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About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight is a love story with bite.

498 pages, Paperback

First published October 5, 2005

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About the author

Stephenie Meyer

78 books73.6k followers
Stephenie Meyer is the author of the bestselling Twilight series, The Host, and The Chemist. Twilight was one of 2005's most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list. Among its many accolades, Twilight was named an "ALA Top Ten Books for Young Adults," an Amazon.com "Best Book of the Decade So Far," and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three sons.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 125,448 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah.
105 reviews37 followers
December 4, 2013
Okay, I have to say that I picked this book up partly due to all the hype (and partly because it's involved two of my favorite genres)... I mean, so many people had recommended it to me and I finally got sick of hearing about it, so I picked it up and read it... or as least tried to.

Let me first say that I am a huge romance and vampire/supernatural fan, so when I first heard about the book I was really excited to read it because it combined two of my favorite genres.

But, I really regret ever buying and forcing myself to finish it (I hate not finishing books, even if I hate them), it was so bad. Though, let me tell you that I really wanted to like it, really I did... I'm one of those people who likes a lot of popular things, Twilight was popular, so I figured... I would love it just like everyone else, but I was very, very wrong.

A lot of fans wonder why I hate the book so much and here is my list and it's a pretty long one, so get ready:

1. Lack of characterization:
Bella- Okay... I absolutely hated this girl. She was the worst female protagonist I have ever read about! She's stupid, shallow, selfish and just plain annoying! Not to mention she's pathetically dependent on Edward... I mean, come on, NO girl should be that dependent on a boy, not only is that pathetic, but it is very unhealthy. She was also a clumsy little damsel in distress who was dumb enough to get herself into situations that she couldn't get out of. I would have loved for Meyer to have given her a backbone, so she could have done something useful instead of whining and doing stupid, idiotic things that no remotely intelligent teenage girl would actually do. Not to mention the fact that she is apparently very "plain" looking... if that's the case then why are there several guys fawning over her? (And, according to Meyer, one of them is a teacher... um, ew). Bella is a Mary Sue, simple as that. And I hate Mary Sues.
Edward- Okay, this boy is just way too possessive and stalkerish (it is not romantic of him to sneak into Bella's room and watch her sleep! It's creepy and wrong!) Oh, and "bad boys" usually don't sit there and say "I'm dangerous, stay away" etc. all the time... I also hated the fact that Bella described some part of his body every other page. It was completely UNNECESSARY!! Okay, we get the fact that he's hot, Bella... now MOVE ON!

I could go on and on about all the characters... every single one of them was a flat, cardboard cut-out that did not seem realistic at all.

2. Writing style:
Purple Prose- Ew... to this... seriously, all the purple prose made me want to throw the book across the room. Enough said.

3. Descriptions:
I know I said up there that I got sick of reading about how gorgeous some part of Edward's body was every other paragraph... and if that wasn't bad enough... what's worse than is the fact that even with all that unnecessary description of him and everyone else (though mostly him, since Bella is that shallow) I still had a hard time picturing him or any of the characters in my head, for that matter. I also had a hard time picturing a lot of the setting and the action in my head as well. It's kind of sad really... there was so much description, you would think that everything (Edward especially) would be embedded into my brain, but no. That's what makes me wonder why so many fans find Edward so "hot", I never got a clear picture of him in my head to even begin to form an opinion about whether he was "hot" or not.

Seriously, Meyer completely abused the dictionary and the thesaurus while writing this book (so much so that I think she should never be allowed to look at either one ever again)... there are so many big descriptive words used that could be replaced by smaller words that look and sound better. Half the time the words that she does use doesn't really go with what she's trying to say. Simply put: Stephenie Meyer is a moron and doesn't know that when writing you are supposed to use the thesaurus sparingly (aka: only when it is truly needed and not any time you damn well please), it really ruins everything if it's used too much... as Meyer has perfectly portrayed with this atrocious book.

4. Plot:
Okay, the plot gets it's own category because it pissed me off so much. I mean, seriously... where was it?! It was nothing but sappy, gag worthy fluff between Edward and Bella until page 400 or so, when something finally happened. And, even then... it went by so fast and was not explained well at all (since Bella conveniently fainted during it, which is such a cop out). It seemed to me that Meyer just threw it in there, and it was only put there in the first place, so that she could point at it and say, "Look, there's a plot right there.", when people like me came around and said otherwise. But that's not a plot!! The plot should not take 400 pages to start! And no the whole "romance" between Bella and Edward is not the plot! This is especially the case since we knew from the beginning... thanks to the moronic give away on the back cover that states that Bella and Edward were going to fall in love... speaking of that, who the hell thought it would be a good idea to give away the fact that Edward was a vampire on the back cover?! I mean... really?! That took away any suspense/mystery the book might have had for the reader about what he was... so, while Bella was stupidly wondering what he was, I was sitting there yelling at her for being such a moron and not seeing what was right in front of her.

5. Plot holes
The one thing that drove me absolutely CRAZY was the the fact that no one in the small town of Forks noticed that the Cullens never aged! And the "children" never graduated and went on to college. I mean, if they've been there for more than four years, than I'm assuming that someone would have noticed! I mean, the town could not be full of that many morons! (Okay... I've been told several times that Cullens have only been living in Forks for about two years... I guess all the purple prose distracted me from reading and remembering that little detail...) Speaking of school, why in the world would they willingly choose to take high school over and over again? Especially since they all have several college degrees (which leads me to wonder why, since they are so "human loving" they can't do something useful with their education like Carlisle, instead of sitting on their butts all day and just being useless) I know they need to "fit in", but seriously.. . that's just stupid... they could always pretend that they're home schooled (it's not that uncommon these days). Since that's how the Cullens fit into society, that means they have to move every four or five years to avoid suspicion, right? Wow... that must really suck. However, they wouldn't have to do that if they didn't put the younger ones in school since if they were in the workforce (and being useful to society) then they could stay for a lot longer before people started wondering why they don't age. But, I think I know why Edward and his "siblings" tortured themselves day after day by going to high school... Stephenie Meyer wasn't creative enough to come up with any other way for Edward and Bella to meet. It would have made more sense for them to have been neighbors or something. I can come up with several nice ideas about how that would have turned out and it would have been much better.

I've been told that there are more, but those are the two that really bugged me. Though, I love the fans response to the mention of any plot hole (the rabid ones, not the sane ones, of course). It usually goes like this: "Well it is a fictional vampire book." That's a stupid reason. Just because it's a book with vampires doesn't mean it's exempt from having to be realistic and not having glaring plot holes.

I've also been told that there are even more in later books, but I'm not about to torture myself by reading the rest of the series just to find them and list them... I have better things to do with my time... like reading books that are actually good and not a waste of my time or money.

6. Vampires
Like I said before, I'm a big vampire fan. But, this book is an embarrassment to vampire fiction. The vampires are pathetic, sweet, innocent, almost "misunderstood" creatures. I know that Meyer has every right to create her own idea about vampires. And, to be honest, I was okay with her idea about vampires until they started sparkling. VAMPIRES DON'T SPARKLE! To have them sparkle takes away the evilness of the myth of the creatures (since, they are creatures of the devil...at least, originally, they were). Evil creatures do not sparkle, the idea's laughable at best. Most normal people are not scared of something that sparkles in the sun. I mean, I know if I saw someone sparkling; I would not immediately think "vampire" and run. Not only because I don't associate sparkling with vampires, but also because how the hell is sparkling evil or scary?! By the way, the whole sparkling vampire idea just seemed to be there because Meyer wanted a reason as to why the vampires could even walk around in the daylight to begin with. The idea was just a convenient way for her to write the vampires. Since, she's incapable of coming up with a better, much more creative idea. I don't mind the fact that they could come out during the day (since that's not unheard of in vampire fiction nowadays), but I wish that Meyer had come up with a better idea that didn't make me laugh uncontrollably at the thought.

All the other myths about vampires are nonexistent. Holy water and garlic won't bother them (just like the sun), stake through the heart won't kill them either, even beheading them won't get rid of them. She made her vampires practically invincible (which is annoying). The only way to really kill one of her vampires is to rip it apart and burn the pieces or to blow it up. Two things that a human would have a hard time doing... which, makes me wonder why, if they're so invincible, they live in secrecy? Especially since (from my knowledge) most vampires don't live like the Cullens, they could careless about humans. If most other vampires were so cruel, why don't they come out to humanity and take over? It makes a lot more sense since a mere human would have a very difficult time killing just one vampire. The fact that they had no weaknesses annoyed the crap out of me. Along with being almost invincible, they all had these special "powers", but they didn't have the bad side effects with them, only the good. All in all, her vampires were perfect.

I don't like my vampires to be blood thirsty monsters that kill everything in sight. But, I also don't want them to be so pathetic and innocent either. The only two vampiric qualities that are there are the ones that are well known among everyone: drinking blood (well, sort of since the Cullens are "vegetarian" vampires; an idea that seriously made me laugh) and being immortal. Otherwise, the Cullens are disgustingly human like.

I think the thing I have the problem with the most is the fact that Meyer has never seen any vampire movies/t.v. shows or read any vampire novels. There's this saying in regards to writing: "Write what you know". Stephenie Meyer knew nothing about vampires when she wrote this horrible excuse for a vampire novel (which is probably why it was so awful in comparison to other vampire novels, whether those books are in the romance section of the bookstore or the horror/sci-fi section). A good author always does their research (whether it's fiction or non-fiction is irrelevant). This doesn't mean that she needed to go by the other myths, it just means that she should have done a little research to see what she was getting herself into. If she had done this, I would have been able to respect her ideas more because at least then she would have done her research.

Where the vampires are concerned, this novel is an embarrassment to vampire/supernatural fiction.

7. Messages
I am somewhat appalled at the messages that this book sends out.. they are so anti-feminist, it's disgusting:
1. It's perfectly okay to have no goals or aspirations or even an education, just get yourself a man and he'll take care of you. (All Bella wants is to be with Edward, some aspirations, huh?)
2. It's also perfectly okay to like someone because of their physical features... this is not love people, it's lust! They have nothing in common! He likes her because she smells nice and she likes him because he's hot. (Bella goes on and on and on about how hot some part of Edward is every other page)
3. When you have several guys fawning over you pick the hottest one of them all because looks are so very important. (Mike and Eric pretty much say the same thing to Bella on her first day of school, but she's nicer to Mike than Eric because the latter wasn't very attractive. Also, she picks Edward because of his looks as well)
4. It's okay if the guy you love sneaks into your bedroom and watches you sleep at night (before you even know him all that well)... that's completely normal and romantic... not the the least bit creepy or stalkerish. (It's completely disgusting to hear girls talk about this. They swoon and gush about how romantic it is... seriously, what is wrong with people these days?!)
5. It is perfectly okay to become completely obsessed with your boyfriend and depend on him for everything.(Bella's obsession and dependence on Edward sets feminism back a couple hundred years or so)
6. It also teaches that not only is it okay to change yourself for a guy, but it's also okay to give up EVERYTHING for him as well. (Bella wants to become a vampire and leave her family and friends to be with Edward. What. The. Hell.)
7. Your life is not complete until you find a man. (This is nothing but a LIE. Girls do not need a man to be complete)

Like with the plot holes, I've been told that there are many more terrible messages in later books and once again, I'm not about to go out and read the books. However, I will say this... from what I've heard, they sound worse than the ones I've already listed.

