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Twilight by Stephanie Myyer

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“I’d never given much thought to how I would die—though I’d had reason enough in the last few months—but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.” So begins Twilight, a literary attempt by Stephanie Meyer. It must be admitted that the book could have held promise, it could have been a dramatic adventure, and in fact it even could have rung with the bittersweet sound of an innocent romance. But it didn’t. In trying, perhaps, to please everyone, Stephanie Meyer constructed not a great novel, but an example of what not to do.

The story starts when seventeen-year-old Bella Swan leaves her home to live in a rundown old town called Forks with her father. She meets a boy, an “inhumanly beautiful boy,” who tries to ignore her. Yet she still falls irrevocably in love, even as his very existence endangers her. According to Bella, she loves Edward “unconditionally,” and yet she never listens to the advice he gives, choosing instead to enter the web of chaos he has spun.

Bella herself is a mystery. Supposedly the author’s feature character, she has not a single unique trait to call her own. Instead, Bella is a shallow, depthless person who could never exist in real life. The very fact that she loves Edward for no other reason than his “gloriously intense” eyes and perfect features shows this. She also claims to be clumsy—but never falls or trips once in his presence. In short, Bella easily proves to be neither this nor that and the only word left at all to describe her becomes Nothing. Perhaps she and Edward are attracted to each other because they are both too unreal to be truly befriended by any normal person. Edward, forget the fact that he is a vampire, is simply too perfect to be real. He is beautiful (at least everything thinks so), fast, and even strong. One could account his physical features to him being a vampire, but there is absolutely no excuse for his character. Edward is simply the stereotype boyfriend who can’t stay away. According to him, he loves Bella too much to stay away. That statement in itself makes no sense. If he really loved her, really and truly, he could make himself stay away for her sake. Instead, he spends a ridiculous amount of time alone in her presence.

At the very least it is not him who narrates the story, but Bella is nearly as bad. Let us pretend for a moment that she really is in love with Edward, then why does she narrate in the same way when she is on a date with him as when she is running for her life? Bella’s voice is confused and fake, so disoriented that it affects the already twisted plot. It only changes when she gives what is meant to be a weak attempt at sarcasm. For instance, when Edward invites her to dinner she “couldn’t think of an acceptable response to that, but filed it carefully away for future study.” But instead of lightening the heavy story, the words are neither funny nor droll, instead adding another layer to the book that does not fit it.

Indeed, not much of the book is anything else. The plot is not driven in a purposeful way at all, and scenes like the afternoon in the meadow where Edward turns all sparkly, their impromptu date out of town, and even Bella fainting have no reason to exist but to tell us for the thousandth time how wonderful/ perfect/ handsome Edward appears to Bella. She, and you may count this for yourself, spends a good two-thirds of the book gushing about him. If Stephanie Meyer had told her twisted tale in 100 pages instead of almost five times that number, the story’s quality may have risen just a bit. However, the current length only makes the book harder to get through. There are great books in the world that are as long or longer, including Little Women, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the more modern Harry Potter series. These books can sustain that length because their plots and characters are appealing and realistic, but from lack of these same basic qualities, Twilight can never achieve the same success.

Indeed, one can hold little hope for the remaining three books in the series, nor for anything else by Stephanie Meyer. Twilight was simply an example of everything going wrong, and as a result there is not a single audience that I can recommend it to with a clear conscience. None of the elements were able to successfully blend into each other, constructing instead a story so pointless and broken up that it is best put to use at night, as a way to fall asleep. If we stretch the truth far enough, we may even say that Twilight is good enough to while away the hours, but for anyone who wants a captivating read, a book driven with something of substance, they cannot begin even to consider it.



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PointeWriter said...
Jan. 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm
Please leave comments on this! Because even if you think it's the worst thing you have ever read, I want to know why.
 
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