This post might come as old news, "been there/ done that", to some, but it's fairly new to me. I just want to have a not-so-brief post discussing the Twilight Saga (books) since I enjoyed the series....and have nothing better to do with my broken leg.
The premiere novel, "Twilight," was published in 2005- the year I graduated college. During that time I didn't read much at all, except non-fiction, and this just didn't show up on my radar. In fact, nothing showed up on my radar until October 2011 when I noticed incessant "Breaking Dawn: Part 1" trailers.
Four books and three movies had been released without my noticing. This becomes important, because by the time I made the fateful decision to "just download 'Twilight' on my Kindle," I knew NOTHING. Well, not nothing. I knew there was a vampire, a warewolf, and a girl (ahh the old story). I knew I had seen conversations about "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" but I, A. Didn't know who was who and B. Didn't know why there were teams. I also only vaguely recalled seeing a preview for one of the movies on TV, which I now know was "New Moon." That was it. Well, I had also seen previews to "Breaking Dawn: Part 1," so I then knew Edward was the vamp, Jacob was the wolf, and there would be a wedding and some disfiguring pregnancy. It was all fairly out of context.
I mentioned to my friend Jessica, "I think I'll download 'Twilight', have you read these books?" I was met with a brief silence followed by, "are you kidding? you neverreadthemohmygod." She told me to read "Twilight" and get back to her.
It all started so innocently....read a book...
I was friggen HOOOOOOOOKED! And, technically speaking, I still can't explain why (and neither can my other literary-inclined friends).
"Twilight" was, I'll say it, poorly written- technically. I don't mean technically as people use to imply air quotes. I mean the technical style of writing was-maybe not poor- but fair at best. I could have easily written that book in high school- if not sooner. I know that this was Stephanie Meyer's first novel, and it was written for the YA audience, but I feel the publishing house could have polished her skills. If Bella "shrugged" her coat off or on one more time I was going to mail Mrs. Meyer a thesaurus. It's interesting to note, however, that the writing at the end of the novel was better than at the beginning- like she had to be warmed up. Further, the technical writing in each book got better...But, again, oddly, it didn't matter- I kept reading! That means something...
However, the book had me hooked. The emotions Stephanie Meyer was able to write about were so spot-on for a teenage girl, it was like I was thrown back in to high school. When she described being touched by Edward, it was real, electricity that everyone feels- despite the fact that hers was more- because he was a vampire.
After I read "Twilight," I HAD to read New Moon, and since all the books were released, I didn't have to wait. I would read the book, watch the movie, and move on to the next book. The "Twilight" movie was ok, but soooo much of that book happened in Bella's head, it would have been impossible to have an exact copy- it was good for people who did and did not read the book.
I finished the series in 8 days. "Eclipse" was my favorite book of the series because there was a lot of action, a lot of back story, and a lot of interaction between Jacob and Edward- which hadn't happened in the previous 2 stories. "New Moon," was my favorite movie adaptation of all 4 movies that have been released so far. "New Moon" was incredibly depressing and emotive. I thought they did a fabulous job with the acting, direction, and sound track to tie it all together for the movie. I could watch "New Moon" all day.
The series is INCREDIBLY romantic, on a young adult level. You can feel the urgency and passion in Edward's words and actions toward Bella, the physical heartbreak and longing in Jacob, and the constant confusion and unfamiliar feelings of Bella.
"Breaking Dawn," however, I still have some issues with. I nearly stopped reading the book during the first half. While my friends assured me, "it will all work out in the end," I was highly annoyed by Bella's sudden resolve, as she was generally not self confident and lambish through the series. I get that there was the underlying message of her being able to be in control of her body, but I didn't really buy it- neither did Jacob. It was the first time in the entire series that I was "Team Jacob." In this instance, I actually liked this movie BETTER than the first half of the book (the last movie is split in to two parts) because it was able to rush through a lot of the "no I want the baby, I can't explain why- but I do" text in the book that made me scream.
Further, the ending was just OK. It was tied up neatly in a nice brown package with some twine...But there was no sacrifice. I'll save further critique for several months from now when the 2nd part of Breaking Dawn comes out, since I have many friends who only watch the movies- don't read the books.
Also, I'm not going to even address the constant critique of Meyer's use of the novel as an impetus to push her Mormon values on the readers. I read the entire series without knowing of this criticism and I never "got that" and I have some hardcore feminism/ Women's Studies in my background. I think it was just something for people to pick at. Get over it- it's fanciful.
I still recommend that people read this series. Despite it's incredible length (I think the shortest book is 400 pages? and the longest is over 600), it's an easy read and will suck you in to a wonderful world :)
Later I will discuss "The Hunger Games" books, each will get it's own post because each book is so intense and so different. Not that The Twilight Saga isn't- but I don't feel like reviewing THAT many books ;)