8. The Obsession:
Well, this gets its own category, mostly because I just don't understand what all the obsession is over... it's a book, and a poorly written one at that. I run across girls all the time arguing over who Edward "belongs" to... it's pathetic and kind of scary. He's a book character... he doesn't belong to anyone, but Meyer, since she's the one who created him.

I also hate the fact that I can't go into the book store now without being bombarded with a huge display dedicated to this crappy series... makes me sick to see such praise and popularity for a mediocre book series when there are so much better authors out there that are virtually ignored since they write real fiction and none of this poorly written wish fulfillment fantasy crap.

This was obviously a fulfillment story that I would expect a preteen to write on her livejournal. This is not a book I would expect a thirty something year old woman with a college education to write and actually attempt and then succeed in getting published. And, it was a degree in English... seriously, I would have expected much better from someone who had that degree... since she spent college studying books and analyzing them etc. you would think that she would know how to write one the proper way...

Meyer could have made this book great, but no... instead she took the easy way out: a cliched, simple, overused plot and added vampires to it(as if that made it any different).

Honestly, I've read better over on fictionpress.com... and that's really sad, because most of the authors over there are between the ages of 14 and 26 and are amateurs in the field. Maybe, if Meyer had posted this up there first, it would have been a much better story because the good writers over there would have set her straight. Maybe then, I would have been able to get through the novel, because it might have actually been good!

And, oh just for the record... Twilight is NOT the next Harry Potter, nor is it better than Harry Potter... I say that not only because JK Rowling actually has talent, but also because they are in completely different genres and can't really be compared.

Though, it does make me sick to see Harry Potter even mentioned in the same sentence as this piece of crap... (unfortunately, that couldn't be avoided in this review) and it's an insult to JK Rowling to have her amazing writing compared to the horrible writing of Stephenie Meyer.

EDIT: I found this site, and thought I should share with everyone: http://reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.c...
The creator of the above site has scanned copies of the Twilight books on to her computer and has taken it upon herself to point out the many issues that the books have (these are mostly grammatical in nature). If you are a fangirl who believes that Twilight is perfect and has no flaws then you should really take a look at this.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
February 22, 2012

Actual rating: 1.5 stars. Believe it or not, there are actually a few books that are worse than Twilight.

Ok, funny story. I was sitting on my couch with my husband last night finishing up Twilight. I slammed the book shut and began rubbing my temples. Then, my husband goes, "So you finally finished, huh?" "Yes. I can't believe I used to like this book," I said. "Hahaha! Yeah, I remember you were on Twilight's balls hard." Yeah, yeah, yeah...

There isn't a single book on my shelf that has fluctuated between all ratings besides Twilight. No, your eyes do not deceive you. I actually have read Twilight 4 times. I used to hail from Shelfari.com and the first rating I ever gave Twilight was 5 stars. After I made the switch to GoodReads, I decided to give it 4 stars instead. So, recently I was browsing my GoodReads shelf (I often do that to clean up ratings), I noticed Twilight was sitting pretty at 4 stars and was on my "favorites" shelf. At the time I thought, "Wow, that's not accurate at all. Maybe it deserves 3 stars?" But I quickly decided, no, no, no...I'll just do a fun little project and re-read the series and give them all better ratings. If your curious about the details of the project, stop on over here: Project: Hindsight. And hey, if you like what you see, won't you subscribe? Yes? /end shameless self promotion.

The coolest thing about re-reading Twilight is that it has caused me to create really cool new shelves such as:

"Kill me now"

"Idiot heroine"

"This is *not* literature"

And my personal favorite: "Where's my chocolate?"

One of the first things I noticed during this re-read was how incredibly boring it was. Bella is dull as a doorknob. And the first few chapters of the book are essentially a 'Bitch, Moan, Complain' session. So, we have Bella moving to Forks, WA because she wants her mother to be happy (more on that later). And she's all like, "Ohhhh, I hate this place. It's green. Ewww, it's wet. Fuck my life." And what's one of the first things Bella does when she arrives in Forks? She cooks Charlie dinner.


No, I don't have an issue with a female character enjoying cooking, but it is practically thrown in my face that Charlie can't fend for himself; Bella has to cook. Well, what the hell was he doing before she arrived?! Oh, ya, did anyone else realize that despite the fact that she says she is not allowed to call Charlie by his first name; she almost always calls him Charlie? WTF.

Bella goes to school and during lunch she first cast her eyes on the Cullen family. Her next period happens to be Biology (because that's where you'd meet a vampire, right?) and as she walks past the fan Edward goes:
And she's like, "WTF. Do I smell?" Little does she know that Eddie just wants to devourer her little, ivory skinned ass. His reaction is so off-putting that she cries when she gets back to her truck. All because Eddie doesn't like her. Who the hell cares, Bella? Conceded much? Get over yourself. But no, she just obsesses with it.
"Edward Cullen didn't come back to school. Everyday, I watched anxiously until the rest of the Cullens had entered the cafeteria without him."
Meanwhile, poor Mike is trying to put the moves on Bella and invites her to a beach trip. Speaking of the beach trip, here is something the editors should have picked up on. When the beach trip is first brought up it's supposed to be happening in two weeks. But, as Bella goes on and on about nothing in particular, a few pages later she mentions
"...just because he'd happened to look at me for the first time in a half-dozen weeks."
Wait, what? Anyone notice something? Six weeks have passed and the beach trip is where? Not only that, but the girl's choice dance was also two weeks away and here six weeks have passed...
"I was surprised he would remember the name; I'd mentioned it just once, almost two months ago."
Anyway, moving on. Some random shit happens causing Edward to swoop in and save danger prone Bella. The worst thing about Twilight is how incredibly dependent Bella is on Edward. When she's not with him, she is always thinking about him. And that doesn’t make any sense. She barely knows him. They've had like two or three conversations and she has thoughts like:
"And what was my other choice--to cut him out of my life? Intolerable. Besides, since I'd come to Forks, it really seemed like my life was about him."
"It would cause me physical pain to be separated from him now."
"You are my life. You're the only thing it would hurt me to lose."
And then, because Edward must always prove to Bella that he loves her more than she loves him, he pulls this line:
"Don't you see? That's what proves me right. I care the most because if I can do it---if leaving is the right thing to do, then I'll hurt myself to keep from hurting you, to keep you safe."
Are you kidding me? This is not love. But how could it be, with Edward torn between eating her and making out with her? Edward is a controlling creepy creeper. He had been watching her sleep for weeks before they started talking! Meyer are you condoning stalkish behavior?! Photobucket Not.Fucking.Cool.

I once read that Stephenie Meyer had a dream and that is how Twilight was born. She says she actually started writing from chapter 13 (The Meadow) to the ending. Then, she went back and wrote the first half. It totally shows. While it's true the entire book is a shit storm in action, the second half is noticeably worse. The first half can easily be summed up as "Bella's Bitch Fest meets Creep-ward" and believe me when I say, it's really not as bad as the second half. How is that even possible? I have no idea, but Meyer pulls that shit off flawlessly. And ya know? I have a theory on that. Because Meyer had a dream about Bella and Edward and their 'true love' and she went to work on the second half before the first, there is all this raw emotions, strange pet names, and banter that's supposed to be romantic but fails miserably. I just felt terribly uncomfortable reading it. And to top it all off, it was so bad, like, eye bleeding bad! It made me so angry I actually pulled out a pen and started marking this damn book up. Don't believe me? LMAO, seriously folks, I took notes. Feast your eyes on my personal copy of Toilette Twilight .

I've also noticed a trend with Meyer. She doesn't write fight scenes. There was a huge build up for a fight with James and we see nothing of the fight. Bella is informed of what happened after the fact. Good job, Stephenie. You totally ripped off your readers there. So, Carlisle is sitting there fixing up Bella on the ground (and he randomly has Morphine, by the way -_-) and Bella is in the process of passing out. But first, Carlisle has a little conversation about Bella's mom and she somehow finds the will to mention to Alice what she knows about James. Like, really? Go to sleep Bella. You talk too much.

I won't bore you with the details of the ending. I'm sure you already know. But I do want to say that Bella's mother is the most selfish character (next to Bella, of course). First she ships her off to Forks so she could be with her new husband. And no, do not tell me Bella chose to do that. Renee is the parent and it's *her* job to make sacrifices. Then, when Bella is in the hospital after the fight with James, she acts like she can't be bothered to stay with Bella.
Then she sighed and glaced guiltily over her shoulder at the big, round clock on the wall.
"Do you need to go?"
She bit her lip. "Phil's supposed to call in a little while...I didn't know you were going to wake up..."
Really?? Really, Renee?! Your daughter almost died and you are seriously acting like this? Un-fucking-believable. Oh, but this shit gets better:
"I'll be back soon. I've been sleeping here, you know," she announced, proud of herself.
Huh? Do you want a cookie for that? It's your job!
"I can stay if you need me."
"No, Mom, I'll be fine. Edward will be with me."
She looked like that might be why she wanted to stay.
"I'll be back tonight." Its sounded as much like a warning as it sounded like a promise, and she glanced at Edward again as she said it.
And what does she think Edward and Bella are going to do? She has a broken leg, broken ribs, and cracks in her skull. C'mon now!

Then Edward takes Bella to prom, he kisses her neck. The fucking end.
Would I recommend this? Bahahahahahah! You're shitting me, right? I'm about to go do this to my bookshelf:

But I'll tell you what I recommend. I recommend we all do this to our copies of Toilette.

Continue on with the madness with my review of Midnight Sun and New Moon.

*****BONUS TIME*****

I love bonuses! They are so much fun! Have you seen the Twilight parody by The Hillywood Show? No?! Go watch now!!
Twilight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MKz0g...
New Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti13oO...
Eclipse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cue1lw...
I personally love the Eclipse one.

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,213 followers
May 27, 2008
Oh my. This book, to me, is like chocolate: a delicious, sinful, addictive indulgence which you convince yourself has beneficial qualities (zinc, calcium, keeps me quiet at that time of the month...) in order to justify your addiction.

By "beneficial qualities", I mean that it's reading, and since when is reading bad? :) Let me say quite clearly that I'm a sucker for romance, especially the intense, passionate, tragic kind. I don't read romance novels*, though, because to me they are lacklustre - Meyer's book has the extra edge I need, though, a great way of keeping doom hanging over the main characters' heads: she's human, he's a vampire.

Sound corny? Yeah, I know, and the only reason Meyer gets away with it as well as she does is because Twilight doesn't try to be anything it's not, and it has such conviction. Only Meyer could get away with giving her narrator the name Isabella Swan. She says in her little bio at the back that she wanted to write believable characters: an interesting choice, then, to write about vampires, but I believed in them, and without such a willing suspension of disbelief, the story would have been a farce. True, a lot of people haven't been able to suspend their disbelief with this book, but that doesn't affect my reading experience :)

Seventeen year old Bella's parents are divorced. She lives with her mum in Phoenix, Arizona, and spends time with her dad Charlie in Forks, Washington State, where it rains almost constantly. She hates Forks, but when her mum remarries a baseball player, Phil, and starts travelling with him, Bella decides to move to Forks.

On her first day at school she notices the isolated group of five beautiful, graceful siblings. Rosalie, Alice, Emmet, Edward and Jasper. One in particular catches her eye: Edward Cullen, with his rust-brown hair and topaz eyes. She is more than a little surprised and shocked when he seems to have developed an acute, profound hatred of her. Her fascination deepens, especially when, after a brief disappearance, he saves her life. She soon figures out what Edward is, and the knowledge doesn't frighten her. The shaky friendship between them develops into something much stronger, and Edward reveals his overpowering reaction to her smell that nearly made him kill her on the spot - hence the look on his face that so shocked her, and the restraint he put on himself during an hour of Biology.

