Stephanie Meyer, 2005
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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