Twi-Lit

“You really shouldn’t do that to people,” I criticized. “It’s hardly fair.”

“Do what?”

“Dazzle them like that — she’s probably hyperventilating in the kitchen right now.”

Not since the emergence of Buffy had there been a cult following as profound as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. But I don’t understand the fuss, if I’m being completely honest. Twilight, the first book of the four in the series, introduces us to Bella Swan, a clever yet clumsy and off-beat teen-aged girl who moves in with her father in his modest home in the gloomy, small town of Forks, in the perpetually rainy state of Washington, where she meets and gradually falls in love with the devastatingly beautiful, suave, and mysterious Edward Cullen at the local high school. Edward just happens to be a vampire, which basically sets the premise of the story — can a vampire fall in love with a human, while resisting its primal urges to suck the life out of her. It’s a hunter-and-the-prey kind of story, but with an amorous twist. Yes folks, Twilight is practically “chick lit”.

The book definitely has its moments, but nothing in the way the story unraveled was palpable enough to make Twilight a compelling read in my opinion. When the story peaked, it peaked. Then it just ended, or at least, made to be continued onto the next book.

One of the biggest selling points of this book is Edward’s character. Honestly, I really didn’t get what the draw is. Aside from the vampire stuff, he seems… normal. Perhaps I’m just bitter that girls all over the world are swooning and fawning for him for reasons beyond my comprehension, but I really CAN’T see anything special about Edward. To know that he is the primary reason this book sells is utterly baffling.

It’s a good thing Twilight’s strength lies in its writing. It’s not a compelling read, and it’s not the best-written book out there, but it will make for good enough light reading material over a few days. Meyer, as a writer, paints a lovely picture of a good romance scenario. It is probably why this book is such a hit with tween and adolescent girls. Although some parts had me a bit confused, and I ended up re-reading many a paragraph over and over, I would consider her a good writer still.

But what I disagree on wholeheartedly is how some people (yes, I did some research prior to my book purchase) could say that Twilight is the next Harry Potter. Yes, I may be a little bit biased here since I’m a Potter fanatic (although I wouldn’t say Rowling is the best writer in the world either), but to say that Meyer is a better writer than Rowling is a bit of an indignation. Rowling’s imagination is far superior, and the way she elaborates this on paper is fantastic. Her gripping story arcs are not so bad either. Meanwhile, I just can’t say the same for Meyer. But her writing, as I’ve mentioned earlier, is good too, just not better. You can say that the two have different writing styles, and therefore can’t be compared as equals. Also, I can’t possibly fathom why Twilight would be the best book of the decade. Twilight is a good read, good enough to make me want to read the next book (and possibly the next two after that) and watch the movie out late this year, but I wouldn’t say it’s as monumental as Harry Potter. But since I’m not blind, I’m willing to admit that the following this book has achieved, while not as staggering as Potter’s, is undeniably kudos-worthy. So maybe a close second. ::grins::

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~ by iamnotfrodo on August 13, 2008.

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