Let's not forget he's incredibly handsome: even though Bella describes almost every glance he makes and every twitch of his lips, not once did I get bored and roll my eyes. My fascination grew alongside hers, until I too fell in love with Edward - in a totally girly, daydreamy way. Yes, I admit it. I don't know if that makes this a girly kind of book - these days those boundaries don't seem to matter so much, and the vampire family is pretty darn cool, what with Edward's extra ability to read minds, Alice's premonitions, Jasper's ability to affect people's emotions, their speed, their invincibility... Bella is at one point compared to Lois Lane, because Edward and his kin really are like Superman.

One of the things I love about YA books: the clarity with which they are written. Granted there is some repetition in Twilight, but to me it's necessary repetition. There's nothing superfluous in Twilight, nothing that shouldn't be there, and the flow, the pacing, is great. It's a fat book, but I read it in two days. I read it with breakfast, on my walk to the subway, on the subway, up the escalator, through the ticket gates, to work, in my lunch break ... you get the picture. I couldn't get enough of it, and it left me with that same craving for more that Harry Potter did (I remember scrounging around for loose change as soon as I finished one of them and dashing off into the city to get my next fix. It helped that four were already out when I started). There's plenty of negative stuff you could say about this book - the writing, the characters, the obsession - but again, I couldn't care less :)

Another thing I loved was all the vampire myths Meyer scrapped. These vampires aren't burnt to ash by sunlight: their marble skin glitters as the sunlight is broken into miniscule shards, like diamonds - hence why they are living in Forks, where the sun hardly ever shines. They are not hurt by crucifixes or stakes through the heart. They do not sleep at all, nor do they eat human food. They drive fast cars really really fast. And they can fall in love. Awwww.

Seriously though, this was one of most fun, most enjoyable, most romantic books I've read in a long time, and I'm so happy there are two more out with a fourth on the way. They are, somewhat predictably, making Twilight into a movie - still in the early development stage - but it's rather fun to go to the author's website and see her own preferences for actors to play Edward etc. Can't say I'm familiar with most of them, but her top choice (now sadly too old), is indeed a perfect match. Who knows who they'll really cast, but as with the book, the characters have to be right or the whole story will be just silly and sappy.


*Since reading this the first time back in 2007, I've started reading some romance novels. Yes I've been corrupted. Or rather, I've always loved romance stories but had trouble admitting it. Now, I just don't care :)
Profile Image for Clare Richardson.
209 reviews
October 29, 2019
I hate this book. I will probably end up reading the rest of them, because if I don't, people that love this thing will think they can convert me if I just keep reading. (ETA (Jan. 2013): Never even remotely bothered to finish the series. I said that as a joke to begin with, and I did not finish the series. Did not finish them, not for irony's sake or for amusement's sake or as some kind of amulet to ward off kind-hearted Twimoms that would encourage me with "they get better!" I hope that clears that up for some folks that seem to have had a tough time with "I did not finish them." One last time for posterity: I can pretty much be defined as a Person That Would Be Caught Dead in a Dumpster Before Reading the Rest of These Damn Books. So long as we're all clear on that now, ONWARD!)

In short: the writing mechanics are atrocious. The dialogue is stilted and absolutely wretched. The characterization is bad-- loose, jumpy, and the progression is occasionally senseless. The main characters themselves are not compelling: selfish, shallow, lacking the deep thought that comes with true passion and love and instead leaping recklessly into stupid and deadly situations when anyone with a brain could see sixty other possibilities that should have been tried first.

I can't express my disgust for the relationship between Edward and Bella. It's not romance, it's not passion, it's not love. It's selfish idiocy at best. Bella as a character is insufferable: her self-sacrificing streak is not compassion, it's sheer stupidity. It's hormones. It's a bad, bad example for the teenage girls who read it. Bella's whole life is tied up in her boyfriend. She has no goals, passions, ambitions, or dreams besides wanting to be with Edward, who could kill her.

Edward's element of danger is occasionally compelling, but it's totally overshadowed by the fact that Bella is completely oblivious to it. She doesn't fear him at all, and that doesn't come off like love: once again, it comes off as total stupidity.

Edward. What can I say about Edward. There is nothing lovable about him except that he is apparently the most beautiful thing in existence. He's selfish: he stays near Bella when he knows he could lose control and kill her at any second. He's a creepy stalker: he watches her while she sleeps, before she even really knows him. He's volatile: his mood swings are insane and ridiculous. He's immature: for someone who's been alive for a hundred years, he doesn't seem to have gained much experience. He's controlling: he doesn't want to let her out of his sight for two seconds. (Granted, she's dumb enough to get herself killed if he does.) He's insulting: he treats Bella like an incapable, silly little girl. (Which he's right to, but I digress. It's still insulting.)

I understand that Bella's smell and that Bella herself are irresistible to him. But if he wanted the best for her, he'd stay away from her, period, the end. The story is stupid, the love story is bad, and if that's what Stephenie Meyer is preaching to teenage girls, I think it's pretty questionable. It's not just "a fun read". There are girls out there who want to be Bella and who want to find an Edward.


I think I might enjoy the story a lot more if Bella's head was not the one I had to spend time in while reading it. If I had to read one more description of how beautiful Edward is, I was going to choke a kitten. If it had focused more on the vampire family I would have been a lot more willing to forgive its faults. I thought Carlisle's and Alice's stories were really compelling, and Edward was finally accessible to me when he talked about Carlisle turning him into a vampire and how his family came to be formed, his life before Bella, etc. Some aspects of the vampirism were truly awesome: I found the idea that vampires can never sleep completely terrifying. That they never, ever get a break and never, ever get to rest... that is a wonderful and ghastly idea.

Entirely overshadowed by their flowery breath and the fact that they sparkle. Mothereffing ridiculous.

This is hardly the tip of the iceberg, but I'm trying to spare you at least a little.
Profile Image for James.
Author 6 books500 followers
February 14, 2014
It turns out we don't need Dr. John Gray to tell us that men are from Transylvania and women are from Venus. We just need to read Stephenie Meyer books. For example, from this book we learn that the millions of women who have wolfed down the Twilight series (pun intended) want men who:

1. Talk about their feelings. Either Meyer's husband is the single-most communicative male on the planet and she doesn't realize how unusual he is, or she, like most of her female readers, is using her fiction to imagine a world where men not only have deep emotions but want to admit to having them and talk about them over and over, articulating even the most subtle of their internal dramas.

2. Make them flutter. But just being a sensitive new-age kind of guy doesn't cut it. A man has to be hard-bodied, chiseled, dashing, and have eyes that pierce the soul, if not the skin (even as they never look at your chest). This book suggests that a real man makes you constantly stumble over your words, bite your lip to refrain from exclaiming adulations, and lose yourself in the sweet smell of his breath.

3. Are fiercely devoted. That a girl of no spectacular beauty, who lacks any trace of conversation skills -- whose only virtue is that she smells really yummy -- can inspire an immortal creature of godlike power and grace to alter his entire existence to serve and protect her, watching over her by night (more on that in #4). This is a woman's ultimate fantasy -- to have the perfect man, perfectly devoted, for no good reason at all.

4. Want them so bad that they won't take them. This, alas, is the most transparent aspect of this book's appeal. It speaks volumes about the differences between men and women to have so many women toss their bodice-ripping romances aside in order to read how a feral man with otherworldly physical desires can contain his passion and lust out of his pure and perfect love for his beloved. It says that women really do wish they could have it both ways, to be an object of lust and devotion at once, to fulfill a man's desire without actually slaking his thirst for her. To have a man watch you sleep and not want to have even a little peek under the covers -- now that's hot fantasy for today's woman who is otherwise told on a regular basis that to be her best self she has to enage in casual and risky sexual behavior.

To see just what an indulgent fantasy this book is, just imagine the male-centric version of Twilight, in which a troubled teen boy moves to a small town to find the hottest girl in town is a vampiress. Such a book would be about 100 pages long (all the unnecessary internal dialogue would be removed). No one would talk except to comment on the awesome size of, um, one's videogame library. The vampiress would be simple: relatively dumb, incredibly hot, wearing almost nothing, and with no expectations of her man but drawn to him only by the smell of his gym bag. She wouldn't hold herself back from trying to bite her intended, but would get so distracted with his bedroom technique that she would never get around to it.

We would laugh at such a book (in fact, we know it would never be a book since men don't read; it would be a movie, and it would be a smash summer hit called American Vam-Pie-er, I'll start the screenplay right away). Somehow, when this story is told in a similarly indulgent female-centric vein, we don't reject it, but sympathize with it. I believe this is because women get to indulge in their fantasies so rarely outside of Jane Austen novels while men are surrounded with theirs. So far I have yet see spam email inviting one to "read hot things devoted husbands would say to their wives" or "see pictures of hunks promising not to get nasty out of respect for their women" or "buy this purple pill so you can stay up late and share your feelings -- seven times in one night!." So hats off to Stephenie Meyer for figuring out what it is that women really want and giving it to them.
Profile Image for N.
838 reviews195 followers
December 4, 2013
I really enjoy lively details. There's nothing better than knowing an author has really thought about her characters and situations, and come up with some surprising and delightful detail that makes the whole reading experience fuller. Lively details, you understand -- pointless details are a nightmare to read. I don't need to know that Bella ate a granola bar for breakfast. I REALLY DON'T. (Notice that I remembered the granola bar. I think this is partly because I was fervently hoping it would have significance. Like, she would spectacularly choke on her oatmeal the next day and think, "AH, I should have had a granola bar like yesterday!")

"Show, don't tell" is not the be-all-and-end-all of writing. There's a little thing called summary narrative. It's beautiful; it facilitates plot progression without having to follow your narrator through 24-fucking-hours of a day... and "watch" as she eats a fucking granola bar for breakfast.

I've seen this novel accused of Mary Sue-ism and um, yeah, any character named Isabella Swan seems destined to be a Mary Sue. But honestly, I wouldn't begrudge a semi-autobiographical story if it actually had any of the realism of autobiography. All the high school/teenage stuff honestly made me boggle. Because... that's not what high school is like! That's not what being seventeen is like! Twilight reads like... well, it reads like a thirtysomething who has no recollection of being 17. Bella has all the emotional maturity of a 32-year-old and that's just not remotely believable.

Meyer is not a bad writer. She has the ability to string words together. Unfortunately, she lacks any kind of flair. There was no original description; no truly evocative language. Twilight reads like Meyer has read a lot of mediocre novels and regurgitated the same kind of language onto the page. There is just nothing exciting to the language. The dialogue is awful: not only uninspiring and lacking in wit, but... it's all the same! There's no difference in speech patterns to the characters; no awareness of personal tics. The characterization is wafer-thin (see above, re: Mary Sue). The plotting is terrible: the novel trundles along at a slow pace for 250 pages and then Meyer seems to suddenly realize she needs a climax and the gears shift abruptly and the reader is caught up in a series of ridiculous contrivances that set up Meyer's final set-piece (which, by the way, I saw coming a mile away).

This is such a profoundly antifeminist novel. And it's funny, because I think Meyer has no idea that it's antifeminist. I mean, she has a female heroine! A heroine who reads Austen and writes essays about misogyny in Shakespeare! Surely she's kicking butt for all womankind. Um... no. She cooks, she cleans, she looks after the man in her life! She needs male characters to protect her from the big, bad, scary world! She falls headfirst into a disturbingly dysfunctional relationship with a man 90 years her senior without the slightest amount of worry!

