AUTHOR: Stephanie Meyer
SERIES? Book 1/4
GENRE/ AGE RANGE: Fantasy/Paranormal, YA
TW: Death, injury, loss of a loved one, stalking, unhealthy relationship (not challenged)
PUBLICATION DATE: October 5th, 2005
Character Guide ⇩
►Bella Swan → Main character, human
►Charlie Swan → Bella’s father, Chief of Police
►Edward Cullen → Vampire, can read minds
►Alice Cullen → Vampire, can “see” the future
►Jasper Hale → Vampire
►Rosalie Hale → Vampire
►Emmett Cullen → Vampire
►Jacob Black → Bella’s friend, lives on the Reservation
►Jessica Stanley → Bella’s friend (Anna Kendrick)
►Angela Weber → Bella’s friend
►Mike Newton → Bella’s friend (kind of, mostly he just makes her uncomfortable because he has a crush on her)
►Billy Black → Jacob’s father
“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”
This is the first entry into my reviews of the Twilight series, I wanted to re-read these books critically and see if they still held up to how much I loved them as 12 year old. And, I think it’s safe to say, that the first book, at least, did not. BUT, that I thought it would be a lot worse than it was. That being said, while I was well prepared for the awfulness that is Edward (or Edweird as I’ve dubbed him) I was not prepared for the absolutely dull and shabby character that is Bella.
Bella was always what I loved most about the Twilight series, especially in the first book because I thought she was a badass and completely relatable. Now I realise that what she really needs is parents who pay attention and at least one stable friendship. Honestly, more than anything, the realisation that Bella is basically a nothing character who likes books and has a crush on a boy was awful for me. I always loved Bella as a teen, and it honestly worries me that I looked up to her as much as I did. What was I thinking?
“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…,” he murmured.
“What a stupid lamb,” I sighed.
“What a sick, masochistic lion.”
I would say that Twilight is an easy read, too easy really. But, I wouldn’t call it enjoyable.
I think over the years my tolerance for Bella has dwindled, and I’ve obviously gone from idolising her to thinking she needs to get some serious psychiatric help. I know Rebecca who I’m buddy reading the series with, really didn’t like Bella as a character and often got impatient with her.
I agree that Bella often annoyed me too and I think some of that can be chalked up to her being a teenager (sorry teen me but you were annoying af). BUT, eventually, we have to just admit that the poor girl must have a death wish. Honestly, I think she probably never got enough attention from her mother (and now Charlie, but she’s okay with it because it’s what she’s used to) and now that someone (Edweird) is actually paying attention to her she’s totally fixated on them. I think I compared her attraction to Edward as something akin to Stockholm Syndrome. Obviously, that comparison has its problems, but I also think that it works to a degree. Bella often does feel trapped by Edward and he is really really controlling. I’m not an Edward stan, that’s for sure.
So, I don’t think Bella is the whole problem. I’m not sure what to think of Bella – I think her characterisation is mainly a product of the poor writing and obvious lack of development. If she had more of a personality and actually physically and mentally had the stamina and capacity to fight back instead of relying on Edward & the other Cullens I think she would be a different character altogether. Without those key attributes, she’s more of a shell than a person – she’s definitely the type of person most people would ignore in school so it’s interesting to me that she’s so popular in the book. She has no personality and rarely hangs out with her friends – though interestingly she does have fun when she’s with her friends and conversely is usually scared, angry or crying whenever she’s with Edward.
I’m not going to go super into what I think of Edward in this review because I can assure you, I will have a lot to say about him in my review of New Moon (coming later this month!). But, I will say that I think he is very one dimensional, and like Bella only seems to really have one or two moods that just switch one and off intermittently – his being anger and smugness. I also definitely think that he is mentally manipulative towards Bella so, I’m sure you can see why I’m not a big fan of him. I really don’t see why he likes Bella at all, but maybe that’s just me reading too much into a book that was never designed to be read into?
“What if I’m not a superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?”
Overall, Twilight has definitely not lived up to the hype my 12-year-old self associated it with and I was less than impressed with the writing and characters overall. However, I am very interested to see what I think of New Moon, as I know I only ever read it once. Whereas, I re-read all of the other books multiple times. And, I know that I found the movie absolutely depressing. 🤷♀️🤷♀️🤷♀️ All I can say is that this series has me intrigued and I’m definitely interested to see what I think of the next three books!