The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 31, 2009
By now, nearly everyone has heard of the rapidly growing sensation that is Twilight. Look around you, everywhere you turn, the faces of Edward Cullen, Jacob Black and Isabella Swan are likely to be staring back, either from a T-shirt, poster or bookmark. There is no denying the series’ popularity; this review, however, is going to focus on one piece in particular, and that is the books.

Shortly after The Twilight Series was published, its fame began to spread like a wildfire. It seemed to me that whenever I saw a novel in a classmate’s hand, there sat the red apple on the cover, in all its glory. Constantly, peers and family members were coming to me and, knowing my love of reading, they proclaimed, “I just had to read this book.” Hesitant at first, I finally broke down and gave in to my curiosity, and checked the book out at the school library. Suffice it to say that I was quite surprised at what I read – though, not pleasantly so.

Let us begin with a brief summation. The Twilight Series, written by Stephanie Meyer, is a group of books portraying a time in the life of Isabella Swan, or Bella, as she is called in the book. Bella is a teenaged girl who recently moved from the sunshine filled state of Alabama, to the ever-cloudy, and seemingly eventless, town of Forks. The series tells the story of Bella’s meeting of the Cullens, a family of immortal vampires residing Forks, and largely, her relationship with Edward, a member of the Cullen family.

Often compared to J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and even to Stephen King novels, there is no doubt as to the popularity of Twilight. However, this popularity is the sole similarity to be found between them. The Twilight series is fundamentally an incredibly thin piece of literature, and I personally feel that even calling it literature is being generous.

The plot of Twilight makes up for the majority of this thinness; it is a romance story, and that is nearly all it consists of. True enough, there are rare moments of what some people call “action”, yet these are nothing more than scenes of slim playground antics, especially when compared to any other work of writing.

Sadder than the thin plot though is the fact that the romantic triangle of the story is completely unrealistic, even if you ignore that two of the triangles points are not human. The character of Bella is an overused persona of a love struck, moon-eyed girl, and she represents nothing of what a person would aspire to be in a relationship. She sees past nothing (literally, nothing) other than her desire to be with Edward, and this low ambitiousness is completely unrespectable. Jacob Black, the often ignored member of the triangle, is no better than Bella. He is willing to let Edward die - yes, you read that right – just so he can be with Bella; he doesn’t worry that he’s about to let the women he “loves” loose the most important thing to her, oh no, he just wants Bella, nothing more. Why on Earth would Meyer wish to make characters so shallow that they see nothing past their own egotistical self-gain?

The characters of Twilight, other than their obvious self-centered attitudes, were completely undeveloped ones. Be it Bella’s friends, her parents, or Jacob’s “wolfpack”, none of the supporting characters were developed enough to give readers that realistic sense of knowing; we knew that the werewolves hated the vampires, but only because we were told outright. And we knew the opinions of Bella’s friends on her relationship with Edward, but only what dialogue could reveal. Where was the subtle, unspoken development that gave great novels there richness?

Not only are Twilight’s characters and plot thin, but the vocabulary and sentence structure is incredibly unsatisfying. Perhaps it was done purposefully, but when I pick up a novel, I always hope that the vocabulary will be varied and extensive enough to provide an intellectually stimulating, yet still enjoyable experience, and the language and terminology of Twilight left a lot to be desired. Likewise, Meyer’s sentence structure was painfully unvaried, and I quickly became bored with the repetition of the organization. But who knows, perhaps the elementary level word choices were part of the motivation for the wide-spread tween fad.

All things considered, Twilight is a great read, assuming you are looking for a mind numbing piece of writing that you can use to momentarily help fill your unrealistic daydreams. If your looking for a true work of literature that will academically arouse you and deeply stir your emotions, I suggest you look elsewhere. Kudos to you Mrs. Meyer, for creating the most recent junior high bandwagon!

Join the Discussion

This article has 40 comments. Post your own now!

