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Twilight (Twilight Saga)
Format: Library Binding|Change
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on 2 May 2016
I first read this book about two years ago, having heard all the hype about it. After reading all the reviews, I realised it was one of those 'you either love it or you hate it' type things. Like Marmite. Personally, I detest Marmite and I had geared myself up to hate Twilight, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually really enjoyed it. I originally borrowed the series from the library, but I have recently purchased it for myself, so I decided that I may as well put my new books to some good use and read them all again. It has been two years, after all.

Forks: A small town in Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula- the coldest, cloudiest, wettest, most miserable place on earth. This is Bella Swan's new home. Exiling herself from her mother, Phil, and sunny Arizona, Bella knows that she'll likely live to regret the decision.
But beneath the surface, Forks is not quite as dull and mundane as it seems. For the town is home to the Cullens- a family of pale skinned outcasts, with eyes the colour of topaz. Bella is instantly enchanted by them all- especially Edward.
As he and Bella grow closer, it becomes apparent that Edward is even less ordinary than he first appeared, and that to continue their forbidden romance means putting Bella's life in mortal danger...

Ok, fine. It's not the most fabulous book ever. I accept that as romance stories go, it is not the most potent (I'm sure none of us can have failed to encounter the 'Still a better love story than Twilight' gags) but I still enjoyed reading it. It may be just another 'tragic vampire romance', but you have to remember that at the time it was written, it was one of the first of its kind. (Obviously vampire romance had been covered before, but it was this franchise that popularised the genre, so I suppose you could consider it somewhat original).

I think it is actually written pretty well. I know that a lot of people have complained about the overuse of purple prose, but I personally like it. After all, it's better to be overly informed than to be reading a book filled with ambiguity. Although, it's clear that Stephanie Meyer got a little overexcited with the thesaurus. It should be used sparingly, not for every other word. Nothing kills the reading experience like having to ask Siri what something means every two minutes.
Aside from this, I think the detail Meyer includes is what makes the book memorable, because the romantic aspect and characterisation (or lack of it) certainly aren't.

Which brings me to my main complaint: Bella. It isn't that she doesn't have a personality or anything, because she does. It just happens to be an exceedingly irritating personality.
I mean, it was fine before she met the Cullens, but then...well, it all went downhill from there. Bella is obsessed with Edward. And I don't mean the usual, 'Oh, his eyes are so dreamy!' or 'I wonder if we like the same breakfast cereals?' type thing. I mean LITERALLY obsessed.
She's always thinking about him, and gets physically depressed if she doesn't see him for a day. When they're together (which is most of the time) she says things like 'Would I ever get used to his perfection?' and 'I looked at his gorgeous profile and tried to remember how to breathe', amongst other comments.

And to be honest, I don't see the big deal about Edward. Aside from the odd witty remark, he's a bit lacking in character- like a robot, who speaks in the way of a 1920s American. And he goes on and on about how he couldn't bear to lose Bella, but not once does he show us any sign of real passion or love for her. It's just bloodlust. And I mean that literally.
It's Team Jacob all the way (although he doesn't make a significant appearance until the later books, but still).

I feel as though I have to give this book a fairly good rating, if only for the nostalgia of reading it again, and enjoying it again. It is actually a nice read- and it kept me entertained whilst I was reading it, though I have to say, it is my least favourite in the series, simply because not a lot happens aside from Edward and Bella falling in love. There was only one dramatic showdown in the final couple of chapters (not described in much detail, since Bella was unconscious for most of it) and even that could have been avoided if Bella wasn't so ridiculously naïve and oblivious. But still an enjoyable read.

I'd rate this book...
7 out of 10 stars.
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on 1 April 2016
Firstly, I'm a 26yr old happily married female, not the typical 17 yr old teenager this saga was originally intended for, so I'm old enough to put things into perspective. Also, I write this review having read all the books, so not all my review refers to the first book, however I don't give any spoilers directly. Read at your own risk.

That said, I couldn't put this book down. I've read a lot of books, and I can honestly say I've never read a book so quickly. Ok, I like a good romance, but the way Stephanie portrays the 'relationship' in this book is as intoxicating to the reader as it is between the characters. Essentially, this is the story of a girl who leaves her mum to live with her dad in a rainy town in Washington. It doesn't take her long to notice the pale-faced 'God' sitting at the other end of the cafeteria, and for me that was it. I was hooked. Ok I like a good romance; after reading the Divergent series I'd always liked following a subplot romance, but in this saga, the romance is everything. Throughout the entire saga, the 'love' between Edward and Bella is so 'intense' you just have to keep following it. Yes there's the vampire thing, but I'll get to that later.

