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Stephenie Meyer's Twilight
Tell Me a Story
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I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I finally read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  Having read it, I don't get the hype.  The characters seemed flat and Mary Sue/Gary Stue-ish, the writing felt competent but lifeless, and the last third of the book came out of nowhere.  I wanted to like this book.  I wanted to like the romance between Edward and Bella, but it left me cold. 

These comments are just my opinions, and they aren't meant to disparage anyone who liked the book.  If you've read Twilight, what did you make of it?

ETA:  Since so many commenters mentioned their ages, I'll state for the record that I'll be 31 in August. 
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I think if I had been 15 when I first read 'Twilight' I would have loved it.
If I had been 15 and never heard of Joss Whedon.

Of course I will be reading the three sequels.

You raise two excellent points. Maybe my age and my exposure to other representations of vamps and vamp/human relationships had a significant impact on my impressions of this book.

*drools over your icon*

I agree with you. I think Bella is a Mary Sue, and I laughed out loud at some of the phrases she used to describe Edward (the shirt he was wearing clung to his chest, showing just how muscled he really was - *snort*). After I finished reading them, I said, "I can write better than this crap. This is a bestseller?"

That being said... I have now re-read the books several times (except for Eclipse, which I checked out of the library and don't own). I can't explain why I do it, other than that I enjoy the romance factor, I guess. I like the idea of it, I suppose. I don't have an excuse, it's a guilty pleasure.

The constant references to Edward's marble hands, face, and body were pretty amusing. *g*

You don't need an excuse. We enjoy what we enjoy, and we certainly don't need to justify it to anyone. :) I am such a shipper at heart that I'm surprised I didn't love the Bella/Edward romantic element more in this story. Plus Buffy/Angel is one of my favorite pairings. So I was predisposed to love Twilight, I thought. Though I'm 30, I loved the Harry Potter books, so I figured Twilight might be a fun read.

Who knows? Maybe I'm being too critical, or I'd feel differently after reading the rest of the series. Or maybe I just didn't connect with this book.

Didn't realize, but we're about the same age. I'm 31, will be 32 in October. heh. Yeah, it took me my second read to actually enjoy Twilight. I'm excited for the movie because Robert Pattinson is lovely. ♥

I am fourteen and was thirteen when I read them, and I hated them. However, despite that, I seem to still be addicted to them. So it's like, "AHH! I hate this, but what's gonna happen next???" It doesn't help that everyone at my school loves them. It drives me insane, really, because that's all anyone ever talks about or reads. *cringes*

I must say though, other than the Buffy verse, I have had terrible experiences with vampires. Joss Whedon is amazing and is my hero.

I had very much the same reaction to you. I read it last year - I hadn't heard any of the hype, just spotted it in the YA section at Borders and picked it up because it had an interesting title. I started out liking it, but eventually got tired of the story and the characters, to the point where I didn't really care what happened at the end.

I think the above comment is true - if I'd read it at 15, in a BTVS-free world, I would have liked it a lot more. Instead I found the character I liked the most was the father - showing my age :)

Robin McKinley's 'Sunshine' is a much better (with adult characters) take on the vampire/human story.

I read Sunshine when it first came out, and if I remember correctly, I thought it was OK. Certainly more engaging than Twilight. I haven't read a lot of vamp stories recently, but I'd read my fair share in the not-too-distant past.

Instead I found the character I liked the most was the father - showing my age :)

Charlie was sweet. :)

Perhaps at 30, I'm simply too much of a geezer for this book. *g*


I agree. I only read the first book and it was so boring and hard to get through. It seemed like the same conversation kept taking place over and over and over. I didn't understand the hype at all.

I agree that it felt a bit repetitive.

I had, essentially, the same reaction. The last 100 pages just lost me completely. I read YA on a fairly regular basis because there are some great ones out there. This book almost convinced me that I'm officially too old for that. I just don't get the ferver. They are predictable, lazy and clunky books. Ms. Meyer is certainly no Judy Blume.

PS - Please allow me to recommend The Book Theif and I Am The Messenger, both my Markus Zusak. They are both beautiful and moving, in completely different ways.

I am in the middle of The Book Thief and it's been really good thus far, sad but great. I take it I should pick up I Am The Messenger next time I'm at Books A Million?

Most certainly. Both are awesome, though I do I have to admit to liking The Book Thief more.

Hm, well thanks for the rec :)

The last 100 pages just lost me completely.

