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!

Demon_of_Truth said...
May 26, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Finally! Most of my friends and Twilight fangilrs (and creepily, fanguys) and will here nothing bad about the fact that it was so boring I hadto try twice to get past thefirst few pages. Then I couldn't get passed the second book, it was to painful. I agree with you completely. Oh, and, as I side note:

Harry Potter defeted Voldemort. Voldemort defeted Cedric. Cedric is Edward Cullen. Therefore, Harry Pooter beats Edward Cullen.

crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm
Thanks!  I love that last sentence by the way, definitely fac.ebook-status-worthy. :-)
Mimi8 said...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 7:27 pm
 You are awesome!!!!! I HATE Twilight it sucks, and one of my friends told me that it is BETTER than Harry Potter!  (I would never have done it but I  did considered hurting her in some way)
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm
Someone said Twilight was better than Harry Potter.......
*Screams like rapid cat getting drenched in water*
Oh, thanks for reading by the way! :-)
DownNDirtyCountryGirl replied...
May 19, 2011 at 10:05 am
I totally agree twilight was better than Harry potter but Vampire Academy is better than twilight and the house of night is better than them both so :P
JeanGrey said...
Apr. 20, 2010 at 12:15 am
*claps* Bravo! I tried reading the first book and it was so stupid and uneventful that half-way through I already knew what would happen at the end. Edward was so wierd, the way he would tense around Bella in the beginning, and the wierdest part was that the author described that particular type of event when it happened about 3 times the exact same was so unoriginal. Also, I hate Bella. She is a poor portayal of a teenage girl, and upon reading that book I was actually ashame... (more »)
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 8:12 pm
Thanks Jean!
Eeee, Edward was a creeper. *Shudders* I'd be better if he smiled once in a while. Or, you know, kept his clothes on.
JeanGrey replied...
Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:53 am
Oh, and the "imprinting" thing...Quil to Claire??? SHE IS A TODDLER! Freaks....
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Yeah, it all kind of gave me the willies by that point. Haha.
little-miss-sunshine said...
Mar. 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm
You're extremely right. There are some things I like about the series but I do agree with most of what you said, especially the shallow characters. If any of my twilight obsessed friend saw this though you would pretty much be dead.
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm
Hm, well I do enjoy living, so let's keep it our little secret! :-) *Shh*
A_Dreamer said...
Feb. 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm
Wow, when I read Twilight, I never thought of it in that way.
It wasn't my favorite book, but now that you bring it up, the characters do seem kinda shallow.
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm
I couldn't get over the fact that she would wake up to find out Edward had been staring at her all night, and find it romantic! Seriously, what a creeper - I'd be moving to someplace nice and sunny if that happened.
JohnBosworth said...
Jan. 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm
If your looking for great literature then check out "Blindness" by Jose Saramage (although this has a slightly difficult writing style), Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (disturbing but thought provoking) and for a funny read Catch-22 is always great.
JohnBosworth said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 10:59 pm
I wish I had better things to do with my time than be her on Saturday night, but I do agree with the whole article. Yes, Twilight is awful, and yes, twilight is pathetic. Good job for lengthening that.
DreamWriter15 said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 11:58 am
I totally agree...that is...I WOULD had I read the books, which I WON'T. I did not need to check them out to know that they were exactly what you just said. I'm sure its all great fantasy love-happily-ever-after, which, I admit, I like reading, but its not as good as the realistic books. Just because a book has fictional beings does not mean that it can't be realistic, and I have read some books that are incredibly realistic, but have a great deal of magic in them. However, I ... (more »)
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm
Why thank you dreamwriter. If you like reading, I would most definitly tell you not to pick this series up. Look for one that has more depth - Dr. Seuss perhaps? He has more depth than all Meyers books combined.
DreamWriter15 replied...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm
I love Dr. Suess! However, I read stories and series more for an older audience...Robert Jordan, Eoin Colfer, Robin McKinley, Suzanne Hicks....all good ones, and if YOU like reading, I suggest you read them!
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm
Ahaha, sorry bout the last comment. Sarcasm does not translate well via internet.
DreamWriter15 replied...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm
Haha, I kinda figured that...but even so, I can believe it! At least Dr. Suess has better moral values!
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