Monday 6 October 2008


I think Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is probably one of the most famous books around at the moment. Almost on a par with Harry Potter - everyone I know seems to have read one or two in the series and usually all of them. My visitor from Memphis is with me now and what's she reading? The third book in the series, Eclipse. So of course I had to see what all the fuss was about and happily added it to my pool of books for Carl's RIP III challenge.

For reasons not stated at the beginning of the story Bella Swan has decided to leave her home in Phoenix, Arizona, where she lives with her mother, to go and live with her father in Forks, in Washington state. It's awkward at first, her father Charlie is pleased to have her there but Bella has always disliked Forks and is not at all sure she'll be able to settle. He's bought a truck for her from an Indian friend, so at least she has transport, and with that she starts at her new school.

Bella doesn't consider herslf to be a particularly 'cool' kid, or particularly pretty but is surprsied to find herself the object of attention of a couple of boys. She's never had many friends but finds that here in Forks she does actually have some, they may not be the cool kids, but that's fine. One day in the canteen she notices a group of teenagers sitting apart from the rest of the school. This is the Cullen family and it's explained to her that they are different and always keep themselves aloof from everyone else. Amongst the Cullens is Edward, absolutely the most gorgeous boy Bella has ever seen and it's not long before Bella realises that he has noticed her. After a shakey start they begin to communicate. Then Edward saves her from certain death under a runaway truck and Bella can't figure out how he got there fast enough to save her. Something is definitely peculiar about Edward. Bella sets out to find out what it is exactly and it's not long before she realises she has fallen in love with a vampire.

Most people, I have to say, seem to love this series. Those that don't seem not to like the fact that mostly it's just a teenage romance book with vampires. And this is true, it is. Three quarters of the book is about how Edward and Bella get together, their life at school, and not a lot else. I'm trying to work out why that didn't bother me and I can't. Yes, I liked the two main characters, I also liked the forrested setting of Forks, WA. Most of the book really isn't *about* very much to be honest but despite that I really did like it an awful lot. And when it suddenly took off, a hundred pages from the end, with the arrival of a rogue group of vampires, it was suddenly unputdownable! Superb. If I was going to be really nit-picky I would say that sometimes Edward's resemblance to a Mills and Boon (Harlequin in the US) hero did grate a tiny bit. He is ever so slightly *too* perfect. But I can live with that quite happily, although I probably won't be handing it over to my husband to read. He reads Kelley Armstrong but I'm thinking Stephenie Meyer might not be for him. I have the next book, New Moon and will read it probably next month when I can devote more time to it.

This is my fifth book for Carl's challenge so I'll list it as an extra book or something as I've already read my four books for Peril the First.


DesLily said...

It's always good when we enjoy the book we are reading, especially when it is surprisingly better than we anticipated..

I'm not a vampire person.. the closest I got to liking reading about a vampire was that silly book Gils All Fright Diner where a vampire and a werewolf were "reluctant heroes" if you can imagine that lol..

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you liked this one. I keep telling adults to read it and feel they will be surprised how much they enjoy it. I enjoyed the whole series.

Cath said...

Hi Pat. yes, I really wasn't sure if I would like this or not so it was nice to enjoy it so much.

I got your e.mail to my Yahoo address, safe and sound.

Hi Kay. Lovely to see you here - hope you're doing okay. I'm passing Twilight on to my daughter tomorrow as I feel certain she will like it as much as I do. And I'm certainly planning to read all of them.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I've never been big on the idea that the entirety of a book has to be *about* the sense that it doesn't all have to be action/suspense/etc. I like it when a skilled author can write about characters and allow them to grow, to fall in love, etc. and can do so in a leisurely way that still has you hanging on every word. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series as well.

Tara said...

I pick these up but always put them back. I've just never been attracted to the whole vampire thing. But, to be fair, I've never heard of someone not liking them so maybe someday...

Cath said...

Carl: I completely agree with what you say about a whole book needing to be full of action or suspense. That kind of thing actually wears me out, so I loved the way Stephenie Meyer took her time with the relationships in Twilight. I'm pretty sure I'll like the rest of the series.

Hi Tara. It's hard to say whether you would like this series or not. Judging by the books you blog about I would say, 'maybe not' but I believe in trying everything so I would never state categorically that you should not read them.