I felt almost silly when I decided this would be the first review. But I decided that a book isn't silly if you find it entertaining. I didn't read Tw...moreI felt almost silly when I decided this would be the first review. But I decided that a book isn't silly if you find it entertaining. I didn't read Twilight when it was first released. I didn't even know about it until the movie adaptation was released. I admit, I watched the movie before delving into the books. However, I don't feel that it cheapened the experience one bit. Maybe it's because the story offers more than just some vampire story. Or maybe it's because it does offer a thrilling vampire story. Or maybe it's because I'm a woman in my early twenties who wouldn't mind meeting an Edward Cullen of her own. I like to think it's a combination of the three. Whatever the reason, the book became an instant favorite of mine.
I was sucked in from the first chapter because of how well I could relate to Bella. She confesses early on that she's never quite fit in and can't relate to most people. This hit home with me. Not to mention her love of reading, Chopin nocturnes, and her sarcastic and sometimes dark sense of humor. I realized upon this second reading that the thing people love about the relationship between Bella and Edward is the intensity of it from the beginning. Their relationship is almost comical in the beginning, but within a few chapters the book becomes much more about obsessive love. Another thing I think people love about this novel (whether consciously or not) is that Meyer writes her teens well. I can suddenly see why this book was thrown into the Young Adult genre. Her teenage characters are true to life. We've all known girls like Jessica and Lauren, and genuinely nice people like Angela and Eric. And we've most definitely been asked out by guys like Mike. But I think one of the best things about this whole series is the descriptive writing. Though there may be a tiny portion of her book left to the imagination, descriptions are definitely a strong point for Meyer. She gives us the very science of a first kiss, something I would find impossible to describe. From Edward's velvet voice to the almost alien green of Forks, we always know and understand what our heroine is hearing, seeing, and feeling as if we are inhabiting her body. And that's the point of telling a story from a character's perspective, isn't it?
I'll admit this was not my kind of book when I read it. I've read my share of fantasy, but never anything with vampires. This totally sucked me into the world of vampire fiction. Though, like I said before, it isn't just about vampires. It's more about the obsessive love between it's two main characters.(less)
I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed it much more than Sense and Sensibility not only for its plot, but also its characters. Elizabeth is, without...moreI absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed it much more than Sense and Sensibility not only for its plot, but also its characters. Elizabeth is, without a doubt, one of the best heroines I have ever encountered in reading. I can relate to her personality very well. And I love all the dialogues between herself and Darcy. They're entertaining and clever. I have found in my second conquest of Austen's writing that I adore her wit. And I love her characters. She gives characters such as Mrs. Bennet defects that, in time, make them charmingly funny. This is definitely my favorite book I've read so far.(less)
**spoiler alert** This is the first Jane Austen book I've read. I knew I would love it though. I know the stories of a few of her books and thought I...more**spoiler alert** This is the first Jane Austen book I've read. I knew I would love it though. I know the stories of a few of her books and thought I should actually read the books. I loved this book so much. I love the language. Austen was such an incredible writer. I especially love Elinor. Austen has always been commended for writing such great heroines and I can now see why. What I love the most about her character writing is her ability to capture the good and bad of people. Elinor is a wonderful character full of compassion but she also doesn't let her emotions get the better of her, something I wish I could do. Marianne, however, I couldn't stand. She's selfish and childish. She constantly insults her sister. She calls her heartless simply because she doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve. She spends most of the book whining and allowing her emotions to nearly take her life. Even after her apologies to her sister, I couldn't forgive her selfishness. Even after Colonel Brandon does so much for her she finds him boring until he begins discussing books with her. I would have been more satisfied with their relationship if the book had been drawn out a bit more to really allow it to develop properly. Colonel Brandon is also a favorite of mine. He's a complete gentleman and is the only character I think remains consistent throughout the book. I found Edward's character to be simply "ok." it bothered me that he felt he should do "the honorable thing" and stay in an engagement he no longer had any interest in instead of simply breaking it off and marrying the woman he loved. Things only worked out by a stroke of luck. This may just be my naivety of how society worked in that time, but it still bugs me.
All in all, a great book. Next is Pride and Prejudice, which I expect I'll like even more.(less)
I have read that the early readers of these books were very devoted. I can see now where that comes from. These books have the ability to suck you in...more I have read that the early readers of these books were very devoted. I can see now where that comes from. These books have the ability to suck you in and trap you. I still haven't quite figured out how it happens. All I know is that every woman I've talked to that criticizes the whole thing ends up picking it up at some point. They've all fallen in love with it. Once I picked up this book and began reading I wondered why I was putting myself through this torture for the second time. I had nearly forgotten how painful this book is. I'm not sure that I properly prepared myself to feel my stomach squeeze at the loss of love.
