on 6 February 2012
When I was a kid there were kids and adults - 'young adults' didn't exist. And there were kids' books and adult books with nothing inbetween. Times have changed, and I think on the whole for the better, in that we now acknowledge that there is a transition period between childhood and adulthood, so it seems only fair that these young adults get their own books - and that the rest of us should be allowed to read them too.
I picked up Twilight partly to see what all the fuss was about, not having seen the movies, and partly to find out what young adult literature was like, and I'm happy to admit that I enjoyed it. Yes, Bella can be a whiney little so-and-so, and when she gets older she should read Women Who Love Too Much, but I remember being an angst-ridden seventeen year old myself so I could relate to her. And much as I cringe at the idea of Edward having spent the last century or so as an arrogant teenage prat, there's no denying he's just the kind of arrogant prat that many angst-ridden girls go for - so many of us were stupid enough to always go for the out-of-the-ordinary type, because nice, everyday boys were so 'boring'.
I never expected the book to be really great literature, and I think you're bound to be disappointed if you look at Twilight with too adult eyes, but it was an engaging, fun read. I'll take off one star because the long stretches of dialogue between Bella and Edward did get a bit tedious, but the story held my interest to the end - which many more literary books fail to do.
A great thing about getting older is that you can like what you like and not care what anyone else thinks of you because of it, so I'm happy to repeat that I enjoyed Twilight and plan the read the rest of the series. Congratulations to Stephenie Meyer; as other reviewers have said, she pulled it off and laughed all the way to the bank. Good for her!
This is YA fiction and I'm not even close to the target audience. It's been a lot of years since I belonged in the 'teen' category BUT... despite that, I loved this book! I think it might be because the 17 year old that I once was is still fresh in my mind, and if I squint when I look in the mirror I can still see her (she just got better looking over the last couple of decades *grin*).
A five star book for me is one that I have to tear myself away from and this has to be one of the better 5 star books I've read recently. I could not put it down, regardless of whether I fit in the target deomographic or not. I have no idea why I was so enamoured with this particular story but it just grabbed me, literally from the first chapter. It has it's flaws, and at times those flaws tried to pull me away from the pages while I wrestled with my beliefs but never did I feel like I couldn't go on. I'm actually mystified why this is such a great book, I wish I could put my finger on it but it escapes me. I am fond of a bit of vampire lit, it's true, but this goes beyond that....I think. I can't say the writing is superlative so it's not that.....but what is it? I wish I knew. Answers on a postcard, please.
Bella is a complete feminists' nightmare and I can see why that would put a lot of people off of her, but at 17 love is blind so I'm willing to forgive Bella on that score. Edward is so uber male that he fairly reeks testosterone and again, that may grate on some readers but lets put things in perspective, he's the ultimate predator and has had nearly a century of dominating his prey so on that score I'm willing to forgive him his overly masculine nature for now, this nurture/love thing is new for him too.....he'll get it right eventually I expect.
Ultimitely, lets not forget that this is a tale of vampire love which is aimed at teens/young adults and the usual complexities and concerns that come with real life won't apply here. I for one am glad to slip into Bella and Edward's world and remember what it was to be young and in the throes of first love. If you have an imagination and are willing to suspend your disbelief then you might enjoy this story. It's an enjoyable bit of fulff to while away a few hours/days but if your usual reading material tends to be the classics and nothing more, then you probably will feel the need to return here with you own 1 or 2 star review.
