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Books in 2008, #37

#37. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

(Spoilers. Like it matters.)

True love lust.

Isabella Swan, a seventeen-year-old girl originating from Phoenix, AZ, has just moved to Forks, Washington, home of rainy days and pale people. Here she goes to high school, gets hit on by two separate fellows, lays eyes on Edward Cullen, the prettiest boy this side of the forest, and decides forthwith that she is in love, that he is the One, and that nothing--not even abusive tendencies--can stop them from being together. At first, Edward seems repulsed at the sight of plain, plain Bella...but that's only cause he thirsts for her blood. See, he's a vampire. But not of the Buffy mold or Anne Rice mold or Dracula mold or any mold, really. Meyer "re-invented" vampires to serve her plot, and Edward is a glittery monster that can't control his animalistic behaviors, can read minds (but not Bella's, ooooooh mysteriously convenient!), and enjoys watching teenage girls sleep at night. The two lovebirds bicker and bark at one another for about three-fourths of Twilight, following each growl of "I desire to kill you" and "You're a real jerk" with coos of "You're the one I've been waiting for" and "I don't care that you're a vampire, I love you dearly".

Towards the end of the book, Edward takes Bella home to meet the family, and it is here where Things Get Somewhat Better. Could it be because we're finally not reading about Bella thinking about Edward or reading about Bella arguing about Edward or reading about Bella and Edward declaring their love and fears with each other? Hmm, science says yes! Watching the Cullens interacting with each other and a human reveals them as more than just names on a page, and Carlisle's backstory is a decent touch at explaining some of the how and what that no teenage reader is asking at this point. MOAR EDWARD PLEZE!

Then it's America's favorite pastime...time. Ready?

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the cold-ones.
Buy me some animal blood and Garden burgers,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for Team Edward,
If they don't win it's a shame.
(But they'll win cause they are vampires and they have super powers like throwing really fast, hitting really strong, and running at blinding speeds so no one will ever get a run and everyone will get out and eventually one of them will smell a squirrel menstruating and get distracted and then a run will be scored and they will growl and be like "we want a pitcher, not a special brand of heroin itcher" and then Team Jasper gives everyone a teethful and climbs the nearest line of trees.)
For it's one, two, three bites, you're out,
At the old ball game."

I did that just for all of you. Go ahead. Thank me.

Okay, so they play baseball, and some other vampires show up--these are bad ones, meatarians--and one of them catches a whiff of Bella's scent and gets hunger pains for a mopey sandwich. Thus, the hunt begins, and the first bit of action shows up with less than fifty pages to go in Twilight. A cat-and-mouse thing happens, Bella is tricked by Mr. Tricksy, and important things happen offscreen...because, y'know, no one wants to read about that. MOAR EDWARD PLEZE! INVISIBLE STARING! LOVE, UR DOIN IT WRONG!

And then the book ends with Bella being a grouch. Which I appreciated. She wants nothing else but to be a vampire, to be with Edward forever, to be fooooooooooorever young...ahem, sorry. Um, yeah. So we get some more arguing and then a trip to prom, like it matters, and we're done. The book is pretty tough to get through, and I am going to say that my hairy face and polar opposite view on love kept me snarking the whole way through. There was potential towards the end, but Meyer failed to explore it properly, to make it anything but flashy and unimportant. The writing is simplistic, and how could it be anything other that? The focus is always on Bella's heart twitches for Boy Wonder, and that leaves very little room for descriptions of other things: the landscape, the weather, the smell of Forks High, any tidbits of her past life in Arizona. It doesn't matter. The book's direction is clear. Life is too short so love the one you got cause you might get run over or you might get shot, misogyny tossed to the wayside.

Maybe the later books get better, maybe they are more than a lustfest with Plot Danger tacked on at the end, but Twilight is a very rough, disjointed, and uphill start to a series all about heart in solidarity.

Tags: 2008 books, books, reviews, snarky circus act, twilight

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