I approached Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight book with some trepidation, the story of Bella, who moves to the misty mountain town of Forks and falls in love with the vampire Edward, obviously legions of teenage girls love this book and I know a few adults who like this book to but I’ve also heard some negative things about the book from people whose opinions I trust, but as part of my ongoing children’s reading, I picked it up and opened it.
And I was surprised that yes this book is actually quite good, some of the prose is a little too flowery for my taste and there was the occasional paragraph that no matter how many times I reread it I couldn’t work out what had happened, so that was either me or those parts were badly written / edited. However I’m being the critical adult here.
I’ve read charges that this book is not the best thing for teenage girls to read as it encourages them that dating ‘dangerous boys’ is ok but I think Meyer has tackled that aspect of the book responsibly, Edward repeatedly tells Bella he’s dangerous and that it not a good idea to get involved with him and through contact with Edward she does get put in mortal danger. It also gets stated on multiple occasions that vampires ‘dazzle’ humans, they are very attractive to humans, so there’s a certain element of Bella obviously not being able to control herself.
I enjoyed the descriptions of Forks and the surrounding area, Bella may have hated Forks but I quite liked the sound of all that green, mist and rain. I found it interesting comparing the surroundings with Meyer’s recreation of the vampire, with say the vampires from a hotter clime like the vampires in the George Clooney / Tarantino movie from Dusk till Dawn, which is set in a bar in the desert.
Meyer’s vampires suit the forest environment just as much as Tarantino’s vampires suit a sleazy bar in the desert. Meyer’s vampires are pale and lithe with skills to match the sort of animals that live in the forest. Tarantino’s vampires are brasher, bigger and far more uncouth to match their harsh environment. I just found it all a very interesting comparison which I couldn’t help thinking about for the whole of the book, as it happens my alternate reality story happens to involve vampires in a big way (it’s one of the reasons why I read Twilight, checking out the competition and making sure that my storyline wasn’t unknowingly following Meyer’s). My vampires don’t live in the forest or the desert, they live in suburbia and are scarily ordinary, just as suburbia is ordinary.
So back to Twilight, will I read the other three books? I have to admit I’m tempted (which is more than could be said about the Inkspell series I read recently), however too many excellent books out there, so for the moment, I’ll just leave it at Twilight.