Book Reviews Young Adult Books

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Sometimes I come across a book that is so good that I can hardly read it. I don’t want it to be over too quickly; I want to enjoy each new development without rushing into the next. And yet, at the same time, I can’t stop myself from reading because it’s SO good. Twilight, people, is that book.

A friend of mine told me she was reading it, and that I needed to do so as well. Next thing I knew, four other friends of mine had read it as well, all of them appalled that I hadn’t read it yet, and the book was shoved into my hands. Two days later, when I had failed to make any real progress (I think about eight pages), they were infuriated to hear that I had not yet finished the book. Chagrined, I picked the book back up and, two days later, finished it, completely drawn into the world of Meyer’s creation, and desperate to get my hands on the second book in the series (which I did successfully).

The heroine of the story is Bella Swan, who decides to leave her home in Phoenix to live with her dad in Forks, Washington. Despite her life-long loathing of Forks, she feels it’s the best decision because her mother wants to spend time with her new husband who has to travel a lot. If Bella leaves, her mother is free to travel, guilt-free. Unlike Phoenix’s hot, sunny weather, Forks is one of the rainiest, most overcast places in existence, and Bella hates it. On the first day of school, she sees a family of five teenagers who all are unbelievably beautiful. They sit alone and, according to the other students, isolate themselves by choice. Then, in sixth-period Biology, Bella finds herself seated next to the best-looking of the teenagers, seventeen-year-old Edward Cullen. For some inexplicable reason, he is extremely rude, moving as far from her as possible, and, when she sneaks peeks at him, staring at her with deep and utter hatred. Bella is perplexed and hurt, already feeling alone and unhappy in Forks, yet, for some reason, she feels drawn to him, first by his strange behavior and soon out of curiosity.

If you’ve read one word about this book, you know it’s about vampires, so I certainly don’t feel like I’m ruining anything by telling you that Edward is a vampire (the back of the cover says so, for crying out loud). Finding out new aspects to Edward’s life as a vampire is unbelievably cool (how he became a vampire, how he deals with that, his special skills, etc.). Watching the relationships between the two grow in both negative and positive ways is absolutely gratifying. The book just keeps getting better. It’s a fabulous combination between romance and thriller.

Apparently, there are going to be four books in the series (two are out now, the third is due out in September, and the fourth is estimated to be out in the following year). After that, there is going to be a re-write of Twilight written from Edward’s point of view, which thrills me no end after reading the original Twilight.

Rereading this entry, I feel like I have just not given this book justice (partially out of a desire not to spoil much of the story). This book is so fun to read, so thrilling, such a gratifying read. Really, you shouldn’t even waste your time reading this entry. Run to your car and get to your local library or bookstore and start reading TONIGHT. I loved this book, and so will you. As a friend of mine said, “Bring on the bite.”

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  • Reply Jennifer Lee February 2, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    You know you can read the first chapter of Midnight Sun (the book told from Edward’s point of view) on the author website, right?


  • Reply Anonymous February 3, 2007 at 5:15 am

    I love it when books are that good. It’s a bittersweet experience because you SO want to read it and enjoy it and find out what happens… but then the story ends, and you’re sad. sigh. Books are the best aren’t they?

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  • Reply megangelic February 7, 2007 at 6:05 am

    Janssen! I just realized that you have a blog and I am SO glad that you are also obsessed with Twilight! Have you read New Moon yet? I also feel quite honored that you quoted me in your blog. 🙂 Also, I just bought One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (the book) and thought of you.

  • Reply Karen February 9, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Hey Janssen,

    It is interesting that you just read this particular book. I went to a symposium on literature for children and young adults Saturday and Stephanie Meyer was one of the three featured writers. She gave the first talk of the day and it was very interesting and enjoyable. She is a pretty regular mom with three kids living in Arizona who has always loved to read. Then one night she had a dream about a vampire and she wanted to remember it so she wrote it down. All of a sudden she decided she loved creative writing (though as English major, she had never done any) and she started on a book which turned into Twilight. She told us about the process of getting a book published, the ups and downs and what she had learned and it was fascinating. She said that though Edward is a vampire, she has never read a vampire book or watched any such movies. She also said that she just signed a movie deal for Twilight. She got the movie people to agree that it would not have a rating higher (worse?) that PG-13. They agreed when she told them she wanted to be able to go see it and she couldn’t if it were R. Anyway, I haven’t wanted to read it earlier because I don’t care for vampire stories, but having heard her speak and having read your review makes me think I might give it a try. (Though it may have to wait in line–my Impressionism class has added significantly to my reading list!!)

  • Reply Bart Bradshaw February 10, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    It was fun reading Twilight after seeing you so enthralled. I enjoyed it too, though it went a tiny bit slow at times. Then again, perhaps that was due to how tired and uncomfortable I was on the plane.

    I particularly enjoyed seeing vampires through a new lens, and found I could admire them without the mixed feelings I have when reading other vampire series, such as The Vampire Chronicles, by Anne Rice. In that series, vampires are exciting, but I never know whether to root for them or for the people upon whom they prey.

  • Reply megangelic February 12, 2007 at 6:49 am

    Hey, I like the t-shirt that said “I bet she’s tougher than that. She runs with vampires.” I want it.

  • Reply Joe February 13, 2007 at 2:47 am

    Oh, great! Now you tell me. I spent (wasted?) twenty minutes in the book store a few weeks back trying to find a good book to read. Of course, I didn’t know what to pick, because I didn’t know to look for. I used to be an avid reader, but I finally read everything I wanted to read and was left without any more interests.

    Anyway, I finally picked four books, practically at random, from the so-called “best-sellers list” and bought them. Julie was a little aghast when I got back in the car–partly because I had only gone in to return something for her (she waited in the car, which is why I only spent 20 minutes looking); partly because she didn’t think I would actually read them; and partly because she didn’t want me to read them (she would rather I spent my time working on our new house). I have to admit that, in part, she was right. I haven’t read them yet.

    The problem is that we leave on our trip in a few days. So, do I take a couple of books that I already purchased, or do I squeeze in another trip to the store to get Twilight?

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. That’s what happens when you first find someone’s blog. Then again, I must have a lot of pent up writings. I’ve never posted a comment on anyone’s blog before tonight. You, Bart, and Doug are my first victims. Maybe some day Julie will let me have my own.

  • Reply Kristy February 28, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Janssen, I got Twilight from the library on Monday morning and I finished it Tuesday afternoon. Yesss it was so fun to read. Though do you think Bella is a likeable character? She seemed sort of one-dimensional to me.

  • Reply Noelle August 22, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Oh good. I’m getting this book from a friend tonight because I’ve heard the same things about it. Thanks for a fun intro into the story–you’re such a good writer! My family just met Stephanie Meyer when she was up in Seattle this weekend.

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