Tuesday, February 3, 2009

[Book Series Review] Twilight

The Twilight series totals four books and has recently jumped into the international reader’s eye, even if one disregards the recently released movie. The series has gained a massive following in its demographic (which, as far as I can tell, is teenage girls), unfortunately it’s not as good as Harry Potter, despite being almost the same size as the series page wise. The first book in the series, Twilight, came as quite a shock to me. I had become used to books gaining mild popularity despite bad writing, but I had to stop for a minute or two and say, “This? This!” I could not honestly fathom how the book could have gained popularity. The story contains characters that were so perfect in all aspects: the girl is clumsy and has never had a boyfriend, but is not objective to a boy who wants to be with her all the time and have her straddle his chest three weeks into their relationship. The boy is all too perfect, handsome, smart and caring. But wait! He’s a vampire. Oh, no, he doesn’t eat people. On top of that, he’s special for a vampire. The characters were so shallow in Twilight, they had no hobbies, no faults that didn’t fit their cliché, they were horrible. Not only that, many of the subjects of the tome are quite…well…bad. Lots of what the main character says is sexist (against women) and the males of the book just play along, all of them heroes, doting upon every girl in the class (of which there seems to be four). I found this book repulsive. I was shocked that so many bought the 130,000 book about nothing. I was so aversive to this book that I honestly could not justify reading the rest of the series. Fortunately, my mother bought them, so I was backed into a corner, lest I let money go to waste.

I was glad she did, because the second book was better. Mind you, not much better. The characters actually had a bit of emotion, but this became mere melodrama. “I can’t live without you, I love you.” The universe is expanded a bit, and the books become more of a fantasy. In addition to this, an actual conflict is presented. It was a little better, but not much. Still, it laid seeds that kept me wondering if Meyer had green literary thumbs. I then moved on to the third book of the series and my heart dropped.

Oh my god. It was as though someone had taken an enema of good writing skill and doused Stephanie Meyer. The book, while still not being a massive literary achievement, was leagues above its predecessors. There was a great conflict, action and a growing romantic tension. Meyer’s writing style is a double edged sword, its word heavy, but extremely light really; I finished this book in a day and a half. I felt proud to read Meyer’s work. Her first book was so bad, but her third… it showed that she had grown, I really felt like commending her. Though the book still had to appease its target demographic, so it didn’t have an all too compelling storyline, and the ending was not close to what my dark mind conspired. Still and all, it was a great Summer read. Its worth noting that it was this book that brought the series international success which, as a children’s book, it is more than worthy of.

The fourth and final book was just more of the third, not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just found it a bit of a let down. Though I knew in my heart that this would be the case, for Stephanie was bound to serving her dark and hungry god; the tweenage female market. I found myself left with a feeling of solace by finishing the series, knowing from what terribleness it had risen, I would now be proud to have that book in my personal library.

In conclusion, the end latter parts of the series are good examples of want young girls want in a book, though overall the series loses points for it's beginnings.


Bravo Stephanie Meyer, bravo.

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