Book Cover
Title Twilight
Author Stephenie Meyer
Cover Art Roger Haggadone
Publisher Little, Brown and Company - 2006
First Printing Little, Brown and Company - 2005
Book Cover
Title New Moon
Author Stephenie Meyer
Cover Art John Grant
Publisher Little, Brown and Company - 2008
First Printing Little, Brown and Company - 2006
Book Cover
Title Eclipse
Author Stephenie Meyer
Cover Art Roger Hagadone
Publisher Little, Brown and Company - 2007
First Printing Little, Brown and Company - 2007
Book Cover
Title Breaking Dawn
Author Stephenie Meyer
Cover Art Roger Hagadone
Publisher Little, Brown and Company - 2008
First Printing Little, Brown and Company - 2008
Book Cover
Title The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Author Stephenie Meyer
Cover Art Roger Hagadone
Publisher Little, Brown and Company - 2010
First Printing Little, Brown and Company - 2010
Book Cover
Title Midnight Sun
Author Stephenie Meyer
Cover Art ---
Publisher ---
First Printing ---
Category Young Adult
Warnings Some gruesome scenes
Main Characters Isabella Swan, Edward Cullen, Jacob Black, Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Emmett, Rosalie, Sam, Seth, Leah, Quill, Paul, Charlie, Renee, Bree Tanner.
Main Elements Vampires, werewolves

Click to read the summaryTwilight

Click to read the summaryNew Moon

Click to read the summaryEclipse

Click to read the summaryBreaking Dawn

Click to read the summaryThe Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Click to read the summaryMidnight Sun

I started reading this series knowing full well the huge fan base it has, which made me kind of worried. It will either be justified, like the Harry Potter series, or will be completely inexplicable, like those people who watched Titanic 50 times over, or thought the New Kids on the Block were the best thing ever. But I simply had to give it a chance, being a big vampire fiction fan.

And I liked it! Perhaps not as much as all those screaming teenage girls who would have Edward's love child, but I really did enjoy reading it...well most of the time anyway. Here were some of my thoughts as I read the novels:

  1. "I've read this before". Somehow L.J. Smith's Vampire Diaries series didn't get this kind of excitment, but the idea is very similar. Teenage girl meets teenage boy vampire in high school, falls in love, all kinds of adventures and ethical dilemas arise, etc. There are even werewolves, and evil/good vampires in both. Which series did I like best? Well I have fond memories of reading the other series, more than once I may add, but Twilight is fresher in my mind. I liked both, and they are different enough. So if you liked Twilight, I suggest you get the newly republished Vampire Diaries.

  2. "Bella, stop whinnig before I throw this book out the window". The second book could have been at least 50 pages shorter if we didn't have to hear Bella suffer through her loss of Edward. Yes, it was supposed to be traumatic for her, yes it made a clear contrast to her life when he was around, but ENOUGH ALREADY! Maybe teenage girls lap that up like nectar, but at age 30 I was gagging at the sappiness. I just wanted to smack her. Edward can be equally wimpy when it comes to her, agonizing over everything. It grates on the nerves after a few hundred pages. Even Jacob moped at times when he could have been more understanding. Then again I was never that kind of angsty teenager, let alone now as an adult, maybe kids relate to this more now. Warning - if you can't stand angst, don't read these books.

  3. "Bella is a bad rolemodel for young girls". I read that in a review somewhere and I think I agree. Replace Edward (a dangerous creature who admits to walking a fine line between loving and killing) with an abusive boyfriend. Just because you love someone with all your heart, doesn't mean he is a good person or right for you. You should NEVER have to live in danger or fear of your partner. You can't change them. And unless the boyfriend is a vampire, they can't change you. She's also constantly putting herself down, considering herself unworthy of both Edward and Jacob, who have made it clear that they don't think that of her. And it seems that you can have what you want pretty much without sacrificing anything. Again, the real world doesn't work that way...

  4. "Gotta read the next chapter". The first three points might have been complaints, but like I said, I did enjoy the books, and were hard to put down. There was something about the way each chapter ended that I had to keep reading into the next one. And since I like to stop at chapter boundaries, it meant I had trouble stopping. I read three of them in one month, and they're over 500 pages each! But then I hit the fourth...and well, nothing kind of happened for a good half of it. The switch to Jacob's POV made it bearable, and the ending picked up the pace. But I advise some skimming while reading. The fourth book was also predictable, I figured out what would happen with Jacob, Bella, et all before it happened.

  5. "Vampires are not human". Most importantly, which I think most vampire novels fail at, is the ability to keep the vampires supernatural and apart from the humans. In most books, movies or TV shows, the "great and all powerful vampire, who can lift and 18-wheeler with his pinkie finger" always gets his butt kick by some mere mortal. But Meyer is able to maintain the Cullen's status as vampire without limiting their abilities simply because it would be convenient for part of the story. When anything is described from a vampire's POV you suddenly realize how very not human they are. I also like the take on werewolves, the closeness of the guys in the pack.

Alright, so was it a flying Harry Potter or a sinking Titanic? The first, the series did earn a good chunk (though in my mind not all) of its praise. And Harry Potter wasn't perfect, after all, I couldn't stand Harry either!

