Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Twilight--A Review of the Saga

I think that by this point most of us know that the Twilight saga is about a plain Jane falling in love with a sparkly vampire and his mysterious obsession with her. Right. So I won't go into a "what this book is about" review. Instead, I'm going to give you my completely biased opinion on it.

You may remember me telling you a little over a month ago that I was reading the saga and that I was pretty much obsessed with it. Yes, it's true. I'm a Twilight fan. And no, it did not take me this long to read all four books. In fact, it took me a little over a week to finish them all, and then I just kept reading them over and over again. Seriously. I'm still reading them. I can't even tell you how many times it's been now. I honestly don't know. It's a lot, though.

I've also read Midnight Sun--the incomplete draft of Twilight in Edward's POV. For those of you who are aware of the drama concerning this one, I assure you that I found this copy on Ms. Meyer's own website.

After reading the saga numerous times, I've come to a few conclusions. The first is that, despite what a lot in the writing community may think, Stephanie Meyer has talent. And the second is that all writers make mistakes in their works, and I found them. And I'm not talking about those so called mistakes that many writers say she made like having Edward leave in New Moon and the mysterious disappearance of the sex scene in Breaking Dawn. I'm talking real mistakes. As in, certain data was changed between books, etc.

But first, let's talk about Stephanie Meyer's talent. I know, I know. I've heard the arguments. But truthfully, she did a LOT right when she wrote these books. For one, despite being written in First Person, all of her characters came to life. I don't feel like I didn't totally grasp a single one of them. Second, she artfully portrayed Edward's true character even through Bella's very biased filter. And third, she brought a mythological creature that was honestly getting boring in its repetitive usage in books and made it something completely different. This is what agents and publishers are telling us to do all the time, my readers. Don't get mad because these vampires don't do what you think they should do.

Now about those mistakes... Well, let's start with the first book. It's pretty well established in this novel that vampires have a hard time being around people without the bloodlust becoming a potential problem. Though the Cullen family is able to live through it after years of self-discipline, even they admit to losing it when blood is exposed. Admittedly, I didn't think about this problem until the beginning of Breaking Dawn, but if all of this is true and Edward would not have been able to resist Bella if her blood had been exposed prior to falling deeply in love with her...well, without being too crass...she wouldn't have lived through the first month. That's all I'm saying. I think you know where I'm going with that. *cough*

Second problem in Twilight is in the hospital at the end of the book. Edward had just saved Bella from becoming a vampire by drinking her poisoned blood. And yet, Bella made no mention of his red eyes (or murky brown if he was wearing contacts), which I find very odd considering how obsessed she was with the color of his eyes.

Other mistakes: the length of Edward's stay with the Denali clan repeatedly changed between two and six days, the Chevy was described as a '57 in one book and a '53 in another, and when Alice came back in New Moon, Ms. Meyer forgot that she had been there for two days before Edward called.

Why do I bring the mistakes up? Well, for good reason: it happens. Those books went through a dozen hands and these little mistakes are still in there (As for the first one I pointed out, I'm sure Stephanie Meyer was just hoping no one would pick up on that one). We obsess and obsess about our works all the time to the point that we don't bother putting them out there. Look, mistakes will be in there. If you write an engrossing book, your readers will forgive you and your editor might not even notice.

This saga is amazing and continues to succeed despite all the disparaging comments many have made. No, it's not literary, but it wasn't intended to be. It's just plain good.

So, what do you think about the series? Have you read it? Did you like it? For the adult men out there, my husband was not a fan of the first two, but he likes the fighting in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

~Emily White


  1. Interesting post. I've never read them. Not into Vampires and stuff, but I think I just might eventually give them a go :)

  2. My oldest daughter loved the series years ago before it became all the rage it is now. Before I had a clue about Meyer or any of her success, I did open Twilight to read it since it would be a bonding thing for my daughter and me. I made it to page 8. To each their own, of course, but I have to love a character to care what happens to them, and the MC put me off by page 8. I disliked her greatly. Much later is when I learned of all the hype, both for and against the series, but I maintain that I have no interest in trying it again. I am glad that it got so many young people reading, however, and helped perpetuate a genre (paranormal)that I've always loved.

  3. Justine and Christi--*shakes head* If you can't see the awesomeness that is Twilight, then I don't know what to do with you. :P Hehehe! I'm just kidding! I realize that the books are clearly not loved by all. I relate to Bella, though and I'm willing to look past the grammar issues because one, I'm always lenient with a person's style and two, I loved the story. To me, a fabulous story will always win out.

    Thanks for your input! :D

  4. Oooh, I'm Twilight fan myself. I actually held out for two years because everyone kept going on and on about how brilliant it was and, um, I tend to steer clear of massively worldwide popular books *coughs* I know, I'm weird but generally if all of my friends love it I don't. We have different tastes... That's my story and I'm sticking to it...

    Anyhow, I'm glad you brought up her talent as well as the mistakes. I honestly never noticed some of them other than the.. um.. first month thing. I noticed that.

    The chevy thing is surprising but I guess, as you said, when people are really engrossed how is it possible to spot it? :~)

    Great post ;~)

  5. yay! another twilight fan! it seems that we are few and far between amongst the aspiring writer folk. meyer didn't write it to be the great american novel, she wrote it for fun, and it's a fun read. i think people tend to get jealous and snobby about each other's success. no one seems to want to admit to liking the books, but everyone was so hooked they read them in just a few days. seems like they're hiding something. it's sad really. when they all gang up on her it just reminds me of a bunch of playground bullies. it's nice to read an honest review for a change!... but i do hate the sparkly vampire thing...

  6. I read all of these books when they first became popular. I thought they were really great when I first read them, but since then, I've become way less excited about them.

    Actually, after reading Meyer's other book, "The Host," my enthusiasm for Twilight was completely extinguished. "The Host" is amazing in comparison. If you haven't read that one yet, and you get the chance, you should totally pick it up. It had me sobbing by the end - though, to be truthful, I cry a lot during books and movies. Still, it was great, and I wish it had gotten as much recognition as Twilight. I feel like it deserved more.


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