Twilight (Review)

Labels: A Lighter Touch


Stephanie Meyer, 2005
498 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
October, 2011

There's not too much more to say about this book (first in the Twilight series) that hasn't already been said. But maybe I can wring out a few more words.

Actually, what was surprising about Twilight...was how appealing I found it. Like the Harry Potter series, I'd stayed away because of its fantasy genre and its young audience. But then I heard NPR reviewer, Maureen Corrigan, who had similar reservations yet came away charmed by her reading experience. Corrigan is someone to listen to, so I listened and read Twilight.

In case you've been living on another planet, Twilight's plot centers on a romance between two teenagers, Bella and Edward. Complications arise because Edward is a vampire. He keeps a tight lid on his emotions, struggling with his desire for Bella—her alluring scent (berries, with a hint of freesia) puts at risk his self-control...and, thus, Bella's life.

It's the age-old story of forbidden love, yet Stephanie Meyer makes their longing for one another palpable. Ever so tentatively, the two work out a way to be together, to touch, kiss and embrace. The tension, the thrill, lies in the deadly nature of their trial and error—the slightest error could cut the trial tragically short.

Edward, inhumanly beautiful, possess a gentle soul though one easily aroused, if provoked, to anger and violence. As for Bella, the author initially draws a touching portrait of teen-aged angst—a young woman who struggles with her sense of loneliness and inadequacy, missing her mother and wishing for acceptance among her peers. Ultimately, Bella proves herself a plucky heroine, courageous in her love and loyalty to Edward. While I find the earlier Bella more realistic and sympathetic, it's just a quibble.

As one of the many young adult books (The Book Thief, for one) that have gained adult audiences, Twilight is a winner. For fun—and a break from heavier book club discussions—the book is perfect. Take a breather...and take your first bite out of this series.

See our Reading Guide for Twilight.

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