Seriously. Bella/Edward. What's that all about? I don't get the attraction. He has her in his thrall. She is, let me quote, "unconditionally and irrevocably" in love with him -- and after, like, a week. o__O She's consumed by him; she's willing to sacrifice her life for him, and that's... romantic? I just think it's a bit sick, really. You know what I find romantic? Human warmth. Not sweeping, dramatic statements of everlasting and overarching love. Little, sweet moments of connection that ring true. That's something Twilight's apparently epic love story is sorely lacking in. (Did I say Bella has the emotional maturity of a 32-year-old? Well, except when it comes to Edward. There she has the emotional maturity of a dumb dog.)
Profile Image for brian   .
248 reviews3,122 followers
August 3, 2016
my name is bella. bella swan. here's what stephenie didn't tell you. it's super-duper-important.

on the morning after it rained, it was rainy outside and i frowned at it being so rainy all the time. i chuckled to myself, darn weather! i stared at the rain outside, which is where they usually keep the rain. there was never any rain in phoenix. i love phoenix. i hate rain.

i tripped over a large air pocket on my bedroom floor and bashed my skull into the corner of my bookcase, which had three shelves and was faux wood veneer. after i applied cold compresses and stanched most of the bleeding, i drove to school, but they must have moved the school building across town. i chuckled to myself, darn school moving people!

after i drove around for a few hours looking for where they put the building, edward cullen pulled up alongside me in his shiny, silver volvo, which was silver and a saab, i think. his well-muscled chest was riding shotgun, wearing a blue-gray waffle knit long-sleeved t-shirt, relaxed fit jeans with contrast stitching in a lightly distressed wash, and an ivory-colored jacket made from the dyed skins of clubbed baby seals. he dressed very well, like someone who wears nice clothes.

his well-muscled chest waved to me like an old friend, but edward glowered at me from the driver's seat. his eyes were black. i think he came down with glaucoma.

even though he glared at me and gave me the finger, he smiled and told me to follow him to school. he knew where they kept it. i wonder how he found out. but just then, i nearly tripped over my gas pedal and fell through the windshield. i am so clumsy. when we got to school, edward's well-muscled chest walked me to english class.

"try to be careful in there," the chest giggled while at the same time giving me a sinister sideward glance that made the blood in the veins under my skin in my body feel ice-cold.

"haha," i giggled, tapping the chest on its rippling pectorals. "very funny," i then said running my finger around his kennedy-half-dollar sized nipples. "i'll try to be careful," i joked, alarmed at the unearthly chill emitted by his taut obliques.

everyone stared at us in the hallway, which was a long interior space allowing access to various doors. the students were wearing clothes and talking and carrying books. through the windows of the classroom which looked onto the out-of-doors, i could see the rain was still raining outside. then i tripped over my clitoris and fell into a galvanized steel av cart on casters. three people were seriously injured.

i chuckled and turn bright red. how embarrassing.

at the end of the school day edward cullen came to walk me to my car. his chest was nowhere to be seen. probably at banana republic or out hunting mountain lions again. i chuckled to myself, darn chest!

"where's my car?" i giggled after chuckling for a while.

"don't you remember that you totaled it this morning when you drove into the orphan's hospital?" he said. he was looking at me with his eyes. he gave me his ivory jacket to keep me dry from the rain, which is usually very wet. then he looked at me again, smiling with the right half of his mouth but frowning with the left half of his mouth and oddly expressionless in the middle part of his mouth.

"you know," i said, falling over a parking bumper into a rack of bicycles, "rain isn't the only thing there is that gets me wet."

"let's just be friends," he hissed, arching an eyebrow, flexing his sinewy wrists, and flaring his beautiful muscular nostrils.

i realized then he might be a vampire. or really gay. or a really gay vampire.

i should have known. he had erasure cassettes in the car.

Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
March 16, 2021

New week, New BookTube Video - all about the best (and worst) literary couples
The Written Review
So, my review might be a bit biased...

This was my first (and only major) episode of fangirling.

I owned a tshirt ("vegetarian vampire" - so edgy).

I saw the first movie an embarrassingly high number of times in theater.

I judged people based off of Team Edward or Team Jacob (for the record: Edward in the books, Jacob in the movies).

Even now, more than 10 years later, I still absolutely adore this first book - there's too many good feelings.

I tried so, so hard to look at this book with my sophisticated grown-up eyes, to see past all the trite plotholes and develop a good, sound hatred of Twilight .

I just can't - I live for this series.

So, just keep in mind where I am coming from when I decided to reread this one.

My overwhelming realization? Bella should probably be hospitalized

There is no way she doesn't have some inner-ear or traumatic brain injury. There is no physically relevant way a seventeen year old could be that unbalanced.

It defies all logic. It's like every time I turned the page, there'd she go. Falling. Again.
You really should stay away from me.
The other overwhelming realization? Rosalie was the voice of reason.

I remember absolutely hating her because she was the only one who stood between Edward and Bella.

How dare she not love that they're in love? Well, now that I'm older, it's more of YOU'RE ONLY SEVENTEEN AND HE'S A HUNDRED YEARS OLDER.

Team Rosalie-the-voice-of-reason all the way.

Despite everything, the cheesy quotes, the terribly unrealistic portrayal of love and the big sparkling plot-holes, I can't help it.
I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Me, falling in love with this book all over again. description
P.s. Still got that 10 yr old vegetarian vampire shirt in the back of my closet.

P.p.s. yes. That's my original Twilight copy, literally worn away from my multiple rereads...

Audiobook Comments
Well-read by Ilyana Kadushin, though I wish the guy voices were a bit more distinct when the girl-reader said them. They were all just slightly deeper version of girl-voices. Not much variation in tone/inflection.

The 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge - A book made into a movie you've already seen

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Profile Image for C..
Author 20 books410 followers
February 8, 2012
I actually had to give this book three separate reviews by three sides of my personality. My three-star rating is the median of the three:

Review 1, by My Inner Fifteen Year Old Girl (5 stars):
Bella is smart, funny, well-read, pretty and yet misunderstood by most of her peers (just like me). Then she meets a cool, hot guy who turns out to be a good vampire, and he can do really cool things, like run fast and stop cars with his hands, but he's still sweet and wonderful. It's ultimate wish-fulfillment fantasy -- what's not to like? Meyers can make your heart speed up with some of the tense, tortured "we must be together/no, what if i hurt you" pg-13 erotica.

Review 2, by My Fan of YA Lit (3 Stars):
Meyers can tell a pretty good story, when she lets herself actually tell it -- the book starts out well, and would have been a bit more interesting if I hadn't known he was a vampire all along. Then it slows down during the long "getting to know you" dialogue exchanges between Edward and Bella -- there's no plot, just back-story and exposition disguised as conversations, and far too many "I can't be with you, I don't want to hurt you!" "But I love you, I don't care about danger!" back-and-forths. When the evil vamps show up, however, the story kicks back in and the end is quite exciting. When Meyers isn't dwelling on how perfectly angelic Edward is (again!) she can get the pages turning. Since there are A LOT of pages to turn, I wish she would have infused that urgency into the story more often. While abandoning most of the conventional cliches of vampire-lore (stakes, sunlight, garlic, coffins) she keeps all the modern-vamp-romance cliches (alabaster skin, good hair, expensive taste in clothes, tragically distant), and adds a few of her own unfortunate twists (vampires avoid the sun because it makes them sparkle, the good-vamp clan play some extreme version of baseball in a scene that was far too Quidich-y for my taste). Too many cliches or trying to hard to be original -- somehow both criticisms are accurate.

Review 3, by My Inner Feminist (1 Star):
Meyers describes Bella as being strong, brave, and independent, but then shows her as a spineless, cowering victim who needs to be saved by her violently jealous and over-protective boyfriend. She constantly goes on and on about how Edward is perfect at everything and how he's so gorgeous and she is so unworthy of him, how he's so strong and he protects her. In fact, she never gives any reason for liking him other than how hot he is, but that's fair because Edward never gives a reason for liking her other than she smells good. He is frustrated that Bella is the only person whose thoughts he can't read, so he eavesdrops on her friends minds to find out what they talk about, he follows her whenever she leaves her house, and he secretly camps outside her room when she sleeps - that doesn't sound sweet, it sounds creepy. If girls want a romantic, conflicted vampire/human romance, they should go watch the firs three seasons of Buffy -- not only is there the dark, mysterious, conflicted vampire, but the girl he's in love with can kick some serious ass all on her own.
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.7k followers
August 18, 2023

Take a sip every time:
- Edward smiles crookedly
- Bella trips on something
- A random guy is jealous of another random guy Bella is talking to
- Edward has a wicked glint in his eye
- Bella says she's not hungry

Take a shot every time:
- You wonder whether this town is suffering from a women-only pandemic or general shortage of women just because at least that would explain the low-grade tsunami of high school students constantly flooding Bella’s proverbial DMs
- Edward refers to Bella, the person he is lusting after so intently that his boners are setting off earthquake detectors, as a child
- There’s that relatable moment when your crush is like “hey I’m probably going to kill you :(“ and you’re like “omg that’s so sad for you to have to deal with that”

Realizing I typed “drinking game” above when I meant to say “way to get alcohol poisoning within 20 pages.” Autocorrect!

The good news is that you don’t even have to be zonked beyond human comprehension to have fun with this book.

It just...is fun.

Even as it’s problematic.

Even as it’s poorly written.

Even as it’s kind of unoriginal, and not well-characterized, and generally lacking in all those areas that tend to make books “good.”

This is simply never not fun.

I wish I could lie and say it's unpleasant. I wish I could pretend to be better than this book and unsusceptible to its charm and genuinely exist at superhuman levels of judgment and clarity and coolness, as per usual.

But I am honest above all and this is a fun read. Sorry! Take it up with the Bad Book Justice System.

Bottom line: I’m not proud!


is this book good? no, it's not.

is it well-written? no.

is it unproblematic? not even slightly.

but goddamn if it isn't fun.

review to come / 3 stars

currently-reading updates

SO pleased to announce that i will be revisiting one of the great works of literature of our time.

that's right.

i'm rereading the Twilight series.

and i wonder why i suffer.
Profile Image for Joe.
96 reviews716 followers
December 4, 2013
Save your time: here's the entirety of Twilight in 20 dialogue snippets & a wiggedy-wack intermission.

First 200 pages:
"I like you, Edward!"
"You shouldn't! I'm dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"But I'm dangerous!"

Next 50 pages:
"I'm a vampire!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"But I'm a vampire! I'm dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"

Next 100 pages:
"I like you, Edward!"
"You smell good, Bella. I'm dangerous!"
"I like you, Edward!"
"Damn, you smell good."
"I like you, Edward!"
"Also, I glow in sunlight."

Next 50 pages:
(I wish I was kidding)

Last 100 pages:
"Help me, Edward! I'm being chased!"
"I'll save you!"
"Help me, Edward! I'm scared!"
"I'll save you!"
"Oh, Edward!"
"You smell good."

(One half star for lack of quality, and one half star for being unintentionally hilarious... especially page 314.)
Profile Image for Kat.
270 reviews80k followers
May 24, 2020
well, 12 year old kat is thriving rn...

