Sunday, January 25, 2009

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer

Title: Twilight
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Date Finished: Jan 25, 2009 #4
Published: 2005 Pages: 497
Rating: 4/5

Well, I certainly didn’t think that this day would come so soon. If I’m honest with myself, it was always inevitable that I was going to read Twilight, but my friend Theresa gave me the violent gentle push I needed. I’ve been torn on how to review this book since so many others have already done so. If you don’t know who Bella and Edward are, you truly have been living under a rock (although when I confided in my sister that I devoured the book over the weekend, she said, “what’s that?”). A rock…a very dark one. Teenaged girl falls in love with vampire and they have all the expected human/vampire problems. There--let's move on.

How to review, how to review? I thought about asking for questions that you’d like me to answer. But then I was afraid that no one would ask any questions. So, I’ve come up with my own questions. I can’t pretend to be as witty as Bookfool when she interviews herself, but here’s what I imagine you would ask if I asked you to ask me. :)

Trish, what’s the deal? Why so resistant towards Twilight and the rest of the series?
It’s funny because once upon a time I was pretty interested in the series. I had seen the books at the store and was pretty curious, especially after a friend raved about them in the same way that I rave about Harry Potter. But I waited to read them, and the longer I waited, the bigger these books got. So big that I was finally a little turned off. I tend to stay away from hysteria, but I knew it was only a matter of time before I eventually got to them. My best friend, Theresa, made me promise over Christmas break that I would at least try Twilight by the end of January. So, here we are. I couldn’t resist my very dear friend.

So now that you’ve read it, will you admit that you liked it. Even just a little bit?
Fine. I admit it. :) I read the first 40 pages or so before work and felt pretty apprehensive about it. I felt the plot was heavily contrived and soooooooo high school. But by the end of my lunch break, I had finished a fifth of the book and couldn’t wait to read more. It’s been a long time since I’ve read for hours at a time because I didn’t want to put the book down.

You’ve read a lot of negative things about the characters, especially Bella being a whining little brat. D’you agree?
Everyone thinks that Bella is incredibly obnoxious, but I didn’t mind her. Maybe because I have a 16 year old step-sister and a 12 year old brother and am used to teenaged whining? Bella is unsure of herself, a little self-conscious, she has a gorgeous and intimidating boy sweep her off her feet. Of course she’s going to be a little whiny. All the teenaged love thing kind of got on my nerves because I know what it is to be a teenager “in love,” but I tried to just read past it all.

I see you blushing a little bit…what's on your mind?
Nothing. Really--nothing!

Are you sure, Trish? Nothing at all?
Uh uh.

FINE. I have a huge gigantic crush on Edward. Yes, it was certainly annoying to read about his marble body and his modelish good looks and his t-shirt clinging to his muscular chest, etc etc. But what can I say? He’s totally the guy I would have gone for in high school. You know you feel the same way…! Enough about my crush…back to the book!

I know, I know, you’re not a book critic. But what did you think about the writing?
Yup, you’re right. Not a book critic. I read this book for pleasure—I didn’t think the writing was fantastic, but I wasn’t really bothered by it either. I was expecting to see the description alabaster a million times, but I think it might have come up twice. Really, my biggest complaint would be with the action sequences. I had a really difficult time visualizing what was happening, but most of the time Bella (the narrator) was passed out anyway, so I guess that’s why the descriptions are so foggy!

Now that you’ve finished the book, will you see the movie?
Nope. Not unless hubby picks it up from Blockbuster—he won’t admit it, but he loves teenage dramas (or comedies). But Robert Pattinson? Really? Have you seen those sideburns? No thanks.

Are you dying to get your hands on New Moon?
Ahhhh…the moment of truth. Yes, I’ll be reading New Moon. But not today. Maybe tomorrow. Haha! Just kidding. I think I’ll try to squeeze it in next month. If I can, great! If not, the book isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

So what confessions do you have to make about the Twilight series? Love it? Hate it? Crush on Edward???


kayepants said...

I recently gave in, too, and read all 4 books (plus the leaked portion of the 5th) ... in 5 days. And hated it. And loved it. I understand your confusion, I really can't wrap my head around what I think of any of them - I found myself annoyed to the core with the writing style, the characters, the plot... but I couldn't put it down, so I guess that says something.

Heather J. said...

I resisted for a long time as well. Then I read almost the whole series between Christmas and New Years.

Bella wasn't so bad in book 1 - I'll agree with you there. But in book 2 I wanted to smack her.

And I totally fell for Edward as well ... until I got to book 2 and I dropped Edward for Jacob - permanently.