I have books 2, 3 and 4 lined up here, ready to devour and if they go as quickly as Twilight then I'll have completed all 4 in about 3 more days. I want to tell everyone to read this as I loved it so much, but I realise that everyone has different tastes so all I can recommend is that you read the reviews and make your own mind up from there.
on 10 November 2011
The art adaptation is like a alternate version of the movie to watch. Volume 2 Edward cover completes the cover of volume one one couple laying on the grass like a mini poster. The first thing I notice in volume 2 is that Young Kim doesn't show Bella sweating as much as she was in volume one book art. The book has some wonderful art at that. The Cullens house was much closer to what I envision than we got in the Twilight movies though I had expected the outside shot to have a more haunted feel to it. The increase story of Dr. Cullens and Edward transformations into vampires were much better with the artwork than I had pictured in my head after reading the original book as was Billy surprise at how informed Bella was about the Cullens. I still think it funnier in the movie when Charlie has his shot gun out when Bella first introduces Charlie to Edward. Also interesting seeing what Meyer's view of how Laurent, Victoria and James were after getting use to the movie actors that played them stuck in my head. While they wanted to finish the first movie in two books I can see the ballet studio battle a little quick at the end. Though maybe I just need to re-read that part of the original book and once gain get the movie events out of my head as with Jacob reason for showing u at the prom. My biggest surprise in the book however was when Young Kim choose to add color to the art during the prom at the end of the book which was even more well done than the orange over tone of Carisle's history.
on 11 May 2012
I saw the Twilight film on tv, then re-watched it about 5 times whilst waiting for the book to arrive. I am totally hooked. (55 year old woman going on 17). Bella moves back to Forks, Washington from sunny Arizona, where she normally lives with her mother (parents are divorced). At school she meets a boy, Edward Cullen, who seems repelled by her smell, although she feels drawn to him. His odd way of talking, pale skin and changing eye colour all make her feel there is something different about him. Gradually, he starts to take an interest in her, even prevents her from getting crushed by another student's van. Old friends try to warn her about the Cullens, but she cannot resist him. When she confronts him about what she suspects, he doesn't deny it, but confesses to her that he is a vampire, but only drinks animal blood, like the rest of the Cullens. She is gradually drawn into his world, and it is apparent he feels, not repulsed by her smell, but regards it as 'my own personal brand of Heroin". They are utterly in love with eachother, but he struggles to stop the vampire side of his nature from killing her just to drink her blood. Although you would think the fantasy of vampires in a story would destroy any romance, this is a fantastically romantic book. I urge both men and women to read the first novel at least - men -if you want to know how we think, and women - if you need an idealised version of a man to fantasise about. Edward Cullen is Romeo, Mr Darcy, Edward Rochester, and Byron wrapped up in one. Enjoy.
on 27 March 2010
I only discovered Twilight this year... yes apparently I've been living under a rock for some time :0)
I read the books... which I loved
Then I saw the movies... which no surprise, I loved less!
.. Twilight (Movie) in particular missed out too much of what I felt made to book magical... not to mention that scenes were added that were not in the book.
Then I bought this Graphic Novel... Love it.
It is Young Kim's adaptation of the first part of the original Twilight book...
After finishing it, all I could think was
I wish... wish... wish!!!.. That Young Kim had been responsible for writing the adaptation for the movies!!
Visually it didn't let me down... The story was concise without leaving out or changing the important bits - which the movie did way too much of in my opinion.
The artwork is beautiful and her vision of the characters did justice to what I had been imagining whilst reading the books.
I am very pleased with my purchase... I can't wait for the next one
Well done Young Kim!! I would LOVE to see this as an animated movie!
on 27 October 2008
I read Twilight both at my friend's enthusiastic recommendation and because of my own curiosity over the barrage of bad reviews it had. My reaction to it was a sort of horrified fascination, coupled with a strong desire to jab the protagonist, the utterly unlikeable Bella Swan, with a sharp stick.
