41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Rife with amateur mistakes,
This review is from: Twilight (Hardcover)
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.
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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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 30, 2008 11:44:23 AM PDT
I agree completely! The story had merit, but the writing was awful. (OK, "dust moats" might have been a spellchecker error, but "His eyes were ambivalent." ?? --If I start I'll go on for hours.) When I finished I wanted to sit down with a red pen and cut out all the irrelevant fluff. This book was 498 pages--it needs to be edited down to 300. Check out D.J. MacHale's Pendragon series--his teenage protagonist has a much better way with words.
Posted on Sep 3, 2008 9:09:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2008 9:10:57 AM PDT
"I can't believe Smeyer has a degree in Literature."
I was wondering about that too - then i checked from which institution and suddenly it made sense ...
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2008 4:37:21 PM PST
Laraine A. Barker says:
Thank you for another pair of words to add to my web page on words that are often confused. And now I'm off to add them to the page. :-)
Posted on Jan 5, 2009 8:53:01 AM PST
Todd Keyser says:
I just finished reading it, primarily to see what all the hype was about and couldn't agree more. It is now a joke to me to use "incredulous" every chance I get as she did in the book. I also agree with ease6407. I could have done without about 200 pages. "I washed my cup, plate and fork" Really? Were you wearing your big girl panties that day Bella?? Also, I concur on the action...it built, disappointed, built, disappointed. I have moved on to book 2 and will see if it gets any better. But, unlike Edward, I won't hold my breath!!
Posted on Feb 6, 2009 1:05:12 AM PST
"Every male in school was hot for Bella when she got there. MarySue, there's a phone call for you. "
*ROTFLMAO in hysterics*
"Show, don't tell! One of the main rules of writing."
Abso-frakkin'-lutely! EXACTLY what I said in my Twilight review before I read yours (my apologies... there are only about 3500 reviews to get through... and counting).
"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."
AMEN, sister! The passive sentence construction drove me MAD!! It was an incredible chore to get through; the repetitive "I was this"/"I was that" sentence construction was unbearable after the first few chapters. I wish one of the many truly great fanfic authors out there on the 'net would rewrite Twilight... the way it *should* have been written, if Meyer could actually write, and if she'd had an editor that could actually edit. Fans re-edited Phantom Menace into a better film than it was in Lucas' hands... why not? Other than that it would be a complete waste of time and talent...
Posted on Nov 15, 2011 1:03:19 PM PST
J. Smith says:
my god, your comment has greater intelligence than this book! thanks, I really enjoyed reading it.
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