If you want to read through my reviews (which are basically a list of ?!'s) here's a link. Enjoy!

Nymeth said...

Wait, who are Edward and Bella again?

Just kidding :P

I'm still not convinced this series is for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it, Trish. And I loved your self-interview!

Chele76 said...

I have a love-hate relationship with this entire series. All of my freinds are addicted, as well as their parents and pets. It got kinda crazy. I gave in. Actually, a dear freind purcahsed the book for me and said I must read.

I lvoe the series because it was the first time in a while that I *had* to read. I had many 2 and 3-am nights of 'just one more chapter' but the entire time I wanted to throw Bella against a wall. She ticked me off. Many times. Royally. I cannot stress enough how much she drove me nuts. Then in the next couple books Jacob got on my nerves. Then (no spoilers I promise) there are a few things that happen in book 4 that make you want to knock Stephanie Meyer in the head and shout "really???? C'mon???"

...but yet I had to read it. I think the pages must be laced with some addictive drug. That is the only way I can explain this NEED to turn *one more page*

verbatim said...

Et tu, Trish? While I and two other members of my book club vehemently fought against reading this book in Dec., we were outvoted. The most vociferous objector wound up reading the whole series twice and seeing the Twilight movie twice! (Personally, I couldn't get past Edward's cold, marble lips and the vague undertone of necrophilia that implied.) Also, there were a lot of interesting themes that were introduced and then let languish. However, judging by our group's reaction and yours, this is a book that has won a lot of people over.

bethany said...

so, you want a confession? I have owned it for about a year and haven't read it yet!! I know, just as you said, that reading it is unavoidable.

i LOVED your self-interview!!!!

Amanda said...

Ah Trish, I'm with you! We caved right about the same time. My thing with Bella is that her personality changes about a third of the way through the book. Like I said in my review, once I got past the fact that she turned into a different person, she didn't bother me anymore, but I wasn't terribly interested in her. I was far more interested in other characters.

I wish I could have read the book before seeing pictures from the movie, though, because I can't picture Edward any other way than like Robert Patterson, who is NOT HOT AT ALL. Edward seemed really nice in the book, but I'm not convinced that he's worthy of crushing for me yet, haha!

I wonder which of us will cave and read New Moon first...did you read the first chapter of it in the back of Twilight?

Trish said...

*Kayepants - I knew that I wasn't going to get some literary feast with the book, so I just tried to simply enjoy the book and let myself get carried away. I think I succeeded. I'm not raving, but I'm not dissing either.

*Heather - Oh no...don't tell me that I haven't seen whiny Bella yet!! My first introduction to the series was when my friend was debating the merits of Edward and Jacob--kind of funny to know what that's all about now.

*Nymeth - It is what it is. I don't really care for vampire stories, but I guess this one kind of made me nostalgic for certain high schoolish things. To be honest--I'm not sure whether to recommend this book or not?

*Chele76 - What I found interesting is that the chapters didn't have that "cliffhanger" feel that I'm used to with books like these. But I still felt compelled to read on. I think it was the whole vampire mystery.

*Verbatim - LOL. Now now...just because I enjoyed the book doesn't mean I'm a raving lunatic!! :) I didn't read the book for any deep meaning...I actually tried not to think about it at all. It's been a long time since I've allowed myself to read simply and solely for pleasure, but it worked for this one. Have you read any of the others yet??

Ramya said...

I loved the self interview style.. very innovative! I am running out of ways to write my reviews differently..they are all beginning to sound the same! (at least to me!)..

In spite of hearing so much about this series of books, I haven't been motivated enough to even read one of them.. However, I do want to read it sometime just to see what the buzz is all about!

verbatim said...

Trish, I would never think you were a lunatic. Of course my "et tu" was written with a smile! I think your response to the book seems to be the common one and I'm the outcaste. Hey, nothing wrong with getting lost in a good story!

Charley said...

Ha, funny post, I enjoyed your Q&A style. I enjoyed Twilight, but it's true, Bella gets more irritating in New Moon. I stopped reading after that one because I couldn't take it anymore! The drama was too much for me.

cj said...

Loved the review... hated the book.

I just don't get it. What am I missing??

I'm glad you enjoyed it, but the vampire I had a crush on was Henry, from Lifetimes "Blood Ties"... Now that was a vampire to sigh over...


Michelle said...

I loved this post. Very clever. I have never read these books, but I know I will read them. I do want to see the movie though. I saw an interview with the author and she said the idea of the book started out as a dream that she had. Interesting bit of info...

Debi said...

I just can't go all will NOT wear me down...

Joy said...

