Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
I’ve found myself having a good old titter over the Amazon reviews of this book – which vary wildly from not being able to praise it enough, to calling it a steaming pile of [insert appropriate word here]. A review by The Times is equally amusing – “Guaranteed to suck in sulky 13+ girls for hours.” I suppose I would fall into both of those categories (am I still classed as a girl at 23?) and I indeed, thought it was good. I do find it easy to become absorbed in books in any case, so that’s no mean feat. But given the number of vampire novels I’ve read, it takes something really special for me to start raving about a book’s excellence. So I won’t. Rave, that is. Let me demonstrate.
17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father as her mother and her partner have opportunities elsewhere in the States, and Isabella is feeling a little in the way. So off she goes, to the most miserable rainy place in the good old US of A. Isabella is fully expecting life in Forks to be dull and isn’t happy about the move, but being a completely selfless teenager, off she goes.
Arriving in Forks, Bella makes herself at home in the place she had only previously visited in school holidays. School is a bit of an ordeal for her. The people, boys in particular, seem to be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Some of them appear to throw themselves at her at an alarming rate, whereas others behave as though she is a bad smell. Unfortunately, the guys that like Bella hold no interest for her, and the one guy she is attracted to seems to loathe her. Bella’s very presence has Edward Cullen shuffling his seat in Biology away from her.
Bella’s confusion at the gorgeous Edward’s behaviour only increases when he saves her life. A tragic accident has a truck plunging towards Bella in the parking lot at school, but Edward jumps to push her out of the path of the vehicle. From then on, he seems to blow hot and cold, then, more hot than cold. Bella feels sure there is something behind Edward’s odd behaviour and makes it her job to find out. But when she does… it’s not exactly what she expected.
I enjoyed this book. I know I’m not really the target market as I’m a few years out of my teenage period, but it wasn’t bad. No, it’s not Anne Rice, it’s not Karen Chance, Christine Feehan, or Katie MacAllister. But then, none of those authors are aiming their books at this target market. They’re aiming them at horror/romance/mild erotica fans. Of which I am one. But I can also be objective and say that I liked this book for what it was. It didn’t have the sexual tension or eroticism of the books of writers I just mentioned, but given Twilight is aimed at a different age group, that’s hardly surprising. It’s not scary either – not for me anyway. I think it’s just perfect for the readers it’s written for. Not too scary, not too sexy, not too adult.
Overall, I think if you’re an adult who likes vampire novels and can remain objective you will derive enjoyment from this book. It’s a really interesting plot. It’s a little cheesy in places – but then, a little cheesiness never hurt anyone. If you don’t want to read a book which is essentially too young for you, then don’t. But I’m going to be reading the sequels to find out what happens next! I may not be a teenager, but I’m still intrigued. And I will be going to see the film – it’ll be great to see how this translates to the screen. Plus, the guy who’s going to be playing Edward Cullen is gorgeous – loved him in Harry Potter.