I love the way Melina Marchetta writes. Twisty, confusing, understated, and everything comes together in the end. One of those books you have to read...moreI love the way Melina Marchetta writes. Twisty, confusing, understated, and everything comes together in the end. One of those books you have to read twice.(less)
**spoiler alert** Warning: rant ahead. Don't read if you like Twilight. And if you do, don't jump down my throat. And that's for my RL friends, too.
Go...more**spoiler alert** Warning: rant ahead. Don't read if you like Twilight. And if you do, don't jump down my throat. And that's for my RL friends, too.
It's edgy and manages to mix fantasy with real life reasonably well. It's a new concept, a new idea. It manages to get the wider pre-teen and teenage population to read. It even draws the guys in. It's a page-turner, it's got an absorbing quality that's hard to explain. It's readable. Like, crazy-easy to read. A book that long, written by an experiences writer, would probably take me about four to five hours reading at a relatively normal pace, all the way through. Twilight took me one and a half hours. While I was Christmas gift-wrapping, so maybe more like... 45 minutes. Um, it has no sex? So I guess it's teenager safe. Until you get to book-four, where they seem to relive their hormonal-teenage ages and... break down houses while they do it. Ouch.
So. One star because it wasn't exactly satisfying, and one because it was entertaining enough to make me finish it. (I'd give it one and a half if I could, but woe.)
But it's entirely too schmoopy and romantic and co-dependent for me, and the one character I can bear is the one that everyone else hates. The relationship between Bella and Edward felt too superficial and based on face-value rather than connecting on a deeper level. Bella's meant to be a strong, dependent character, but we only know that because Meyer told us. You wouldn't know it to read the book. She cooks, she cleans, she's clumsy, yet she's apparently so gorgeous the whole school's in love with her, she keeps getting into trouble and needed her hero in sparkly porcelain skin to swoop in and save the day. She's the main character and I skipped forward all her parts to mope with Jake.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for romance. I eat fanfiction up like gourmet cake. Maybe it's skewered my tastes a little, but I've always considered myself kind of a closet-romantic, but this book was so unforgiveably schmoopy it made my teeth rot and my gums ache.
The pacing is jumpy and irregular - I barely blinked before Edward and Bella were declaring their love for each other, which, okay. It depends on the person, I suppose, but it happened way too fast for me, and then dragged on for three more books. The writing was meant to be from a seventeen-year-old's point of view, but I was seventeen when I read it and I still thought it was immature. It's fast-paced and hard to follow in some parts, and drawn out and boring in others.
All the vampires are absolutely perfect. I'm not big on vamps, but I watch Supernatural, and there's a huge, HUGE difference in my idea of a vamp and hers. Her vampires sparkle in the sun. They sparkle. I'm sorry, that's where she lost me. They're perfect; they have perfect skin and perfect hair and perfect big eyes and they move gracefully and they have superhuman strength and they run like the wind and they always land on their feet and - wait. Are you sure this is about vampires? Because it sounds to me like a cross between Dark Angel's transgenics and the elves from LoTR and Marvel's superheroes.
The dialogue is stilted at best, filled with schmoopy, lovey-dovey I-love-yous and I-can't-live-without-yous to fill the radio silence. The guys are written like females in a muscle-suit and jeans. The description is excessive to the point where it's like, "I didn't need to know that. Did I need to know that? Get on with the story, please and thank you." Meyer has absolutely no range in vocabulary; I lost count of the number of times she said 'grimace' alone. Everything is 'perfect' and 'beautiful' and 'marble' and 'sparkly' 'dazzling' and oh god, I know fanfic writers with a better hold of the language.
Also, passive voice. PASSIVE VOICE. Passive voice is the thing of nightmares! If she wrote everything in active voice, the book would be 100 pages shorter. Oh, how I wish.
Then again, it's written for teenage girls. I don't know, maybe a typical teenage girl's dream is to fall in love with a god-like creature and have him fall in love with you and then go through all this drama only so that he can save you. I don't know. Sorry.
I tried reading it again to see if it was just because I read to fast and didn't understand it the first time. Nope. Same reaction. I didn't get past sparkly-Edward-in-the-forest. It's one of those books where, you read it the first time and it's like, "Oh, it's not too bad," and then you read it again and it's like, "WHY DID I READ THIS OH MY GOD."
Entirely overrated. It's like, those really easy pointless kids picture books, but... for teenagers. The ones who don't already read. And don't compare her to Harry Potter; Rowling may be a diva, but at least her characters were well fleshed-out, three dimensional, and likeable.(less)