Quickie Movie Review

I felt the movie held pretty true to the book. The special effects were ok, though I have yet to see a movie that has a human jump/run in an inhuman manner, always looks fake to me. The casting was pretty good, a few could be better, but others like Carlisle did well. I'm looking forward to seeing how the actor who played Jacob (a skinny stick of a kid) becomes the big, brawny wolf in the second movie ^_^

October 2010

I wasn't sure what to expect from The Short Second Life of Breen Tanner. I was convinced to read it because it was meant to be a view from the "other" side, not just from a vampire's point of view, but from one of the "bad" vampires, one of those that not just enjoy feeding on humans (this is true for the Cullens too, btw) but that they actually indulge in their desires. Granted, not that Bree knew any better. But admittedly, there aren't that many books out there (other than the Vampire Chronicles) where the narrator is actually, for all intents and purposes, evil. Whether it was their choice or not isn't the point, they eat us...and yet we like them anyway.

Now for all the faults I listed above, Meyer makes the vampires real (sparkling in sunlight notwithstanding, but it's her world, she can define them as she likes as long as she sticks to it). She doesn't stray from the rules she sets down. If a vampire is strong, it never gets wimpy when it might be convenient to the story. Thus limbs are regularly ripped off and reattached (unless one gets burnt to a pile of ash in the meantime) and not thought about again. Just another day in the life of a newborn vampire. Actually the whole coven of vampire newborns was just a madhouse. And of course you pretty much don't like anyone, except Bree, but then she's the narrator. Diego of course gets our approval because he's Bree's friend, and Freaky Fred was a character I would have liked to learn more about. Otherwise, you pretty well hoped really bad things would happen to the rest.

Of course you know exactly what happens if you read Eclipse. So yes, the ending is not a secret, though I won't mention it here because maybe you haven't read Eclipse yet. It was also interesting to revisit the scene in Eclipse, the attack on the Cullens by the newborns. I'm a fan of seeing things from multiple perspectives. You get to see things one character alone is not capable off.

I'm not sure that this book can be read without a good understanding of the Twilight world, but because it is short, it wasn't full of fluff and whining. Something the first four books could have benefitted from (chop off 100 pages from each at least!). The pace kept things moving towards Bree's fateful end, but it's not about the destination after all, but the journey.

October 2012

I felt sort of bad for Meyer when I heard that her next manuscript got leaked to the net. I mean whatever anyone thinks of any author's work, that they put so much time and effort into something and then to have it passed around the internet for free must be difficult.

On the other hand, after having read it, I'm glad it didn't make the light of day. Firstly, it really does just rehash the same story over again. I mean it's interesting to see the world through Edward Cullen's eyes. The Sookie Stackhouse character created by Charlaine Harris is also a telepath, but she spends most of her time trying to block her talent. Edward can't turn his off, so he effortlessly skims over people's thoughts, usually without being invasive about it. Just as you can't not hear a conversation at the next table in a restaurant, he can't not hear what people are thinking.

But that's about the only good thing about this incomplete novel. Perhaps after editing it might have gotten better, but frankly, to me, it was a stalker's handbook!

Seriously, girls...if a guy sneaks into your bedroom at night to watch you while you sleep...that is NOT romantic, not unless he was there while you were still awake and he tucked you in. But Bella didn't even know Edward was interested in her when he started sitting by her bedside watching her every breath. CREEPY!!!

And the thoughts in Edward's head! The way he justifies his action. Do you think any "peeping Tom" or outright stalker thinks he's actually being creepy? That he's doing something wrong? They *always* think they are protecting their victims. This quote does NOT justify sneaking into someone's bedroom at night:

I would not trespass on her privacy the way the peeping tom would have. I was here for her protection, not to leer at her in the way Mike Newton no doubt would, were he agile enough to move through the treetops the way I could. I would not treat her so crassly.

Frankly, he was leering, he just didn't want to admit it to himself. And what about this other classic stalker trait, the way he feels about other people taking an interest in his object of desire:

The agony and fury of my jealousy was every whit as powerful as it had been last week. I broke another tree trying to hold myself here. I wanted so badly to race across the campus, too fast for human eyes, and snatch her up-to steal her away from the boy that I hated so much in this moment I could have kill him and enjoyed it.

Oh yeah, I want my boyfriend to kill for me, so fact this sounds to me like one of those guys that would never let me out of the house, to be suspicious of anyone I might talk to. I certainly wouldn't be allowed to have any male friends. If Mike were raping me, ok, I'm cool with that. But he just wants to ask me to the dance, when my stalker shadow hadn't the nerve to do so first? That's not a crime.

The only thing that redeemed Edward was that Bella returned his feelings. But what if she didn't? That would be one very different story. Something more along the lines of Dexter. Yeah, he kills only bad guys, but people, he's a psychopathic homocidal serial killer, not husband material.

In an English class a teacher once had us reading Wuthering Heights. He then asked, who attracts you more, Heathcliff, or that guy that Catherine ends up marrying (who as you can see I can't even recall his name). It was pretty well unanimous that we would all pick Heathcliff, he was so dark and dashing...he was also mentally unstable and probably a wife beater while the other guy would have taken care of us, provided for us, been a good father. Not sure what the attraction is, but at least in Wuthering Heights it's clear Heathcliff is pretty well unsuitable, while Edward is made out to be the perfect mate. Kinda scary considering the target audience...and Meyer is supposed to be a religious person with strong moral values...I'm disappointed.

Posted: October 2008


Background, images and content (unless otherwise noted) are SunBlind
Do not use without permission.