I started reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer to see what the fuss was all about. It’s been an interesting experience; my opinion of the series has changed drastically as I’ve worked my way through all four books. I’m betting that most people have a general idea of what these books are about, so I’ll be brief in that regard and just offer a short analysis of each book.
Girl moves to small town and falls in love with hot vampire. Twilight never did sound like my kind of book. Vampires have never really done much for me, and Twilight didn’t, either. I didn’t hate it, but neither did I love it, and that was due to more than just the subject matter. (After all, there are a small number of vampire books I have enjoyed.) There was just a lot of teen angst in this book and not much else that I could see. The plot was basically not much deeper than girl falls for hot vampire. And while the characters were sympathetic, they weren’t deep.
But I felt that there was enough potential that I moved on to New Moon. And I liked it better. Yes, Bella spends much of the time moping, but there were enough new developments that it kept things interesting despite all the teen angst. And the biggest new development is Jacob. In New Moon, Bella is trying to adjust to life without her dear hot vampire Edward, and in the process, she makes friends with, in my opinion, the first well-developed character of the series. I found Jacob to be much more appealing than Edward. (I know I’m entering into serious debate territory here.) I loved Jacob so much that I decided to read the next book.
And I will admit, my opinion of the series climbed a bit with Eclipse. I still thought Bella and Edward were underdeveloped, but the secondary characters started filling in nicely. And Jacob….oh, I love Jacob. He’s just so funny and sweet and easy to sympathize with, poor guy. I started to feel a little miffed by this point, though, at how passive Bella is in these first three books. I mean, if I were in the middle of a feud between vampires and werewolves, I’m sure I’d be quite content to let everyone else just take care of me, but as a reader, I want more. I want to live vicariously through a character who gets to jump into the fray.
But I did like Eclipse. So then I moved on to Breaking Dawn. And yes! I get it now. I see why these books are so popular now…or at least, I would if Twilight had been as impressive as Breaking Dawn. Bella and Edward finally spring to life, facing the kind of adversity that forces them to make choices which truly let us see the raw material that makes them who they are. As they fight to save everything that will matter to them for the rest of eternity, they are stretched to the limit and become real at last. Then we get into Jacob’s pov, and I think that was a good move, one which would have benefited earlier books. I understand that part of the series arc is Bella growing from vulnerable and passive to formidable and active, and some scenes in another pov might have helped to break up her lack of action in earlier books. But Bella’s passivity is over in Breaking Dawn, and Edward is developed enough that I finally see what she sees in him. A very nice conclusion to the series.
So now I’m in the loop! I’ve finally read the Twilight books. And speaking of which, I’m finally going to get caught up on my monthly reading posts and otherwise whip this blog into shape. I finally, finally, finally have internet at home again. It’s dial-up (until I can convince my husband to switch!), but it’s still internet access, so now I don’t have to beg and borrow from family and friends, which means my posts will be far less sporadic.
So I’ve got a bunch of other books to cover from March and April. Those will be coming soon.