Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Stephenie Meyer's first novel - Twilight - is a lovely fantasy where readers discover a pair of lovers who are supremely star-crossed. Isabella Swan - Bella - adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love.
But problem with this story is that Edward is a vampire. He craves the scent of Bella's blood and at any moment, the intensity of their passion could drive him to kill her. He is constantly worrying about the danger he puts Bella in just by being near her. But, Bella would rather be dead than part from Edward, so she risks her life to stay near him.
This novel burns with the erotic tension of Bella and Edward's dangerous and necessarily chaste relationship. Ms. Meyer has achieved quite a feat by making this scenario completely human and believable. The precision and delicacy of Ms. Meyer's writing makes this a wonderful novel beyond the limitations of the horror genre.
The character of Bella is so beautifully written, she could be the girl next door. Ms. Meyer purposely does not give a detailed description of Bella, choosing instead to let the reader envision their own ideas. Edward is wise beyond his years and it's his carefully monitoring of their relationship that endears the reader to fall in love with him at the same time Bella does.
I had no preconceived notions about this book, and started to read it after seeing a fabulous review in Entertainment Weekly. Before the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. By the time I finished Twilight, I was begging for a sequel. Thankfully, for my sake, New Moon and Eclipse had already been released, so I rushed to the book store to buy these next two books in the series.
I haven't had a marathon reading session like this since I picked up the first four Harry Potter books. Ms. Meyer handled the developing relationship between Edward and Bella with the mark of a seasoned professional, not a first-time novelist. There are no graphic sex scenes (this is a YA book after all) and there is no foul language; both of these are rare qualities in modern literature.
This was such a remarkable and refreshing story. I am anxiously awaiting the August 2nd release of Breaking Dawn, the next book in the series. And just because this is a YA book, don't get the idea it isn't for adults. I am 45 years old and I am currently re-reading all 3 books (for the 3rd time each) in anticipation of the next book!
Postscript: This book is a review for the Stephenie Meyer Mini Challenge.