Tuesday, September 02, 2008

REVIEW: Twilight

Title: Twilight
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Protagonist: 16-year-old Bella Swan
Setting: present-day Forks, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona
Series: #1
Rating: A+

First Line: My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down.

I overdosed on vampires with Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat novels. Although I've seen scads of vampire films, only one actor has made me believe that Dracula is sexy: Richard Roxburgh in Van Helsing. I just plain didn't care one way or the other about vampires. But when a friend's granddaughter wanted to be the first person in line for Breaking Dawn and insisted that her grandmother read the entire series, my friend raved about how good they were. Since Jeanie doesn't rave like that very often, I decided to give Twilight a try this past Sunday afternoon. It was like diving in a pool feet first, expecting to touch bottom, spring up and break free into the air and sunlight. Problem is...there was no bottom. I was in Twilight for the long haul. I lost track of time, of where I was.... When Denis called, the sound of the telephone scared the pudding out of me.

Meyer has taken the tried, true and rather tired conventions of the new kid in school, girl meets boy, and vampires and turned them into magic. Bella Swan's mother is in a new relationship and in order not to put undue strain on it, Bella decides to move to Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie. A mountainous, tree-covered and rainy small spot on the road on the Olympic Peninsula, Forks couldn't be any more different from Bella's favored Phoenix, Arizona than the surface of the moon. When she shows up at her new school, all the boys light up like solar flares, but Bella isn't interested. She is interested, however, in a group of five students who sit together in the cafeteria and don't eat. They are the adopted children of Dr. Carlisle Cullen, and Meyer does a masterful job of drawing out the suspense until Bella finds out just what the Cullens really are: vampires, good vampires who've sworn off human prey. Bella doesn't care. All she knows is that she is irrevocably in love with Edward Cullen, and she'd rather be dead than parted from him. Their relationship is made even more haunting by the fact that Bella has, in effect, a death sentence hanging over her if their emotions run out of control. All the Cullens accept Bella into their group for the sake of Edward, but when a nasty group of vampires come into the area and focus on the young human girl, the Cullens have to band together to save her life.

I don't think there's one part of this book that I didn't like. Bella is an amazing character: so unaware of herself, yet so resourceful, bright and capable of focusing on the heart of a matter. She brought tears to my eyes when she tried to describe the beauty of the Sonoran Desert to Edward. And Edward! What's not to like? I would imagine that thousands of females read the pages of his spending days questioning Bella about all her likes and dislikes...about every facet of her life...and thought, "Wow, where can I find someone like that?"

You have no earthly clue how hard it was for me to leave Target yesterday after my shift was over and not pick up the other three books in this series first. I managed to refrain today as well. Methinks that will change very, very soon. I even have a soft spot for Stephenie Meyer herself. As my friend Jeanie pointed out to me, Meyer also went to Brigham Young University and got a degree in English Literature and she also lives in Phoenix.

Once again, vampires have me in their clutches.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I didn't love everything about it, but I did find this book very comforting, in a weird sort of way. I think it just reminded me of the sorts of books I loved as a teenage girl. It was definitely a page turner. I haven't read the other three, but I've got them on my wishlist.


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