on June 24, 2009
Now, before people jump down my throat about this review and start claiming that I don't know what I'm taking about, I feel I must say that I have read all the Twilight books, and I believe the title of this post says it all. I strongly discourage anyone who wishes to retain a decent number of brain cells from reading this atrocious series. Stephenie Meyer, as Stephen King said, "cannot write worth a darn," and her "vampires" are, quite frankly, wimps. The relationship between Edward Cullen, (a "vampire"), and Isabella Swan, is preposterous, and based mainly on the fact that Edward is pretty and Bella smells good. Neither of those, in my opinion, is a good idea to be with someone.
*Possible spoilers beyond this point...Not that there's really anything to spoil; even if you only read the first chapter, it's all pretty obvious what's going to happen in the next 2505 pages of the series*
The plot of the first Twilight book is as lifeless as Bella's personality. For 7/8 of the book, Edward and Bella struggle with their forbidden relationship. Example:
Bella: Edward, I love you.
Edward: I know, but we can't be together. I am just too dangerous.
Bella: I don't care!
Edward: I know what is best for you, Bella. You can never see me again.
*A day goes by, during which Bella mopes around, and the next morning, Edward is in her driveway with his Volvo*
Edward: I've come to take you to school, Bella.
Bella: Edward, I love you.
Oh. My. God.
This, as you can imagine, begins to get very, very boring after a while, but then, lo and behold, there is a small gleam of hope for some sort of pick-up when a "Tracker vampire" named James decides he wants to kill Bella. Well, I personally think he'd better get in line since Edward saw her first, but whatever. Eventually, after running from Forks, Washington to Phoenix, Arizona, Bella is lured to a ballet studio by James and a home video, and nearly killed. Not quite as exciting as you may think, especially since Edward and the gang arrive in time to save her and kill James. Bella, though she is bitten, is kept from becoming a "vampire" thanks to some quick thinking from Edward.
Yeah, because if Edward let Bella become a "vampire", then their lives would just be soooo perfect, and Stephenie Meyer wouldn't have been able to torture the world with more of her stupid ideas.
I'm getting rude now, and I apologize; I'll tone it down.
In New Moon, Edward does finally leave Bella because another "vampire" named Jasper tries to eat her, and she sits in the woods for almost a day. Just sits there. Because, as we all know, a girl simply cannot function without a guy of her own. Mhm, sure. That isn't archaic or anything. So, after Bella sits in the woods until her father and some other guys find her and drag her home, she is basically catatonic for months. Really. In the book, you turn the page, and it says OCTOBER, then the next page says NOVEMBER, then DECEMBER, and so on and so forth. I don't remember what finally snaps her out of this funk, but by that time, Bella has begun to hear Edward's voice. In her mind.
Yeah, she's not going insane or anything.
Oh, and since this only happens when she's in life-threatening situations, Bella sets out to do all this dangerous stuff, including jumping off of a cliff, just so she can hear Edward's voice in her head. I guess the fact that she might die did not occur to her. Meanwhile, Jacob, (an indian boy who was also in the first book), is being led on by Bella, who is bored and wants him to rebuild her a motorcycle for free, because he, like everyone else in the world of Twilight, cannot get enough of her, in spite of the fact that she is very plain and lacks any sort of personality.
(By the way, I don't think that Stephenie Meyer has ever been on an indian reservation in her life, because she seems to have no idea what she's talking about. Then again, that applies to most everything she writes, so maybe it's just her style is to be ignorant.)
So, while Bella is stringing Jacob along, she is attacked by the late James' "vampire" mate, Victoria, and Jacob turns into a werewolf and saves her. Sure, okay. Bella, not the sharpest tool in the shed, thinks that Jacob's wolf-form is actually a bear for a while. Nice.
Anyway, as all of this is happening in Washington, Edward is in Italy planning to kill himself. Why? Well, through a series of miscommunications, he heard that Bella committed suicide, so, naturally, he must die as well. Bella and another "vampire" Alice go to stop him. They arrive JUST IN TIME, and then escape back to Forks, but not before a group of "vampire" royalty tells Edward that Bella has to be turned into a "vampire" or killed because she knows about "vampires". To Edward's dismay, it is decided that Bella will be changed when she graduates high school. Bella 1, Edward 0.