Cute interview, Trish. :) I rated Twilight the same as you and actually admitted I enjoyed it, too. However, unfortunately, I did not have the same experience with New Moon. I do not think I will continue with #3 & #4. Can't wait to find out your reaction to #2!

Trish said...

*Bethany - Good confession! It's a really quick read--maybe for the next read-a-thon??

*Amanda - I think the character that interested me the most (besides Edward) is Alice. I'm not sure who I would have play Edward for the movie, but totally agree with your NOT HOT AT ALL!! I didn't read the teaser for New Moon. I won't be able to fit in the book for a while, so I figured what's the point?

*Ramya - To be fair, Bookfool is who I shamelessly stole the self-interview from. And I'm with you--if my best friend hadn't made me promise to read the book by the end of January, I would have held off a lot longer.

*Verbatim - I could hear the smile...I promise. :) It seems, though, from some of the other responses that you aren't the only one who didn't love it. I didn't love it either, but I was entertained enough to enjoy it.

*Charley - Drama is exactly what was keeping me from reading these sooner. Not good to know that Bella gets more annoying...!

Trish said...

*CJ - Haha! I don't think you're missing anything. I don't really understand what all the hype is for either--I much prefer Harry Potter. But it was fun, anyway.

*Michelle - Like I told Ramya, the self-interview idea comes from Bookfool. She is much more creative than I could hope to be. Interesting that the idea came from a dream!! Did you know that she attended BYU?

*Debi - But Annie enjoyed it, right? She's got good taste... You can't resist forever, can you?

*Joy - Well, from what you and the others have told me, the fun might stop at New Moon. I'm willing to at least give the next one a try.

Amanda said...

Oh good, I'm glad you took the warning. ;)

Lisa said...

I read it last year and didn't feel the need to read the rest. I didn't dislike it so much, just felt kinda Eh.

(review is on my other blog, not Books Lists Life)

tanabata said...

LOL. I loved your self-interview!
They certainly aren't the kind of books you admire for the beautifully-crafted prose but they are quite addictive. I've only read the first 2 but plan to read the last 2 this year.

Karen said...

Hi Trish - first of all, I really enjoyed the way you presented your review - clever! It had me reading the whole way.
Secondly, I am a huge non-liker (if that is even a word??!!) of Twilight. I was like you - not really sure if I should join the obsession or not. I finally gave in last year and read it but I have absoutely no desire to go any further with the series. I thought the writing and the characters were painful! I also had a huge problem with the relationship in the novel between Bella and Edward - I know it is a teenage novel but I don't think it was demonstrating healthy relationship choices for young girls. Having said that, a lot of my friends are huge fans of the series.

Laura H said...

I'm definitely in the Bella is a whiner crowd. Her thoughts drive me insane. I actually liked the movie more because I didn't have to hear Bella's obsessive thoughts. This still didn't keep me from reading the rest of the books (I had to find out what happens).
I have a teenager and after reading that book I started randomly going into her room at night and make sure no boy vampires are in there.
Team Jacob

Trish said...

*Amanda - Yup--no need to work myself in a tissy over the teaser. :)

*Lisa - I remember your review, especially the comment some kid left! I don't know how far I'll get into the series, but I'll at least give #2 a shot.

*Tanabata - And I knew going into the reading that I wasn't going to get the same quality prose that I got just coming from Murakami! And realizing and accepting that helped me enjoy the reading a little more I think. Look forward to hearing what you think of the rest of the series.

*Karen - I agree with you about the teenaged relationships, but I also think that in some ways Meyer was writing truthfully. I've known too many teenaged girls who throw themselves into relationships like these and say the things that Bella was--I'd rather die than be away from you. Probably not the best example, but in the cases I knew in high school, the girls grew out of it and lived healthy lives. LOL! All I know is that I'd *never* go back and relive those high school years!

*Laura H - Yup, my first introduction to Twilight series were the little Team Jacob and Team Edward buttons my friends were wearing. Too funny!! So are you glad you kept reading till the end?

Joanne said...

I absolutely loved your self-interview ... awesome way to do a review, it makes it so much more personal and chatty feeling :)

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the book, but I can't say the same. I am on the last book of the series. The first one was okay and normally I would have stopped there but I had to know just what was causing teenagers (and some adults) to go so crazy. When the movie came out I actually witnessed girls crying while buying tickets, kids at the bookstore paying almost 15 bucks for little plastic braclets that say "Team Edward/Jacob" and most horrifying of all two grown women nearly come to blows in a bookstore over a copy of Breaking Dawn!! Wow :o

Elise said...

