Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
|Twilight by Stephenie Meyer|
|Reviewer: Karen Inskip-Hayward|
|Summary: Interesting, entertaining and with good characters. It's aimed at the teen market but will be enjoyed by any fantasy fan.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: September 2006|
This series is a Times Educational Supplement Teachers' Top 100 Book
I had heard of the Twilight series of books by Stephenie Meyer about six months ago, when my American friends were raving about them. At first, I didn't bother with the novels, as they were teen fiction and I'm rather older. Then at Christmas, I decided to buy a copy of the first book - Twilight - as a stocking filler for my eighteen and fifteen year old daughters. By this time, the film was out and I had seen plenty of images of Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, so I pictured him in the role. After all the hype, I borrowed one of the books from my daughters and read it. This is what I thought…
I found the story very easy to get into and the characters interesting. The main one is seventeen year old Isabella Swan (Bella) and Twilight is told from her point of view. After living with her mother in Arizona, she moves to be with her father in a small place called Forks in Washington. It is much quieter there - the sort of place where everyone knows everyone - and it usually rains.
Her father, Charlie, is a police officer and is used to living on his own and being independent, so he gives Bella time and space to adjust. Although he does love her, he is not very open or demonstrative. It takes Bella a while to get used to living in a place so different from Arizona. She makes friends fairly easily, but soon notices one boy at school - Edward Cullen. He is strikingly handsome with pale skin and amazing eyes, but only hangs round with his siblings and apparently can't stand Bella. This intrigues her and she wants to find out more about the Cullens.
It is not spoiling things to say a relationship develops between the two and that Edward is a vampire. Anyone who has heard of the book or the film and seen any posters will know this basic information. It is basically billed as 'a teen romance with teeth' or other similar things and yes, that describes it very well. It's a new angle on the age-old high school romance. But that doesn't mean it's a negative thing.
There were only a couple of times when I cringed at the too-sickly-sweet writing. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book, soon became wrapped up in the story and it kept me reading. I didn't feel it was too much teen-orientated, nor too American, so I would definitely recommend it for anyone to read.
Bella and Edward are both interesting characters and you really want their relationship to work out, despite the obvious complications of the latter's dietary requirements. It is easy to understand the allure of the Cullens and you can believe Bella's love and attraction for Edward. What I also found fascinating was the whole back story that Stephenie Meyer has created. The ideology of the vampire life has been adapted or recreated, so they have their own ways of existing in the human world. We learn how the Cullens became changed, their unique attributes and how they spent their leisure time. These little details held my interest throughout and I hope to learn more in the future novels.
Twilight reminded me slightly of Harry Potter for older kids and I know the Meyer novels are almost as popular in the US as J. K. Rowling is in the UK. So if your children have happily devoured their fill of Potter, they may well wish to continue into the Twilight zone. (Ha!) It's 434 pages long, so a good-sized book. It isn't a wonderful classic piece of literary work, but it is a good read that you can escape into for a mixture of thriller, drama and romance - and you don't have to be a teenager (or a vampire!) to enjoy it.
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