The whole "tracker" thing picked up the pace, but it felt like such a random, just-shoved-in-there plot twist.

Because I'm 30, I don't generally read YA books anymore. But I was very entertained by most of the Harry Potter books, so I thought I'd give Twilight a shot.

Thanks for the book recs.

hmmmmm. i havent read the books, but ive been thinking about it. but what you and all of the previous commenters have described is pretty much what i was afraid of. i think i'll take your word for it.

(that said, i will still totally see the movie because kristen stewart rocks my world.)

Don't take anyone's word for it if you're even remotely intrigued by the books; read them and decide for yourself. Who knows? You might find that you love them. :)

I am 15 and I am not a fan of the books. They have a good story but as I can't stand most YA books. I read mostly classic lit so 'Twilight' was pretty blah.

I wonder if I read one of these books back in my omgmustreadeveryvampirenovelthatexists days.
I'll be looking for it next time I'm at the library out of curiosity.


Ha ha Love the Anita Blake icon. I enjoyed that series until the sex in it seemed to take over the story. Then I stopped reading.

Oh god I know. As far as I'm concerned the series ended at Book 10. Nothing she's written since has been worth reading. Every second page is smut, and the standard of writing is horrific. I liked Anita when the books had plots, but I think Laurell K has, well, lost the plot.
Still, some of those early books were awesome.

I am 15. I've never heard of Mary Sue or whoever.
That said, these books are.. simply ok. I read them for the romance, really... its more of a "chick" thing when I want to read something that doesn't really matter. The story itself I think is alright, but it gets kinda repetitive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marysue

This will fill you in. Generally Mary Sues are the characters in stories or Role plays who are just too perfect or hard to believe...the article explains it in more detail though.

Oh! Thank you very much. ^.^

See, I don't have a problem reading a book for the romance. That's what I was expecting with Twilight. It just didn't feel particularly romantic to me.

Not a YA, almost 30-something, but that series was next on my list after Libba Brays three part, now I am all disappointed because your flist didn't have anythin' good to say about the Twilight series, bummer!!

I'm not a YA either; I'll be 31 in a couple months. Several people who commented did seem to enjoy Twilight. The only way you'll know for sure whether you like it is to read it for yourself.

I agree. I like YA in general-- nostalgia, all that jazz-- so in that perspective I loved it. Fast-paced, interesting action sequences... in a movie analogy, it'd be a blockbuster but not an Oscar-winning plot, if that makes sense. Thoroughly enjoyable, but I'm certainly not reading the series for great insights into vampire culture, writing technique, or character development!

Being 30, I don't read a lot of YA at this point. But I thoroughly enjoyed most of the Harry Potter books, so I was certainly open to trying Twilight. A book doesn't need to illustrate great writing technique in order for me to be entertained by it. I suppose this particular book just didn't grab me in quite the way I hoped to be grabbed. :)

How about Cassandra Clare's books? I really liked City of Bones and CIty of Ashes, much better than the Twilight series.

I am a school librarian for a 7th and 8th grade building, and all my kids love Twilight. I, for one, cannot STAND Bella Swan with a passion. I think she is a horrible role model for teenage girls, and I cannot believe it has been three books, and Meyers STILL hasn't turned the damn girl into a vampire.

In an interview Meyers said that she has never watched an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think she needs to do so ASAP.

ALSO, if you are looking for a good teen series: I am loving Meg Cabot's the Mediator, which is about a teenage girl who can see ghosts. It pretty much rocks. But then again, so does Meg Cabot.

I do know what you mean about the kids loving them, I'm just a public library shelver but the books are going in and out constantly. We had to replace I think all of them because they got stolen.

The fandom for it is pretty lotastic. I've not heard much good about the books but the fact that they sound so trashy and amusing makes me want to read them just to see how bad it is. I'd go into it with very low expectations so if it's even vaguely good, I'll probably think it's not that bad. But yeah, it does seem very very Mary-Sue-ish.

You might enjoy this: cleolinda's thoughts on Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. :D

No worries, I don't feel disparaged. It actually sort of amuses me to be the one voice of dissent, the one to confess that I actually liked the books and I *don't* feel guilty about it. Reading's an escape for me, and when a book successfully draws me in, whether it's through the twists a plot takes, or the way the characters are sketched, I certainly won't apologize for that. (Not that I think you're asking me to.)

I've said to other friends that I think Stephenie Meyer's a better storyteller than a writer. I don't know that I can put a finger on exactly what it is about Twilight, for me, just that it is.

