Twilight (Meyer)

Twilight (Twilight Series #1)
Stephenie Meyer, 2005
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
544 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780316038379

Summary
Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite. (From the publisher.)



Author Bio
Birth—December 24, 1973
Where—Harford, Connecticut
Education—B.A., Bringham Young University
Currently—lives in Phoenix, Arizona


Stephenie Meyer's life changed dramatically on June 2, 2003. The stay-at-home mother of three young sons woke up from a dream featuring seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head.

"Though I had a million things to do, I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write—something I hadn't done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering."

Meyer invented the plot during the day through swim lessons and potty training, and wrote it out late at night when the house was quiet. Three months later she finished her first novel, Twilight. With encouragement from her older sister (the only other person who knew she had written a book), Meyer submitted her manuscript to various literary agencies. Twilight was picked out of a slush pile at Writer's House and eventually made its way to the publishing company Little, Brown where everyone fell immediately in love with the gripping, star-crossed lovers.

Twilight was one of 2005's most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list. Among its many accolades, Twilight was named an "ALA Top Ten Books for Young Adults," an Amazon.com "Best Book of the Decade...So Far", and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

The highly-anticipated sequel, New Moon, was released in September 2006, and spent more than 25 weeks at the #1 position on the New York Times bestseller list.

In 2007, Eclipse literally landed around the world and fans made the Twilight Saga a worldwide phenomenon! With midnight parties and vampire-themed proms the enthusiasm for the series continued to grow.

On May 6, 2008, Little, Brown and Company released The Host, Meyer's highly-anticipated novel for adults which debuted at #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The Host still remains a staple on the bestseller lists more than a year after its debut.

On August 2, 2008, the final book in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn was released at 12:01 midnight. Stephenie made another appearance on Good Morning America and was featured in many national media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, People Magazine and Variety. Stephenie headlined the Breaking Dawn Concert Series with Justin Furstenfeld (lead singer of Blue October) to celebrate the release in four major markets across the US. Breaking Dawn sold 1.3 million copies in its first 24 hours.

The Twilight movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, was released on November 21, 2008. Twilight debuted at #1 at the box office with $70 million, making it the highest grossing opening weekend for a female director.

Stephenie lives in Arizona with her husband and three sons. (From the author's website.)



Book Reviews
In a style reminiscent of Anne Rice, Meyer brings the macabre to a small Washington town in a novel combining mystery, romance, fantasy, and sensuality. Isabella Swan has moved to her father's house in tiny Forks, Washington, a twilight town where perpetual rain and mist stand in stark contrast to her mother's home in Phoenix. Isabella is the new girl who discovers that small town life is pretty slow-paced, and small town people are pretty friendly. She settles in quickly, and finds the most intriguing thing about her new school to be the Cullen family, a group of four amazingly beautiful young people who keep to themselves in school. Edward Cullen is Isabella's lab partner, and he avoids interacting with her or even looking at her. However, when an accident almost ends her life, Isabella finds out the truth about Edward and his family, a group of benevolent vampires who have chosen the misty city so that they can blend in and live among humans without discovery. Isabella and Edward begin a courtship dance in which they are drawn closer and closer, knowing the danger of their being together. Isabella soon discovers that not all vampires are kind, and the book shifts into suspense mode with Isabella running for her life. Meyer's description of the lovers' emotions is palpable, and readers will be drawn into the couple's spiraling dance, feeling the intense longing that comes from being a hair's breadth away from the thing you want most in the world. Recommended for junior and senior high school students.
KLIATT


(Audio version.) When Bella Swan moves from sunny Phoenix to Forks, Washington, a damp and dreary town known for the most rainfall in the United States, to live with her dad, she isn't expecting to like it. But the level of hostility displayed by her standoffish high school biology lab partner, Edward Cullen, surprises her. After several strange interactions, his preternatural beauty, strength, and speed have her intrigued. Edward is just as fascinated with Bella, and their attraction to one another grows. As Bella discovers more about Edward's nature and his family, she is thrown headlong into a dangerous adventure that has her making a desperate sacrifice to save her one true love. One of the more original vampire constructs around, this recording of Stephenie Meyer's debut novel is narrated with great style by Ilyana Kadushin, who makes the infinitely romantic tale of star-crossed lovers resonate with a bittersweet edge. Although Edward and Bella's romance and subsequent danger develops slowly, the pacing is appropriate for teens who want learn all the details in this suspenseful tale. An excellent purchase for both school and public libraries.—Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI
School Library Journal