The next book...what is it called again? Something about the moon... *checks wikipedia* Oh yeah, Eclipse. So, in Eclipse, Bella is still being hunted by the "vampire" Victoria. Edward, who had since returned to Bella and Forks, is being especially obnoxious, because now he's jealous over Bella's relationship with Jacob. He forbids her to see him, but, for the first time ever, Bella decides to disobey Edward, and begins visiting Jacob on a regular basis. This makes Edward even more jealous, so he decides that he must marry Bella and take her off the market.
Edward didn't count on Bella being super against marriage.
In spite of this, when Edward proposes, Bella accepts. Practically the next day, Edward and his family decide to join forces with Jacob and his pack to fight off Victoria and her band of newly-turned "vampires". Bella is taken up a mountain, and watched over by Edward during the fight.
At some point, I can't recall exactly when, Bella has to cuddle up to Jacob in order to stay warm. Edward is there, and as he still does not want Bella to be a "vampire", he basically offers to lend Bella to Jacob for sex without even consulting her about this because, as always, her opinion doesn't matter. I believe Jacob says no.
Anyway, back to the story. When the fighting ends, Jacob shows up and, when he hears of Edward and Bella's engagement, he threatens to rush off and get himself killed. Bella, in her infinite wisdom, kisses Jacob, and realizes that she loves him too.
Thus, the love triangle.
Victoria manages to find Edward in the mountains, and after a brief fight, she is destroyed. Bella is still trying to convince both herself and Jacob that she loves Edward more, but after Edward gives Jacob and invitation to the wedding, Jacob, distraught, runs off into the woods.
Real manly there, Jacob.
Last, and definitely least, Breaking Dawn. If all the books up to this point have been bad, this one is truly and without question the most god-awful of them all.
Bella is brain-dead. Not literally; she just acts like it. She wants Edward to have sex with her BEFORE she is turned into a "vampire". He argues, but they eventually do it, and, OF COURSE, Bella gets knocked up. Friggin' fantastic story-writing here, Meyer. A few days after Bella and Edward go at it, (during which they have sex a few more times), Bella begins to feel her stomach kicking. I believe it to be much more likely that she has a bunch of snakes inside of her than a child, since that was way too quick, but it did turn out to be a kid.
Break out the cigars.
Edward, who is apparently not a big smoker, freaks out and wants to abort the child, with or without Bella's consent, but Bella refuses and he actually listens to her. Why does she refuse? Because she's stupid. Over the next few days, she swells like a toad, and enlists the help of a "vampire" named Rosalie to keep Edward from doing anything rash. Rosalie, who had always wanted children, agrees to help Bella out. Personally, I also think Rosalie hoped Bella would die, and my condolences go out to her that this dream was not realized.
Bella begins craving blood, and she drinks some human stuff that the "vampires" had on ice from a sippy cup. Meanwhile, Jacob's pack wants to kill Bella and the kid, but then Bella gives birth. Most of her bones are broken, and she loses a bunch of blood, but then, at long last, Edward turns Bella into a "vampire". Happy friggin' day.
Oh, and Jacob imprints on Bella's kid. Imprinting=immediately falling in love forever. Creepy, huh? I really wanted Jacob to imprint on Edward, but I suppose you can't always get what you want.
Now that Jacob has found his soul-mate in the form of Bella's newborn daughter, named, (can you believe it?), Renesmee, Bella has to get used to being a "vampire". As she was uber-clumsy in life, I thought that that was the trait Bella should have taken to death, but no. Instead, she is unnaturally in control of her "vampiric" instincts.
The rest of this book is just unbearable. Renesmee is thought to be an "immortal child", which is apparently bad, so all these bad "vampires" come to kill her and Bella and all the other good "vampires" called the Cullens. Another kid like Renesmee is found, and he tells the bad "vampires" that Renesmee is not an "immortal child", but is a crossbreed like him, and poses no threat. The bad "vampires" leave, and then Bella and Edward, and I quote, "continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of [their] forever."
Holy two-pound bag of sugar, Batman.