The reason I use inverted commas here is because there are many things to be wary about with these books. I know twilight has been around for a long time so anybody considering this book now has probably already heard good and bad but it's important to consider the flaws before reading this book or especially if buying it for a daughter.

The main character of this book, Bella, is not a strong role model for 17 year old girls. She has the potential to influence and it has even influenced me at times, until I snapped out of it and realised I was a 26 year old woman. It might not be the same for a 17 year old girl. Bella is a pessimistic, selfish character put bluntly. Many times through these books I sat there staring at the page thinking 'why would you do that?' Her blind 'love', I write hesitantly as it's more like teenage lust, literally tears every bit of common sense out of her, and it bugs me that the effect this would normally have on friends and family around you in real life, is not really portrayed In the book. Purely the fault of first person of course, but I was surprised at times that more people didn't turn their backs on her when they should have.

Then to the whole vampire thing. I actually really enjoyed the actual vampire drama, taking the love story aside. Although extremely unrealistic (I mean surely you would notice a whole family of people with yellow eyes never eating weird after a while...), I liked the whole story behind why the family chose not to feed on humans and the rest of it. This gets even better in the other books but no more said there. Put lightly the actual vampire stuff in these books is very, very good. That gripped me more once the 'romance' lost its appeal after the first part of breaking dawn. Then it got serious.

Ultimately, this is a great book if you like a good romance, but nothing about this book is realistic. Of course it won't be, it has vampires, but if it's going to teach any life lessons, it will teach you how NOT to live your life as a 17 year old, how NOT to treat friends and family around you, how NOT to view love. I am not convinced 17 year old girls will see that, and so that is my final word.

Of course I could have given it 1 star looking at this review, but I'm a grown adult and I enjoyed the books very much. I would highly recommend them to anyone with common sense!
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on 13 January 2017
This is the 1st book of the twilight sage and it was a really good story line for the first book, I have read this book so many times over and over again, i just loved how Bella and Edward got together, I forgot how much I loved this book and It was amazing book to read, The character's are amazing in the book and the character's are incredibly entertaining to read in the book, when Bella and Edward started hanging out together it just made me smile because there love for each other was amazing to read and when i finished the book i could see that the book gives u more detail for the story line than the twilight movie

This book is by Stephenie Meyer and she is amazing author, i am a big twilight fan and i have read the books over and over again so many times also watched the twilight movies too
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on 14 February 2016
This magical tale will take you to great places if you give your imagination permission to run riot. If a sense of the different gets you going, this is for you ..

Edward is the loveable unwilling vampire, the adorably sensitive hero who will steal your heart. The goodness of his nature shines through as Stephanie lovingly creates his multi faceted character, including his gifts, his love of listening to & playing classical music, his expressionate colour changing eyes, seductive innocence, his confident authoritive ways of influencing others, melodic voice, yes! He is a hot guy! He is a well rounded and complete character who you share emotion with as you get further into the book.

Bella is a bit of a clumsy mundane character by comparison, I don't mind this as it balances out Edwards' otherworldliness very well. She does however show amazing courage & intellect later in the book, her character develops throughout. The thing that stands out about her, however, is her unconditional deep love for Edward, which could lead her to a bad place but despite this, she feels his deep love and has no fear.

Favourite parts of the book for me are when Bella goes to his house, is shown his & his Fathers extraordinary family history & larger than life beautiful house & the parts where Edward learns to show his affections & he shares with Bella many magical moments as he expresses his deep, poignant love for her. The part where he plays her his own sweet magical tune on the piano was just awesome and when he sings her to sleep. His internal struggle between his love for Bella & his natural calling, which means it would be best to leave her is so beautifully expressed.

This book is for young adults but is well written and deep enough for older people to enjoy, as myself!

There have been a lot of bad reviews on this book, which I find very unfair. Most of them seem to be from people who lack sensitivity. They will pick out individual pieces of the book as unfavourable, rather than sinking into it and enjoying it for what it is. For example, it has been said that 'how can Edward be so gorgeous if he purple skin under his eyes?' well.., it is a vampire tale .. Bella's character has also had some stick as 'obsessed' - the people saying this have obviously never let themselves be carried away beyond all sensibilities, or maybe this is a side to themselves they would rather deny or forget
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on 16 August 2016
I should start this review by saying that this book automatically loses half a star from me for not being "Midnight Sun"!

A full star is also lost for the completely unrealistic, and frankly disturbing, description of Edythe during the meadow sequence. I quote, "Her pale arms, her slim shoulders, the fragile-looking twigs of her collarbones, the vulnerable hollows above them, the swanlike column of her neck, the gentle swell of her breasts - don't stare, don't stare - and the ribs I could nearly count under the thin cotton. She was too perfect I realised with a crushing wave of despair."
I don't know about "perfect", she sounds anorexic to me!! What was Stephanie Meyer thinking when she wrote that?! It gives a completely unhealthy idea of what a "perfect" woman should be! Quick tip for anyone reading this, if you can count someone's ribs under their t-shirt, get them to eat something immediately! I'm all for staying in shape, but that is just ridiculous!

