Twilight is the first book of Stephenie Meyer’s book series of the same name, as well as Meyer’s debut novel. It was published in October 2005. The story revolves around a teenaged human girl, Bella Swan and a vampire, Edward Cullen, who fall in love, despite both of them knowing that their relationship could result in Edward killing Bella. In all honesty, I didn’t think I’d enjoy the book as much as I did. I’d heard of it a lot, mainly from female readers around my age. Being a huge fan of fantasy or sci-fi filled swashbuckling action, I didn’t think a romantic story set in to a semi-gothic vampire setting would appeal to me, especially since the author took the liberty of practically re-defining the vampire race. So I was a bit surprised by how I quite literally couldn’t put the book down. The plot, if a bit slow at first, was incredibly captivating, and I found myself yearning to know what was going to happen next. Seventeen-year-old Bella Swan moves from Phoenix, Arizona, to a small town in Washington called Forks, to live with her father.
On her first day in her new school, she takes an immediate interest in the five Cullen siblings, Edward, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper and Alice, all of them being adoptive sons and daughters of the town’s doctor, Carlisle Cullen, and his wife Esme. However, Edward, sitting next to her in biology class, seems to be repulsed by her, which troubles Bella who had barely seen the boy earlier. After a few days of absence Edward returns, acting courteously, if a bit aloofly around Bella. Their mutual attraction, and eventually love start evolving after Edward saves Bella from being run over by a car, although he warns her not to become friends with him. She becomes more and more fascinated with the strange young man, who clearly isn’t like the other teenagers. She manages to find out that Edward is actually a 108-year-old vampire, but in stead of being scared away, Bella finds herself even more fascinated of him–and the feeling is mutual. A huge part of the book is dedicated for the development of the main characters, and their relationship. In fact, the main antagonist, James, a vampire obsessed in hunting Bella, doesn’t appear until the last hundred and fifty pages, or so. The first book has only two main characters, Bella and Edward. Bella is a rather shy and ‘normal’ teenager, who is very prone to accidents and is quite clumsy.
Edward is described as incredibly handsome on both human and vampire standards, and this seems to distance him and his siblings from the rest of the school. I found Bella easy to relate to, although later on in the series her dependence on Edward gets rather annoying. Edward, on the other hand, was in my opinion too ‘perfect’, too pompous, borderline abusive, and just plain irritating. As I said earlier, I liked the book more than I thought I would. Twilight was a captivating, and sweet novel to read. It wasn’t one of my favorite books, and I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece of literature, still. The language was easy to read, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially for readers who aren’t from English-speaking countries.
However I found most of the minor characters unrealistic, since the interpretation of teenagers was very optimistic. I don’t think the word ‘alcohol’ was mentioned once in any form, and all of the parties were dances arranged by the school. I’m not saying that all teenagers are party loving drinkers, but even in small towns like Forks, there would have been at least a few kids who’d fall under this category. I’d recommend this book to mainly to female teenagers and young adults, since that is the age-group the series is originally meant to. Younger readers might be thrown off by the theme of forbidden love, and older readers might not like the teenage-angst filled romance and somewhat simple writing style.