So, now that I have taken time to write this out, I hope beyond hope that I can convince just a few readers that this series is a complete waste of time and paper. For the love of God, people, the "vampires" SPARKLE. Don't even try to tell me that that's not one of the lamest things you've ever heard. And they don't have fangs! Didn't catch that? Hold on, I'll say it again. THE "VAMPIRES" DON'T HAVE FANGS!!! I am so freaking sick of seeing all the Twilight paraphernalia, (which, by the way, is EVERYWHERE), with fangs on it. Bella clearly says so when Jacob asks if it the fangs hurt when she kisses Edward.
In closing, I must say that these are all fictional characters. Seems obvious, yet I have noticed a troubling number of girls calling themselves Mrs. Edward Cullen online, writing it in their notebooks with bubbly hearts, and even scribbling it onto bathroom walls in permanent marker. So I shall say it again: Edward is not real. Hear me fangirls? NOT REAL. Move on with your lives and stop defacing public restrooms.
And, if he was real, would you really want some controlling, vaguely creepy, undead fellow as your paramour? Personally, I would have dumped him the minute I found out he had been watching me sleep. The fact that he was constantly lusting for my blood wouldn't have helped much, either. (Speaking of which, Meyer ignored Bella's female time-of-the-month, but I can't bring myself to care. That would have put these books over their quota for awkwardness, which was already satisfied thanks to all the uncomfortable staring and such.)
P.S. Save trees; RECYCLE Twilight books.
on November 12, 2010
There is no "great love" in Twilight, and it certainly is a puzzler why people think there is. Edward and Bella have nothing in common, because neither of them has a developed personality - and what is developed is entirely contradictory to what is on the page. For example, we are told that Edward is kind-hearted. However, his behavior refutes that. He is overly possessive, unreasonably jealous, and controlling. He calls Bella names. He never laughs unless he is laughing at other people. He can not take a joke. He is racist (sure, the other boys are all racist too, but they aren't supposed to be kind). He is sulky and abrupt, and refuses to have discussions. He orders, rather than asks. He forces his will on Bella without regard to her wishes or her preferences (sexually, with gifts, with breaking up, with eavesdropping, with plans, with his very presence). Sure, some of it can be explained that he is immature, though at 107, he really shouldn't be. But he is never once shown doing a kind thing, in the thousand pages of this series. He leaves Bella for her own good, but does so in a cruel and abrupt way, without discussion and without explanation. And yet Bella thinks of him as kind and tells us that he is kind. Why!?
Bella is no princess herself: she tells us that she is giving and too-loving, but instead we are shown that she is shallow, manipulative, and really nasty when you get down to it. She does not give anyone a chance unless they fit into her model of how people should act - she likes Angela because Angela doesn't talk, she likes Jacob because he would cut off his own head for her, and she likes Edward, because he feeds her insecurities while dangling betterment in front of her face. She is not in love with Edward (and I honestly don't know how anyone could be - he's a nasty piece of work). She is merely afraid of death and aging. Living without Edward is made worse by the fact that she will never see the Sparklepires again - there goes her hope to spend the rest of eternity as a supernaturally beautiful young person with special powers. She has no other goal in life but gluing herself to a man for eternity, and the eternity is the clincher. She could never love Jacob, because a normal life isn't good enough for Princess Special Snowflake here. He could not make her beautiful, or immortal, or rich. No matter how much she claims that the wealth isn't important... just being honest, it is. Otherwise, Stephenie Meyer wouldn't have extended her Perfect Family into being richer than God, and wouldn't have deliberately contrasted Bella's only other choice as being abject poverty.
