*Warning* There could possibly be spoilers here, though I tried to keep to the facts generally known. Hopefully, if you’ve given up on the books because you couldn’t get into them or decided not to read them due to a negative review, this will encourage you to give them another chance.
Also, this post is referring to the BOOKS ONLY. You can read my review of Twilight the movie here.
I just started re-reading Twilight for about the fourth time, can you believe it? At first I was going to review it here, but there are so many reviews of this wildly popular series by Stephenie Meyer already that I thought I would instead share why I enjoy this particular series.
Werewolves and Vampires, Oh My!
Twilight was actually my first encounter with the paranormal genre, and I came across it entirely by accident. It just looked like it might be good so I picked it up at the library. No one recommended it, somehow I had missed the hype (this was in my pre-blogging days). I’ve always loved fantasy, made-up worlds, and novels based on fairy tales and myth, so the concept of vampires living among us intrigued me.
“…I was ivory-skinned, without even the excuse of blue eyes or red hair, despite the constant sunshine. I had always been slender, but soft somehow, obviously not an athlete; I didn’t have the necessary hand-eye coordination to play sports without humiliating myself – and harming both myself and anyone else who stood too close.”
What immediately drew me (and a million others) into Twilight was the way Bella was portrayed. We are given a pretty vague description of her so that we can picture her looking like ourselves (though now I do picture Bella from the movie since I’ve seen it). Also, the more I read, the more I realized I completely related to her. Bella is:
Clumsy – It was a dilemma. On the one hand, I loved the tide pools. They had fascinated me since I was a child; they were one of the only things I ever looked forward to when I had to come to Forks. On the other hand, I’d also fallen into them a lot.
A trouble-magnet – “Don’t be offended, but you seem to be one of those people who just attracts accidents like a magnet. So… try not to fall into the ocean or get run over or anything, alright?” [Edward] smiled crookedly.
Strong (she has a temper) – The helplessness faded as he spoke. I glared at him. “I’ll see what I can do,” I snapped as I jumped out into the rain. I slammed the door behind me with excessive force.
A loner – I didn’t relate well to people my age. Maybe the truth was that I didn’t relate well to people, period. Even my mother, who I was closer to than anyone else on the planet, was never in harmony with me, never on exactly the same page. Sometimes I wondered if I was seeing the same things through my eyes that the rest of the world was seeing through theirs. Maybe there was a glitch in my brain.
She is also keenly conscious of her almost-unhealthy focus on Edward (though she can’t seem to talk sense to herself) and likes to blend in with the crowd, not attract unnecessary attention (“I’m more the suffer in silence type…” – okay, that’s from the movie, but it totally fits Bella). So basically, Bella is as messed up as the rest of us.
Edward and the Other Vampires:
I’m actually not head-over-heels for Edward, though he is a VERY interesting character. Actually, pretty much all the characters in Twilight are amazing. The book plays out like a movie – I’m convinced that the characters will stay in my mind for a long time. The thing that I really love about Edward and the other Cullens is that they are complex and compelling. They are all vampires who are denying their murderous natures and, in essence, denying their very selves. They want to do what is right more than they want to satisfy their thirst for human blood. (I could go so many places with that concept!) They live on the blood of animals instead.
“I don’t want to be a monster.” His voice was very low.
“But animals aren’t enough?”
He paused. “I can’t be sure, of course, but I’d compare it to living on tofu and soy milk; we call ourselves vegetarians, our little inside joke. It doesn’t completely satiate our hunger – or rather thirst. But it keeps us strong enough to resist. Most of the time.” His tone turned ominous. “Sometimes it’s more difficult than others.”
I am completely fascinated with the concept of Twilight‘s vampires and werewolves. The more you read, the deeper the author gets into the vampire history and myth, and the more you find out about each Cullen and their backgrounds. You’re NEVER bored. You find yourself mulling things over at random, like how Edward must have felt being made into a vampire. He was given “the gift” of eternal life, saved from death, but at such a cost. Imagine waking up after having accepted that you were going to die, and waking up a murderer. There are so many layers to these books. You find yourself wanting to read and re-read so that you don’t miss anything. This really is an intriguing series.
Answers for the skeptics:
I’m not really into vampires and werewolves – will I still like it?
Well, I can’t say for sure that you’ll like it, but I do think that what really made this series popular is not only the plot and subject matter. Bella’s world, Bella’s thoughts and feelings, Bella’s dilemma – they completely draw you in. Despite any flaws that may be pointed out in the Twilight series, the fact is that the characters are so strong that you don’t care. You are drawn into that world and that’s all that matters.
Isn’t Bella too obsessed over Edward?
Well, yes and no. Actually, I wouldn’t say that Bella is obsessed anymore than any young woman who feels strongly for a guy. I know that as a teenager I felt things keenly (not necessarily for guys, just generally), and though I’ve grown up quite a bit (thankfully) and have more sense now (I hope), I still am a deep thinker and I feel more than some people do I think. I can relate to Bella’s struggle to keep her head straight in difficult times. The nice thing about Bella is that she admits she’s taken her affection for Edward to an almost-unhealthy level and she tries to fight it. The fact is that he’s a good person (vampire, whatever) and she knows it. He’s only dangerous to her because he is a vampire. So is Bella too obsessed? I don’t think so.
All this said, I did feel that the last book (Breaking Dawn) was too racy for a lot of young girls that read it – even I skimmed through some parts that I thought were unnecessary. Still, the first three books were so good. And the ending… although not exactly how I envisioned it ending, it was a satisfying end to Bella’s story. I whole-heartedly recommend this series as an interesting, though-provoking, compelling read!
♥ Share Your Thoughts ♥
Have you read the Twilight series?
Do you have any “If You Like Twilight, try ___________” suggestions? (Hmmm, I’m thinking that’s going to be a future post here!)