“Back of Book” Summary:
When Bella’s mother remarries she grudgingly decides to go live with her father in the sunless, perpetually rainy city of Forks, Washington. It’s the middle of the semester at a new school and the most she can hope for is to blend in. Then she sees the mysterious Edward Cullen. He’s handsome, intriguing and he happens to be a vampire. Despite the risk to her life, Bella and Eward are drawn together and their relationship quickly heats up. His family invites Bella into their lives, but when a clan of nomadic vampires takes an interest in Bella, the consequences could be deadly.
My Review (August 11, 2009):
I will admit I tried to resist this one. Maybe Robert Pattinson’s gaggle screaming teenage girls turned me off. I’m not a teenage nor do I care “who’s hot” at the moment in the pop culture scene. However, I’m intrigued by Vampires. I have a fairly good sized Vampire book collection in my library. My love for vampire books goes back a good while. I started to read and collect Anne Rice books when I was thirteen. I heard Twilight was a good series, so I watched the movie. I loved it. I’ve now read the first installment of The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, of which there are five total books. This book was a quick read that I couldn’t put down.
I could relate to the main character Bella, who seemed to to always be a bit awkward in her surroundings. I moved around a lot as a child, I could understand the discomfort for Bella as a teenage girl moving far away and having to make a new start. Twilight is about Bella Swan adapting to life in a new town, and the unexpected attention she brings. She meets Edward Cullen, a vampire over one hundred years old who tries to fit into society along with his coven- which is disguised as a family with foster children. Bella and Edward are completely wrong for each other, and shouldn’t be together, but fall in love anyway.
In one of the most memorable lines of the book:
About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-and I didn’t know how potent that part might be-that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocable in love with him (pg 195).
The Twilight Saga is great Young Adult fantasy fiction. Perhaps not a literary masterpiece, but the story is original and riveting. It keeps the readers attention. The characters are well imagined and realistic- even in their extreme range of emotions. Do not let the annoyance of 13-year old screaming girls (and quite bizarrely, 50 year old mothers) shouting “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” dissuade you from reading these books like it did me for several years. The cultural phenomenon of these books has in some ways taken on a life of its own. The Hollywood produced movies have taken the spotlight away from the books themselves. I completely understand having an natural aversion to what pop culture says to be “hot,” but I am not ashamed to say I gave Twilight a chance and loved it.