Thursday, April 23, 2009


I can't remember the last time I read as blatant a work of pulp fiction as Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. The book tells the story of high school junior Bella Swan, who moves from Phoenix to the rainy town of Forks, Washington. She is immediately captivated by her handsome classmate Edward Cullen, who happens to be a member of the town's non-people-eating vampire family. He also falls for Bella, forbidden love ensues, followed by terror and conflict, before all ends happily for the lovebirds.

Reading this book in public actually embarrassed me to the point of blushing more than once. No, there are no crazy sex scenes; they barely even get to first base (whatever that is: holding hands? kissing? making googly eyes?), for crying out loud! No, it was the cheesy-ass writing that killed me. The novel is predictably written in the first person, and Bella's constant references to Edward's breathtaking amber eyes, or the way his perfectly muscled chest showed through his shirt cracked me up every time. 15-year-olds probably eat this shit up. It certainly did remind me of the goofy crap I wrote in high school - the stuff that caused one peer reviewer to remark, "You beat the brown eyes to death!" Which, truth be told, I did. And which Meyer does, too, in Twilight.

There was one premise to the entire novel that I never could quite get over. Not vampires; I'm totally cool with them. Not even vampire-human love; hello, Buffy and Angel, Buffy and Spike, et cetera... The problem with Twilight is that why the hell would hundred-year-old, interesting, drop-dead gorgeous Edward finally find his one true love in ordinary old Bella? I mean, Buffy's a slayer, and not even an average one of those - there's good reason why both Angel and Spike fell in love with her. But Bella? She's just a regular, kinda dorky, high school kid. Edward claims time and again that she's so special, that he can't stop thinking about her, and blah, blah, blah, but I just couldn't see it.

So if you pretend for just a minute that it isn't completely far-fetched, and that Edward may actually for whatever reason have fallen head-over-heels in love with Bella, the book's pretty enjoyable. Schmaltzy, yes; high literature, absolutely not; but it is embarrassingly fun to read.

Next up: Assuming I can find it today, I'll start the Fearless Readers' next selection, Three by Flannery O'Connor. Meeting is May 7, if you are interested.


Da Matic said...

have you read the draft of "midnight sun"? it's "twilight" from edward's side. it sheds light on how edward came about his feelings. apparently stephanie meyer gave it to robert pattinson to read before filming the movie to help with his character development. it's a pretty good read. check it out:

Angie said...

I'm pretty down on the whole Twilight saga after getting through the four books... but finding an explanation for Edward's inexplicable attraction to Bella has some appeal. Thanks for the recommendation.