Bella is moving to Forks, Washington, from Phoenix by choice, but that doesn’t mean she’s all happy and sunshine about it. Too bad, since Forks is in short supply of the latter. She’s just getting settled in to her new life, making friends, realizing she’s ahead in all her classes, when her world is upturned by (gasp!) a boy. But not just any boy. No, the incredibly beautiful, perfect, mysterious, slightly bad boy, Edward Cullen. Who turns out to be bad in a way that Bella could never have anticipated.
OK, let’s get this out first. Yes, this is a book geared for teenage girls. As a result, there’s a lot of teen angst – how do I look, is he looking at me, who are you asking to the dance – that might be a bit much for some people. I’m obviously young at heart as I could just look at it and laugh because I remember being just like that. Scary. I was actually more normal than I realized. Double scary. Back to the point, my hubby just barely made it through all that to get to the action-packed parts in the last third of the book, so weigh carefully before you start whether you can deal with the goop.
That said, it was easy for me to enjoy this guy. Bella was a highly relatable character for me, and I recognized all the other teens from the standard high school crowd. Meyer’s writing was easy and enjoyable and suitable for the type of story. (Having tried to write a fiction book before, I greatly admire the ability to get good dialogue down. You always felt like you were right there when people were talking.)
There were a few things that were left hanging for me. Like, what was with the incessant questioning from Edward? He was acting like he only had a few days to get to know her instead of the rest of her life. And – sorry, old lady talking now – I just wanted to thump the two of them upside the head occasionally. I remember being that age and being “in love” and I’m not denying that it is pretty intense, but I don’t know. There’s no doubt that we were talking about something pretty real and deep by the end, but I’m not sure I felt I saw us actually get to that point. We kind of jumped a lot of it.
I’ve read a fair amount of vampire stories (oh, did I mention that was why Edward’s a bad boy?) in my time – not to mention watched every episode of Buffy and Angel when they were on. My faves are always those that turn parts of the tradition on its ear – like exposure to sunlight and crosses and holy water and so forth. Meyer provides explanations for why some of these have become part of the lore while developing a few of her own rules along the way.
Sadly, given that there’s a movie coming out this winter, I kept picturing the actor who plays Edward in my head instead of developing my own picture. I really hate when that happens. I think I also tended to picture Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella, but that was less jarring for some reason. Sigh.
Get Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) at Amazon.com.