Tuesday, 30 August 2016

TWILIGHT (Twilight #1) - by Stephenie Meyer

Year Published: 2005 - by Atom.  
Genre/s: Paranormal romance/urban fantasy/young adult 
Pages:  498.
Author: Stephenie Meyer. 
Source: Bought.

About three things I was absolutely positive.

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.

In the first book of the Twilight Saga, internationally bestselling author Stephenie Meyer introduces Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose forbidden relationship ripens against the backdrop of small-town suspicion and a mysterious coven of vampires. This is a love story with bite.

{Re-reviewed on the 30th August 2016. First read in April 2016}.  

Overall, I liked the writing, pacing, action, excitement, andmost of the time (when I could overlook her weaknesses)…Bella. But the anti-feminist messages were seriously disturbing and made me furious. 
It's easy to read and endlessly entertaining. But when reading it for the second time, and then the third, etc, I had to force myself to look beyond the sparky surface and at the dark bloody heart below; in a matter of speaking. (Which is a tad dramatic, I guess). 


I love Meyer’s writing style. Her pacing is perfect and it’s so exciting and addictive. The secondary characters (the Cullens; Bella’s school friends) are interesting, realistic, and three-dimensional enough to capture my attention and make me want to know more about them. And, seriously, all the characters did feel very real to me. 

Bella. Well, to be honest, Bella is one of the reasons I liked it and also one of the reasons I didn’t. But most of the time I liked her; simply because I could relate to her to some extent. She was shy, quiet, not sporty at all, and awkward. I related completely to that. Not to mention that something about her just clicked with me.


On the surface, Edward is very swoon worthy. But seriously, if you can look beyond that, you should see the seriously insulting anti-feminist messages Meyer is sending out - through his treatment of Bella and her own response - and the way appearance is glorified above all else. 

Dear Bella, bless her naive little heart, doesn't think for herself. And while I like the fact that Meyer avoided making her an athletic tomboy with bursting confidence, that’s no excuse for making her weak! Bella is basically the total opposite of a strong, modern girl today. Considering Twilight’s popularity, and the fact Bella is the heroine of the book, Meyer should be displaying her female character’s strength and thus creating a strong, brave female role model who dares to show up males once in a while. 
She literally has to be carried around - LITERALLY - and has to be protected all the time (not to mention that I didn’t really find the whole James-wants-to-hunt-Bella-and-only-Bella ending very convincing).

To be honest, her whole romance/relationship with Edward just felt false. Um, yeah, maybe based on the fact she basically fell in love with him at first sight (and I mean first sight. Look at the chapter name. It's literal.) I know that’s a hot topic for Twilight haters, and I can totally see the faults with it as well. Meyer really should have made their romance a slow-burner; it would have been so much more realistic. 
In addition, the fact Edward notices her at all is slightly far-fetched. I'm a plan girl myself, and bearing in mind that people find other people beautiful for different reasons, it still seems unrealistic for Edward to have fallen of Bella. That isn't a big part of my complainants, but merely an observation. Also, the way a few of the boys at Bella's school also fall for her is just unnatural. After all, she says many times how plain-looking and unnoticible she is, and yet everyone's falling at her feet? 
In addition, there is more anti-feminist stuff coming out. Bella is CONSTANTLY putting herself down and saying how amazing Edward is and how she doesn't deserve him. She literally worships him, wants to be as hot as him, and has no self-esteem. She also tirelessly blames herself for every bad thing he says or does, and every suffering he goes through In her opinion, it's clear Edward can do no wrong. 

Another thing:
Bella hardly bats an eyelid when Edward confirms he’s a vampire. Excuse me? She’s head over heels in love him, UNCONDITIONALLY, and then accepts blindly that he’s a monster (hey, he is. He drinks blood. Go figure) and that HEY, I’LL BE FINE AND EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE IF I JUST PUSH IT TO THE FAR CORNERS OF MY MIND AND IGNORE IT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE (which, btw, the point of it is…..????) 

And it makes me so annoyed to think of all the potential this book had: Meyer could have given Bella a quiet strength, she could have made Bella and Edward's relationship a whole lot more slow-burning, she could have made Bella have the logical reaction of being horrified at what Edward is, because, DUH, he's a vampire. And no matter how hot Vampire Diaries makes them or how attractively protective and manly Edward might be, such blood-sucking creatures should not be glorified. Isn't this the way we were brought up to think? Where have our standards gone? 

Instead of that we get Meyer's anti-feminist talk right in our faces through the way Bella behaves and is treated; which is offensive, insulting, and just plain wrong. 

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