20 year old me has literally no clue how to start articulating my feelings about this book, let alone set a rating, but i finished it lol
Profile Image for Trin.
1,847 reviews567 followers
December 4, 2013
Let me give you an idea of how much my opinion of this book changed at different stages of reading. When I was about a third of the way through, I was so into it that I immediately put my name on the library reservations list for the sequel, and wishlisted every edition on BookMooch. Now, having finished, I doubt I'll bother to read any further in the series. The opening is really quite interesting: Bella moves from sunny Arizona to rainy, gloomy Washington State to live with her father (her somewhat loopy mom wants to follow her new husband while he's on the road as a minor league ballplayer). To her surprise, she gains almost instant popularity at her new high school—with the exception of the beautiful Edward Cullen and his siblings, who either ignore her, or in the case of Edward himself, seem to be repulsed by her. Even though the reader probably knows going in that at least part of what's going on relates to Edward being a vampire (because it says in BIG LETTERS ON THE BACK that Edward is a vampire), it's still fun to speculate about what exactly is going on—why does Edward seem both drawn and repelled by Bella? Why does he save her life? What are a bunch of vampires doing impersonating students at a small town high school, anyway?

Unfortunately, the answers to all these questions seem to be either nonexistent or extremely lame. Edward reacts weirdly to Bella because she 1) smells unusually good, and 2) is the only person he's ever met whose mind he cannot read. No. 1 apparently makes him fall in love with her, while the reasons behind No. 2 are never explained. But, you know, the actual mysterious stuff is apparently not important—instead it's more important that we realize that the Cullens are good vampires, who only eat animals, and who do nice, all-American things like play baseball in the woods. Okay! Also, all the weaknesses you've heard vampires have are just myths. Garlic, stakes, even sunlight—no problemo. Yet Edward would never even consider turning Bella, because that would make her an Evil Thing. Oh, and they also can't have sex, presumably because Meyer once read "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" (and/or is a Mormon. Sorry).

Instead, what Edward and Bella apparently CAN do is be very emo and teenage about their twu luv (despite Edward actually being over 100 years old), and be threatened by a villain that shows up in the novel's last third just to give it some semblance of an actual plot. Then, once all is well, they go to the prom! SERIOUSLY. THE BOOK ENDS WITH EDWARD TAKING BELLA TO THE PROM. What. The. Fuck.

And still, none of this answers my number one question: if you were a century-old vampire, why the HELL would you spend your time going to high school in Washington State? (Especially when you're not even trying to bang high school girls.) Angel at his most pathetic emo mopiness had more spine.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.5k followers
May 25, 2020
such a bittersweet goodbye

well myself and my counterpart on the dumb bitch book club have finally finish this lovely book. i have so many feelings about it, but i wouldn't even know where to begin.

primarily, this book is what got me into fandom culture. i started my first youtube channel solely to discuss twilight, the books and the movies. and edward was my first real crush.

upon reread as a 24 year old adult, it's pretty easy to see the faults of this book and its characters. and unfortunately for most of the book i didn't feel that strong sense of attachment and nostalgia that i was hoping to feel. but once i read the epilogue it kind of all came rushing back. i'm so appreciative for this book and what it represents.

bella might be an idiot, but she goes after what she wants. something we could probably all do well to remember.

about 2 things i am absolutely positive:

1. i'm reading this book

2. a part of you, and i'm not sure how dominant that part of you is, thirsts to listen/watch my podcast the dumb bitch book club where i'll be reading and discussing this excellent literature in the year of our lord 2018
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
December 4, 2013
Twilight review intro

Welcome to Part II of the Vampire Compatibility Test (VCT). Before we continue, let's briefly racap Part I of the VCT. Your score in Part I should have given you a good idea of how critically you judge vampire fiction, placing you in either "Group A" or "Group B" based on overall points scored.

Group A:

A fairly harsh to extremely harsh critic that requires in a vampire story that it be: (a) well written or at least highly engaging prose; (b) tightly plotted with a well defined backstory that is either tied to an established “vampire mythos” or adds something substantial to the vampire genre; and (c) an intelligent, compelling original story or a slick, fast-paced, chill-filled thrill ride.

Group B:

Includes those that are not too critical and are generally okay as long as the writing and plot are not horrible and there is “something about it” that makes it an interesting diversion. This group also includes those that are not sure what the word critic means.

So with Part I completed, we now turn to Part II of the VCT test. In this section, we will take a look at the most popular vampire series in publishing history (i.e., the Twilight series) and help you determine whether it is a good choice for your next reading selection**.

**(PLEASE NOTE: If you are part of "Group A" above than the answer is clearly NO, and you can move on immediately to Part III of the VCT.)

For those in Group B, here are the instructions for this section of the VCT. For each of the 4 questions below, select the answer that best describes your personal taste when it comes to vampire fiction. Each answer has a corresponding point value that will be added up at the end of the test. The total number of points will indicate a preference for a certain kind of vampire novel, which can then be used to assist you in selecting the right story for you.
QUESTION 1: Which of the following best describes your favorite kind of vampire?
A: Sparkly, epically EMO and unable to look threatening without legal counsel and a tactical nuke; 0 points
B: Underwear model hotness with perfect hair who smells like the beach and has eyes that can cause a person’s naughty bits to spontaneously combust. 5 points
C: Chalky skin, “super cuts” hair, stylistically challenged clothing (with or without Liberace cape) with long nails, ivory fangs and a kick ass accent. 10 points   
D. Ugly and reeking of ickyness with deformed monster-like physical appearance and sharp, nasty animal-like teeth and claws. Note: long black tongue like appendages is optional. 15 points
E. So freaking menacing and “out of this world” disgusting that sightings will cause spontaneous development of Tourette Syndrome, loss of bladder and temporary voice immodulation. 20 points  
QUESTION 2: Which of the following best describes your desire to become a vampire like those in your favorite stories?
 0 points
B. Yes, I think it would be pretty cool.  5 points
C. Close, but no. I think the loneliness, lack of Vitamin D and dietary restrictions outweigh the longevity and the cool, soulful hipness. 10 points
D. No way, I would rather die than become one of those things. 15 points
E. ARE YOU FUCKING PSYCHO? Not only would I rather die but I would personally hogtie my best friends and leave them for the creatures to munch on while I made good my escape. 20 points
QUESTION 3: Which of the following best describes how you would respond if a casual acquaintance asked you if they should check out the popular “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer?
A. I would say YES because it is the best book since Crime and Punishment, no wait, the BEST BOOK EVER and everyone should read it. 0 points
B. I would say YES, but would spend the next 20 minutes qualifying my answer using phrases like: “well, some people find it kinda cheesy” and “it’s not exactly quality prose” and “you should know that I’m pretty forgiving of the plot because I just LOVE the characters” and “don’t fucking look at me like that. I mean, it sold like a gagillion copies so it can’t be all bad.” 5 points
C. Even though I really like it, I would be too embarrassed to admit that I read it and would tell the person NO and that they should to read Ulysses instead because “it is like way deep and shit.” 10 points

D. I would say NO and tell them to go read Dracula because it’s an excellent Vampire story!! 15 points
E. I would stare at them stunned for several seconds and then bitch slap them hard across the face for asking me such a dumb shit question, screaming that vampires DO NOT sparkle, wear hair gel or play baseball....EVER!!! 20 points

QUESTION 4: If they made a major hollywood movie of your favorite vampire movie, what rating would the MPAA give it?

A. PG to PG-13 for EMO Adult situations, snarky Adult language and boring violence. 0 points

B. PG-13 for strong sexual situations, strong sexual situations and strong to very strong sexual situations. 5 points

C. R for Adult language, sweet, bloody violence, fright and nudity followed by bimbo deaths. 10 points

D. NC-17 to banned in the U.S. for almost continuous gore on a massive scale, vampires more disgusting than a SUMO wrestler's bowel movement and.......lots and lots of nudity because WHY NOT. 15 points


0 to 10 points. Ignore the 1 star rating above, buy "first printings" of all four of the Twilight books and read them over and over until your eyes bleed.

15 to 20 points. Twilight is probably a 2 star read and you might think about squeezing it in between episodes of “Jersey Shore.”

25 to 50 points. Best to skip Twilight as it is not likely to be a memorable read for you.

50 points or over. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Twilight is your vampire kryptonite and reading it will make you think less of yourself and may cause severe and long lasting anger and/or depression at the current state of the world.


* An apology for this review to my wife who loves these books.

** An apology to my two beautiful daughters for telling them that mommy "had problems" for loving these books.

*** Three cheers for my beautiful wife for "getting" that I was just trying to be funny in doing this review and didn't mean all the things I wrote....(whew).
September 23, 2014
Call me crazy, but Twilight wasn't that bad. Well, sure, it's bad, but it's not 1-star bad. The sequels were atrocious, sure, but the first book wasn't the worst crap I've ever read.

What I suspect most of us hate about Twilight isn't the book itself, but the legion of rabid, terrifying fangirls. The ones debating on online forums about Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. The ones who will argue that Twilight is the best book ever written. The ones who camp out at Twilight movie premieres 1 month before opening day. The ones who post YouTube videos of themselves sobbing their heart out when Rpattz and Kstew broke up irl.

I hate the fans. I desperately hate the rabid fangirlzzz. There aren't enough words to describe my loathing of Twitards. The book itself wasn't that bad.

I've read far worse before. I will read far worse in the future. I've read books that I wish were paper so that I could fling it across the room during a fit of rage.

I've read books with alpha-douches who have made me use curse words that have made a Navy sailor blush. I've read books where the love interest is as abusive asshole who would think nothing of commenting on his love interest's tits or weight. And these books aren't even new adult.

I've read books where the main character is a rampant fellow-girl hater and slut shamer. I've read books where the main character is so fucking dumb it makes my teeth hurts. I've read books where the main character seems to be doing her damnedest to remove herself from the human gene pool and it is only by the grace of deus ex fucking machina that she is saved.

I've read books whose plot makes Game of Thrones seem simple, and not in the "Wow, that's really complex" kind of way as it is "What the actual fuck were you smoking when you wrote this?" kind of way.

So in that sense, Twilight is really not that bad. Sure, Bella is dumb and a Mary Sue, but the worst you can say about her is that she is completely colorless and bland, with the personality of a block of tofu. The worst you can say about Edward is that he's a weirdo stalker who likes really young girls despite his age, but man, watching a girl while she sleeps? He's been out-creeped by far worse men.

So really. I mean it. You may hate Twilight with my blessing, but please don't believe it's the worst example of YA literature out there. Is isn't, by any stretch of the imagination.
December 30, 2017
I'm tired of people ripping this book to pieces and secretely devouring it. I don't believe you for a second that you didn't enjoy it if you happened to have ratings and long rants about the following books.

Accept it! Stephanie Meyer kept you reading her very long books! And you are only complaining about stalking tendencies because YOU know this is fiction.

I DON'T WANT A GUY WATCHING ME SLEEP. In real life that's creepy.

BELLA COULD HAVE GOTTEN HERSELF KILLED MULTIPLES TIMES IF IT HADN'T BEEN FOR EDWARD's STALKER tendencies. Again in real life I don't want to date a stalker. In a fictional realm some things are necessary to keep the woman a vampire loves alive and the readers turning the pages.

AND IF STEPHANIE MEYER IS SUCH A BAD WRITER BY ALL MEANS GO AND WRITE A BETTER BOOK. Good luck with that!Let's see how many agents push for your book.

Now don't you like junk food? Do you really only eat select cuisine? Admit it! You put crazy stuff in your McDonalds french fries and then claim is the most delicious thing ever! Not every meal has to be a delicattessen and not every read has to become the next War and peace. You just don't read the book.

