Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Publication Date: October 5, 2005
About three things I was absolutely positive.
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
Hello there, I’m Mr. Constellation, Mrs. Constellation’s husband. I should preface my own review with a bit of history of my own reading experiences. I began reading at the young age of 7 (or so) with every book fair attended while I was in elementary school. I’ve always had a love of female protagonists ever since my “first” book that I actually read and understood as reading. It was “The Island Of The Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell. Since then my go-to staple of a genre has been Science Fiction and Fantasy. While I have read some fiction of the drama variety (I loved “Divine Secrets of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood”) I’ve honestly never read a romance novel.
Contentious genre gate-keeping aside, I certainly do consider Twilight a romance novel first and foremost. A Supernatural book second. So we have to have a brief chat about the phenomenon behind Twilight. I personally wish to publicly apologize to all the fans of this book when it first came out and when it’s warmongering haters piled on the fans. Most importantly the young girls and young women who were simply trying to enjoy what little pleasures are given to them in any of our American consumable media. I simply rode on the backs of misogynistic and patriarchal boys and men who wanted to chastise women and girls for doing the very thing they do. It was hypocritical and wrong of me. You are allowed to enjoy things that I do not and to do so with the very fervor of which I partake in my own media. Your voices deserve to be heard, online and offline.
Now to my actual review.
This is the only book I’ve ever read of Stephanie Meyer. This may not be the only book I’ll ever read by her. I didn’t like how the first part of the book starts out sounding like a diary, or journal. It’s why I’m not too fond of reading memoirs, and ‘diary’ formatted novels. But if the author is able to tell the story as an orator, then I give them a pass. The second part came across as a more typical narrative, so it was far more tolerable. There were enough inconsistencies in the story (the weather or the personality or the motives of a character) that those were honestly the biggest sore spots. Many times while reading I had to ask myself, “didn’t they just?/wasn’t it just?/couldn’t they just have?” It was completely immersion-breaking. That said, there were quite a few times I was immersed in it. But it mainly had to do with two things.
Stephanie Meyer in Twilight does not know how to write about love. She does, however, know how to write about obsession. She doesn’t know how to make you feel the friendship between Bella and her human ‘friends’ or her new vampyr ‘friends’. There was rarely a connective tissue between any of the characters. We can say it’s just Bella’s distant to everyone around her. Yet that doesn’t explain why I didn’t feel warm and friendly when Jessica was with her friends or even Charlie and Bella’s mother. They all say and do things that seem lovely and sound lovely…but I never once got that feeling from it. The obsession aspect though, really had me holding my breath or a quickening of the pulse. I wish that in newer novels she writes, she’s worked on getting across other emotions just as powerfully.
That said, I fell in love with Mary Alice Brandon Cullen the most. Her story and voice in the book were its own presence. As if she was meant to be the protag the entire time. Which for a page or two, I had wished that’s what would happen. Though I knew it never would. Her sense of conviction and generous ‘heart’ for encompassing her thoughts and feelings for more than herself is honestly the direct antithesis of who Bella is. This is why when she became ‘friends’ with Bella I didn’t feel that Alice would really befriend someone so selfish. Though becoming friends with her would bring harmony to the Cullen clan, especially with the lack of human awareness that they sorely needed. I would very much enjoy reading a story just about Alice, since her power is also far more impressive than Edward’s mind-reading. In my humble opinion, Jasper is simply a narrative skin tag.
To conclude this, I would not continue reading the rest of the series unless challenged as I was with this one. I’m not interested in Bella. I’m not curious about Edward. The ‘love’ in the book isn’t powerful enough to keep me reading. The obsession is too suffocating for me to enjoy reading more. The villain (James) was so trope-y that I laughed out loud during most of his lines. The action read more like someone spilling milk than feeling like there was something at stake. I know she wrote these pretty much back to back, so I doubt the style or talent changed much between books. Now, The Host, I’ll be reading that some other month.
Thank you Mrs. Constellation for the chance to review a book. Thank you to You, her fans, for giving her the time of day and a piece of your mind. I appreciate it.
About the Author:
Best known for her Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer’s four-book collection has sold over 100 million copies globally in over 50 countries, with translations in 37 different languages. Meyer was the highest-selling author of 2008 and 2009 in the United States, having sold over 29 million books in 2008, and 26.5 million books in 2009. In 2008, Meyer also released The Host, which debuted at #1 on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Additionally, USA Today declared Meyer “Author of the Year,” citing that she had done something that no one else had in the 15 years of the USA Today bestselling book list– she swept the top four slots in 2008. Meyer also accomplished this feat in 2009, when The Twilight Saga once again dominated the top of the bestseller list. All together, her books have spent over 303 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and sons.
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I hope you enjoyed this review by my wonderful husband! He will be back with a few more guest post/reviews soon.