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Review of TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer

by Becky Laney

Meyer, Stephenie. 2005. TWILIGHT. New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 0316160172

TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer is a book that I never would have picked to read on my own. An admitted chicken when it comes to anything remotely scary, I avoid vampire-related literature as a whole. However, when a close friend recommended TWILIGHT and said it was one of the best YA books of the year, I decided to “be brave” and see if she was right.

Set in the small town of Forks, Washington, TWILIGHT is about a seventeen year old girl, Isabella Swan, who is adjusting to her new home with her father. (Her mother recently remarried.) Moving from Phoenix, Arizona, to a community where rain and fog are the norm is difficult for Bella to say the least. As she begins school, Bella experiences many things that your typical YA novel deals with--fear of rejection, wanting to “fit in” with peers, and, of course, having crushes on boys. But TWILIGHT differs from most YA novels in that the boy Bella falls for is different from the other boys in town: he doesn’t eat; he doesn’t sleep; he’s fast; he’s strong; he can read people’s minds; his eyes change color based on his mood, etc. Yet Bella is captivated by him, “I couldn’t imagine how an angel could be any more glorious. There was nothing about him that could be improved upon” (241).

At first the two play a guessing game where he allows her to guess why he is so mysterious--she supposes that he’s superman or spiderman or another comic book type hero. But eventually, she guesses correctly. He admits that he is a vampire. Instead of screaming in horror and running away, she remains true to her feelings for him. She loves him plain and matter who he is. Then comes the point in time where he decides to take her home to meet his family--all vampire of course--she admits that she’s scared...but not because they’re vampires...but because she’s worried they won’t like her or accept her. Her family isn’t quite as accepting as his, and they don’t even know he’s a vampire, but she’s committed to their relationship no matter what.

Superbly written, TWILIGHT is a delightfully thick novel (close to five hundred pages). The plot and characters unfold slowly giving the reader time to savor each moment. The romance builds slowly giving the reader time to get to know the characters; in a way this slow unveiling romance gives the reader a behind-the-scenes perspective of the romance. Often readers are told quickly that so-and-so likes so-and-so, but not often do the readers get to see WHY the attraction and chemistry is there. The chemistry between Bella and her vampire boyfriend, Edward, is unmistakable although full of danger for everyone concerned. I will not spoil any of the plot, but I am very glad to have read on Amazon that there are sequels on the way!!!

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