Customer Reviews: Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1)
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on November 13, 2012
I know that some people don't like graphic novels, but I like them when they are done well and overall I think this one was done pretty well - maybe because Stephenie Meyer was involved and this is her vision put to pen by a manga artist (I say that because I thought Edward looked a little Asian). I like the use of real photos digitalized to illustration. I own the 2 separate versions of volumes 1 & 2 and bought the collector's edition as a gift for a friend. Here are the differences between the separate books and this one:
- Both books are put into one book.
- The cover of the 2 individual books is the inside poster jacket in the collector’s edition.
- At the very end there are 3 character bios of: Carlisle, Esme and Edward which I thought was similar to what was written in the Official Illustrated Guide by SM.

Overall I think it is a good book - it covers all the major highlights of the actual book (I know, I checked) and makes for an easy read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 27, 2008
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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on March 17, 2010
I never review and I would never review on anything Twilight. But I guess there is a first for everything! I received this book in the mail today and was immediately impressed. Opening it up, I honestly didn't really know what I was expecting. I saw the movie before I read the books. First thoughts was the movie was ok, but after I read the book, I hated the movie.
After finishing the graphic novel (took about an hour) I have to say, it makes me wish they would re-do and re-cast the first movie. This is way more than even I could have imagined. Stephanie Meyer was right when she wrote that this breathed new life into the Bella and Edward story. The drawings are exactly how I would have pictured the characters for the movie should look like. The vampires are truly beautiful and Bella has that understated beauty, so well drawn out in this novel. Their love story is not rushed (like in the movie...I never understood why Bella and Edward fell in love) and is well played out. What surprised me even more was the nice little splashes of color through-out the book. This is what sets this apart from being a boring black and white manga/comic, the splashes of colors (there is a nice colored twilight scene) and the emotions certain scenes carried.
Definitely a must read, this is the way the movie SHOULD have been like!
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on December 1, 2008
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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on March 16, 2010
It took one hour to read this magnificent graphic novel, but oh, what a fantastic 60 minutes it was!


Let me just say that the artist, Young Kim, is one talented lady, and she has breathed new life into a classic vampire series. She captures the quiet beauty of Bella Swan, making her look lovely, but in an unadorned way that we have always pictured, but have never seen. She combines her own artistry with live shots, and the results are stunning. You feel as if you are truly stepping into the wet and slippery world of Forks, Washington, immersing yourself in a world where humans, werewolves and vampires co-exist unwittingly. What made this graphic novel such a easy page-turner is not just the knock-out drawings, but the layout as well, which is key to the enjoyment of any graphic novel. Kim has been able to give a face to all our favorite characters, and where she resoundingly succeeds is in her depiction of Edward. No slight to the handsome Robert Pattinson, but this is the way I had imagined Edward Cullen to look like - gorgeous and other-worldly in his male beauty.

For those of us who know the story like the back of our hand, this first volume concludes with Bella and Edward leaving the forest, with the initial secrets of vampires revealed in their pretty swath of forest. We all know how it starts, where it's going, and how it ends, but my goodness, I cannot wait for the next installment. Let's hope Stephenie Meyer will give her blessing for the three other books, because as of right now, only Twilight is getting the graphic novel treatment. I highly recommend this book to all fans of Twilight, vampire lovers, and reluctant readers who need a more aesthetically pleasing introduction to the world of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. For grades 5th and up. Enjoy!
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on May 27, 2008
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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VINE VOICEon November 29, 2007
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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on December 30, 2009
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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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 April 8, 2008
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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