For some reason that is never quite explained (not to my satisfaction, at least), Bella Swan moves to the town of Forks, a place she loathes with a passion, to live with her dad, a man she doesn't feel even warrants the name "Dad", and leaving her mom, a woman she claims to be closer to than anyone else on the planet but whom she actually ignores for most of the book. On her first day at her new school, which she also hates despite pretty much the entire student population - the male half in particular - making every effort to be perfectly lovely to her, she encounters a group of insanely beautiful students who ignore everyone; among them is Edward Cullen, who she freaks out over because it seems he might not love her like everyone else. Then he becomes passably friendly, and Bella is smitten. Bella is smitten. Bella is smitten. Bella finds out Edward and his insanely beautiful family are vampires. Bella is smitten. Bella is smitten. In fact, Bella is smitten for three-hundred-and-thirty-three pages of this four-hundred-and-thirty-four page novel before anything resembling a plot actually happens, and then not even particularly good plot.
Oh, don't worry, it's not one-sided at all - Edward is smitten too. Edward is so smitten that he sneaks into Bella's house and watches her sleep without her knowledge. If Stephenie Meyer had put in a twist in which Bella gets a restraining order slapped on him as a normal person would, that might have saved the book. However, Edward is, as I said, insanely gorgeous, and so on the contrary, she finds his stalker antics flattering. And isn't it alarming that so many young girls describe Edward as their "dream guy" or look to Bella as a role model?
On the back of the book, I am told that it "...encapsulates perfectly the teenage feeling of sexual tension and alienation." I can only imagine that the reviewer from The Times has long forgotten their teenage years, because I don't think that Meyer spoke to a single seventeen-year-old before writing this book. For the record, none of us feel any need to comment repeatedly on the godlike good looks of people we date. Some of us even look for something beyond godlike good looks in the people we date, but such a concept is apparently lost on Meyer and thus on Bella. And I like to think that if anyone behaved as creepily towards most seventeen-year-old girls as Edward behaves towards Bella, the alarm bells would start ringing pretty fast. The book encapsulates many things, such as pancake flat characters and How Romance Doesn't Happen, but it is certainly not something that I, as a seventeen-year-old girl, can possibly relate to. I find it quite laughable that Meyer claims she gave Bella the "vague" physical description of "slim" with "long mahogany hair" and "wide chocolate brown eyes" in order for readers to find it easier to 'step into her shoes'. I would prefer a complete profile of a character who was written in a believable way to a spineless Mary Sue who could possibly look like me, if I want to imagine her in such a way (which I really don't, thanks).
In short, don't waste your money. This is not a good book.
Stephanie Meyer writes vampire fiction as many teenage girls do -- overblown writing, sexy cold vampires, and a vacuously attractive heroine who serves as the readers' stand-in.
And so it's hardly surprising that her megahit debut "Twilight" is essentially a teenage fantasy about finding the Perfect Hot Immortal Coverboy Who Longs For You Alone. Innocuous sparkling vampires, buckets of pointless teenage angst and a plot tacked on at the last minute leave this one of the more bloodless examples of vampire romance.
Klutzy Bella Swan is oh-so-self-sacrificingly going to live with her small-town cop dad, and is appalled by the student body -- all the local boys decide that (ick!) they like her, and all the girls are shallow idiots compared to her.
Then she's struck by the ash-pale, vaguely incestuous Cullen family -- an especially by the Hawt and Brooding Edward Cullen. Edward doesn't seem to like her much, resulting in much Teen Angst. but when Bella is nearly killed by a runaway car, he somehow manages to zip across the parking lot and knock away the car. Bella eventually figures out that he's a vampire-- a "vegetarian vampire" with the power to read thoughts... except hers.
Despite his fears that he'll hurt her, their smoldering chemistry (and Bella's tantalizing smell) draws them into a relationship... at which point, since the plot has had zero non-teenybopper tension, three two-dimensionally evil vampires enter the scene, intent on hunting Bella. The Cullens whisk her away to keep her safe from this trio -- but their enemies have more than one way to find her.
The book "Twilight" is essentially the eroticized fantasies of a teenage girl, purple of prose and taking itself hilariously seriously. In fact, reading this novel feels suspiciously like eavesdropping on Stephanie Meyer's fantasies of having a hot, sparkle-skinned vampire stalking her on a nightly basis to show his undying love.
