Marty Reeder's Reviews > Twilight

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
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Oct 31, 2008

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Read in October, 2008

Having just finished a book and not starting on the next one on my list, my neighbor offered to lend me her copy of Twilight. I am not, particularly, a romance fan and besides the truly creepy Dracula, I've had no interest in vampires at all. One would think that I would stay away from a romance/vampire book like a vampire avoids garlic. Yet, I noticed that Twilight seemed to attract an audience outside of those normal genre bounds, so I decided that someday--with little enthusiasm--I would have to give it a try. Well, the neighbor offered, I was between books, and I knew that the movie was coming out this next month. Since learning any particulars of a story beyond its premise is sacrilege to me, I knew that if I were going to read it, it would have to be before the movie came out and plot points would be unavoidable. I took the book.

It started out reading easily enough. I wasn't mesmerized, but I was interested. Unfortunately, the plot seemed to suddenly stall, and then it stayed in the same rut for two-thirds of the book. For some people who are fans of romance, it was probably their favorite section of the book, so I can see how this just might be a matter of taste. But it seemed to me as if the two were stuck in the same courting phase, day in and day out, for most of the story. Edward is mad, Bella is shy and confused, they still hang out for some reason, Edward flashes a crooked smile and every time he is mentioned no matter if it is not relevant to the situation at all, his name is always followed by sappy adjectives describing his good looks (devastatingly handsome, marble hands, smoldering eyes, graceful, a spattering of Greek gods, and many, many, many more). To quote an adjective used to describe Edward's looks, it soon became excruciating, though unlike Edward's description, I don't mean that in the positive sense. I kept on waiting for the story to move on, but it didn't. Each new page, each new chapter was met with more of the same, the reader being constantly urged to be awed and inspired by this guy. Okay, I got it! He is incredibly good-looking and for some reason has an attractive personality, I guess, even though he spends most of his time angry at Bella! Understood! Can we move on? (Maybe I'm jealous, maybe that's the problem--though my teeth are somewhat pointy too, you know--but either way, it was extremely annoying.) I suppose that long section of nothing could have been the narrative progression of their relationship, but honestly, I really didn't see a whole lot of difference between the first couple of times they met and their relationship right towards the end of the story.

Anyways, I complained just about as much of the book then as I am right now, to anyone who would listen. My wife wondered why I kept reading (she was probably tired of the complaints), and I weakly admitted that it is very difficult for me to put down even a book that I'm irritated with (I have to be offended pretty badly to not finish a book). Well, praise be for my instinctive reaction to keep on reading, because the last fourth of the book was some of the more thrilling reading that I've read in a long time. The narrative suddenly got a spark and then it sprinted to the finish, in true exciting, gripping fashion. Was I reading two separate books here? It almost felt like that, but suddenly the characters came alive, the motives felt more real, things I couldn't have cared less for before that point suddenly took center stage--including the romance and all of the fascinating (now) moral aspects involved with it. The climax robbed me of one scene that I would have liked to have seen, but overall, it fit pretty well. Wow. That's a pretty stark contrast to my earlier feelings about the story.

I guess where that leaves me is wanting to take the book, slice out most of the middle section, and then give it to my past self to read for the first time. I think that situation might plausibly have it end up as one of my favorite reads. Of course, it would probably lose a whole lot of its luster to the romance fans and thus never have become popular and thus I would have never heard of it and never read it ... I guess you just can't tamper with time traveling even in book reading. So, I will have to settle for a mediocre recommendation, bearing in mind that my tastes never did match the story, so it is a credit to Meyer that she was able to get me past both of my caveats (romance/vampire) and into the recommendation territory. I have no real ambition to read the other books in the series. I won't definitively say no, but don't expect a review any time soon. Pssst, this is a hint to my future self: read the series, edit them, and then send them back the revised editions to me!

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Daisy You are a man and thus would not like the "does he like me/does he not" back and forth torture that all girls go through. It did drag on in the book, but is fun to relive. I must say that the end is great and maybe you have to be introduced to the characters a little more to really grasp the ending. Let me just tell you book 2 is similar, with the ending being a lot more exciting. Book 3 you might like better. And book 4 I think you would find a little more interesting, with a lot more happening from the beginning to end. So there you have it. Now are you going to the probably sold-out midnight showing of Twilight on Nov.21st? Me too.

Marty Reeder Thanks for the heads up. I still don't see myself picking up any of the other books any time soon, but at least I've got a good idea of what to expect now. As for the movie, I actually am interested in seeing it. It seems as if it will move quicker than the book by necessity, plus it looks like (from the trailer) they included the climax I wanted to see (the fight with James).

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