I find the people who says I'm stupid because I ADORE TWILIGHT to be snobbish, arrogant and insufferable.

I like twilight and I'm proud I like twilight. Plenty of people wouldn't read or write if it hadn't been for twilight. The publishing industry would have lost money if girls like me hadn't started reading book like twilight. Millions of women around the world got to love twilight and they're not stupid, they just don't share your taste in books.



Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 19, 2018
spoiler alert: he's a vampire!!!

has anyone heard any press on this book yet?? i think that once the teens hear about it, the author will be quite successful. definite cinematic potential here.

pop - there goes my meyer cherry! and with it my integrity.

this, sadly, isn't one of those twilight reviews that is going to get a zillion votes. it isn't going to be particularly insightful or funny or anything like that. it is mostly just a stunned reaction to a book that i vowed i would never read. and i know i am about to lose a ton of street cred, but you know what?? itsnotthatbad.


i know, intellectually, that i shouldn't have enjoyed this book, but the feelings - they respond. and that is today's theme - the power of the emotions to o'erthrow zee brain. we will return to this theme later.

i have friends who love this book.

i have friends who hate this book.

i have friends who have never read this book, but still openly mock its fans and say things like "oh edward, you sparkle so gooood" - oh wait - no, that was me. oops.

i was totally apprehensive about starting this and possibly having to revise my previous and very vocal anti-twilight stance. i do not like admitting i am wrong. i am a very stubborn lady. and i figured, despite all my yelly-facing, i could honestly go either way.

but i did it. and it's really not at all bad. true - there are some moments that are terrible, particularly in its editing. "ballet bar", "dust moats", "had been belonged to me". OMFG SRSLY stephenie, you can't afford a copy editor?? and while we are at it - your name is also a typo. and there is so much chuckling and tooth grinding and fist balling (heh) and jaw clenching it seems like a ticcy nicolas cage movie at times. and the repetition of words for edward; "beautiful" and "heavenly" and "sublime" and "perfect" "perfect" "perfect". christmas wishlist: a thesaurus for stephenie.

but more than that.

from what i had heard - the big complaint about this book was bella. i was expecting some vapid, swoony, clumsy, clingy, weak little thing who was a terrible role model for the young misses and a blight upon the face of womynhood. but she is actually pretty badass. she drives a massive truck and is good at science and likes to read and hates the prom and is pretty fearless and would hook a finger in your eye and pop it out instead of running away if she felt threatened. i can get behind that.

so what are the complaints actually about?? her selfless devotion to edward; her willingness to sacrifice and surrender herself for a boy. a vampire. a much older man. a creature known for its powers of mesmerism and allure.

the ultimate bad boy.

well, duh!

this is precisely how it feels to be a 17-year-old girl deeply in love. it's fight, kill, or die for your beloved. see, i was one, so i can speak to the phenomenon firsthand. and from here on out, if it makes you feel more comfortable; if you have a problem with sweeping generalities, when i use the phrase "17-year-old-girl", feel free to substitute "karen t. brissette"

17-year-old girls are drawn to the bad boy

17-year-old girls in love do not think, they feel

17-year-old girls are dangerously self-absorbed (when "self" includes the beloved because they are one soul etc etc)

17-year-old girls do not give one shit about what kind of example they are setting for others of their gender

17-year-old girls are all too inclined to sacrifice,to become a martyr for their love, to believe in the magic of the world and the power of infatuation, and to risk it all to prolong that infatuation

17-year-old girls lack cynicism and have no real frame of reference yet or any extensive battle scars, or relationship track record; everything is here and now and the most important thing in the history of the world.

so, yeah, bella, i get you. you are not a victim. and your clumsiness (and mine) are very endearing.as is your commitment. i once walked miles barefoot on the summer blacktop to show my devotion to mine, he pulled equally stupid demonstrative stunts - there were blowups and reconciliations and third-party interventions and i became love and it was wonderful, mercurial, mad mad mad.

so,yeah, bells, i get your depth of feeling.

forget team edward
forget team jacob
i am resoundingly team bella.

and i was also told this was one of the most erotic novels of all time, by my most favorite professor, and i rolled my eyes at the time, thinking "why does everyone like this damn book so much??"but you know what?? she was right. this is totally virgin porn. straight up sweaty virgin porn.

and of course, all vampire lit is porn, where the bloodsucking stands in for the sex act etc etc. but what if both parties are acting against nature/their inclinations?

he is repressing his desire to drink her blood

she is repressing her desire to touch him

both feel the strain of resistance and every time they are close - there is amazing heightened tension.and it is - it is pretty damn hot.


so, yeah, like cottage cheese, i have come around in my thinking about this book. but i refuse to give this a star rating. let me hold on to that much of my pride.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
February 5, 2019
wow. ten years later and im still absolute trash for edward cullen!?!? i guess my love for EC is just as immortal as he his. hehehe.

going into this reread, i honestly didnt know what to expect. i thought there was potential for me to completely hate it, but i could also see myself still enjoying it. what surprised me the most was the huge dose of nostalgia this gave me.

looking back, im pretty sure this is the first book that got me to read outside my comfort zone. a friend had recommended it and i remember just thinking about how dumb it sounded. so i was shocked to find that i not only loved this, but i really looked forward to discussing the book with my friends and buddy reading the series together. this was honestly one of the first books/series that gave reading a social perspective for me.

now, ten years older, i can understand how this isnt written as well as it could have been, the characters are pretty shallow, and the romance in this is absurd. but the fact that this book still reminds me of why i love reading means it gets to keep its 5 star rating. and i dont feel guilty about that one bit.

5 stars
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
November 20, 2020
While I truly loved this series once upon a time and still have a soft spot for it, I also want to acknowledge that the love story at its centre is inherently toxic and gets even worse in the later books. Meyer also stands accused of exploiting Quileute culture, and moreover I'm annoyed about the author's racism, which showed when she blocked the director of the first film from casting anyone who wasn't white for the Cullens. So you know, there's all that.

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Profile Image for Kiki.
197 reviews8,525 followers
June 16, 2019
I genuinely can’t believe I finished this book, and I don’t mean that in an offhand, wow, what a garbage fire sort of way. I mean that I’m actually fucking surprised that I managed to turn the last page of this and not immediately die of organ failure. And then my sister would have to come and break down my front door and find me contorted on my bed in my crusty old pyjamas with Dorito dust under my fingernails, and morticians would have to break my bones to pry this book out of my cold dead hands, and I’d need to come back as a ghost years later and write “It was for science” in lipstick on the bathroom mirror just to clear my name. 


In the year of our lord 20gayteen, it’s difficult to offer any sort of fresh or remotely nuanced critique on Twilight without resorting to edgelord tactics, like declaring that it’s a feminist read or that it was all an imaginary coping mechanism constructed by Bella to make returning to the shite little town of Forks bearable. But I think our judgement has been clouded for the past ten to twelve years - at least mine has, by the endless slew of stale “still a better love story” memes and the constant personal jabs aimed at Stephenie Meyer by mainstream media. There’s also the YA scene’s insidious desire to erase all memory of it from genre history: when I was doing research for this review, I found this video in which multiple YA authors explain what their influences were for writing female-centric YA stories, and not one of them mentions Twilight, which… Whoa. Like, that’s astounding to me. It's just disingenuous as fuck, that they had the gall to brazenly omit Stephenie Meyer from their credit lines, particularly when one or more of them started their careers in paranormal YA on the tail of the Twilight boom. Even this video, which claims to illustrate the history of YA, downplays Twilight's influence on the genre. 

YA existed before Twilight, of course, but it baffles me when the YA industry now slaps its hands to its ears and la-la-las over the indisputable truth: YA was a marginalised genre before the Twilight phenomenon. Was it a coincidence that YA paranormal romance exploded upon the rising popularity of Twilight? You could argue that it was, of course, and you’re entitled to your wrong opinion, but I did not unironically Google “Edward Cullen star sign” for you hoes to come at me with “what about Catcher in the Rye”. Fuck Catcher in the Rye. I’m not explaining that opinion any further and not will I defend it. Fuck that book and fuck all of its smug knock-offs, because if you polish a turd it’s still a turd. I'm sorry, but I don't make the rules.
The basic breakdown is this: I enjoyed this book, and I mean I genuinely enjoyed it, and was invested, until about the halfway mark. After that, it was impossible for me to ignore the cloying creepiness that perverts a sweet and tender love story into something that, as an adult, is difficult for me to justify. When I was 13, I was a stan for Twilight, but not because of the books - I had only seen the movies, and for this reason it feels like a missed opportunity, because I can’t accurately compare my feelings then to my feelings now. This inaccuracy stems mostly from the fact that the movies were a farce that in no way capture the spirit of the characters or any of the relationships between them. It’s because of the movies that this series is the focus of such intense ridicule and hatred in the media; it’s the self-seriousness of the movies that’s so infuriating, because while the book is melodramatic and depressing, it’s light and jubilant where the movie isn’t. My main problem with the media’s perception of the series is that it’s based entirely on this self-seriousness, and in particular Kristen Stewart’s dead eyes.

The truth is that Book Bella and Movie Bella are two starkly different people, and you can fucking fight me on this. It doesn’t surprise me that Stephenie Meyer is over it and has Moved On, because if I was her, I would genuinely be bitter as fuck, the most poisonous bitch, an actual Viṣakanyā, not only for the unstoppable barrage of media abuse but also for the forced image of my creative work as something completely separate from what it is.��

Meyer has weathered a barrage of criticism for her Mormon lifestyle, and this has bled into her storytelling, and to an extent I agree, because heavy-handed morality is an easy way to drop a story down a U-bend. However, while Meyer’s inherent religious biases have centred heteronormativity and gender-based parameters, it may run deeper than this. The artery of conflict that threads through each book in the series is opposing ideals within the central relationship, and if we look at these characters as theological models, their connection does boast a bit more nuance: Edward is Mormonism and Bella is modernism, thus their relationship is a wrestle between starkly defined historical values and modern flexibility. 


To explore this model, it's worth analysing each character as an individual, not both as a unit (we'll get to that later). My impression of Bella is that she's confident in familiar situations and, contrary to common criticism, mostly generated from the appallingly weak and lifeless character in the movies, is not defined by low self-esteem. When several boys ask her out to the dance she never defaults to this modest cry of, “who, me?”; she’s weary of the attention, and shrugs off her pursuers by diverting their romantic efforts to her single friends (with whom she shares close, if superficial bonds, to be expected from people who haven't had much time to get to know each other outside of school). She never shrinks away from male attention, and while she does often acknowledge that Edward is aesthetically pleasing, her reaction to being seen with a "dazzling" and notorious man is a natural one: “Won’t people wonder why someone so special is out with someone so ordinary, like me?” This is not a new or particularly groundbreaking question to ask oneself, especially in young and emotionally charged relationships, and especially with someone like Bella, who is defined by her low-key and utilitarian outlook, and her discomfort with an excess of attention in social circles. 

Bella mentions that she was not popular in Arizona, but for defined reasons: She is not sporty or excessively outgoing, which the book lays out as defining traits of most Arizonans (as a non-American, I’m unable to confirm this as truth or condemn it as a false stereotype, but the author does live in Arizona). She also states that her last school was densely populated which, naturally, provides an ease of anonymity. Her move to Forks batters her with the scrutiny of the tight-knit community, due for the most part to her mother’s vaguely sordid reputation as “the Chief’s flighty ex-wife” (12), the Chief being Charlie, a trusted pillar of the community. Renée’s notoriety as an ex-Forks resident, an elusive outsider who left the town in her dust - an uncommon novelty - marks her as a kind of traitor to the community, and by extension, Bella shares this burden. Even without considering her mother’s impact on Forks’ social circle, Bella invites attention as a rare new face among a close circle of scandal-starved teens. 

