly amusing. All she does is fawn over Edward. I know that teenage girls always have and always will fawn over boys, but really, this is ridiculous. That's the only freaking thing she does. Everyone else has said this, but she's really only just a sounding board for wonderful, perfect, muscular, adonis-like, perfect faced Edward. She could have had one aspiration at least, yeah? Some Mary-Sues have aspirations, right? Right?

Note to Stephenie Meyer: Use a thesaurus and come up with some new words, please. She said clumsily. While glaring. And blushing.
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442 of 518 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars aromatic airhead meets vacuous vampire, August 19, 2008
I wanted to like this book. For one thing, it came highly recommended by reputable reader-friends (sorry guys, nothing personal). It took me a good 200 pages to even realize that I didn't like it, but as the pages slipped by, so did this book's potential to tell a convincing, complex and emotionally-gripping story.

I didn't mind the slow start. Bella Swan's teenage over-reaction that "the world is going to end, or at least suck for a while" when she moves from Phoenix to Forks, WA was a familiar yet believable theme for a young adult book. I forgave her silly name and her paralyzing (literally) clumsiness. For a while.

Then Bella discovers the attractive, standoffish, teenage vampire clique. Don't get me wrong, I knew there would be vampires. I had hoped they would bring some intrigue, interesting character interaction, and a few creative supernatural twists to the mix. I was wrong: Edward, the main vampire/love interest must be the most blatant example of author-male fantasy insertion in a story I have ever read--the way his beauty is praised ad-nauseum, as is his ability to out-play/perform/karate/run etc. every mortal/immortal on the planet in any game/sport/musical instrument/hand-to-hand combat/race etc. certainly attests to that. Edward and his (almost) equally Hollywood Hot family are less creatures of the night, and more a blend of Greek god and barbie doll whose baseball games are confused for thunderstorms by us mortals. They are also apparently perpetual high school students, moving to schools every few years to keep anyone from catching on. Is this consistent with Meyer's view of noble "vegetarian" vampires who only want to alleviate the mortal misery of their weak human neighbors? With Dr. Carlisle the one notable exception, I can't quite suspend my disbelief that a hundred years would NOT be enough time to fake your age, get into law school, med school, the foreign service branch of the state department...(or at least use certain inherent skills to become pool boys or tennis instructors).

All this was mildly irritating, but what really brought the star-count down for me was that this book had so much potential to challenge my perception of the world, to make me think. I kept reading because I expected there to be a twist...not a "gotcha" moment, but one where the characters grow too big for the box they've been placed in, where they become bold and try to deal with their issues. I wanted to Bella to challenge the emotionally manipulative hold Edward has on her. I wanted Edward to fail at something and discover humility, and even have to rely on Bella for a change. I wanted Bella and Edward to discover that there are consequences for misinterpreting an attraction based scent/beauty for one based on communication, compromise, and time. I kept reading, sure that something complex and meaningful would happen...

I hope I don't spoil anything when I say that the characters start off in the shallow end, and end up in the pool parking lot. When the action finally started at around pg 400, all I could think of was what one of the robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000 sarcastically remarked during a B-movie that was being thoroughly panned: "And the reason this part works so well is that we care about the characters!" If a random "bad guy" is suddenly going to appear at the end of a book and try to kill one of the main characters for no apparent reason, I want to at least care about them!

Finally, a brief note on the writing itself. I thought some of the mood-setting description was pretty well done, and honestly didn't notice anything truly jarring until after the appearance of Edward. Suddenly, cliches like "a carved statue", "an Adonis", "his angel face" surface at least every page or so, as do numerous purple descriptions of eye color meant to substitute for character depth. Over-dramatic facial expressions abound, especially in the more intimate moments: grimaced, shuddered, gaped, glared. And finally, the awkward dialog tags. Characters "demand", "chuckle", "mutter bleakly", but never "say" anything unless they say it "harshly", "quietly" or "tenderly". The line '"Yes", she agreed' made me laugh out loud. All these "little" things, once I started noticing them, made the character's actions seem even more inconsequential and ridiculous.

