As promised, my book review to compliment the last movie!
Also, you can read the partial of Midnight Sun. (This was released by the author, so no hinky stuff went into this post.)
The first thing I should say is: I enjoy these books. Not for the writing, but for the story itself. It’s catchy in that teen angst 80’s movie kind of way that I really like. This is my go to “I’m feeling emo and need a pick me up” book series. Cause let’s face it, no matter how bad things get, I am never going to be as pathetic as Bella. That, and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s like mental junk food.
So let’s get on with it 🙂
In a nutshell:
Girl has boring, mundane life. Feels outside of everything and weird. Girl meets boy. Boy is vampire. Girl immediately falls head over heels and wants to be a vampire too so they can be together forever zomg!!1eleventy!!one!11
Yes, that’s actually the whole series in a nutshell. At least in my world.
Believe it or not there is good here. If there weren’t, it wouldn’t be as huge as it is. Yeah sure, some of it’s timing, but even with that there has to be something that speaks to people to carry it this far.
So, what do I consider the good? Glad you asked.
Strong female role model. There is, it just isn’t Bella. I’m all about Alice here. She is strong, independent, and smart. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and she works for what she wants and protects those she loves. There’s a lot to admire there. (Yes, I know that Bella does the same in the last book and goes to die for Edward in the first book, blah blah. There’s a world of difference in the approach, though. That’s why Alice > Bella all day and night. And also, Ashley Green has more than two facial expressions.)
The supporting cast. Emmett, Jasper, Alice, Carlisle. I cared about these guys. Charlie, too. They were interesting and there was depth to their characters.
Engaging story. Again, not so much the Bella loves Edward emo story. At least, not for me. It’s the underlying story of pretty much everyone else that I find interesting. The interplay between the Cullens and the other vampires, how everyone gets along, and the Indian tribe and how they figure in.
Mockery material. There’s a ton of it. I can mock for hours and I love that. But all mocking aside, Meyer hit a home run and she deserves credit for that. I would love to achieve even half of her success with this franchise.
There’s a lot of bad here.
First off, the writing is lackluster at best. I’m frequently pulled out of the story by crap grammar and asinine situations. It’s annoying, but the story manages to survive.
Bella. God there’s so much bad here. She’s generic. She has so little personality that there’s nothing to balance the typical teenage girl angst. Believe me I can relate to teenage girl angst. I had it in spades. But there was more to me than that, and there should be more to Bella, but it’s hard to find. She’s completely subsumed by the men in her life. I like strong female role models and she really just doesn’t make it for me. Not even in Breaking Dawn. She starts to hint at maybe thinking about developing a backbone, but most of it is Alice’s influence and planning. Shoot. Me. Now.
Edward. The descriptions of his total perfection and beauty made me want to chew glass. I get it. She thinks he is the second coming. Okay. But he’s also a stalker and controlling. This. This is my biggest problem. It’s all about Edward and what Edward wants and what Edward tells Bella to do. She isn’t a person, she’s an accessory. Believe me, I get the draw of an alpha male. An assertive, strong, dominant man is sexy. But not when it takes away from the woman being an equal in the relationship. It’s a partnership, people.
Sparkling. Vampires. Holy crap on a cracker, Batman. I give her props for making her own vampire lore. It’s ballsy and it worked for her. Not being a slave to accepted cannon and thinking outside the box puts a fresh face on things and makes for a good story. But really. Chris Evans doesn’t sparkle and I pray that he never does.
Vampire c-section with his teeth. Oh ffs, I can’t even think of the words for this. It was utterly inane and made me want to beat someone with my copy of the book.
The fact that I cared far more about the supporting characters (who also had more depth) than the main characters. There is a problem here.
This is one of the sad cases where the movie is better than the book.
Also, if your vampires are frozen in the moment they were made, how in the holy flaming poo, do they make babies? Seriously? Consistency please!
I’ll say it again. I was entertained. So with all the glaring things that made me cringe and want to hug Stephanie Meyer and give her a cookie, I still enjoy the series. I didn’t want to demand my money back and I can reread them (although I skim a lot) once in a while.
I think that Meyer has potential to be a really good writer with time. She’s definitely got the imagination thing going for her.
So yes, I’d recommend the series, with the caveat that the writing isn’t all that and Bella makes me want to punch someone.
Also. Midnight Sun. Evidently she did this as a writing exercise to help her get into things and really explore her characters. I linked to it above. It’s the first book from Edward’s point of view instead of Bella’s. It’s far more interesting, there’s far more depth and character development. I hope she finishes it one day, because I’ll say that THIS is the version that should have been released. I actually sort of liked Edward after reading the partial she had here.