It was pretty good, huh? I'm glad you read it and liked it. Your interview was totally funny. And don't worry, if you have a crush on Edward now, wait til you read the other books. He gets better.

Dar said...

I love your self interview. That was fabulous and so perfect for this book. I've read three of them and still have the fourth to go. I read them for pure entertainment and I enjoy them.

Melody said...

I enjoyed reading the series. It's not the best I read, but still it had captured my attention! I thought the movie was OK...

Loved your self-interview, Trish! I can't seem to stop grinning reading it. ;)

Kim L said...

When I try to think of what the Twilight books are about and why I enjoyed them, I'm left empty-handed. And yet, I can't deny they are a pleasure to read.

I found Bella annoying, and Edward to, but still I wanted them to succeed together.

Stephanie said...

Ha! Ha!! They got you too, huh? Actually, I'm with you on the reasons for avoiding it. I was really excited about it until it started getting out of control. Then I just couldn't go there. But I did!!

I am one of those that DID find Bella completely irritating. My complaint was she was so strong in the beginning, then just became a lovesick puppydog. Couldn't stand to be away from Edward. (if you think that is bad, wait till New Moon!!) I'm pretty sure I'm still crushing on Edward though!!

Not good literature, but damn. I just couldn't put it down. I HAD to keep going!

Trish said...

*Joanne - I like personal and chatty! Sometimes the regular reviews of mine feel so formal--don't mean to make them that way! The hysteria is definitely one of the main reasons that I stayed away so long. I just don't get why people are going crazy over this book!!

*Elise - Haha! Glad to hear Edward gets better...although I can't imagine. I've heard Bella gets worse, though. Boo!

*Dar - Yup, pure entertainment. And you know what, I'm glad to find that in a book. Too often I get caught up in the mechanics of a book that it's nice to relax and just read.

*Melody - I don't think I'll be seeing the movie. From the previews, it looks like most of the movie is focused on the drama with the vampire who wants to attack Bella. That was such a small part of the book!

*Kim - Hmmmm...sounds about right. I can't really say why I enjoyed this one either, but I did.

*Stephanie - I think the thing that bothered me most about Bella is that there is SO much emphasis on her being so clumsy, but we don't really see a whole lot of it. More telling us that she's clumsy than showing us. Oh well...glad I'm not the only one who has a crush on Edward. ;)

Lisa said...

There had to be so much emphasis on her clumsiness to make the ending work. It just a giant obviously plot mechanism. It didn't blend in at all and almost seemed like she went back and inserted a little clumsy into each chapter so the big conclusion was there.

samantha.1020 said...

Trish- I felt the same way you did about the book. It was a good read but not great and I was glad that I finally read it. I've no clue when I'll read the next one though.

Serena said...

i love the interview format of this review. i didn't like bella much as a main character, but then again I love vampire novels and to have a human at the center threw me off, but I got over it and read the rest of the series.

Michelle said...

In Utah she is somewhat of an Icon because of her attendance to BYU and her being a mormon. It is weird that when there is someone that is famous and a mormon, that is all [Mormon] people talk about, like that is the only thing that matters. (Of course, I don't mean you, so please don't take offense to that.)

Laura said...

First of all, I really really enjoyed this review! You always write really great reviews, but this was a fun new format! I can totally see you having a conversation with yourself--and not in a crazy type of way, but a fun, quirky Trish-esque way! :)

Second, since you liked it so much, maybe I'll have to give it a try, especially because now I think I literally am the ONLY person in the entire world who hasn't read it! I admit--I am curious!

Trish said...

*Lisa - I know I know, but we didn't get to *see* a lot of the clumsiness except for a few parts. It was rather annoying to me as well.

*Sam - I'm not in a big hurry to get to the next one either, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it once I do find it.

*Serena - Hmmm--any good vampire books you'd recommend? The only others I can think of are Rice's novesl. And I'm wayyyyy to big of a scaredy cat for those!

*Michelle - No offense taken! I've noticed that as well, but have you also noticed how many book bloggers are LDS? I'm always surprised to find out just how many I "know."

*Laura - I'm hungry. Ooops...sorry, didn't mean to throw that in. I'm constantly having these types of conversations in my head, so it was fun to actually write it down. I was actually going to ask YOU for questions, but I didn't want to bother you before you left for Florida. I think you might get kind of annoyed this book in the same way you did with the Shopaholic book, BUT it is a fun read anyway. OH, I don't know if you read my comment on Bookfool's diet book review, but I found the chocolate. ALL OF IT. :P

Stephanie said...

Hee! I just posted my review of Twilight and New Moon. I don't do hysteria books either (I think Harry Potter 4 was out by the time I picked up the first one), but yeah, I enjoyed these.

