The Twilight Saga book 1: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Since getting into vampire fiction, I figured I had to read this book, so I collected the whole set second-hand from my local used bookstores.
Read: September 18 – September 22, 2023
Book contains: kissing, non-graphic attack, mentions of killing
Romance But Not Much Else
Seventeen-year-old Isabella Swan decides to try living with her father in small-town, perpetually rainy Forks, in Washington. She’s prepared to hate it, but is surprised to meet the Cullens family, specifically Edward Cullen, a perfectly handsome stranger.
I’ll say right away that I’m not an avid reader of romance. If a book has the appropriate action, mystery, or attainable goal, I love a little bit of romance thrown in, but I’m not into books in which the romance is the plot, which is exactly what this book is for the first 80 percent.
Since I read this on vacation in Mexico, I decided to forego looking for a read along on YouTube, and instead just read old-school. I had plenty of time, so it worked out great (though I admit I stayed up 2 hours later than usual on Friday to finish it within the week).
This story is told in first person from Bella’s perspective. We only know her thoughts and feelings, but I hear that there are companion books with other perspectives, so those should be interesting to read.
The main characters include Bella and Edward, as the whole romance is about them, but there are some side characters, including Bella’s parents, her friends from school, and Edward’s family. There is also Jacob Black and his father, who live on the reservation near town. Overall, most of the characters were unique and easy to differentiate, from what little time we did spend with them, though I was a little bored by the fact that so many boys were in love with Bella. I suppose it’s expected since she was the “new girl” in the small town, but she describes herself as “not pretty” and then has five different boys interested in her, which I found a bit cliché.
The real meat of the story, though, was the relationship between Edward and Bella. There were some misunderstandings at first, as it usually is with these books. Bella thinks he hates her when they first meet, but she later learns that it’s because he’s a vampire and she smells extra tasty to him. Once the actual romance part of the story starts, the other characters aren’t around much, and school itself takes a bit of a backseat.
I mentioned earlier that the main plot of the story followed Edward and Bella, but there was also a lot of what I would call “unnecessary” writing. Scenes that let us readers explore the world, but didn’t really set much up for the future for payoff. I’ve read some really good books in which no scenes were wasted—they all either set something up for the future, or were the results of these earlier scenes. Twilight was a lot like a fanfiction in that way, exploring the world and characters because it’s fun, more so than adding anything relevant to the plot. Otherwise, the writing was pretty good. Simple and elegant, no words that I didn’t already know or had to look up, and very easy to understand. It’s great for the audience it advertises to.
I’d definitely recommend this book to lovers of vampire romances, as it hits all the marks. It’s not too original in terms of what’s included—just a basic love story between an immortal vampire who believes that he’s a monster, and a girl who doesn’t see him that way—but if that’s what you’re into and you still haven’t read this book, you’re in for a treat.
Also, I’ll be posting my second opinion article about Vampires in Fiction very soon, so stay tuned! Check out my first one as well!
Related Article: Vampires in Fiction
The Twilight Saga book 2: New Moon
The Twilight Saga book 3: Eclipse
The Twilight Saga Eclipse Novella: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
The Twilight Saga book 4: Breaking Dawn
The Twilight Saga Companion Novel: Midnight Sun
The Mortal Instruments book 1: City of Bones