Since we are reading what amounts to nothing more than Ms. Meyer's fantasy life, the books are interesting in a way. What is on the page tends to be wordy and dull. She uses buckets of Word-of-the-Day's, but she rarely uses them correctly, giving the reader the impression that she used the Microsoft Word Thesaurus for the more simple descriptions she originally came up with. What is implied about her as a human being, though, is fascinating. We have a woman who is scared of nothing more than aging, dying, and death - so much better to live forever than to have to go gently into that dark night. We have a woman who worships beauty over substance and sexual chemistry over compatibility. We have a woman who does not think begging is degrading, who thinks that wealth magically makes everything better, and who thinks a controlling man is the perfect partner. A woman who thinks life is not complete without a man, and that all women want children at all times - though preferably children who they don't have to raise themselves. We have a woman who thinks sex is offensive, but vomiting up fountains of blood and having a man chew a baby out of a uterus is A-Okay. We have a woman who thinks it's funny when grown men fall in love with infants and toddlers, and who thinks it is romantic for a woman to fall in love with a man who has brutally savaged her. And if you're older than 25, ew, get out. So yeah - fascinating study of this woman's psychological profile (even more fun, reading her interviews. She apparently believes that other authors never tried to write a romantic male lead without flaws because they couldn't, not because it would make for a lousy story). As a series of books... she seems to have tapped into the sexual insecurity that many American women suffer from at some point in their lives. Still, the books are horrible and will be deservedly forgotten within five years. Remember when Titanic came out, and we were told it was the most EPIC LOVE STORY WHAT WAS EVER LOVED? Titanic is now being sold in bargain bin two-packs, good for a nostalgic squiggle, but silly and irrelevant to everyone else? These books have no true substance, and so in another five years, we will get another EPIC LOVE STORY to replace them.
on August 19, 2009
TwilightI spend a lot of time browsing in the book section. I pick up books and then put them back down. I picked up Twilight and set it back down, a bunch of times. One day I didn't. I had heard a lot about the Twilight series and every time I read the back of the book I just couldn't see the point in reading it. It just sounded silly. It sounded like something totally aimed at a teenage girl (which there is nothing wrong with), but then I heard about all these women my age who read the books and were totally absorbed by them. I figured I was missing something, I put off reading Harry Potter for a long time because I thought it would be silly and I was wrong then, so maybe I was wrong this time. I wasn't. If there was ever a book that I wished could be banished from the earth, this is one of them.
I read the first, and forced my way through the rest because I felt like if didn't read the entire series then I really couldn't develop an informed opinion about the series. As I paged through the books, the feeling of disbelief grew and grew and grew. By the end, I wanted to throw the book across the room.
Bella, a teenage girl, moves to Forks, Washington and then falls in love with a vampire. Throughout the book, Bella talks about how she doesn't understand why Edward, the vampire, loves her, despite the fact that every. single. boy in school wants to go out with her. Her self-loathing is frequently evident in the book and although she appears to be perfectly normal and is supposedly very smart, she labels herself irredeemably flawed because she appears to be clumsy. Bella and Edward progress through the book trying to decide if they like each other and then decide that they are incredibly in love, but Edward must stay away from her to keep her safe. End of Book 1. The entire book is plagued with trite dialogue and horrible description. In fact, if I never read the world alabaster skin again, it would be too soon. The vampires are not scary. In fact they seem like pleasant people who simply like to eat freshly killed animals and happen to sparkle in the sunlight. They also skip school a lot when it's sunny, because I guess sparkling too often would become passe and might let people onto the fact that they're vampires.
Some spoilers, if you really care....
The rest of the books: Once again we are plagued with horrible dialogue, I don't think any of the character "said" anything, I think that "breathe" or "murmur" or "whisper" everything. Edward left and only shows up when Bella seems like she might kill herself due to her clumsiness. She spends the entire book curled up in despair because Edward has left. She can't imagine life going on without him. Her reason for living is gone, and I think this is what bothers me most about the entire series. I am tired of reading about girls who can't go on when a man leaves them. Come on, Bella. An equally cute werewolf named Jacob wants to take you out and doesn't talk down to you, but you are stuck on a guy who left you for your own good. It's a supernatural take on "it's not you, it's me." When Edward comes back, because Bella just can't live without him, Bella decides to not go to college and get married as soon as she graduated from high school. She quickly gets pregnant (I don't know how that happens, because Edward is dead..you know...no blood flow and all that) and has a baby (with a horrible, horrible name-Renesmee) who almost kills her (which allows Edward to finally make Bella a vampire) and then is totally perfect and matures super fast so we can hear all her thoughts on life. And it's kind of gross that Jacob, the werewolf, falls in love with a baby.
I get forbidden love, I really do. I read Romeo and Juliet. I get the bad boy thing, I read Wuthering Heights. I don't get Twilight, and I don't see how grown women are fawning over Edward who displays stalker like and control freak personality traits through the entire series. Don't bother, unless who want to torture yourself.