I love Meyer's subtle sense of humor. I find myself giggling at things constantly in her book, and it's never too goofy or overbearing. Something else I appreciate about this book is Meyer's use of faith and belief in a higher power. It's addressed, but not in that cheesy way that it's usually dealt with in books. Like her humor, it isn't overbearing. In fact, Bella confesses to having no real belief. I think one of the greatest things about this book is how emotionally attached you can become. In my first reading, I actually cried when Edward left. Now, this could have been because I was still dealing with a break-up myself, but I'm sure some of the credit is owed to Meyer. She tends to get me attached to her characters. Speaking of characters I'm attached to, this is the real introduction of Jacob Black. There are a number of reasons that Jacob Black is my favorite character in this series, and this book reminds me of a few of them. What a great partner for mischief. Jacob is such a care-free person. It's a drastic personality change from Edward, who's always worrying. And isn't that what Bella needs most right now, someone who will allow her to be reckless? The book also gives us a chance to see a completely new side to Bella. When Edward leaves, it changes Bella. She actually becomes a little selfish. And why not? She's just had her heart torn to shreds. She deserves a little selfishness. And at least she struggles with it. Jacob's adoration for her doesn't go unnoticed, and Bella can't stand herself for letting it go on. It's a situation I think a lot of girls can relate to. How do you hurt your best friend by telling him you don't feel that way about him? The point of Jacob's transformation is where I tend to veer away from the "beaten path," so to speak. I love Jacob's character. He's so much more real to me than any of the others. He's childish, angry, and sometimes stupid. People tend to hate Jacob because of these qualities, but they shouldn't. These things make him more realistic than any characteristics that anyone else in the series holds. I think the main problem is that a lot of readers never see things from his perspective. Readers are so distracted by the fact that Edward isn't there that they never read what is happening. In this second reading, my heart went out to Jacob. He goes through such a difficult change. Many of the characters go through large changes. I think character development is very important in a series. I think Meyer does a pretty good job.(less)
**spoiler alert** A few little notes upon re-read:
I've noticed that Meyer has a tendency to use the same words a lot. Though that's not a disaster, it...more**spoiler alert** A few little notes upon re-read:
I've noticed that Meyer has a tendency to use the same words a lot. Though that's not a disaster, it does bother me. It's never good if your readers notice your preference in vocabulary. At least that's how I feel.
I find it hilarious when Bella talks about how she'll be jealous when Jacob imprints. Oh, Bella, if you only knew the future. Think more along the lines of infuriated. Speaking of his future imprint... I might have to go ahead an re-read Breaking Dawn.
Bella's right. She's exactly like Cathy. I became incredibly frustrated with her in this book. I was really sick of her whining over Edward and Jacob. I love Jacob. He's certainly my favorite character, but seriously... you're in love with Edward. Stop hanging out with other guys, particularly guys who make no secret of their interest. I really love the Wuthering heights quotes. Meyer really picks the best parts to reference. I love that book so much!(less)
I imagine this will end up being more of a discussion on this book rather than a review. I'm not really sure how popular this book actually was when i...moreI imagine this will end up being more of a discussion on this book rather than a review. I'm not really sure how popular this book actually was when it came out so I don't know how any people have read it. I just know that I love it so much more than the Twilight books (which I plan to re-read another time). This is the third time I've read this book in the past two years. This time I listened to the audiobook, which was pretty good. I'm going to break this discussion down differently than I do with my reviews. First, I'll focus on a few of my favorite characters and what is so great about them. After that, I'll talk a little about the writing, plot, and other elements.
Wanderer is great. I love the inner battle she's always waging since her insertion into a human body. She's so gentle and nice. She's terrified of any type of violence. Yet, she's stuck in this body that is used to violence and hatred. Melanie has an automatic impulse to hurt anything that stands in the way of what she wants. Wanderer has an automatic impulse to protect the things she wants. Despite the difficulties of sharing the same mind, I think they work very well together. Wanderer puts a lid on Melanie's excessive anger and impulsive behavior. Melanie forces Wanderer to feel and make sense of the intense emotions of her new body.
Ian is the most lovable character in this book. I think the tendency would be to like Jared, which I understand. I just disagree. My heart belongs to Ian in this book. In the beginning, he doesn't accept Wanderer because he doesn't know her or understand her. The more time he spends with her, the more he wants to learn. He keeps such an open mind, and by the end of the book, he really understands her: how she thinks, how she feels, what she's going through. It's because he listens and pays attention. I think it was easier to appreciate everything about him during a re-read because I already knew how wonderful he would turn out to be and I was looking for every sweet thing he did.
Jared is the predictable favorite. He's wonderful for all the reasons everyone points out repeatedly in this book. He's realistic. He can think straight under pressure. He knows how to survive and get the everyone what they need. He'll also do whatever it takes to keep Jamie and Melanie safe. Sure, sometimes he acts a little cold, but he's just keeping his guard up. I get completely frustrated with him sometimes, but I always warm up to him in the end. I feel the same way about Melanie. She and Jared are both fighters and really strong characters.
The one complaint I really have about Meyer is that she writes in far too much detail. I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I'm not that interested in what Wanderer is wearing. I will say I felt less frustrated by that in this book than I did in the Twilight series. For the most part, I enjoy Meyer's prose. It's not very lyrical, but I don't think that would be appropriate for this book. I think it works perfectly.
I've really liked the idea of this story since I first read it. I think it's really interesting, and I'm usually not into this kind of thing. I love all the stories Wandererhas from other planets and the details that go into her lives. All the stories of the other planets and how everything works was one of the most interesting parts of the book. I think after writing the first three Twilight books, Meyer really found her voice in this one. I heard somewhere there's supposed to be more. I really hope that's true.
This book was a little confusing, and definitely calls for a second reading. However, I loved the heroine (who's name is never disclosed). She has a c...moreThis book was a little confusing, and definitely calls for a second reading. However, I loved the heroine (who's name is never disclosed). She has a clever and strong personality. The story switches point of views between each character, which can be a little confusing. But the plot is interesting and full of mystery. There is one idea that stuck out to me, and that's what they refer to as the Two-Story House. Blaise explains, "The Two-Story House is so called because it is meant to tell two stories, and also because it is built of two floors." Pg 158. A very interesting idea.