Having finally made it through the first Twilight book (with no plans of reading the other books or seeing of the movies), here are my thoughts:
The writing is bad, but not unpublishable. There are far too many ellipses and em dashes and parenthetical statements, but style is style.
The characters are generally bland, Bella most of all. There’s nothing likable there, nothing engaging or worth reading about. She’s vapid, self-absorbed, and has not a single redeeming trait. Edward didn’t turn out as bad as I’d expected, poor taste in women aside.
Grade: D (F for Bella, C for Edward)
The plot was non-existent for 370 pages and when it arrived it was trite and unsubstantial. This whole “tracker” idea was pretty flimsy and the only climactic scene gets glossed over while Bella is unconscious.
The vampire mythos was also not as bad as I’d expected, though I was truly hoping she wouldn’t use the word “sparkling.” I can’t understand why she includes that bit, if not to make her books thoroughly mockable, but she does and I have to move on from there. I think people harp on the glitter more than is necessary, especially when they claim that real vampires should burn in sunlight, even though that was also a fabrication of later bastardizations of the genre. Meyer’s is just more laughable. As it stands, she adds nothing to the vampire genre and removes any sense that being a vampire isn’t awesome. The entire human population should become vampires in Meyer’s world and just live off animals. We’d be a race of super-humans and the bad vampires would have no one to hunt.
The book is also thoroughly inappropriate for young teens and presents far too many bad messages. Setting aside the relationship issues, Meyer, for no particular reason, includes a scene where Bella rationalizes gratuitous use of cold medication because she’s having trouble sleeping (due to thinking about Edward). Is that really the message you want to send to teenagers? Really?
Overall grade: D
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