Remember when I pledged to read a book a week? Well, the first book of that pledge is Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. I don’t know how I feel about jumping on this band wagon. I have held off for so long. But, I am slightly interested in the story and more than slightly curious about the craze. So, I dusted off my copy (yes, I have the first and the second one, I just hadn’t gotten around to reading them yet!) and hoped for a good story.

One word sums up the book for me: disappointed. I think the idea to change some of the common details about the myth of vampires (sleep in coffins, bats, etc) and to make these vampires more like humans, was brilliant. Meyer made the likelihood of vampires in everyday life almost believable. However, I felt the writing style was very simple and I did not feel a connection with the characters or, with the exception of a few suspenseful scenes, with the story.

For me, the best comparison to the book is the Harry Potter series. Both are old ideas, magic and vampires, with a new spin. Both series are written for younger audiences and both have created a social and media frenzy.  And for my comparison, I think I will quote Stephen King:

“Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people… The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

I kept waiting for more character or story development, but I never got it. I do have to remind myself that this is only the first of four books. Hopefully Meyer pulls out some character development and character history in a later book.

I also feel that Bella is a weak role model for all the young girls reading these books. Yes, it is seemingly romantic that Edward is dreamy and cares for her, but does he always have power over everything she does?  She gives in to him and allows him to run her life. Not only is this bad in theory, but it’s romanticised in this book. Girls need to be strong and stand up to 17 year old guys, and Bella does just the opposite.

Overall, I was underwhelmed. I will read the rest of the series and I do hope that I get more out of the next three books.  What about you? What did you think of this book?

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