Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

ahhh Vampires. What would I do without them? They never quite captivated me with the exception of Count Dracula on Sesame Street. But then, early in the century, a blondie, British Manchester united fan, with a wicked ( pun intended ) sense of humour graced the small screen with his interpretation of the men of the night. This coffin-sleeper, grave-dweller, caught me ( especially when he was wandering around Sunnydale in a suit with Giles the Watcher ) and kept me. I liked the forbidden romance motif. The vampire and the slayer. Doomed, right? The ripest of forbidden fruit. This time the forbidden fruit is a little more subtle. This vamp is not dating a Slayer, instead a sweet tempered, self proclaimed "albino" senior at a high school in Forks, DC. The gorgeous vamp is Edward Cullen: a wispish thing with tawny hair and a dazzling crooked smile. He is not, as is usually thought, burned by the sun, yet sparkled by it. He is more angel than vamp, and more often than not ready and willing to save our hapless heroine from the trouble she seeps apt to find herself in.

Twilight is told in first person. A well-narrated first person is a treat for the gods, a bad one is ...well, I think we all know my low tolerance level for it. Meyers' Bella is a treat. She is believable ( as believable as a senior with a hankering after vamps CAN be ) and the story whips through its 500+ pages rather rapidly. I usually don't find myself drawn to the pretty boys but this Edward thing is quite the looker/rescuer/guy. Having lived since the early 20th Century is musically inclined ( and proficient at that ) and has read a heck of a lot ( to the delight of the bookwormish Bella ). He speaks articulately and always seems slightly out of reach. Physically inpenetratable, but nonetheless a foil for some of the most intense unacted sensuality I have read in a teen book in a long time. You could cut the vamp/human sexual tension with a knife. Especially when Edward takes the unsuspecting Bella to a sunny meadow. His body lights like twinkles on a Christmas tree and I thought for sure they were going to take their playful kissing a step or two further ( I might not have minded ).

Meyers kept me hooked. I appreciated her use of older names for Edward's "vamp" siblings: Esme and Carlisle and Emmett and Rosalie: distinguishing the unhuman dead ones from the rest of the high school and the small, rainy town. Meyers relinquishes a lot of the popular vampire lore, instead twisting it and making it her own . A self proclaimed LM Montgomery fan, I was sure Jasper Hale was a shout out to a certain stuttering recluse in the Chronicles of Avonlea.

There were two major problems with the novel. First, the concept of timing. I felt Edward and Bella's relationship happened quickly and rather abruptly. Secondly, that we never really knew how long they had known each other. Now that I have finished, I realize that the arc of the story is framed by the beginning of school in chapter one and the Prom in the epilogue.
The second problem is the Vampire baseball game. This is the crux that catapults the beginning of the terrifying climax but it didn't seem the right way to begin the spiral to the end. It was a little silly, to say the least and the least credible of what I thought was a fairly easy-to-fall-into world.

Good show. Now cracking the spine of New Moon: the Second in what is to be a trilogy.


Anonymous said...

While you're waiting for the second book... if you haven't already read it, Meyer has a chapter of what is called "Midnight Sun" on her website here ... it's apparently going to be Edward's version of Twilight.

Keeping in mind that it's a rough version of what the first chapter is going to be, with all sorts of un-edited stuff and whatnot, it's quite good too.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved Twilight, too! I can't wait to buy New Moon.

Also, this doesn't have anything to do with vampires, but if you're into fantasy-ish stuff and the Victorian Era, I really recommend Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordan Dahlquist. It's not an easy read, but I'm on the fifth chapter and completely hooked.

Anonymous said...

it was a great book i think i read it in 2 days time and it was my 1st love story. if u like vampiers u should go to this site --> www.darrenshan.com and then the vampier books they are fairly good but sry no sappy love story