Friday, March 14, 2014

(Re)Review | Twilight

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Review by Alyssa
September 2006 by Little, Brown and Company
498 pages
Amazon + Good Reads

"When Bella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.

What Bella doesn't realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back..."
-Good Reads

I suppose that this can't technically be considered a review, seeing as I've read Twilight multiple times since it was introduced to me (2007? 2008?). Rather, I think that I'll call this is a re-review due to the fact that Twilight was the March theme for the #AYEARATHON. So, I'm going to assume that you've read Twilight and we'll treat this post as a discussion rather than a review. 

Initially, I thought it would be fun to revisit the series. I was obsessed with Twilight while I was in college. I wasn't quite a Twi-hard but I liked the series a lot - probably too much for a person my age (studying, ahem, literature). I suppose what attracted me to Bella and Edward was their simplicity. My entire college career was filled with Literature (did you catch the big L?) and for the most part, those stories were heavy. While I enjoyed my fair share of the books that I read for my courses, they were certainly not what I would consider pleasure reads. When one of my sorority sisters introduced us to Twilight, it was like a wild fire caught and we were all infatuated by the story. 

Stephenie Meyer got the formula right, at least for me at the specific time that I read it. She offered a heroine who possessed just a touch of snark so that you felt like she had her own voice, but who was two-dimensional enough that you could easily place yourself in her shoes. In that way, Twilight and Bella Swan were a great form of escapism - the girl had almost no dynamic emotions (other than her possessive and all consuming love for Edward) and basically functioned as a place holder for a reader to slip right into. But what really hooked me was Edward. Meyer described him as god on earth, untouchable for nearly everyone except for one ordinary human girl. Despite Bella's protests that she was unworthy of his attention and not special at all, Edward found something in her and fell in love with her - quickly. (Cue the fangirl awes and sighs). 

Simply put - Twilight was fun. And so, with the #AYEARATHON, I imagined that I would be able to revisit the enjoyment I felt the first few times that I read Twilight. But I was wrong

For the most part, I was bored by the language and dialogue, and alarmed by the (lack of?) character development. I don't think that I need to rehash how insane the insta-love is in Twilight because we all know, but I was pretty taken by it. Bella's priorities were down right alarming and Edward's instant possessiveness made me feel like I was reading a vampire version of the movie Fear

All in all, I'll admit that I'm kind of sad that I've lost my love for Twilight (the books, not the movies - I never loved the movies). I genuinely enjoyed them the first time around and I have a lot of great memories of my friends because of the franchise. However, I couldn't get past the lackluster writing and my frustration over the characters. Perhaps I'll give New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn one last read through but I can't find the want in me to go through with it. Ah, well. All good things come to an end, I suppose. At least I'll always have Hogwarts.


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