Edition cover

  • ISBN10: 0316015849
  • ISBN13: 9780316015844
  • Paperback
  • 544 pages
  • Little, Brown Young Readers

by Stephenie Meyer

Reviewed by deargreenplace

Rating: 3 out of 5

  • Posted 12 years ago
  • Viewed 834 times, 0 comments
  • Average user rating: (4.5/5)

The submissive and the stalker

Well. What could I say about this book that hasn't already been said in about a zillion internet forums across the globe?

Here's the plot, for any cave-dwellers out there. 16-year-old Bella Swan moves to Washington State from Phoenix Arizona to live with her estranged dad for a while. At school, she becomes intrigued by the Cullen family and falls madly and "irrevocably" in love with Edward, who comes from a family of peaceful 'vegetarian' vampires.

With me so far? I know I'm not the target audience for Twilight, but the above is pretty much it. When she's not cooking for her dad (who incidentally managed perfectly well without her for years), Bella is mooning and gushing over Edward with as much angst as an angsty 16-year-old can muster. The author makes no bones about the gorgeousness of Edward (even though he has auburn hair and golden eyes which just sounds weird, but each to her own, eh?) and throughout the book, Edward's name cannot be mentioned without some prefix describing his apparently staggering beauty.

Edward is a Mills and Boon type of hero. He appears at crucial moments to rescue Bella from danger - and who knew how much danger there could be in small Washington towns? - and of course is ever the gentleman as they don't consummate their relationship (in this book anyway) because he feels deep down that he'd be ruining Bella's life by being a part of it. In other words, for someone who's been 17 for over 90 years, he's too bloody good to be true. Maybe vampires don't have hormones.

The dilemma for Bella of course is that Edward is almost 100 years old and she's terrified that she will lose him because of the small matter of his being a vampire when she is not. She wants to be though if it would mean she and Edward could be together forever. As Edward says, forever is a long time.

When I mentioned to a colleague that I was reading this book, she wasn't impressed and told me that Edward was basically a stalker. Bella is also a problematic character for me. Her life revolves around Edward and her father. She is pliant, submissive and obedient and quite unlike a lot of 16-year-olds I have known. I wondered why, and hoped that the author's alleged religious tendencies hadn't influenced her depiction of an unrealistically platonic love. Give or take the vampires, this relationship is a fantasy and a fiction in more ways than one. The writing isn't particularly skilled or original and some of the descriptions of Edward were rather vomit-inducing - have you ever loved the smell of a guy's breath? Nope, me neither.

I loved the film though, and was glad that I'd seen that before reading the book as it gave Bella slightly more backbone. Not a book for those who want to read too much into it.

Buffy: (to Giles) See, this is a school, and we have students, and they check out books, and then they learn things. Giles: I was beginning to suspect that was a myth.

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