Audrey221 said...
Mar. 28, 2014 at 10:15 pm
For one to retain the credence required to write a scathing reveiw, one must also eschew said scathed practices. While I respect the right of an author to be candid, I also expect a further analysis into why the piece warrented such a low reccomendation. I am not defending Twilight, but structure of this piece is also unvaried in every possible way. The development of your argument is also slightly ignorant. There is some acknowlegement of the anti-feminist sentiment, but you do not delve into a... (more »)
CammyS said...
Dec. 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm
I agree with everything you said. After hearing my friends babble on and on about "Team Edward!" and "Team Jacob!", I check the book out at the library to say I'd read it, and, yes, get them off my back. I hated the books, so unlike the quality of literature I was used to reading. The characters were bad, the plot weak, and I would never find Bella or Edward's actions to be even close to plausable. Thank you for shining light on the atrocity Twilight truly is.
Josika.Nav said...
Jun. 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm
i whole heartedly agree with you. twilight is not literature!!! and yes the characters are all selfish and egoistic but the funny thing is that the author makes them sound utterly self-less and forgiving (!?) great work with the review! this is the first and only twilight review i've actually enjoyed!
tinytechie said...
Apr. 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm
So right. I was really reluctant to read them, but did just to understand what all the fuss is about. I agree that Bella needs a life other than just trying to have a relationship woth Edward.
writereadlove This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I read the first Twilight book simply out of curiosity. You know, to finally see what all the fuss was about. I have to say, I agree with every point you made. The fact that such a poorly written book can be so popular is beyond my understanding. Although much of its popularity is a result of the movies. Girls think a certain leading actor is "hot" (please note the quotation marks) and believe that they are true fans of the saga. Sorry for basically repeating what everyone else said, but I fe... (more »)

tinytechie replied...
Apr. 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm
hey, whoever posted this, I started my first post and the review like that too. haha! take a look at my stuff. i'vre written two reviews and an essay. Check out: tinytechie
Lexie96 said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I will admit to having had an addiction problem with Twilight in the past... I was obsessed. I read them right before they started showing movie trailers, and I liked it then because no one else had heard of it... now I can hardly stand it because everywhere I look there is someone wearing a shirt. My three-year-old cousin has a shirt for cripe's sake!

I still enjoy them to an extent, but more as a look back on my past than anything... I read them all in a week, so it's not like they a... (more »)

resilva This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Your writing is pretty good, and your sentence structue is fairly sophisticated.  I would suggest, however, proofreading, as even minor spelling errors, of which you made very few, can take away from an otherwise exemplary piece of non-fiction.  Also, try not to repeat yourself.
Karma_Chameleon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Thank you kindly, I definitely appreciate the feedback!
Incendiary said...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm
I think actually discussing Twilight and its plot is doing it a bigger favor than it deserves. If it deserves any at all, that is...there is really no explanation for the mediocrity of Meyer's novel other than the fact she was writing it for an equally mediocre audience. That's my two cents. :)
Karma_Chameleon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm
Hm, a very good point. I never thought about it that way, haha.
GabrielleFantasy said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm

THANK YOU! Everything you said was completely true! I, for one, cannot stand Twilight. I REALLY can't stand the fact that some people prefer this to Harry Potter!!! *faints*

I read the whole series of Twilight (Once I read the first book of a series, I have to finish) and I wasn't sad at the end like I usually am with most books. The Volturi problem wasn't even solved! Bella also is just pathetic...a horrible role-model.


Karma_Chameleon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 9:01 pm
Ahaha, I understand the fainting. ;-)  Thanks for the comment - I appreciate it!
sunnyhunny This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 9:30 am
I don't find Twilight completely worthless, but I totally agree with many of your points.  Great review!
Karma_Chameleon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 9:01 pm
Thank you!
Raisa said...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Great article! First of all, I have never read the Twilight saga because I heard too much about it. I personally find romance to be cute, but in small doses. Qouting the iron words of one of my BFFs from camp, "I prefer action with a side of romance as opposed to romance with a side of action."

Second, from what I could tell with the info collected from my friends, Twilight is most definitely a shallow read, and, qouting another of my friends, "A waste of 3 months of my life."

... (more »)
Raisa replied...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm
Don't know why that happened. Sorry!
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm
Thanks, I appreciate it!  And I feel very sorry for your friends three months of reading it, I don't think I would have been strong enough to survive. ;-)
EmmaNemma said...
Jul. 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm
Most of my friends are obbsessed with Twilight but I think that this article is a perfect description of the story. I never read it because the plot seemed stupid and I just refused to torture myself. 
Audrey111 replied...
Mar. 28, 2014 at 10:20 pm
Because if anything can be learned from our elders it is the old adage "we must judge books by their covers." Even if you have not read the book because you do not think you would like it, this in no way qualifies a person to have an opinion on the story. If you quit high school, don't pretend to know how to preform an apendectomy. 
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