When I first heard of Twilight was back in what... 2005ish? When my friend Laura came to me on aim, raving about this book she was reading. Apparently, one of the characters was (in her opinion) the most attractive fictional character ever. My reaction to this was "Hey cool. I should read that too sometime."
I later found out that said fictional character was a vampire. In fact the whole book was about vampires. In case you didn't know, I hate hate hate hate hate vampires. I think they're stupid and cliché and stories about them/with them are usually badly written with forced plots and underdeveloped characters. Carbon copies of every other shitty vampire story that came before. I never did see what was so goddamn attractive about them. Laura, however assured me that these vampires were different. They were good vampires. I was okay with that. Anything but fruity Anne Rice wannabes, right?
So I didn't get around to getting the book. I'm just not that big of a reader. I like reading, but I don't have the time to sit down with a book most of the time, you know? Then the twins and Emily read the books coming up with similar raving reviews. I really needed to read this book. However, being the classically lazy person that I am, I kept putting it off.
So then, a few months ago Cris comes up to me. Guess which book she's just read and is completely crazy about? Yup. Not only that but she's also read the two sequels and they're just as good. Now, my girlfriend and I have nearly identical tastes in books, movies, music, etc. If she likes something, then I probably will too and vice versa. I can only think of one thing that I love that she can't stand. Anyways. I had just started my job at Waldenbooks and thought I might as well take advantage of the check out policy and it was high time that I read this book anyways.
When I sat down that night with Twilight in my hands I was so ready, so ready to be completely obsessed with it. I was so ready to join my friends in the squealy fangirling over this book. So ready to fall in love with the characters and the writing and the story and everything. I was so ready to make this book my next obsession. So ready.
So I opened it and started reading, just waiting for the thunder to strike...
... and I kept waiting
... and reading
... and waiting
... and reading
... any time now thunder. Go ahead and strike.
But it never did. I was... underwhelmed by the mediocrity.
Now, just to make things clear. I'm not trying to be one of those contradictories that says they hate something just because everyone else seems to like it. Hell, I'm the last person to do that. I'm all to happy to jump on bandwagons and go SQUEE with everyone else. I hate people who are contradictory. It's annoying and petty and I have/have had too many friends like that to do it myself.
But here, I just couldn't help it. I tried to love this book. I wanted to. I wanted to love it. I really did, but I just couldn't.
The characters, especially the main character, are so unemotional it's painful. These characters are supposed to be madly in love with each other and yet they have no chemistry. How can they if they have no emotions? The whole book is painfully reminiscent of Eragon. Nowhere near as badly written, but as far as not being able to feel anything. The author describes things in great detail, yes but she doesn't allow to really feel anything.
Throughout the entire book I felt... stoic. I didn't care about Bella. I didn't care about Edward. Oh Edward. That character that everyone is so in love with. I don't see it. Oh yes, the author mentions how breathtakingly beautiful he is. She says it all too much. But she never describes how he is beautiful. I can't see him, so how I can I think he's attractive? (And if anyone even dares to suggest the reason for this is because of my sexual orientation I will stab you in the fucking face. I can find (fictional) men attractive. I'm just not attracted to them. I can admire them and fangirl over them but I would never want to share my life with them, understood?)
The book is dripping with overkill. There are characters that are supposed to be beautiful beyond belief in this book. She does a good job of drilling that into the readers' heads but never lets you really see them so every time it's mentioned how gorgeous a character is, I just felt annoyed that it's being mentioned for the millionth time. Like, yeah we get it. Shut up.
There is no emotion. There is no chemistry. There is no feeling. There is plenty of overkill. Underwhelmed by mediocrity.
I was about 80% through the book and so fed up with it that I was about to shelve it and say to hell with it. Luckily, the author was smart enough to put in a conflict at the end. Only then did it start getting good. Not because of the character development or lack thereof but because there was a sense of danger and urgency. I must say, I enjoyed the last part of the book vey much.
Now, one thing I will give the book credit for is it's portrayal of Vampires. As I said earlier, I hate vampires and most stories with Vampires in them. The only Vampire I really really like is Alucard from Hellsing. Why? Because he's not a faggy Lestat imitation. Far from it. He's a monster and he'll rip you to little itty bitty shreds without a second thought if you piss him off. Now, the Vampires in Twilight weren't quite of the Alucard variety, but they weren't of the other variety either. They are monsters. They are predators. But at the same time, they are capable of emotion (or they would be if the author knew how to write it worth a damn...). They are (supposedly) irresistibly attractive to their prey and posses super human strength and abilities. However, they are flawed creatures. Their predatory nature is difficult to overcome. Edward finds it difficult to be close to Bella without the fear of losing control for a few moments and killing her. I liked the way Vampires were portrayed very much. In fact, my favourite character in the whole book was one of the Vampires who only appeared briefly but for some reason was very well written.
Now, I picked up the second book in the series just before I quit my job. Why if I hated the first so much? Well, it's kind of how I felt about the show Heroes. I didn't particularly like it, but I do kind of want to know what happens, so I'll give you my shining review of that when I'm done reading it.
All in all, I didn't really hate the book. I guess I was just... disappointed in it. I was expecting a masterpiece to be obsessed with and I got... well not that :/
So uhh. Yeah. Sorry to dissappoint. I've probably pissed off half my FList. But hey, I never claimed to be an expert on writing or have good taste in anything I just know what I like and don't like so... yeah.