The thing that first attracted me to these books were the simple, lovely covers. I didn't know anything about the content, but the covers caught my attention. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover. Anyway, by the time I received the book from my www.paperbackswap.com wishlist I had a general knowledge of the book's theme. I am not really into vampire novels, so it got shelved while I was busy reading other material.
Then I heard that my young cousin was reading the book, so I decided then was as good a time to start as any.
I will say this for the book: it is well-written, with mostly compelling struggles (albeit in a very fictitious world). The voice of the main character is witty and entertaining so that, as a reader, you don't mind being in her head.
I am glad, though, that I have read three of the books so far before posting this review. The books rise in mature themes and content, therefore I need to mark this with a firm "Use Discernment", and the rating will go up as the series goes on. So keep this in mind if you are considering reading this book. You will most likely want to read the rest and the themes get increasingly questionable. More details follow in the break-down of criteria.
Twilight, (Book One in the Twilight Saga)
by Stephanie Meyer
Library of Congress Summary: When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human.
THEMES: Vampires; High school; first love; keeping secrets; temptation
FOUL LANGUAGE: ZERO occurrences
SOFT LANGUAGE (heard on cable TV): 3 occurrences (D-words)
VIOLENCE: This is a vampire novel, so there are "bad" vampires who attack and kill or attempt to kill people.
SEXUAL CONTENT: There are scenes of impassioned kissing, with little restraint. Love is supposed to be the acceptable excuse for why they can hardly control themselves.
DRUG USE: ZERO occurrences
BLASPHEMIES: ZERO occurrences
REFERENCES TO AND GENERAL ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD: God is very decisively avoided, although the lead male character comments: "I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly." (pg. 87)
OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE: The following details are concerning...
The relationship between the main character and the male lead is presented as very romantic and something to be sought after, but, besides the fact that he is a vampire and she is human, there are some very unhealthy roots to their relationship.
Bella, the main character, has the classic bad-boy syndrome. She is enthralled with the idea that her romantic interest could be dangerous but chooses not to be. She also has a very unhealthy view of Edward, the male lead. Repeatedly she refers to his "perfection" and that he is a "godlike creature" (pg. 256). It seems that her affection for him closely resembles obsession, and not in a poetic way.
There is a scene on page 103 where Edward displays odd outrage and controlling tendencies and this is never apologized for or resolved, just forgotten. He also sneaks into her room via the window (without her knowledge) and watches her sleep. Creepy-- but it is presented as very endearing because of his curious and protective intentions. After she finds out about this, he continues-- with her permission now-- all the while deceiving her father. Although they do not actually have sex, they are "playing married" with their emotions and intimacy and successfully pretend she is alone and sleeping when her dad comes to check on her. Again, this is all supposed to be romantic, and excused because of their uncontrollable "love" for one another.
Time and again, Edward speaks of not having the willpower to stay away from her although he knows that it is in her best interest, safety-wise, to do so. And she lacks the strength to maintain self-control when she kisses him, and instead pushes the limits.
Hopefully this information will help you in making a decision about this book. Keep in mind, also, that this is the mildest in subject matter of the first three of the four books. I don't want young Christians to feed into the notion that this is the way to love someone, or the way to be loved.
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