Monday, July 6, 2009


[Twilight spoilers in this post, although I don't think it's possible to reveal anymore than the movie trailer.]

"The 'Twilight' line is over there," the cheerful Border's bookshop assistant directed me.

"Uh, actually, I wasn't ... wow," I glanced at my watch. I guessed the new 'Twilight' sequel was due to be released at midnight. It was currently just before 9pm and the queue wrapped around the store. Maybe I should have been there for that book.

At the time, I was considering reading material for the flights to and from Japan this summer. Personally, I have some faith in the mass opinion of novels, largely due to my passionate love of the Harry Potters, an obsession shared with the 15 million who also grabbed the 'Deathly Hallows' last year. Yet my friends had more dubious review than the people in Borders that evening.

"It's just a teenage love story," one remarked.

I considered my state of mind after 12 hours in a airborne tin box. That night, I ordered a copy on Amazon.

By the time I stepped off the plane, I'd killed 2/3rds of 'Twilight' so I could only describe myself as absorbed. The writing style I cannot honestly give more than a C+. The adjectives are repetitive and the sentence structure simplistic rather than elegant. That said, I walked away with a clear view of the small north Washington State town setting, where the thickly populated trees continually dripped rain drops. The plot is somewhat predicable, not least because it is entirely encapsulated on the back cover. The characterisation though, is good. Edward is portrayed as a moody, secretive and staggeringly handsome boy-god with the added excitement that he might destroy you at any moment. What girl wouldn't go weak at the knees? His personality weakens somewhat as his secrets are reveals (to Bella, the reader has probably looked on the back cover) as does the plot line which focuses obsessively on Edward's decision about whether to take Bella to dinner or have her for dinner. The ending climax also feels forced. It would have been more exciting if Edward decided the way to his heart really was through his stomach and devoured the girl (after all, that has been the build up all book). Frankly, it'd also be a more accurate ending (metaphorically speaking, at least) to most adolescent relationships.

My room-mate at the conference I'm currently attending is a flush with the glow from her new relationship. I've lent her the book. Forewarned is forearmed, after all.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to admit this, but I'm almost done re-reading this series. I even read the excerpt of the first book written from Edward's perspective that's available online. I couldn't agree more that Meyer's writing is unskilled at best and has some glaring holes in it (a complete inability to write an action scene, for one). I can sum all the books up this way:
    Girl and vampire are in love. At some point, someone has a very clear and predictive dream, but dismisses it as just a dream. The characters realize something big and potentially dangerous is "out there" to get them. Dream suddenly applies particularly accurately. Characters obsess for eons about looming problem. Crisis is happily averted and no one is hurt, no difficult choices need to be made, and all is well.
    It's like cotton candy. Totally unsatisfying, sugary-sweet, and absolutely addictive. Why?!?!