Author: Stephanie Meyers
Published: 5th October 2005
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Number of pages: 498 (Hardcover)
Series: The Twilight Saga
Number in series: 1
Start Date: 8th February 2022
Finish Date: 9th February 2022
It is the first book of the Twilight series, and introduces seventeen-year-old Isabella "Bella" Swan who moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona, to rainy Forks, Washington, and finds her life in danger when she falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen.
Twilight is the story of Edward and Bella’s romance. Forget any vampire romance you have read before, Twilight is so unique it is almost like it’s in its own genre. The book is told in first person from the perspective of Bella, so the reader only ever knows what she knows, making Edward and his family a mystery that is slowly unravelled throughout the book. Even by the end of the book I was still thirsty for more of the Cullen family back story hopefully their characters might be developed further in future books.
Bella herself is a well written and realistic character, shy and lacking in confidence, her sarcastic inner voice narrates the story for the reader.
Twilight is simply and yet beautifully written. Bella is often a nit-picked element of this book, people describe her as a Mary Sue, a girl who doesn’t believe herself to be pretty while guys fall at her feet.
In my opinion this is a very American way to describe it but this is what I have seen in some reviews I have read myself before divulging into this series. There is nothing wrong with seeing an insecure girl allowed to be the hero. What is wrong with allowing women to feel like they see themselves in a main character? To feel that they too have the potential to be the hero and to have the hot vampire boyfriend. Sure Bella is clumsy, stubborn and prone to insecurity but who isn't? (I know I am!) This is what makes Bella so relatable and in my opinion kind of endearing. The descriptions of Forks leave you feeling like you can almost smell the damp air and hear the rain falling on the roof.
As far as Edward and Bella’s relationship goes, I can see why so many people take issue with Edward’s pushiness. Personally, I think in the context of a contemporary novel, Edward’s behaviour would be unacceptable. However, considering Edward is a vampire of over 100 years old it makes sense. Yes, he can be a jerk, but it does make sense for him to be abrasive and unsure of how to interact with a human in such close proximity in a relationship way. The romance between Edward and Bella is both touching and compelling, also it was realistic. I like how they only started developing feelings after a few months and to me it never had that feeling of a rushed romance that you see in many YA novels. There is a melancholic feel to their impossible love, yet at the same time they both are unwilling to give up hope that their relationship is not doomed. The book reaches a fever pitch of excitement as the romance between Bella and Edward turns into a frantic race to stay alive.
I also want to praise Stephenie Meyer for creating a Young Adult book with mostly positive female relationships. Bella gets along with more girls than she doesn’t, and going into this book I was prepared to see some intense girl hate and slut shaming as I have come to expect from any books in this genre. Bella develops a friendship with Alice that we see blossom over the series, and whilst she does not initially get along with Rosalie it is not senseless hate or some bitchy rivalry. Rosalie’s initial dislike of Bella stems from her own background, and she becomes much more complex over the series.
Twilight, despite its flaws, has numerous strengths. The writing which is highly criticised is something I truly appreciate. I like that the writing in Twilight is incredibly approachable. It is simple, sure there are some awkward phrases here and there, but most of the word choice is strong and Bella’s inner monologue develops her as a character. On top of that Twilight revolutionised the publishing industry. Twilight is responsible for turning many individuals into readers. Ask around in the book community and it will not take more than a few tries to find someone who credits Twilight for sparking their love of reading.
Whilst I would not say Twilight sparked my love for reading as I was already an avid reader. It was my first Young Adult novel that I read, and was the start of me reading more YA books. The book is marketed at Young Adult readers but it has the ability to cross age barriers and will satisfy both teenagers and adults alike. This book really has something for everyone. Young adult readers, vampire fans or romance readers will all find Twilight to be an appealing story.
For a Young Adult novel the book is quite long but don’t let that put you off reading it because each page is to be savoured. As I dived deeper into the book I noticed how fast I was eating it up, 150 pages quickly became 250, 250 became 400 and before I knew it had finished the book. Believe me, this is one book that you won’t want to end.
Anyway, I am always going to view Twilight more fondly than not. It reminds me of being young and willing to be immersed in a book no matter how ridiculous some of the content can be.
So yeah, I love Twilight. Bite me (Do you like my little pun?)
I will always be grateful to this book for opening doors for the book community to become what it is today. I went back to my teen years reading this book. I fell in love with Edward Cullen all over again, I mean who would not want a gentleman like Edward. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough and I am looking forward to reading New Moon and seeing more of Edward and Bella. After seeing the films so many times over the years I completely forgot how the book went; but very glad I took the time to read it again.