Top positive review
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'Twilight again. Another ending. No matter how perfect the day is, it always has to end'
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.