The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

October 23, 2011
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Before you start reading, be warned: this is one of the only -if not the only- negative review of Twilight on TeenInk.
When Twilight first came out, I was a little curious about it, but had no real desire to read it. However, as it's popularity grew, and with the release of the movie adaption of the first book, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
I'll start with the books' most obvious flaw: the characters' lack of personalities.
Bella is described as being Clumsy, Brave, Smart, Kind, and Stubborn. This is the start of a character. Any good author would build up on these, but Meyer just leaves it at that.
Bella is a self-insert. She’s exactly what Meyer wanted to be (with guys groveling at her feet, a PERFECT man at her side, and everything she could ever want in the end). Bella:
A) apparently gets good grades,
B) has all the guys swarming her instantly,
C) has all the GIRLS swarming her and she totally disregards them later on in the stories and they apparently don’t notice or care,
D) gets the hottest guy in school,
E) thinks she’s not pretty even though she IS,
F) has some strange and never explained super-special ability that is never explained,
G) gets everything she wants eventually (Eddykins, sparklesex, and vampism)
H) is excepted from universal rules (the newborn-vampire thing) which is NEVER EXPLAINED,
I) becomes more powerful than the others (even though she’s somehow a newborn vampire despite the fact that she didn’t go through the murderous, bloodthirsty part), and
J) gets a baby and doesn’t have to raise it or teach it, which destroys the purpose of even having the baby, because though it’s difficult, helping the baby learn to do things is necessary to form bonds between parents and infant.

Mr. Sparklepire-I mean Edward, is hot, pale, strong, fast, and sparkly. These aren't even personality traits - they're physical ones. Not only that, but Meyer describes Edward WAY too often, often to the point of being redundant. But I'll touch on that later.
They never have any real conversations. It's always Edward telling Bella what a monster he is and to stay away from him, and Bella saying he's beautiful, or wanting to become a vampire.
Also, Edward is a stalker. Many fans just say that it shows how much he loves Bella, but that just doesn't fly.
Edward is also abusive. He forces her to do things that she doesn't want to do. That's coercion, which is abuse. He does these things simply because he wants her around.

Which brings me to their relationship. Edward only noticed Bella from her scent; therefore, their relationship is based on lust. They never really build a relationship. They just meet, talk a few times, then BAM! They're dating, for some reason.
Not to mention Bella considers suicide when they break up. She's a terrible role model. And she gives up everything to be with Edward. Looks like all the womens rights movements were for naught. She is always being saved by Edward, and pretty much waits on her dad hand and foot. The one thing she did do on her own (facing James by herself) was incredibly stupid, and still ended with her being rescued by Edward.

Oh, and unrelated thought, Bella often complained that she was cold, but Edward's body temperature is rediculously low, yet she never has a problem with it. (By the way, sperm can't survive in that kind of cold, which makes Renesmee's conception impossible.)

Well, enough about those two for now. Let's move on to the character I have almost no complaints about: Jacob. He tries his best to bring Bella out of her comatose state after Edward leaves, but she remains dead to him. But, after Edward comes back, she kisses Jacob and realizes she's also in love with him...what?!

On the subject of werewolves, I'll briefly touch on imprinting before jumping to the next subject. Imprinting is suppose to mean you find your partner for life who will insure the perfect children gene-wise. The man instantly falls for the woman, but what say does the woman have? What if the woman doesn't like the man? The tribe marries 'em off and expects little pups anyways. And Leah (the only female character with potential at being strong but it written off as harpy and annoying by the author and that influences the reader's opinion) is a female werewolf, but she's sterile. She can't have kids. So she can't imprint and find her soul-mate, because that would put the woman in control of that relationship. And with vampires too! Somehow Edward can keep his sperm alive despite being colder than the North Pole, but it's revealed that girl vampires are sterile. Why can girls never reproduce in these species? It's never that way for vampires in other vampire literature; y'know, the good ones?

That's enough on that. Now, for the plot. It could be one of two things. 1.) the plot is about Bella and Edward’s relationship (which would make the evil vamps at the end some kind of awkward fifth wheel) or 2.) the bad vamps at the end ARE the plot and Bella and Edward’s love is a sub-plot of some sort (even though it’s the focus of the book).

Whichever it was supposed to be, the plot is really 3.) Non-exsistent. James ripped it to shreds, assuming there was one in the first place, and a few shreds landed in the end of the book.

Now, let me show you the plot diagram my teacher showed our class. (In 7th grade, mind you.)
Basic Situation - Setting, characters, and conflict introduced
Complication - Something happens that causes rising action
Turning Point - The characters decide something that dramatically changes things
Climax/Denouement - The action reaches its peak, the conflict is resolved, and the result is revealed.

Now, here's what Meyer came up with.
Basic Situation - Bella moves to Forks where she meets Edward and they're both interested in each others' confusing attributes (Bella's smell, Edward's... looks)
Complication - Bella finds out about Edward being a vampire, which would normally cause rising action as the main female character struggles with this knowledge and the love for the main male character; however, there is no rising action. Bella just writes it off and says "ilu anyways".
Turning Point - ...I really didn't see one. If Bella hadn't accepted Edward right off the bat, instead thinking it over and coming to the decision that she didn't mind, THEN that would be a turning point.
Climax - Bad vamps appear and try to kill Bella, Bella does something dumb, Edward comes to save her, they go to prom. The end.

In a good story, the conflict should be solved by the main character, i.e. Bella. But who kills James? Edward.

So, here's a plot that would've made a bit more sense:
Basic Situation - We meet Bella Swan in the sleepy town of Forks, Washington, where she meets the dreamy yet mysterious Edward Cullen. But, as soon as she gets there, she ends up finding out about mysterious killings throughout the town.
Complication - Bella Swan gets lost in the woods after her walk with Jacob Black, where she stumbles upon Edward hunting. Upon seeing this, Bella instantly suspects Edward is the murderer loose in the town.
Turning Point - Edward lets Bella in on the Cullen’s secret in an attempt to keep her from revealing them to her chief-of-police father, and with these new bonds of trust they find themselves falling in love.
Climax/Denouement - Bella is discovered by the band of evil vampires, and results in a horrendous fight between the covens. The smaller group is sent running after their leader James is killed, while Bella watches from the safety of the trees. Edward is afraid that after seeing them fight, Bella would be scared of him, but Bella reveals her love for Edward and they live happily ever after (until the sequel).

Now, for my favorite subject: SPARKLES.
Good authors spend large amounts of time editing and reediting their stories before sending it off. Meyer, well, didn't. (Or if she did, she didn't do it very well.) And she failed to research vampires, deciding to "create her own." The ways she explained the sparkling apparently would make their skin harden in the sunlight; therefore making them unable to move. So, it makes no sense.

So...thesaurus abuse. In one scene, she manages to describe Edward with about 5 words that all mean sparkly. Also, Edward uses words that almost no one would be able to understand in real life, yet these Juniors seem to know them. I use my share of large words, but not as often as they did.

Well, that's all I have to say. Honestly, this whole series, in my opinion, gets a 3/10 at the most. These books are the reason I can't read Young Adult fiction anymore, because they are either these books, or even more poorly written knockoffs.

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