I can't say I have a crush on Edward like you do though- he totally isn't my type. I like 'em tall and nerdy, not hot and deadly. ;)

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

So many comments! So you finally jumped on the bandwagon?! He, he. These are fun books. A little escapism never hurt anyone. Let's see if your enthusiasm stays the same throughout the rest of the series and hopefully they aren't spoiled for you.

Laura said...

I think your questions were MUCH better than ones I would have asked! I might get annoyed by the book, but who knows unless I try! Oh and by the way, thanks for ruining EVERYTHING and telling me where the chocolate is. I didn't know until lunch today.

raych said...

It's true, I heart Edward *punches face*

But I think I heart 'Twilight' Edward, and sort of got sick of him later (only to have him redeem hisself a little in...whatever the 3rd one is).

Also, whiny irritating mouth-breather Bella is more book-2-ish. I didn't really hate her after book 1.

That being said, these books are awesome and I can't stop love-hating them. Bring on book 4.

alisonwonderland said...

great review, Trish! totally fun!

my confession: i loved Twilight, liked the other three books, and adored the movie - which only intensified my crush on edward. :)

Trish said...

*Stephanie - Tall and nerdy, huh? I'm not sure if there were any of those in the book... Do you plan on reading Eclipse soon?

*Natasha - Not the most commented on post, but definitely up there! I wouldn't say that I jumped on the bandwagon, but maybe I'm being dragged by a rope behind the wagon. :) I do know one little tidbit that happens in book 4, but I don't think it will ruin anything.

*Laura - I think to keep from getting annoyed, you have to kind of remember what book it is. I definitely rolled my eyes a lot, but it was still a fun read.

*Raych - Haha! Glad I'm not alone with my secret Edward crush. I guess it's one of those--bad boy not supposed to go there type of thing?? Who knows.

*Alison - Oh no...not Robert Pattinson? I just can't get passed the hair. I thought he was cutish in HP movies, though.

bethany said...

Seriously, 42 comments! You are the queen :)

I just had to comment back saying I finally got this in at the library in audiobook version! I will be reading (hearing) it starting today. I can't wait to see what I think.

Melissa said...

I caved in around the time the movie came out. I had heard from several friends that I *had* to read Twilight but like you (and many others) I tend to resist books that I think are overhyped. (I didn't read Harry Potter until the fourth book had been out for months and then I waited in agony while it took Rowling forever to get the 5th book out.)

Anyway, I loved the books (despite their flaws) and loved BOTH Edward and Jacob. But I honestly didn't care for the movie. I might give it a second watch sometime when it's out for rental, but I was just not impressed by the acting, more than anything. And usually I don't get hung up on stuff like that but somehow I just didn't think the movie captured the essence of the story. Maybe that's just me.

OK, enough rambling, this comment's gotten long enough! Thanks for sharing your review--I enjoyed the "Self Interview."

Lawanda said...

Good review. You made me feel better about my reaction to the books. I did not want to read them. But my oldest dd wanted to, because all her friends did. So I told her I wanted to read them first.

So I read the first two.

I did not approve of all the bedroom scenarios...ESPECIALLY for young teens! I allowed her to read Twilight, but I lectured my her about it. haha

But I liked the books ok.

When I read New Moon, it annoyed me. But so many of my friends are fans and they insist that the last book is the best one. So I am going to read the next two as well.

I consider them fluff-type books. Trashy romance is what I called them in my (sorta-semi) review. haha

Heaven knows I have read many a trashy book, and enjoyed it ;) Although I do tend toward books with more substance. LOL

Susan said...

Am I now officially the last person to NOT have read this book yet? I was looking at the commercial on tv tonight and wondering if it was time to pick it up (the book) and read it. Normally I rush to vampire stories, so I'm not sure why I haven't towards this. Fun post you did, I enjoyed your self-questions very much!

Trish said...

*Bethany - How was it listening to this? I'm still trying to figure out the impact of reading and listening (I've started listening to audiobooks lately on my work commute).

*Melissa - Usually the movies don't do it for me like the book does. I haven't had a big interest in seeing the movie, but if it pops up on TV I'll probably record it. So you've read all of them now??

*Lawanda - I haven't gotten to New Moon yet, but I'm sure that I'll eventually pick it up. I don't like the bedroom scenes either--I think Bella and her relationship with Edward is a bad example to teens, but what do I know? :)

*Susan - LOL--well, if I was the second to last then yes. I actually have several friends who haven't read the series and probably won't. It was a fun read, but I don't think it is a *must* read.