My main problem with the book is that 80 - 85% of the words are exactly the same as the original "Twilight". This meant that quite often when I was drawn into the book I would be reading some dialogue or Beau's thoughts and suddenly be thrown completely off when a name or a pronoun was different to what I was expecting. That's the danger with this book, the words are mostly the same so you can be fooled into believing for a moment that you are reading Twilight. Reading the interview with Meyer at the beginning of the book, that is the whole point - to prove that even with a male human and a female vampire the story is still the same. But it still felt very disconcerting at times nonetheless.

The 15 - 20% of this book that is original is good, I just wish there wasn't so little of it. I think, if you're going to re-write a story with different genders you should actually RE-WRITE the story. Don't just copy and paste the majority of what was already there! When I was describing this story to a friend while I was reading it, she said it sounded like "bad fan fiction" and that's exactly what this book felt like to me - bad Twilight fan fiction.

The best part of the novel is, without a doubt, the last 30 or so pages. This is an entirely original alternate ending for Life and Death. I wish that the whole novel had been like that. Some parts of it seemed a bit rushed, with Meyer trying to cram three books-worth of lore and back stories into about 10 pages so she could continue, but overall it was great because it was ORIGINAL, not a complete copy of Twilight.

I love the original Twilight series, and I'm sure if Meyer ever gets around to (finally) publishing Midnight Sun I will love that too, unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I just couldn't enjoy Life and Death. It felt like exactly what it was - the story that we never wanted nor asked for.
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on 21 May 2017
Loved reading this book actually I have seen the films & wanted to see how close the story is to the books , I was surprised that the book is better than the film...
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on 4 January 2016
I bought this solely for the alternate book. I already own the original and felt a bit conned into having to buy both but the clever marketing meant buying both was the only way I could read the new one so well done, money spent!

It took me a while to get into the alternate book, I found myself constantly referring back to the original playing a game of who's who. I did however like Beaus character, if Bella were a female version of Beau she would be a lot more likeable!

It took me till a good halfway through to get into the swing of this book but once I did I was kinda hooked.

I would however of liked it to extend a little bit further to find out a bit more how Beau deals with his "new" life! Sorry I warned you!
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on 15 April 2014
The 'boring girl meets boy who makes her life dangerous and exciting' plot has been done countless times.
But if you have nothing else to read it does pass the time.

Meyers writing can be a bit poor at times and some parts of the book can seem as if she completely forgot what she said on the previous page (she should fire her editor).
One example being that Charlie is making toast, he sits down and then suddenly he 'looks up from his cereal bowl'.
...Er? No mention of cereal, it was toast he was eating?
There are many incidents like this throughout the series.

Overall its not great, it doesnt compete with Harry Potter or the Hunger Games.
But if you're new to reading (and havent already read this same plot over and over) and still trying to figure out what sort of genre you prefer then you will probably enjoy it.
More experienced readers may find it taxing.

If the characters were less shallow it would probably be a more enjoyable book.
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on 25 August 2014
OK... I feel every feminist bone in my body burning as I say this but... This book is actually pretty damn enjoyable.
Oh, it's creepy, let's make no mistake on that. Edward acts like a stalker and Bella acts like a victim of domestic violence. But I think the reason I liked this is because it officially reaches the level of ''so bad it's good.'' So much of it is stupid, so much of it falls into horrendously bad writing, so many plot holes, so much padding and purple prose that you can't but help but sit back and enjoy the ride. I would particularly recommend the many scenes in which Bella claims she is the smartest girl in school... and then immediately does or says something that would make Ralph Wiggum look like Einstein.
If you think my reasons for liking this book are all wrong than so be it, but there is so much joy to be found in bad/good books if you let it.
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on 30 November 2013
If you have been on another planet for the past four (five?) years and don't know the story... i'm not going to give you a synopsis - there's one on the back.

If you're a teenage girl... or boy... or a grown woman... or gay man... if you are capable of reading and like men.. you will find someone to fall in love with in this book. Dont watch the films - they suck (Yes, the pun was intentional - you may applaud). But the books are beautiful. Not the best writing ever. But then who am I to judge?! This is very teenage... i'm 24 and obsessed but then my maturity is questionable. If in doubt, read the first few pages and you'll know if you can hack her writing.

This is a beautiful, teenage love story. It is not a horror. Do not expect thrills of the 'thriller' kind... only of the 'OMG he's so romantic' kind. There are lots of those. They are awesome. I am thrilled.
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