Bottom line: obviously this isn't literature, but neither is it a thought-provoking or even "fun" frivolous read. There just isn't any substance there to care about, no challenge, just a pretty boy and a "good-smelling" girl who needs to be rescued half a dozen times. Some other reviews have compared this book to fan-fiction, and I think that's a fair assessment. I've written overwrought fan-fiction in my time, complete with the "seagreen eyes" and "nymphlike shoulders" but that doesn't mean everyone's wish-fullfillment fantasy needs to blow into a doorstop of a book.

For a more convincing and complex approach to the violence and passion inflicted by one man's uncanny sense of smell, try Patrick Suskind's book Perfume.
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239 of 278 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let Me Save You The Trouble Of Reading This Book:, December 30, 2009
By 
GrooviGirl (Franklin, Tennessee) - See all my reviews
Chapter 1: Meet Bella. She is angry and depressed and moving to rainy depressing Forks Wa to live with her Dad.

Chapter 2: Bella meets Edward and finds him very handome. She is depressed and angry over it.

Chapters 3-13: Bella thinks about Edward a lot and is angry and depressed about it.

Chapter 14: Bella and Edward become an item she finds out he is a vampire. She is depressed and angry about it.

Chapters 15-21: Bella is angry and depressed and in love with Edward who fights off biting Bella.

Chapter 22: Bella gets attacked by another vampire. Edward saves Bella. She is angry and depressed about it.

Chapters 23 and 24: Bella is in the hospital recovering. She is outraged and depressed.

Epilogue: Edward surprises Bella taking her to prom. She is angry about it.
The end
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117 of 135 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars That was a waste of a night, July 15, 2008
By 
Alyx (Fresno, CA) - See all my reviews
After hearing so much raving at my high school about how amazing this book is, I finally decided to pick it up as a guilty pleasure. I'd browsed through it in the book store, and I knew not to expect much, but I at least expected to enjoy it (guiltily) for the aspects that have made this book so popular among teens. I expected a sexy hero, compromising situations, and at least some action.

However, this book was awful. The characters were so paper thin two dimensional doesn't even begin to cover it. The language was awful and repetitive. Meyer repeats descriptions every third sentence or so, constantly ramming down the reader's throats how "beautiful" and "perfect" Edward Cullen is. She doesn't seem to realize that no matter how many times she uses either word, neither is an actual description. Never does Meyer seem to have come up with an original sentence, not a single original use of figurative language to describe anything, merely clichés every other line or so about how "beautiful" Edward's eyes are.

Neither Edward nor Bella, nor anyone else, seems to have a shred of personality. Many of the characters of the novel seem superfluous altogether. As other reviewers pointed out, was there any point at all for any of Bella's many admirers other than to showcase how beautiful Bella is supposed to be? And is it just me or were there more members of the Cullen family than was altogether necessary?

After reading this novel, I've come to the conclusion that Meyer has never been in love. This is more like a deluded fourteen year old's idea of 'true love' than anything solid. Bella needs help. She falls in 'love' with Edward solely for his good looks within a couple of days and is incapable of thinking of anything else. Every thought, every word is fawning over Edward's looks. She never seems to have anything to say about him except for his smoldering eyes, his smoldering voice, his male model body. The girl is seriously sick. Even when her mother's life is in lethal danger and she's knowingly walking towards her death all she can think about is how much she regrets not being able to be with her new boyfriend. Sick, anyone?

For a work whose sole attraction is that it aims to be unabashedly smutty and fluffy and alluring to teenage girls, it's ultimate crime is that it's BORING. Bella's life is incredibly uninteresting, and Meyer gives a detailed description of everything the girl says or thinks or does for 500 pages (hint: it all has to do with Edward's perfect eyes/body/sparkly skin). There is not a trace of action until the last 100 pages or so, and that is thrown in and concluded so hastily that it hardly saves the work. We end up learning information about Edward's sister Alice in the last chapter or so, but we have such a poor picture of Alice that it doesn't make much of an impact on the reader at all.

The truth is, heros are often as attractive for their flaws as for their better qualities. Edward and the entire Cullen family are entirely perfect. They're so beautiful it's practically painful, but no excuse for this is given. Evil vampires are apparently nondescript. Edward is the most perfect of his entire perfect family. He never says anything that upsets, he's interested in every detail of Bella's pathetic life, even when he does do something disturbing it's 'cute' and he never has anything interesting or thoughtful to say. A hero that is perfectly perfect in every possible way under the sun, as Mrs. Meyer won't let you forget, is no fun at all.
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Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1)
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