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Monday, June 13, 2011

Review of Twilight (Spoilers)

I know, I know. Really Dan, Twilight? But just like Harry Potter I finally had to see what all the hype was about. The first person who recommended the books to me was the nice lady cleaning my teeth at the dentist. It was my first time there and she was making small talk. I told her I liked to read. She got all excited and told me I had to read this book called Twilight. She seemed embarrassed that it was about vampires, which peaked my interest, but said that the story was so good she just couldn't put it down and was letting the dentist borrow them now. After that I started to hear about the books from other people. "You have to read the Twilight books, they're so good!" These comments were all from people I knew weren't avid readers, so I thought they must be good to get people who don't read often all excited. Then I started hearing the other side. All the bashing of "sparkly vampires" on podcasts I listened to. It seemed all the people who liked the genre fiction I did hated these Twilight books. They said they were awful. Well, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to find out for myself, so I read the first book. OK, on with the review.

I gave it 2 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

OK, so it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, and it was worse than I thought it could be. Let me explain. The writing in this book is just bad. If I had a dollar for every adverb Stephanie Meyer used in this book, I just might be as rich as she is. Also, it seemed like she had a thesaurus and a cooking timer in her lap, and whenever the timer went off, she’d change the word she was on to one in the thesaurus just to make sure there were big words in her writing. It just didn’t match her voice in the rest of the prose to see these giant words dropped in out of nowhere. The plotting was bad too. Just when I thought it was finally getting good at the very end, the scene ends and you learn about what happened through dialogue. The climax of the book is relayed in conversations between characters after the fact. So yeah, the writing was atrocious, and the plotting was awful. That said, even though a lot of things bugged me as I read, it was a fun light read. I enjoyed the story despite all of the bad writing. I think Stephanie Meyer has some talent as a storyteller. The ending was pretty bad though. I guess I would wrap this up by saying I can see why people liked this book, and I can see why people hated it. I wouldn't say I hated it, it was a fun read, but it is horribly crafted and I would not consider it good literature. Let's just say I enjoyed the book, but I'm not going to be reading the second one. I just don't care that much what happens to these characters. What are your thoughts? Do you love Twilight? Do you hate it? Have you bashed on it without having read it yourself? Come on, fess up. Do you wonder why the Twilight books are so popular? I'd love to hear what you have to say.


  1. I've seen the movies. They're mildly watchable. They got better as they've gone along. I can see its appeal for some people. A fairly interesting love triangle dynamic. However, they changed the main character from a witty, funny, strong and independent young woman and changed her to a babbling, mumbling, depressive waif of a girl who can do almost nothing for herself.

    I only made it through the first half of the book. Why? ALL. THE. TALKING. That diner scene has to be the most agonizing in all of literature. I just couldn't keep going. The plot is slow, and the relationship between mortal and immortal was already done better in Interview With a Vampire.

    Stephanie Meyer isn't a horrible writer. It did for Vampires what Harry Potter did for Fantasy, albeit with less individual flair and certainly less heart. The execution just wasn't good, for all the reasons you mentioned above. And and infodump is still an infodump even if that infodump happened in dialogue.

    If she ever took David Wolverton's class at BYU, it certainly didn't show in this. She would have benefited by learning that less is more, and she could have crafted a much tighter (and shorter) work and accomplished the same thing. Even one star is generous.

  2. Thanks for your comments Jim! Very well said. I agree with you that she's not a horrible writer, I enjoyed the book, it just wasn't executed well. When you wrote "That diner scene has to be the most agonizing in all of literature" I really did laugh out loud. :) I have heard that she was in Dave Wolverton/Farland's class too, guess she didn't just have a dream of sparkly vampires and start writing for the first time ever like some of her stuff says online. Thanks for the comment, and I can't wait for The Last Guardians to come out! If it's anywhere near Codename Starkeeper in quality, it is sure to be amazing!