Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
October 8, 2008
In Twilight, Bella first comes across as a mature, confident girl. She’s not thrilled about her situation, but she tries to make the best of it. The worst that can be said of her is that she’s occasionally condescending when it comes to her parents, which isn’t exactly a rare trait in a teenager.
Then she meets a guy.
After a too-long period of trying to ignore each other, Bella and Edward settle into a relationship. Much of the rest of the book involves Bella thinking, talking, and agonizing over the moment-to-moment details of their status. Edward runs hot and cold, and he’s constantly telling Bella that he’s no good for her. Bella argues with him a lot and grows increasingly obsessed.
Then she finds out that he’s a vampire.
He expects her to be repelled for some reason, but of course Bella thinks that Edward is perfect by this point. So his vampiric powers (which include strength, speed, sparkling in direct sunlight, and supernatural hotness) make him even more perfect, especially because he gets all those cool vamp powers but feeds on animals instead of humans. Far more creepy than his vampirism is Edward’s admission that he sneaks into her room to watch her sleep, but Bella doesn’t mind that much either. Edward is also telepathic, but he can’t read Bella’s mind.
Bella meets Edward’s adoptive family, and that’s when things finally seem to pick up. She attracts the attention of a strong vampire who doesn’t share Edward’s animal-only diet. Bella goes on the run while Edward and his family use their various powers to try to protect her and take out the threat.
I can understand why some people enjoy Twilight, but I don’t really get how it’s become such a huge phenomenon. I don’t find the main characters that interesting or likable, and I prefer my stories with more plot and less navel-gazing. I’m not sure if I’d have loved it even if I was in the target audience. I was raised on fantasy and adventure novels, and didn’t have much patience for overly-passive heroines. I still enjoy the schoolgirl-meets-vampire series that came out when I was young. But those books had, as the song says, a little less conversation and a little more action.
And no sparkling at all.