Again and again, Bella is verbally lashed for a lack of personality or strong voice, but while Bella’s narration is introspective, this doesn’t strip her of personality (I mean it; this criticism is repeated ad nauseam). She’s a quiet, orderly girl who respects authority and values her studies, as much a cliché of its time as the “strong female protagonist” that has haunted YA for the past six years and has launched an oftentimes distasteful attack on traditional femininity, creating a dichotomy between “strong girl” and “weak girl".

But Bella can’t be neatly categorized with her knock-offs: she forfeited her happy, sunny life in Arizona for her mother’s benefit, a notably selfless choice, and not a courtesy that her mother necessarily deserves. Renée's neglectful parenting is often brushed aside as she hounds Bella via email and phone, creating an unsavoury illusion of parental concern. In reality, Renée is immature and self-involved, leaving bills unpaid and the fridge bare, darting off to pursue an unsustainable life on the road while she has a dependent minor at home. This is commented on in a particularly telling passage wherein Bella is concerned about leaving her “erratic, harebrained mother” (4) to fend for herself: “Of course she had Phil now, so the bills would probably get paid, there would be food in the refrigerator, gas in her car, and someone to call when she got lost” (4). It's a troubling role reversal that plays out in a similar, albeit softer, fashion when Bella moves in with her father and is immediately forced to take on basic duties in the home, due to her father’s ineptitude in the kitchen and in homemaking. 

But Bella is an independent girl who doesn’t want to shoehorn her mother into the same situation that she fled in Forks, so she moves away to stay with her father purely for Renée’s benefit. But her relationship with Charlie is tender: when Tyler’s truck nearly crushes her, she’s thinking fondly of her father, who got up early to put snow chains on the wheels of her truck. It’s the same sort of quiet thoughtfulness that defines Bella. When people like Jacob and Angela are being sidelined by their friends - ignored during a group conversation - Bella notices this and acknowledges them. Bella’s personality is quiet, but I wouldn't call it weak. (It's worth remembering that, in 2005, a "ladylike front" was very much in fashion and not only in religious circles like Meyer's. This "touch my butt and buy me pizza" attitude didn't come into fashion until Tumblr became mainstream, and until the internet popularised the Anna Kendrick brand. You know, this "I'm a gross girl and I wear sweatpants and I like to swear". That mentality wasn't part of the media hive mind yet.)

Is this what catches Edward’s attention? In part, yes. Though more prominently it’s Bella’s mystery that attracts Edward. He can’t read her mind, thus their courtship requires rituals, wooing, a thrill that is missing entirely from Edward’s life. I mentioned in my status updates that I had a lot of feelings about Edward, his past and his pain, and to an extent I do; it’s another missed opportunity, because Edward’s past is handwaved, even though it influences every facet of his questionable behaviour, from his total lack of awareness about road safety, to his absurd and oftentimes bewildering fascination with Bella’s average life. 

Here’s the thing about Edward: he’s either too old or too young, depending on how you look at it. He was born on the cusp of living memory, which means that in 2005, he’s the same age as some people’s great grandparents, and this is what makes his relationship with Bella unacceptable. He’s not a relic, like Carlisle, or merely an older man. He is geriatric, and this adds an element of unavoidable perversion to his romance with a teenage girl. With a clear mind, it’s almost impossible not to recoil when Edward describes Bella as “appallingly luscious” or during this exchange:

“‘That’s probably best. Be careful, though. The child has no idea.’
I brindled a little at the word child. ‘Jacob is not that much younger than I am,’ I reminded him.
He looked at me then, his anger abruptly fading. ‘Oh, I know,’ he assured me with a grin.” (305)

If we look at this from Carlisle’s point of view, then it becomes apparent that Edward’s age was a huge narrative blunder. Carlisle is 362, and if we sit back and contemplate the enormity of that, and the sheer gulf between him and someone who is seventeen, then it almost wouldn’t be so bad if Edward were also old as balls: he could be considered something other entirely, not an elderly man but a creature from another world, wholly divorced from Bella’s insular world. It would be as if she had fallen in love with an alien, or some eldritch beast from a parallel universe. It would require a lot more effort on Meyer's part to explain exactly what it is that makes their relationship hold together, and the politics between them would be more complex, but this would arguably have made for a more cerebral read. (Conversely, this is why I struggle to fully get on board with Outlander. Granted, I've only seen the TV show, but how could Claire and Jamie possibly find anything to talk about that's remotely relevant to either of their lives? He's never seen a bean can and he doesn't know what the telly is.) But ageing Edward up could, with some moral gymnastics and a constant reminder that Yes, This Is Weird, But We’re Going With It, remove him from Bella’s socio-political sphere just enough that it would almost be more acceptable.

It's the poor decision to time Edward's birth at the beginning of the 20th century that really hits the nail into the coffin here. While it does comfortably serve the theological dichotomy between Edward and Bella (anyone significantly older would probably not be Mormon, as Mormonism wasn't a thing until the early-to-mid 1800s) it is a stumbling block for the believability of the romance. The movie and the book both struggle desperately to reconcile Edward’s point of view with Bella’s, neither one with enough sleight of hand to properly explore the intricacies of it; that said, at least in the book, Edward is fun:

“‘You scared me for a minute there,’ [Edward] admitted after a pause… ‘I thought Newton was dragging your dead body off to bury it in the woods.’
‘Ha, ha.’ I still had my eyes closed, but I was feeling more normal every minute.
‘Honestly—I’ve seen corpses with better colour. I was concerned that I might have to avenge your murder.’
‘Poor Mike. I bet he’s mad.’
‘He absolutely loathes me,’ Edward said cheerfully.” (85)

In the movie, it’s impossible to understand why the hell this old man is chasing after this little girl, but in the book he’s charming and eloquent, and there are instances that beget genuine empathy—I couldn’t stop thinking about Edward’s total disregard for his own personal safety, his exclusion from society, this insular environment that Carlisle’s bite condemned him to. He is an old man caged in the body of a teenager, and his family only enables his self-destructive behaviour. I wouldn’t even call him a pervert: I would call him someone who is so psychologically damaged from a physical assault that he is clawing desperately to human affection to try to manufacture a sense of normalcy in his life. And Carlisle, his attacker, is now his sole benefactor, the puppeteer of a collection of ageless marionettes that obey his authority over their household. They survive at Carlisle’s pleasure; they play by his rules. But Edward states that the vampires do not sleep, and while sleep is necessary for growth and repair, it’s also vital for mental health. What has this created in Carlisle, a man who hasn’t slept in around 340 years? Is there any way to measure the psychological damage this could cause, or are we seeing it now in this strange, macabre puppet show that is the Cullen clan?

Is this an intentional angle? It’s hard to say. I doubt it, but I don’t think there’s such a thing as “reading too much” into stories, especially those that deal with extremely weighty topics such as immortality and love and pack mentality. What strikes me most here is that Bella is a victim of the Cullen clan, but so is Edward, and of course Rosalie. Edward, Rosalie, and Esme were all turned by Carlisle without their consent, and while they all were dying, and though this is passed off as noble by Carlisle, it doesn’t ring true. 

As asserted by the narrative, the “lawless” vampires, i.e. those who do not belong to a "safe" clan and who are not under the control of any other entity, and who hunt humans, are the villains of this story, but what makes them villainous is their disregard for human life, and that they justify this by citing their natural instincts. The vampires’ natural attractiveness, their smell, and their heightened senses all function for ease of hunting, and the Cullens are not exempt; the difference between them is that the ungoverned vampires hunt humans, and the Cullens do not. 

Or do they?

Perhaps what Carlisle did can’t be labelled “hunting”, but it could be something worse. It could be the ultimate act of power and control, to stockpile living bodies, to use acts of brutality and violence to manufacture close familial bonds. Carlisle professes not to have given in to his baser instincts, but the truth may be that he did, not by killing but with a cultivated community of psychological torture. Edward states that Carlisle was lonely, but the problematic element to this is that Carlisle knew why he was lonely - it was because immortality made him that way. His solution to this was to condemn other people to the same fate. One could ask why Carlisle was so certain that the other “Cullens” would bond with him, but my answer to this is that Carlisle made it that way: this was his design, to collect a trove of ghosts and lock them behind the doors of his estate.

The Cullens will always be connected by the things that make them “other”, and in the end, so will Bella. She will become a Cullen too, but I’d say it’s not Edward’s fingers that are plucking her puppet strings. 

Is James the villain here? Perhaps. Perhaps not. 



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Profile Image for Mary.
42 reviews15 followers
June 12, 2015
Twilight is lame and stupid.

I think everyone knows that the characters are essentially the ones who make up the book. It’s through them that the plot is developed, the conflicts are carried, the climax is revealed, stuff like that. And when you’re writing in a first person POV, you have to make that “first person” interesting and observant. Bella, our first person, is about as interesting as a rock.

Isabella is nothing more than a Mary Sue. It doesn’t even take a genius to figure out that ‘Bella’ is Italian for ‘beautiful’. And her last name is ‘Swan’, which as a device in literature, symbolizes grace and beauty. Bella Swan? Beautiful Swan? Not very clever.

Here’s the contradiction: She’s ordinary. At least that’s what she keeps on insisting throughout the book. Practically everyone in her new school asks her to the dance, or to the prom. And she gets the guy who apparently “doesn’t date” because “none of the girls… are good-looking enough for him.” Her appearance is somewhat similar to the author’s, as well as her story of moving to a new place. If it helps, she’s a klutz – a last ditching effort to not make her a complete Mary Sue.

Most readers who like Twilight relate to Bella. Well I don’t. I can’t possibly relate to a young woman with no plans, no goals, no solid interests, no personality, no deep observations of life, no nothing - but is just “unconditionally and irrevocably in love with” her boyfriend. I really can’t. There’s something so shallow and pathetic about it; the way she’s willing to throw away her friends and family for a guy she has been acquainted with for just… two weeks? Besides, she is extremely boring, the sort which makes you fall asleep while she talks. And if she’s not obsessing over Edward, she does, well, nothing but whines, or tells him and his family that she doesn’t want to be rescued.

I would have liked it if Meyer had given her a little backbone and some brain cells, so she can get out of the stupid situations she puts her stupid self in. I don’t buy her “I grew up in Phoenix” statement. Nobody who grew up in Phoenix would be an idiot enough to wander around empty streets of an unfamiliar city alone. Then again, her idiocy is necessary to give way to her savior, Edward Cullen.

Edward is a vampire – oops! – a perfect vampire. He’s the most beautiful thing which ever existed… Have I mentioned that he’s perfect? And that he has topaz eyes?

He’s also bipolar. He’s serious one time, and then laughs exuberantly another. Insane mood swings, I tell you. He’s supposed to be your perfect male protagonist – hawt!!! (not hot; it should be hawt and must always be followed by three exclamation points), dangerous, smart, mysterious, perfect, and, uhm, sparkly (although the last adjective is not really required; it’s just a bonus if you’re lucky enough). He has this stalker-ish behavior, which is sick: He sneaks into Bella’s room and watches her sleep before they even get to talk. Some think that it’s romantic, but it’s just creepy. I don’t understand what’s so romantic about it.