(Starred Review) This is a book of the senses: Edward is first attracted by Bella's scent; ironically, Bella is repelled when she sees blood. Their love is palpable, heightened by their touches, and teens will respond viscerally. There are some flaws here—a plot that could have been tightened, an overreliance on adjectives and adverbs to bolster dialogue—but this dark romance seeps into the soul.
Booklist

Sun-loving Bella meets her demon lover in a vampire tale strongly reminiscent of Robin McKinley's Sunshine. When Bella moves to rainy Forks, Wash., to live with her father, she just wants to fit in without drawing any attention. Unfortunately, she's drawn the eye of aloof, gorgeous and wealthy classmate Edward. His behavior toward Bella wavers wildly between apparent distaste and seductive flirtation. Bella learns Edward's appalling (and appealing) secret: He and his family are vampires. Though Edward nobly warns Bella away, she ignores the human boys who court her and chooses her vampiric suitor. An all-vampire baseball game in a late-night thunderstorm—an amusing gothic take on American family togetherness that balances some of the tale's romantic excesses—draws Bella and her loved ones into terrible danger. This is far from perfect: Edward's portrayal as monstrous tragic hero is overly Byronic, and Bella's appeal is based on magic rather than character. Nonetheless, the portrayal of dangerous lovers hits the spot; fans of dark romance will find it hard to resist.
Kirkus Reviews



Discussion Questions
1. Is the fact that Edward can’t read Bella’s thoughts more important than it seems? Will it serve a larger purpose?

2. Bella faints at the smell of blood. If she were to become a vampire, how might this serve as a hindrance? How might it be an asset?

3. Is Edward selfishly putting Bella in danger or is Bella being too stubborn for her own good? Is it a little bit of both? What are the threatening factors facing Bella and are there ways of avoiding them?

4. Temptation is a major theme in Twilight—more accurately, resisting one’s temptations. Discuss the subplot of Carlisle’s job as a doctor in relation to this major theme. How well does he handle temptation? What do you feel would be the most difficult part for him in his role? Why does he remain working as a doctor when the Cullens don’t seem to need his income?

5. The Cullens live, act and care for each other as a family. How much of their ability to do so is dependant on Carlisle’s rule that they live in a manner that contradicts their nature—hunting animals instead of humans? Do you think that they would be able to maintain their bond if they weren’t all committed to his plan?

6. Edward saves Bella on more than one occasion. Discuss the different instances and how Bella reacted before she knew what he was and after. Also discuss how Edward reacted after each instance both before and after Bella knew he was a vampire.

7. Alice explains to Bella the theory of how vampires come to exist. She mentions that most have some memories of the transition and their life prior to it. How does what we learn from James about Alice’s past explain her lack of memory?

8. Once Edward has tasted Bella’s blood, do you think it will make it harder to resist Bella, specifically, her blood? Will the fact that he was able to control himself make Bella want to be changed into a vampire? Do you think that is fair of her to ask that of him? Do you think it is fair of him to refuse?

9. Jacob Black tells Bella a story about his tribe and the “cold ones.” He doesn’t believe any of it, but says his father clearly dislikes the Cullens. If Jacob’s father believes the Cullens are dangerous, why doesn’t he warn Bella or Jacob? Is he hiding a secret of his own?

10. Stephenie Meyer has noted that each of the novels in The Twilight Saga pays homage to other literary classics. For Twilight, she has said Pride and Prejudice was the key inspiration. Pride and Prejudice is often described as a “romantic comedy.” What parts of Twilight are romantic? What parts are comic? Describe the similarities between Elizabeth Bennet and Bella Swan; Fitzwilliam Darcy and Edward Cullen. What role would Bella’s friends play in a “remake” of Jane Austen’s classic story?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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