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 can’t say I wasn’t warned. Often and at length, as a matter of fact. Still, I wanted to make up my own mind about the series, and felt that I couldn’t legitimately mock something if I had no basis for my comments. So I read it. And let me be clear about one thing: all of those warnings were absolutely right.
If you don’t know by now, Twilight is the story of Bella Swan, our klutzy and apparently delicious-smelling heroine, who moves to the perpetually overcast town of Forks to live with her father. There, she encounters Edward Cullen, who, we are told many times, is the personification of physical perfection. He also happens to be a vampire, and does things like save Bella from getting hit by a car, follow her when she and her friends go shopping in another town, and break into her house to watch her sleep. Which isn’t creepy at all.
For the first 80% of the book or so, there’s really no plot. There’s just Bella and Edward encountering each other, him aloof at first (but only because he’s trying to resist her extra-tasty aroma) and her growing increasingly more infatuated with him. Edward’s fond of sending mixed messages, too, like saying, “You need to stay away from me” and then promptly inviting her on a jaunt to Seattle. Maybe this is supposed to be the plot, because it happens several times—Edward threatening to go away or angsting that she’s better off without him, but in the end, not going anywhere.
He eventually opens up and shares more vampire facts—culminating in the unintentionally hilarious scene where he reveals his ability to sparkle in the sunlight. Yes, really. Towards the end, Meyer realizes she needs some conflict or something, so a vampire with tracking abilities is introduced and sets his sights on Bella, forcing all of Edward’s vampy brethren to take her into hiding to protect her. Bella asks Edward to make her a vampire so she can be safe and stay with him forever and ever, but he claims to know what’s best for her and refuses to comply. Then they go to prom.
Besides being almost unbearably dull, Twilight sometimes cracked me up with its lame writing. I snickered every time Bella, when pondering Edward’s latest directive to keep her distance, claimed that she was “gripped in a sudden agony of despair.” There are lots of lines about how Edward is her whole life now, and how “his liquid topaz eyes were penetrating” and his breath makes her mouth water, et cetera, but here’s my favorite:
His expression slowly folded into a mask of ancient sadness.
Seriously, that is making me giggle even now.
Neither Bella nor Edward is particularly likable. There’s one scene where a friend of Bella’s father tries to warn her away from dating Edward, and I’m sure I was supposed to sympathize with her because of this meddling adult but all I could think of was how bratty and rude she was being. One could argue I’m simply too old to appreciate this book, but there’s at least one person at work around my age who’s quite vocal about her love for the series.
About the only marginally interesting apsects of the book are the backstories of Edward’s family and how they became vampires. Even so, I find that a single sentence is the limit of the praise I can summon.
Lastly, I leave you with this comic I drew for my coworker’s eleven-year-old daughter, whose bedroom is a Twilight museum but whom I also successfully hooked on Buffy. Tremble before my leet artistic skills.