Edward is 100-something years old and lives with his vampire family. Apparently he and his family don’t drink human blood, because they don’t want to be completely evil. They’re vegetarians: They only drink blood of animals. They are basically good vampires, and they also play baseball in the woods to pass the time. Also, every myth about vampire is WRONG! Stakes, garlic, sleeping in coffin (although the idea of not sleeping ever was okay) – even sunlight!

But you know, age and race don’t matter in this book, because Edward and Bella actually fall in love! As for the reason… what is the reason again? Oh, because Bella smells good and Edward is hawt!!!. They’re made for each other! It’s destiny!

Seriously, though, the romance between them is forced and trite. And it’s even more boring than they both are, because they have no personality whatsoever. I'm not even sure if there's romance at all. There is no development of feelings. Just… BAM! They’re in love! They don’t even do anything but talk about how in love they are. From there, everything becomes sheer selfishness, and for the nth time, stupidity. Bella’s life revolves around her boyfriend, and nothing more. Not only is it absurd; it also gives horrible messages, namely:

1. It’s okay to fall in love in a matter of days and then risk your life for it.
2. You don’t have to have dreams or goals or anything like that; just get a girl/boyfriend. It’s far more important!
3. It’s perfectly fine to lie to your parents especially when it concerns your girl/boyfriend.
4. Ditch your friends. Girl/Boyfriend first, I tell you! Girl/Boyfriend first!

Considering the fact that Edward is so much older than Bella, shouldn’t he be more rational? More mature? Knowing he can kill Bella, he should have just left her alone. And how come Edward just blabbers everything to Bella? You know, the vampire stuff? For someone who has been in this world for more than a hundred years, he sure displays the maturity of a fetus.

And he’s supposed to be dangerous. That could have worked, if only Bella had the wits to be actually scared. It’s funny; that girl’s so brainless you can’t possibly scare her! As for Edward, it would have been better if he had shown how dangerous he could be. I don't know, maybe good vampires can only talk about how dangerous they area instead of actually showing it.

Oh, how could I forget! Edward SPARKLES UNDER THE SUN! Did you know that? Isn’t that cool? The coolest thing ever? It’s like the most magnificent thing next to Edward! He sparkles “like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface” of his skin! Sparkling! Glittering! Glistening! Scintillating! Oh! my! gosh! Meyer is so original! Who else could have thought that?!

The plot is absolutely zero (the romance between Bella and Edward is not a plot). It’s basically just “He’s a vampire, she’s not. They fall in love. End of story.” And there were a lot of loopholes:

1. Why would the Cullens want to study in high school?! This is my number one question. Hello? Who wants to go through high school over and over again??
2. Why would they want to blend in with the rest of humanity?
3. Why would they put themselves near humans when they know it’s hard to resist biting them?
4. Why would one bad vampire like to bite Bella specifically?

I’d like to answer and expand on loophole 4, because it’s absolutely preposterous. I didn’t even care about that James vampire when he appeared, because his arrival was so cliched and so late. It’s like Meyer suddenly remembered that there should be something climax-y in Twilight, just to give it a semblance of a plot. "This James ought to do the trick. He should be the one to threaten Bella’s life and then she makes an insanely silly mistake and she almost gets killed BUT Edward rescues her!"

Meyer’s writing style isn’t something to commend on either; she writes like a twelve-year old. She makes Dan Brown look like a Pulitzer Prize winner. Her words are stilted. The narration is unexciting, dragging, and redundant. Bella keeps telling the readers how much she hates the rain in the first 100 pages of the book, and how she can’t dance. If not that, she repetitively says how perfect and beautiful Edward is. What’s ironic is that despite all the perfect descriptions of him, I never quite pictured him in my mind. I’m still wondering how the rest of humanity can drool and squeal at the thought of him.

Bella glares all the time, too. Bella also grimaces a lot, and hisses, and stumbles. Glares, grimaces, hisses, stumbles. Four redundant freakin’ verbs in a 500-page book. That’s not so much, unless you can count only to three.

Meanwhile, Edward always smiles his crooked smile, and he dazzles people (especially Bella).

Nobody ‘said’ anything. Characters only ‘gasped’, ‘chuckled’, ‘questioned’, and ‘answered’.

Meyer also occasionally uses ridiculously long AND obscure words, which don’t quite fit since the rest of her words are plain and simple. I remember one: Ostentatious. She could have simply used ‘showy’ or ‘flamboyant’, but it just had to be ostentatious. Why she used that, I’ve no idea. (In the next books, Meyer uses bigger words. I wonder how big they are…)

And you know, Meyer ends Twilight with Bella attending the PROM. That’s how a vampire story should end: The heroine should attend the prom with her vampire boyfriend. In that ruffled gown and stiletto heels… It just makes sense (although it did take Bella about ten years to figure out Edward is taking her to the prom. What an idiot). Meyer skipped the almost action-y part (Emmett and Jasper’s dealing with James) but she elaborates on the prom.

Now that I’ve finished reading and dissecting Twilight, I still don’t understand all the hype it’s getting. It reads like a bad fan fic. I won't stop you from reading it, though. That's a choice for you to make.
Profile Image for Jessica Edwards.
Author 20 books799 followers
August 11, 2017
Where do I start with this?
I don't know about you, but I was hyped when this book came out.
Anything involving Vampires or Wolves....I want to read it.
I read this again a couple of weeks ago and because I'm going to start reviewing more books (even though I'm not very good at it) I wanted to review this particular book more than any other book.
Twilight, I love you. I love the series. And the films. Enough said.
I don't know if it's because of the story or what, but this whole series will forever have a place in my heart, it's just one of those series you have to read.
I could watch the films over and over again, even in the same day.
A gripping story line with a love triangle between two completely different beings.
Some days I wish I was Bella, because then I'd change who she bloody chooses!
Jacob, Jacob, Jacob, oh how I adore you...
Bella can keep Edward for all I care, I want the wolf. xD
It's weird because when I used to talk to people about Twilight, I always used to ask people what team they were, and the majority of the people said Edward!
I'd love to write a vampire novel/series one day.
Just once I'd like to see the second male lead get the girl.
Profile Image for Annette.
441 reviews26 followers
August 2, 2008
Ok... I know that I'm going to offend a lot of people with this review, but I feel that I have to be honest about this. There are quite a few things that bother me about this book, I will only list the top 5 here:

1) Bella - She is the exact character that I do NOT want my daughters to have as a role model. She is a sighing, swooning, fainting, weeping, weak female character straight out of the 19 century. This is the 21st century people! Do we want to raise a generation of namby pamby young women who can't stand on their own two feet?

2) Edward - This is the kind of guy that I warn my daughters to stay away from. The guy sneaks into her room and watches her sleep. Does anyone else see anything creepy about this? He's obsessed with rescuing her and he thinks that if he doesn't follow her around 24/7 that she'll get herself into a dangerous situation that she can't handle. Does anyone else see anything creepy about this?

3) The relationship - This is a textbook case of co-dependency if I ever saw one. They hardly know each other, but suddenly they can't live without each other? The dialogue is like something straight out of a Harlequin - ugh! I think that young people have enough trouble knowing the difference between love and lust and this book does not help.

4) Too much emphasis on appearances - It's like Edward's good looks are all that matters, personality is not important. Bella must be good looking too, why else would a 100 year old vampire be interested in a 17 year old girl? Her personality leaves much to be desired so we know it's not that.

5) The comparison between this series and the Harry Potter series - If I were J.K. Rowling I would be offended that people are comparing the Twilight series with the Harry Potter series. Stephani Meyer's writing is NOT up to par with J.K. Rowling - not even close.

The worst thing about this book is that it's so hugely popular. There are thousands of young girls all over the nation who are swooning over Edward and wishing that they could be "just like Bella" - gag! I truly think that this book is a detriment to society. There's a lot more I could say, but I think that I've offended enough people for now.
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
October 23, 2019
Rereading this with my friend Raeleen was a GIFT. I have such deeply fond memories of Twilight and while rereading it has made me see a lot more of the issues with the text, it also has continued to be so much FUN.
Profile Image for SK.
313 reviews2,778 followers
March 14, 2023
"Twilight, again. Another ending. No matter how perfect the day is, it always has to end."


Every year this series invites me in and I can practically hear it saying to me-

Insert Edward's voice -
"I'm the world's best predator, aren't I?
As if you could outrun me.
As if you could fight me off."

And well I don't fight it off.

Jokes aside, this book is imperfect. But it still continues to be a masterpiece, in the sense I never get bored or tired of it. Each time I read this series, it's like falling in love with Forks and the characters all over again. It's good to be nostalgic once in a while, isn't it? It's such a comfort read.
19 reviews89 followers
January 15, 2008
there are so many problems with this book that i can't even begin to address them all. but i will say this, 'twilight' is probably one of the worst, if not THE worst, books i've ever read. the writing is amateurish at best [cliches, stereotypes, purple prose--how anyone can applaud meyer's prose is puzzling]; the editing--or lack thereof--is appalling [this is a 200 page novel, no more and probably less]; the grammar and syntax are unforgivably bad; the plot is onion-skin thin; and the characters are uniformly dull and uninspiring.

it's hard to imagine how so many people got suckered into this book. the novel's protagonist, bella swan [really? i mean, really?], is a complete idiot. she has no dreams, no motivations, no ambitions, no hopes, no goals, and not a single original thought of her own. she spends 500 pages spewing endless platitudes and commenting on edwards 'perfect face,' 'amber eyes,' and 'perfectly-muscled chest' ad nauseum [those references number in the HUNDREDS, literally]. she constantly wonders why edward, a 100-year old domineering vampire, wants her. apparently she's the only one who doesn't realize how 'beautiful' she is. too bad, so sad. honestly, this is the kind of novel you'd expect see selling for $1.99 at the supermarket checkout, not winning all sorts of awards. at one point i was half-expecting to close the book and find fabio on the cover. and a glittery vampire? gimme a break.

frankly, i'm mystified at its popularity. if nothing else, i guess it goes to show what clever marketing and stories of wish-fulfillment and so-called 'forbidden love' can do to some women. it's made meyer a multi-millionaire, i'm sure, and turned her publisher into a cash cow. i don't begrudge anyone his or her success, but when it comes via a turd like 'twilight,' it's well, more than a tad saddening.

'twlight' apologists will say that 'at least young women are reading!'i guess you could make that argument, but with that kind of logic you might as well congratulate an anorexic for eating a marshmallow.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,061 reviews69.5k followers
June 22, 2021

I loved this book. There. I said it. In fact, I loved the whole series. What can I say? It was a totally unbelievable paranormal love story filled with way too much drama and teenage angst. And I loved it.
The series reminds me of "fair food". You know, the food you buy when you go to a state fair or carnival? You know you shouldn't want to eat that stuff. And somewhere in your head, there is a little voice telling you that it was prepared by someone who hasn't washed their hands in days.
But you eat it anyway.
Not only do you eat it, but you look forward to eating more. Deep-fried corn dogs, greasy pizza, funnel cakes, and elephant ears...yum! The way I see it, everyone could use a little cotton candy from the circus.
Read the books.
Life is too short not to eat the creamy Velveeta cheese of The Twilight Saga.

Profile Image for Cait.
76 reviews1,688 followers
July 2, 2012
Since this book has already been reviewed from hell to high water, I thought that I could treat you all to what this whole book (and small part of New Moon, as well) was in a simple little gif nutshell. Enjoy, all:

And that's pretty much it.
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