Monday, November 17, 2008 By: Suzanne


So I'm taking a break from The God Delusion to read some other books. Honestly, I think I read about as much as I will of it and maybe I'll write about it tomorrow or the next day. Saturday I decided to get going on the Whitcoulls List Challenge. Naturally I started with Twilight. Everyone I know seems to have already read this. I was going to wait until I saw the movie because I know now that I read the book I'll hate it but then a friend of mine gave me the entire series to read. I couldn't resist. I started Saturday and finished last night!

If you don't already the know the synopsis of this story (are you living in a cave?) it's about a human girl and her vampire boyfriend. I have to admit I had told myself I wasn't ever going to read this and the reason is kind of silly. I am a HUGE Buffy fan. Have been since Season Two (didn't initially watch Season One for another silly reason: the movie was stupid!). I thought, "Seriously, we've already done the tortured vampire loves the human girl thing. What a rip off." Everyone assured me this wasn't so. I agree now that except for that bit, it's nothing like Buffy. However, if it wasn't so popular I still don't think I would have gotten passed the first couple of chapters.

The book is obviously written for young teenage girls. Of course this wouldn't be the first time I read a children's series. I loved Harry Potter, but the writing in those seemed to age along with Harry. I was very impressed with how Rowling did that. I'm hoping the same thing happens with this series, because now that I've read the first book, I HAVE to read the rest! The story is told in a very single minded fashion. Not only do we only see what Bella sees (not that big of deal, lots of well written books are done this way) but the only characters that are fleshed out are Bella and Edward. I just read 498 pages and I know nothing about her mother, father, friends, previous life, or Edwards family other than surface stuff. I realize this is a long book and maybe it would have made it even longer to flesh out characters a little more but the type is fairly large and spaced out too. That has a lot do with it. Another thing that makes it single minded is the entire story is about her and Edward getting together. Ok, I realize this is plot of the book but most good books will give have other smaller plotlines interspersed with the main one.

I won't completely be down on the book. I did get sucked in to the story. After all, I finished it in a weekend. I enjoyed the story itself and it's easy to get passed the little things that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Bella and Edward really do draw you in. I actually found myself wishing she would become a vampire! Of course, my friend that gave me the books ruined that part for me and I know what's coming. I still was wishing for it right then.

On that note, don't you hate when people tell you things about later books in a series and then say, "but I'm really not ruining anything for you." Well, of course you are! I haven't read that yet! If she talks about brushing her teeth in later books, I don't want to know.

I have to say that even though I am not fond of the simplicity of the writing (I like my characters to be completely messed up!) I really did enjoy the book and recommend it to anyone who has not yet read them (if I'm not the only on the planet left).

UPDATE: I just found a site dedicated to hating Twilight. I obviously don't hate it but I thought it was interesting. It has a funny cartoon of a boy being chased by crows and says: Edward is sparkly. Crows like sparkly things.

Here are some wonderful points that I wish I had made and some I did that just sound better than the way I said it:

- Being clumsy is not a character flaw!

- Ms. Meyer's vampires are perfect. We respect her attempt to do away with the classical image of vampires, however, she made them super fast, strong, beautiful, etc.... She also did away with their weaknesses. And they shine, that speaks for itself.

- If the first 200 pages of your book rely on the mystery of a character's identity, don't slap "First, Edward was a vampire" on the back cover. (We realize this is not Ms. Meyer's fault, and the choice was made by the publishers. However, this isn't a "Why we hate Stephenie Meyer" list, it's why we hate Twilight. So I would consider this a legitimate reason.)

- The author constantly repeats certain things that she's already described in full detail. (Bella's extremely noisy truck, Edwards 'perfectness', how bad she was at volleyball, etc.)

- Ms. Meyer's first-person POV sucks. She just can't pull it off. Why is that? Because she doesn't find a way to explain anything but Bella. We never get to know how Edward works because Bella never thinks it, of course, and Ms. Meyer shows no other way of expressing it.
(NOTE: We all know about Midnight Sun, so please don't bring it up as you're sole argument for this point. We've heard it all before, but the fact is that, Ms. Meyer shouldn't have to write another book to explain things that should have been shown in the original.)

- Much too little actual conflict in the story. But this probably stems from having flawless main character.

- She threw away the best part! The actual falling in love! It's supposed to happen slowly... there's supposed to be intimacy and sweetness and awkwardness. But no. It's right-off-the-bat in love. They both know it instantly. From then on it's just fighting to stop his species from keeping them apart.

- Why do they love each other anyway? She smells good and he’s hot… what?

- It's just not healthy to teach young girls that True Love involves the guy watching you while you sleep. Not to mention the messes in New Moon, omitted for spoiler reasons.

- Edward is HOT. We get it. Good for you.


HoustonMamaJenn said...

I recently read the series because everyone I knew had read it as well and one of my friend let me borrow all the books too (smile). I liked it up until Book 4. I am interested to see how the movie turns out.

Anonymous said...

Oh Tonya. Be still my heart! You read it!!

Hold on a second . . . .

okay, I had to go get some rope - to tie myself to the chair.


Deep Breath.

Okay, so I won't say anything about your critique. Nope. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I'm not talkin'.

BUT, I'm so glad you liked it (besides the things that you critiqued - which I'm not mentioning) and that you're going to read the whole series. I won't give anything away. I promise. I'll be good.

And yes, I admit that I read books about teenage vampires. Is that a problem? hahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

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I invite you to visit my blog.

Let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

Um . . . yea . . . well . . .

Hmmm . . .

Now, why did you have to go and do a thing like that?

Tonya said...

hehe, sorry I just thought it was an interesting side note to my critique! Seriously, you should read Sharon Shinn so we can have something in common!

Anonymous said...

Okay, well . . . as long as your sorry about it. *sniff, sniff*

Andrea Aponte said...

Mmmmm, it's looking less and less like I'll read the book. The movie might still be fun though:) I really don't care for flat, caricature-like, nor "perfect" characters. This is why i love Toni Morrison. Even the characters I relate to and like have flaws, sometimes big ones.