Reading Wrap-Up #14: Twilight edition

You read that right: I’m reviewing the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I figured it was a young adult rite of passage and I wanted a few books to bust out quickly while I’m on contract. As this is a series, it will be hard to talk about the later books without spoilers, so this is full spoiler warning. The medium used to read the series was e-book (borrowed from library via Overdrive or purchased from Amazon Kindle store). I didn’t love this series, but I’m sure I would have if I was younger.

As for the movie adaptations, I’ve only seen the first one and watched YouTuber Dylan Is In Trouble binge-watch the rest of the series with commentary. I needed a quick and entertaining way to speed-watch the movies and this did not disappoint, they’re hilarious! I believe I got the general idea of the movies and how major plot points turned out. Upon further review, I decided that the first movie isn’t bad, but it’s not great. The acting is a bit funny, but I won’t hold it against them. As far as I could tell, the movies followed the books quite well… but I can never forgive them for that CGI baby.

Twilight

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Rating: ★★★

GoodReads rating: 3.59 / 5 (4,495,000 ratings)

Summary: When mysterious and most handsome Edward Cullen takes interest in new student Bella, she quickly learns that there’s more to him than meets the eye that will take her on a superhuman journey of love, family ties and bloody (pun intended) feuds.

Thoughts: Comparing it to another somewhat similar young adult series I attempted (Divergent), I had no outstanding problems with the writing, plot or characters. This was probably my favorite book of the series, the pacing was good and there was a good mix of story-telling, action and romance. Of course it’s a bit goofy, but I’m not the target audience so I won’t bash it too much… yet.

New Moon

41lszRw+RWL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_Rating: ★★★

GoodReads rating: 3.53 / 5 (1,317,000 ratings)

Summary: When Edward leaves Bella, she seeks comfort in her friend Jacob, who has a supernatural secret of his own. When Bella starts seeing glimpses of Edward, she finds she’ll do anything to get him back, including facing menacing vampire royalty halfway around the world.

Thoughts: I thought this wavered a bit from the first book. None of the characters captivated me and Bella’s character arch was just cringe-worthy. Bella was completely manipulating Jacob and I feel sorry for him. Like the second Mr. Mercedes book, I didn’t think this one was absolutely vital to the series. The main purpose of this book was to build the relationship between Bella and Jacob, but I feel with all the faffing around that happened in the third book, this one could have been cut entirely.

Eclipse

415z605z95L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Rating: ★★★

GoodReads rating: 3.69 / 5 (1,289,000 ratings)

Summary: A vengeful group of young, dangerous vampires are after Bella and sworn enemies in life and love, Edward and his “good” vampire clan and Jacob and his pack of werewolves, must protect her.

Thoughts: I thought this was better than New Moon, but still not as good as the first book. All I can remember in this book is the end where Edward totally obliterates Victoria, the rest didn’t seem to matter and was too diluted with random bullshit. I feel like it was too long and Bella becomes more hatable mucking both Edward and Jacob around. On the other hand, I still find the storyline entertaining and I lived for the gruesome action in this book.

Breaking Dawn

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Rating: ★★

GoodReads rating: 3.69 / 5 (1,200,000 ratings)

Summary: When Edward turns Bella into a vampire to save her life in childbirth of their half-vampire baby, she is recruited to help the Cullen coven in a final battle for their lives.

Thoughts: Oh, baby… this book was a dumpster fire. Where do I begin with this? Like books two and three, it was slow (would have put it down if it wasn’t the last book in the damn series) but I was holding out for the final battle… that never happened. The “bad guys” came with their massive army and the vampire covens just sort of… talked things through. The battle would have been absolutely epic and this is the biggest blue balls in literary history. I am a bit torn Jacob’s resolve; while I’m glad he can still be in Bella’s life, the whole “imprinting” thing seems like grooming. It makes my skin crawl (one of the many reasons I’m Team Edward). Also, I can’t believe I waited four books for them to do it and 1) there no dirty details (no wonder fanficiton based loosely off Twilight has made millions in the box office) and 2) Bella gets pregnant right away. Major turn off.

I didn’t find this series completely unbearable, but it definitely could have been better. The antagonist plot devices were a bit of a cluster (I wish it would have been the Volturi throughout the whole book), the ending is simply unforgivable and the mystical element didn’t captivate me. For example, in Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, they made me want to be a part of their world and I felt like the knowledge of Greek gods and magic was seamlessly worked into the life of an otherwise normal protagonist, where in Twilight, they literally sit you down and tell you about the legends and hold your hand through the supernatural.

Have you read the Twilight series? What did you think? Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.

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