I wrote about Twilight in 2008 for Suite101 and I want to make this clear: I am a proud owner of a very well-worn, first edition, first printing copy of Twilight. Seriously, the dust jacket got lost within days and its now little more than pages barely held together with string. I like Twilight. I think its a love story that resonates. Hates to the left.
Reading the Twilight Series
Why the young adult books called the Twilight series, by Stephenie Meyer are a must read. These books include the titles Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse.
The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, which now consists of three books:Twilight (ISBN: 978-0316160179, Little, Brown, October, 2005), New Moon, (ISBN: 978-0316160193, August, 2006) and Eclipse (ISBN: 978-0316160209, August, 2007), is one of the top must read’s of the Young Adult Genre, second only to Harry Potter in popularity among young adult readers.
How Bella’s Story Begins
Twilight differs from its young adult counterparts because it mixes real life emotion with fantasy. Unlike Gossip Girland Clique, Twilight plays at the heartstrings. It’s a romantic daydream gone awry.
It begins with Bella Swan moving to Forks to live with her Dad. Bella misses home, and she misses the sun. In Forks, apparently, it rains most days out of the year. Still she tries to settle into her new school and her new life, and tries to sleep despite the constant sound of falling rain.
Then she meets Edward Cullen. Edward wants nothing to do with Bella at first, and is resentful of her existence. But slowly and reluctantly, he tells her the truth: that he is a vampire, and that her blood, Bella’s blood, is the most beautiful thing he has smelled in a century. He can’t decide whether to kill her or love her.
Edward’s vampire is different from his Ann Rice and other fictional relatives. It’s as if Meyer asked herself, not what if vampires were real, but what if vampires were a realistic possibility. The answer is a highly evolved, dangerously beautiful predator. Some of the vampires also have special abilities, including Edward’s ability to read thoughts. But the Cullen’s are the “vegetarians” of their kind, living among humans and feeding only on animals.
For the Reader
At first sight, don’t be intimidated by the book’s size. Although each book is more than 500 pages each, it targets an age group from the ages of 12 and up, an easy read. Avid readers can finish it in a weekend. Harry Potter graduates will consider it brain candy. Also, because Meyer draws inspiration from classics like Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights, it might reacquaint you with these classics, or inspire your young readers at home to pick them up for the first time.
If the vampires or love story don’t draw you (Edward is a delectable prince charming), then Bella’s every girl persona will. Her character is so relatable that her story sometimes reads as a personal narrative rather than a work of fiction. However, certain scenes get a little redundant. Bella sometimes lacks foresight and insight, which leads to conflict that can otherwise be avoided.
Awards and News
In 2007, New Moon, the second book in the Twilight Series, made #1 in the American Library Association’s 2007 Teens’ Top Ten list. In 2006, Twilight made #2, second to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. The fourth installment in the series, Breaking Dawn, has a tentative release date in the fall of 2008.
Right now, Twilight is being optioned for a movie, with Kristen Stewart (Speak, Panic Room) as Bella and Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory from the Harry Potter movies) as Edward. The movie is scheduled to be released on 12/08/2008.