Unfortunately there's not much more to the plot than that -- most of it involves Bella and Edward smoldering at each other, and Bella's contemplation of Edward's "scintillating, incandescent" body and Greek-god hotness. Furthermore Meyer smears the entire book in wildly swinging emotions, tepid dialogue, and overly ornate, purple prose -- the descriptions of Edward's chest alone may induce choking and diabetic coma.
After a horrendously silly "meet the vampire family," Meyer belatedly realizes that the book needs more than angst and sparkles and Edward is constantly shying away from Bella's virginal neck (what does that imply about sucking blood from animals?). So she tacks in a contrived subplot about evil vampires who are hunting Bella. Just... because they want to.
And heroine Bella is truly an amazing character -- she manages to be a blank slate for mass fantasy projection, while also managing to be whiny, selfish, snobby and superhumanly shallow (since the only person she cares about is the Hawt Rich Guy). Edward is a suitable mate for her -- he broods, smolders and stalks her to show that he loves her eternally. After all, isn't a bipolar stalker watching you sleep the very image of true love?
As for the other characters... well, we have quirky vampire Alice to add some humor to the story. But otherwise, none of them really matter much except to reflect how awesome Edward and Bella are -- and the villains could not be any thinner if Meyer snipped them from sparkly incandescent skin.
Those who dream of eternal angsty love with an Immortal Hottie may find "Twilight" a delight, but it's no more than a thin, flat guilty pleasure at best.
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.
on 8 March 2012
I would like to start by outlining several facts about myself:
1. I am female.
2. I am literally THE target audience, a teenager without a boyfriend and, lets face it, without many friends.
3. I was not fooled by Twilight's BS.
When I started reading this book, I was hopeful. I've never been a big fan of vampires- psychological thrillers, sci-fi and yes, some horror, but I've always been more of a demon or werewolf person. I have read some vampire books I liked- Dracula was good, and I liked The Saga of Darren Shan. I hoped that Twilight would give me characters that actually sparked an emotion within me. Is that too much to ask?
For Meyer apparently so. Bella is an empty shell, and when she finally does get herself up off her ass to do something, it's to go and die. Bella is a teenager, and she already WANTS to die, as proven when she repeatedly asks Edward to change her into a vampire.
Edward is scary, and not in a good way. In a good way, he would be portrayed as a bad guy as he goes around killing people (possibly whilst wearing a clown mask). In Twilight, though, Edward is portrayed as the perfect man and Bella's "true luv". I can actually imagine Bella doodling in notebooks "B+E forever" surrounded by hearts. That is not why he scares me though. Why he is scary is because he is, like stated earlier, portrayed as the perfect man while he plays mind games with Bella, belittles her, and stops her from visiting friends. At one point, he even takes the engine out of her car to stop her seeing her best friend! Bella rationalizes all this by saying, "he's doing it to protect me, he loves me", and in some cases, ignores it completely!
The other characters...What other characters? All they are to me are names on a piece of paper. All I know about them is Alice is short, Rosalie is blonde and killed people, Emmett is...Don't know much about Emmett, Jasper is also blonde and killed people (Meyer seems to have something against blondes- they're all bitchy or killers or both. Similarly, all the good guys seem to have darker hair, but I think there were a few exceptions) Esme, the vampire mum who doesn't do much, Carlisle, the vampire dad who turned them all and is a Doctor, Charlie, Bella's dad, and a policeman/cowboy, from several descriptions, and Bella's mother, Renee I think, who is 'hair brained', Bella's words, not mine.
Apart from Jacob. Jacob is a whole other kettle of fish. He's funny and makes Bella actually show emotion (I salute you, sir!). He brings up some points I won't go into, merely because I am unsure as to if I am imagining them or not. He's a good match for Bella, but like several others that I can't remember the names of, she just uses him to get closer to Edward.
