When Twilight by Stephenie Meyer was first released I was thirteen years old. I believe I read it for the first time when I was fourteen and I was in LOVE. This was the first real vampire story I can remember reading and everything about it was just perfect to me. Edward and Bella were goals, I wanted friends like Jacob and the Cullens and Forks, Washington was just the place to be. My friends and I would read and then discuss the books together. We went and saw the first two movies together and I saw the last two with my then boyfriend, now husband. If it’s not obvious, this book series holds a very special place in my nostalgic heart.
Now, thirteen years later, it’s pretty much unacceptable to admit you ever liked these books. During October I wanted to reread the whole series as a twenty-six year old woman and see how I felt about them now. I have put aside nostalgia and read these as critically as any other book. I’m not going to be reviewing the actual stories and characters in depth because I figure most people have at least heard the general details about them. I’ll be giving you the synopsis for each book and then making a list of what I still love and what I don’t. Most of this list will apply to both books but if it’s Twilight or New Moon specific I will mention that. There will be spoilers.
About three things I was absolutely positive.
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole. I could feel my heart racing in my chest, the blood pulsing hot and fast through my veins again. My lungs filled deep with the sweet scent that came off his skin. It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. I was perfect – not healed, but as if there had never been a wound in the first place.
What I Still Love:
- Jacob Black is still one of my all time favorite characters. Back in the day I was 100% team Jacob and that hasn’t changed. He deserved WAY better than he ever got in these books.
- Speaking of characters, the Cullens (except Edward) and Charlie are all still wonderful. I wish more time was spent with them in the books rather than Edward and Bella. I even like the Volturi because of how spine chilling they are.
- I still like Stephenie Meyer’s writing style. Most reviews usually rip the writing to shreds but I think it’s fine. It’s comfortable and easy to read while still being detailed. There was never a time that I struggled to picture a scene or character because it wasn’t described well enough. At the end of New Moon when Edward, Alice and Bella meet the Volturi I was actually tense. I’ve read that part numerous times and knew how it was going to end but Meyer’s writing just drew me in.
- I’m fine with the vampires that Meyer created. I know most people make fun of the sparkling vampires but I think it works in this series. I like that they can come out during the day and that some have special abilities. I also like everything about the werewolves. I think Meyer created an interesting and unique supernatural system.
What I Now Hate (All revolves around Edward & Bella):
- Edward and Bella. Just throw the whole couple away and start over. Edward is over 100 years old but still has the maturity of a seventeen year old. He is emotionally abusive and a stalker. I can’t believe at one time I thought it was endearing that he watched Bella sleep WITHOUT HER KNOWLEDGE. The kicker is Bella isn’t really upset, she thinks it’s romantic… what?!
- Now for Bella. *sigh* Here’s the thing, I used to really relate to Bella as a teenager. I was shy, loved to read, was terrible at sports and wasn’t ugly but definitely wasn’t a model so Bella was relatable. Now as an adult I see how weak of a character she really is. Bella can not be alone. She is entirely dependent on Edward or Jacob at all times. She’s headstrong to the point of stupidity. However, what I really hated was how she had to always be on guard around Edward so she didn’t say anything that would upset him. His feelings always mattered more and then once he leaves her in New Moon and comes back she has to be paranoid about doing something “wrong” and him leaving again. That is an abusive and toxic relationship. At the end of New Moon, however, Edward does apologize profusely and swears to never leave again but that doesn’t erase everything he did.
- I hated the insta-obsession. It wasn’t even love between Edward and Bella, just pure toxic obsession before they really even knew each other. It’s not normal for teens to spend every free moment together but then again, I guess dating a vampire isn’t normal either.
- In New Moon I got sick of the theatrics over Edward leaving. Bella basically has PTSD and then begins putting herself in danger just to trigger Edward’s voice in her head. In case anyone is curious, that’s not a healthy way to cope with a breakup.
- Minor annoyance but at one point Bella trips and falls like three times walking from point A to point B. Somebody get this girl to a hospital because she’s obviously having inner ear trouble.
In conclusion, after rereading Twilight and New Moon I’ve discovered that I still love everything except for the main two characters, lol. It would be one thing if Edward and Bella’s relationship was portrayed to us, the readers, as being toxic but no, it’s portrayed as being wonderful and romantic. That’s a sketchy thing for young YA readers to be learning. Then again, I turned out fine so it’s really up to each person’s discretion whether these books are acceptable or not. I’ll be posting my review for Eclipse and Breaking Dawn next Wednesday. What do you think of the Twilight series? Do you agree or disagree with my points? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!