Twilight by Stephenie Meyer | Rating: ★★★☆☆
This is a reworked review based loosely on one I wrote in 2008 after first reading Twilight. Very little of the original review remains as my views of the series have changed drastically over the years.
I’m not ashamed to say that when I was in high school, like a lot of people my age, I was absolutely captivated by the best selling Twilight Saga. It was everything a [then] teenage girl, who wasn’t a massive/serious reader at the time beyond Harry Potter and Gossip Girl, could long for in its genre. Twilight breathed new life into its genre and sparked a loyal fanbase as well as a new interest in reading for teenagers.
Mysterious, dark, supernatural/mythology themes and truly a whirlwind romance are what fill up the sometimes lackluster story. While it isn’t the best written piece of fiction, it’s easy to follow and in such it’s easy to see why so many people have had a so-called-Twilight-phase. There’s something oddly endearing and relatable about the characters in spite of the supernatural elements that are so prominent.
When you’re younger, it’s easier to see past what flaws a relationship has. You aren’t oblivious by any means but in some cases it does slip past you. Bella and Edward are, looking back, by no means healthy or realistic but to a teenager who is rather unaware to the world, their relationship was everything.
It was passionate but not the ordinary, it was consuming, it was truly and firstly a love story that was undeniable to its audience.
A fantasy that cannot tangle with logic, taking a new spin of forbidden romance and the [then] vampire genre. Twilight is the perfect combination of intrigue and thrills that teenagers often reach out for. Although it is cliched and unhealthy and very unbelievable for much of the time, it still remains appealing and fresh to first time fans.
What makes it so obtainable to its audience is how simple the plot begins. We’ve seen it all before only this time there’s a twist. Girl moves away from home, girl meets boy, instant love/attraction, fate tries its hand at pulling them apart and the rest is history.
It’s as if nothing can keep them apart and there’s something delicious with the idea of an all consuming love like theirs. Which is what makes it so fun for them to read – the love story at its core is a ride of confusion and questions.
Twilight was one of those series that I fell into on accident and never quite shook it until my adult years. It didn’t matter if I hadn’t read it in years. It didn’t matter beyond the fact that they were always there. Each character, though vastly underdeveloped, took over my heart for a very long time.
As I’ve already said, there’s something very relatable in characters like Bella Swan, with whom readers can connect to on an ordinary level; Bella is a typical teenager who has fallen in love for the first time and that’s what makes her appeal to the audience. She’s quiet, caring and at times observant, snarky, and an old soul but still undeniably a child.
Stephenie Meyer, in my mind, is incredible at capturing raw human emotions and leaving you breathless for a love as such. She knows Bella’s mind and as we slip into, we do too. Meyer isn’t the greatest at developing characters or relationships or building something that isn’t just instantly there but the woman knows how to make you feel.
Which is why I’m not giving Twilight an awful rating and instead play with my nostalgia towards the series and the emotions expressed within it. Her relationships are heavily flawed and dangerously dependent, unrealistic to the very core, it’s still something appealing so long as you can understand the difference between fiction and reality.
Although Edward Cullen seems perfect and fascinating when he’s in his happy place, he is not your prince charming. I wish I didn’t have to add this to every review of every book which features an unhealthy relationship, but I do.
Twilight is a love story. And that’s all it is: a story.
While it will never be the next great American novel, while it hasn’t aged well in my opinion, and it may never be considered a classic, it still is a fun and not at all serious adventure packed with romance.
I’m looking back on it, after having reread it, and I can’t help but wonder why I was into it. But the fondness hasn’t faded, even if my interest has. It’s true that Twilight is no longer my cup of tea and certainly not something I’d have picked up on my own now, but my fondness and nostalgia towards it will probably be around for good.