Friday, May 30, 2008

Eleanor's review of Twilight

When Eleanor read yesterday's post, she said that I had described her like a typical teenager. So she's the guest writer today, demonstrating that, unlike most of the other girls in her high school, she's not a big fan of Stephanie Meyer's book Twilight:

Twilight. I know you’ve heard of it. I know you’ve seen it, peering out from every available cranny of any bookstore you might go. I also know that you’ve probably heard everyone who’s read it state a passionate opinion of what they thought. I’ve seen people who would rather read a calculator manual than even pick up a Stephanie Meyers book. Of course I also have a friend who bought all three books… twice, just because she loved them so much. Whatever your opinion may be Twilight is an important book of the time period mostly because everyone has heard of it.
I read Twilight and I have to say that I really didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t terrible though, it was just about, well, vampires. It was an all right book but I couldn’t see why everyone made such a big deal about it. I take that back, it’s obvious why, because it’s about a normal (ish) girl who has a totally flawless vampire fall in love with her. This book is giving every fan girl the story they want. Mysterious, dark and handsome guy falls madly in love with the story’s brave heroine but problems arise and eventually true love overcomes all. Throw in some bad flirting, some sparkles, some really obvious mysteries (what? You’re a vampire? No way I thought every normal guy has totally white skin, super powers and cuts class when we have to find our blood type!) And you’ve got yourself a best selling novel.
Well aside from how everyone already knew that Edward was a vampire and Bella took about 300 pages to figure it out, the plot of Twilight wasn’t really that bad. I even laughed at some of the random details of being a vampire (Edward likes 50’s music, well I guess he was around back then so…) and there were some occasional moments of action that really kept the pages turning.
But unfortunately there were the characters. Bella is an annoying twit of character who spends half the book whining even though everyone worships her. “Oh no oh no I’m so clumsy!” Well, gee, sorry Bella why don’t we all just give you piggyback rides everywhere like your slave boyfriend? And the worst part is Bella’s one flaw (her tragic clumsiness) doesn’t, forgive my pun, trip her up that much. She trips about twice through the whole book but there is a lot of tripping anticipation. “Oh no! I’m about to get raped in a dark alley by some guys twice my height!” Well Bella, did you ever think about running away? “If I run, I’ll trip and fall! Oh quick Edward, save me!” I’ll trip and fall huh? Sounds to me like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Then there is her unfortunate love slave, Edward. Edward lacks one of the most important traits a character must have, a personality. Well he has one, it just sort of… changes… a lot. But don’t worry it’s all ok; we can just describe him in an almost identical way in every single chapter! I quickly became tired of hearing the same phrases every time Edward would say, enter a room, or look at Bella, or breathe! It’s probably some sort of brain melting technique designed to create legions of Edward fan girls all swaying back and forth, mechanically chanting the same words in unison. The other flaw in the character of Edward is his complete lack of … flaws. He can moan all he wants about how dangerous and horrible a monster he is but Bella doesn’t buy it. Edward, just get rid of the vampire angst and accept that you are perfect. Seriously there are no negative side affects of being a vampire, so why doesn’t everyone do it? Well they say it hurts a bunch when you turn into one but seriously, eternal life, youth and beauty versus a little bit of pain? I don’t know about you guys but living forever doesn’t sound that bad to me, especially when all your friends can do it with you!
With two leading characters like this even a great plot can’t save the book. It really doesn’t help that all of Bella’s other friends are interesting for about two chapters until they all get randomly paired up and then shoved out of the story. This is the phenomenon that is Twilight, erotic descriptions of one dimensional characters sending what could have been a pretty good book into a bit of a crash and burn. But of course it’s ok, Bella can get piggyback rides from Edward and Edward’s one consistent characterization is that he sure loves Bella. By the end of the book I satisfied myself by thinking that however pathetic they are, Edward and Bella definitely deserve each other.

She didn't write this in her review, but Eleanor says that when she and her friends produce Twilight, the musical, Edward will be continually bursting onto the stage to sing "because I LOVE you, Bella!" and the program illustration is going to be two hands holding... not an apple, but a big clove of garlic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Eleanor,

I have never heard of or seen this book. Your review does remind me of a book I read a few weeks ago. I had to procter an exam and I had read everything else in my office, so I picked up a novel which had been sort of migrating around various surfaces in the coffee pot/ photocopier room. It is, quite possibly, the worst book I have ever read. I read it only because I had nothing else to do during a two hour exam. I was really hoping that everyone would opt to take the F and leave early, so I could stop reading, but no, they all wanted teh A so I had to read the wretched thing.

Anyway, your comment about the two main figures deserving each other - this was exactly what I was thinking. How the woman in this book missed that the man was a psychopath and how he missed that she would kill him rather than lose her kids... they deserved each other.

Please do more reviews!