I definitely didn't mean to single you out, and I'm grateful you recommended it to me. Thank you for that. I'd heard all the buzz about it, and then you mentioned it, and that helped push me into trying it.

Given this book's popularity, I simply figured it was a good bet that there would be at least a couple people on my flist who'd read it and had some thoughts on it. And no, I don't expect anyone to apologize for what entertains them. I'm not a lit. snob; hell, I sometimes read romance novels, I loved The Hot Chick, and I watch Bones. Trust me, I'm not one to throw stones about the ways in which we escape life stress. *g* Who am I to judge anyone?

Twilight just didn't do all that much for me, so I was curious how others felt about it. If you liked it, that's great. I may read New Moon in order to see if it grows on me. Like I said, I WANT to like this series. I'm just not sure I do. :)

Edited at 2008-05-19 02:20 am (UTC)

I have to agree with the above comment about Stephenie being a better storyteller than writer. I think she's a genius in that she tapped into what 99% of girls want (whether they want to admit it to themselves or not). It's the same alpha male/protector/adorer of you fantasy that many a girl dreams of. And what I think you're seeing in Bella as being too MarySue-ish is actually a very smart move on the writer's part in that she's normal and generic enough that every girl can see parts of herself in Bella... therefore getting to live the fantasy out through her. Cmon... what girl wouldn't want some abnormally beautiful guy telling you that you're his entire world, he lives only to make you happy, etc. etc.

Now, I'll admit to being a teensy bit older (24) than the normal squeeing teen fangirls, but I (and my mother also) enjoy it for the same reasons they do. One of my best friends who was the biggest Buffy/Angel fanatic you've ever seen is now huge into Twilight too... so while Joss' genius may overpower for some... there are others who enjoy both equally. :-)

New Moon is a little hard to handle for the fangirls as the whole "formula" gets shaken up a bit while the next one, Eclipse, is just mile a minute action and adrenaline. I felt like I was on crack reading it. LOL. Extremely tense. It will be very interesting to see how Breaking Dawn plays out in a couple of months.

All that being said, I just read Stephenie's latest, The Host, and while the ships can't compare to Bella/Edward, her writing has vastly improved. I was thoroughly sucked into the location and story. And on a deeper level, it brought about a lot of interesting philosophical questions about humanity that were very fun to try and dissect while the more superficial shock and ship factors kept me humming along to the end.

Oh... and just for the sake of getting a Bum dum cha rim shot... you were supposed to be left cold... don't you know his lips and fingers are practically made of ice. ;-)



I also just read The Host and agree with you there even though I haven't read the others yet.

I've been waffling, not sure if I want to read it or not. Not that it's ever actually in at the library, those books are checked out all the time lol.

I did however adore her newest release The Host, which is an adult novel. I think I want my own copy so I can reread it later.

I haven't read them. I've been recommended them because I am a fantasy fan, but I just never have been able to talk my self into picking it up when I'm out in town. There always seems to be a book(or dvd) I want more.

That said, I have a couple girls on my f-list(two 20 yr olds and a 29 yr old) who LOVE them with a SERIOUS passion. But then I post with a 23 yr old who didn't like them. Her complaint was like many others who've commented here - all story, no character development.

As far as YA goes, Sarah Dessen is amazing. There's only been one book of hers I didn't just absolutely love. Her books tend to have a similar theme of sorts but her characters and their unique situations pull me in every time. She's not fantasy, but if you might like her anyway.

As far as fantasy, the Eragon books are pretty good. Its kinda LotR meets HP. And then something a bit different is the Artemis Fowl series. They're not your average book about mythical creatures and humans and how they interact, or rather don't, but still pretty interesting.

I wasn't much of a fan either. I was hoping it would be really good as I'm a major fan of the vampire genre, but you're right it was dull.

I agree with chrisleeoctaves, maybe if I'd been much younger, never read Anne Rice, or watched Buffy, (or Moonlight for that matter) I would have liked it more. I'll probably go and see the movie...but I'm most likely not going to read the other books.

I completely agree with you on it, actually. It is Mary Sue-ish, and somethings about it just don't make sense. I thought I liked Twilight a lot when I read first the books, and then I started thinking and realized the series really isn't all that great. The final test was trying to read it a second time- I couldn't even finish three chapters before running away and finding something else to read. So yeah, I think it's a rather hyped series. There are still aspects of it that I like, for example some parts of New Moon, ironically enough the ones without Edward. Overall though? Meh.

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