There were a few light points to the book, but I don't think that they were intentional.
1. Edward, and all vampires in Meyer's world, sparkle in the sunlight. All vampire myths are stupid, he says. We don't breathe, sleep, eat, are rock hard (that's what she said!) and sparkle.
I appreciate originality, but seriously? To discard vampire myth and write your own rules completely that don't even make sense? How? And more importantly, why?
2. The plot controlled weather system. In my area, if we have a couple of days of rain, the stream floods,so do most of the roads, and drips come through the ceiling. In the magical town of Forks, Washington, vampires protect the earth from all the crap that would usually happen if it rained continually for years. And it's only sunny when it is convenient to the plot.
3. Vampire Baseball. No, seriously. Apparently, what all other vampire novels were missing was some light competitive sport. I laughed and cried when I read that.
And one more thing: all through the series, it is implied that a woman can only be happy when married and when she has a child. Esme threw herself off a cliff because she miscarried (and I am not taking away from the fact that miscarriage is terrible, because someone in my family miscarried so I know how bad it is for someone who isn't close to them so I have no idea how hard it is for the parents), it was implied Rosalie was raped by her fiance and his friends but she killed them all and felt better about everything until she realised she couldn't have babies so she turned into a mega bitch and hated everyone forever and Leah Clearwater does not get her happily ever after like everyone else because she can't have children. Bella is also killed (and then turned into a vampire by Edward, so we still have to listen to the whining) by a scary monster child called Renesmee and everything is fine even though the baby killed her mother but hey, the baby lived AND Bella got to be a vampire, what could be better? Oh yeah, Jacob! Forgot about him...Let's just throw in that he falls in love with the kid, why not? (And I don't mean 'aw, I fell in love with that puppy when I saw it' love, I mean 'I want to sex you and father your children' love) And nobody cares, even though it's a baby and Jacob was in love with her mother!
How could we come so far from the nightmarish monsters of the past to sparkling, superpowered, baseball playing freaks?
on 8 June 2008
I'm a big fan of vampires, so when I heard of Twilight and all of the positive reviews it was receiving, it immediately sparked my interest. Sadly enough, once I finished reading it I felt that I wanted my two days and seven pounds back. First and foremost, the characters, the core of the book, are nauseatingly saccharine Marie Sues. The moment Bella Swan (the name alone should be quite a good indicator that 'profound' or 'complex' are not a part of this character's agenda) arrives at Forks, three boys instantly fall in love with her, one of which is a beautiful vampire. And the book from then on dances back and forth around Bella and Edward the model vampire's relationship.
Bella (a character that I have grown to loathe) has no flaws whatsoever, apart from being very clumsy and a complete BORE. Honestly, the book revolves around the sole fact that Bella bases her entire existence upon Edward, whom she fell in love with only because he is of unearthly beauty. Yes, Meyer never forgot to emphasize that fact - in every single page of every single chapter. We get it! Personally, I couldn't care less about his sparkly topaz eyes or charming crooked smile.
Another thing that bothered me was the painfully obvious cracks in the plot. I really loathe when ends don't meet and the author fails to include a grain of logic here and there to make it a bit more believable, but I guess that's asking too much, when there isn't a plot to begin with.
Also, the whole vampiric aspect of Twilight has wandered so far off that I'm beginning to doubt whether vampires are actually included into the book. Meyer's laughable, sparkly (I emphasize this word. The most ridiculous and mind numbing point of the book), embarrassing creatures that she calls 'vampires' along with Twilight should have never been brought up into daylight (pun intended).
I wouldn't recommend reading this book if you're looking for a truly good read, because you'll end up being as disappointed as I am. If you're a vampire fan, I'd strongly recommend picking up one of Anne Rice's early works.
P.S. I'm fifteen, if you're wondering, thus included in the audience at which this book is aimed. Goes to show that even teenagers (gasp!) can identify a poorly written book when it's presented to them.