Monday, November 10, 2008

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Title: Twilight
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover, 544 pages
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: The Twilight Saga (Book 1)
Movie Release: November 21, 2008

I realize that I am a bit behind the times in reading Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. My only excuse is that there are too many wonderful books and simply not enough time to read them all! However, since the movie is being released in a mere eleven days, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and finally get this book read.

Bella Swan makes a difficult decision at the beginning of this story to move to Forks, WA to live with her dad so that her mom doesn't have to choose between spending time with Bella or her new husband who frequently travels. When Bella makes this decision, she has no idea of the incredible impact moving to Forks will have on her future. In Forks, Bella faces being the new kid in high school but it doesn't turn out to be as bad as she anticipated. Most of the students are actually quite friendly. Then there are the Cullens who are beautiful and mysterious. They stay apart from the rest of the students in Forks, only socializing with each other. Bella is incredibly drawn to Edward Cullen and his mysterious actions only intrigue her further. Edward, in turn, is also drawn to Bella even as he tells her that it is dangerous for him to be around her. Eventually Bella learns Edward's secret, that he is a vampire, but instead of scaring her away this only makes Edward more attractive. While Bella and Edward attempt to figure out how a human and a vampire can safely fall in love, they face other dangers together.

While I did enjoy this young adult novel, it didn't quite live up to the expectations generated by all the publicity and the fan hype in anticipation of the movie. While Bella seemed older than her seventeen years in some ways, like making the decision to move so her mother would be happy and cooking meals for her father, she was incredibly innocent when it came to Edward. Despite being told many times by Edward that he was dangerous and she was not safe with him, Bella continues to trust him implicitly even before he had done anything to earn that trust. Then there is Edward knowing that he poses a danger to Bella just by being around her and yet being unable to stay away from her. While the attraction is mutual and unmistakable, the fact that Bella and Edward could not stay away from each other could have easily been demonstrated by their actions rather than the very repetitive conversations about why their relationship was a bad idea. These were the two main flaws that I found in the book. The story itself is very enjoyable and I will be reading the rest of the series and probably watching the movie at some point.

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