Friday, November 07, 2008

#34 Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

After moving from sunny Phoenix to bleak and rainy Forks, Washington, Isabella Swan is prepared to be bored out of her mind. But it's a sacrifice she's willing to make for the good of her parents, allowing her mom time to travel with her new husband, Phil. Once in Forks however, Bella becomes quite taken by the beauty of the mysterious Cullen family, and is pleasantly surprised when the gorgeous Edward Cullen begins to show an interest in her as well.

For a very long time now, Edward has held his family's secret close to his heart, no one in town knowing their true nature as vampires. But now that Bella has his heart, and falling for a human is completely new to him, it's her right to know... and his job to protect her from the others of his kind.

I was looking forward to reading this book due to all the attention it's been getting and because the movie is due out at the end of this month, November 21st to be exact. Based on the movie trailer, the movie would seem to follow the book pretty closely.

Unfortunately, despite all the hype, this book didn't quite live up to my expectations. For starters, it had a bit more romance than I usually care for. Besides Bella going on and on for pages on end about her feelings for Edward *gag*, the plot of the story itself was very relationship driven (thus marking it as a romance) as opposed to action driven, which is generally my preference in the paranormal and fantasies titles I read.

I've seen P.C. Cast's House of Night series (a favorite of mine) compared to the Twilight books several times, but in my opinion, the only thing the two series have in common is that they're both a series of young adult novels based in a world where vampires live among us. End of similarities.

In Twilight, the relationship between Bella and Edward takes center stage to drive the plot line forward. In the House of Night books, the plot is advanced by other action going on, not by the relationship between the main characters. Of course, the amount of romance one likes in their reading, and the presence or absence of a romantic plot or subplot is a highly subjective matter. I've made it known in several of my previous reviews that I don't particularly care for romance novels on the whole, unless the romance is more of a subplot of the main story.

Further, many of the characters in Twilight seemed very one-dimensional and even a bit stereotypical. Bella's new school friends, for example, seemed to be there for her convenience, to fill her time between that which she spent with Edward or otherwise pining after him; she didn't even seem to care for them all that much.

The Cullen family of vampires were all beautiful, ethereal, and exotic, typical vampire characteristics. But alas, I appreciate that here the author at least took a few liberties with some of the qualities these vampires possessed. For example, the fact that they don't sleep, or the way they sparkle in the sunlight, the latter bringing to mind images of faeries flitting through a garden. LOL

But overall, I thought the characters seemed pretty shallow and I wasn't particularly endeared to any of them. Perhaps this first novel lays a lot of the groundwork for the series and certain things will be better developed in later novels. I hope so because I have the rest of the books waiting on Mt TBR and I'd really hate to be let down by all of them in the same way.

In short, I'd still say that Twilight was a decent enough read, but it wasn't the "blow me away" novel I'd been expecting based on all it's hype.

BookCrossing journal page for this book


Marlene said...

Yes I agree. Reading back to what I wrote when reading Twilight I also said there was too much romance to my liking in it. Especially the first half of the book. Weirdly enough the story did caught me and once I finished I immediately ordered the other 3 books. I liked those better. They are not the best written books but they are addictive.

Cherie said...

I'm glad you saw this review Marlene! I was thinking of you while I wrote it, and thinking I should make sure to ping you with a link to it. But then I figured you'd probably get notified of it on either Shelfari or Goodreads too (since I crosspost to those as well as LibraryThing and ReadingSocial on facebook). :)