A quick blurb before we get into this. I decided to read Twilight for a number of reasons. For one, I hate Twilight and everything about it, but it’s pretty ignorant to hate something you’ve never tried. I know for a fact I will still hate it after I read it, but at least this way, it will be an informed sort of hatred. For another, I’m trying to motivate my cousin to read A Storm of Swords faster and told her I would read Twilight until she finished. My hope is that she will want to save me from this fate. So far, no dice…
And finally, I wanted to write a chapter-by-chapter review of the series because, well, I just did. So I am. Enjoy.
Twilight review, Chapter 1: First Sight
Where, oh where, do I begin? First of all, let’s take a moment to discuss the half-page preface before the first chapter. I’m assuming it’s meant to be a sort of glimpse into the future, a window through which I, the reader, can view the darkness to come.
“I stared without breathing across the long room, into the dark eyes of the hunter, and he looked pleasantly back at me.”
Um…what? Not sure I’d describe the look of the hunter who is about to kill me as pleasant. How does a hunter look pleasantly at his prey? If he looks so pleasant, why are you so certain you’re about to die?
And then there’s this gem, the last sentence of the preface, the line that’s supposed to have me, the reader, on the edge of my seat, drooling to find out what happens next:
“The hunter smiled in a friendly way as he sauntered forward to kill me.”
I’m sorry, did you just say he sauntered? So this hunter, who is going to kill this person I assume to be Bella, not only looks pleasantly at her, he also gives her a friendly smile and saunters toward her. Who is this guy, Vincent Vega?
Okay, onto the actual chapter. It starts with Bella droning on about how much she hates her hometown of Forks, Washington. She hates everything about it. And then she says that she’s voluntarily “exiling” herself there for…some reason. She doesn’t actually say. No one really knows why she’s doing it. She isn’t being forced to. She just is. And all she can do is complain about it.
It’s evident early on that Bella is something of a Negative Nancy. If Negative Nancy were clinically depressed and on the downslope of a bipolar mood swing.
“My mom looks like me, except with short hair and laugh lines.”
Oh, bravo, Miss Meyer. How cleverly you made sure we understood that Bella doesn’t stand for any of that smiley/laughy business. She’s morose and deep.
I do have a quick question. This line:
“But I could see the sacrifice in her eyes behind the promise.”
Could you be so kind as to tell me wtf that even means? No, seriously. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING RIGHT THERE?
As it happens, in addition to seemingly hating EVERYTHING IN CREATION, Bella is also, how do I put this delicately? A massive bitch. When asked by her father if she remembered someone they used to go on fishing trips with, her internal response is:
“That would explain why I didn’t remember him. I do a good job of blocking painful, unnecessary things from my memory.”
Painful and unnecessary? Really? Did you get MOLESTED on these fishing trips?
She’s even worse once she gets to school. First, she’s strangely obsessed with not getting noticed. She’s worried that her truck, her jacket, even the color of her skin will attract unwanted attention. She sits in the back of the room so that no one will notice her, yet apparently none of that works because she claims that EVERYONE IN THE SCHOOL is gawking at her all day. Because apparently she’s just THAT interesting. Then, when people actually try to be nice and friendly with her, her internal monologue pulls an attitude. She thinks one kid is overly helpful because he offers to show her to her next class. And she doesn’t even bother remembering the name of the girl who attempts to befriend her.
“I couldn’t remember her name, so I smiled and nodded as she prattled about teachers and classes. I didn’t try to keep up.”
And it gets better. This girl takes her to her own lunch table and tries to include Bella in her group of friends.
“We sat at the end of a full table with several of her friends, who she introduced me to. I forgot all their names as soon as she spoke them.”
Seriously? I’ve been the new kid before. I WISH people had been this nice and inclusive to me. Bella, get over yourself.
Then she sees Edward for the first time and he’s perfect and amazing and gorgeous and literally the only person, place, or thing she doesn’t have a negative thing to say about. Then he’s inexplicably a total dick to her in Biology class and somehow, this upsets her to the point of tears despite the fact that she doesn’t know him at all.
Listen, I’m not gonna sugar coat this. Stephenie Meyer is a bad writer. She’s not just a bad writer, she’s a bad storyteller. Her writing itself is bad enough, but the way she writes is just very amateurish. It’s all, “I did this, then he did that, then I did this.” It reads like someone giving a police statement. Just the facts. Then she throws in some flowery descriptions here and there, half of which don’t even make any sense. “[she] walked away with a quick, graceful lope that belonged on a runway.” What? Since when do runway models lope?
I’m told that these books only get worse. This chapter was 28 pages and it took me about twenty hours to read. I think I’m in serious trouble and I think I have made a terrible mistake.