Thursday, May 7, 2009

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Greetings and salutations to you Constant Reader,

My students have encouraged me to review a book that I've read a little while ago and so here I go...

(The following sentence is a reminder for me ... Stephanie Meyer is a real person with real feelings and I need to remember that.)

The book was weak in two different ways: (1) usage and (2) pacing.

One example of poor usage is the ubiquity of adverbs. I find adverbs distracting, especially with respect to dialogue attributions (he saids and she saids). The context of the story should tell the reader how someone said something, not the adverbs. Adverbs pull me out of the story; they remind me that I am reading, instead of being lost in the story. When I remember good books, I remember pictures and scenes acted out by the actors in my mind but when I remember Twilight, I remember adverbs. I think that adverbs are a result of fearful writing; the writer is fearful that the reader won't get it so they put in adverbs.

The pacing of the book was weak. The first half of the book was essentially Bella thinking "Wow, he is so good looking. I wonder if he likes me? But he can't like me. But I like him. I wonder if likes me? Wow, he is so good looking." After a couple of pages, I felt that I got that part of the story but the I-wonder-if-he-likes-me part of the book just kept going for hundreds of pages.

Also, the story should build to a climax that is resolved in a satisfying way towards the end, but this is not what Ms. Meyer has done. In her story, which doesn't start until half way into the book, an evil hunter vampire starts to chase after Bella until it climaxes in the dance hall. But what happens then!? She passes out and wakes up in the hospital. The rest of the story is told in retrospect!? She should have kept the reader in the story. When she wakes up in the hospital, all the tension of the dance hall moment was gone; all the work that Stephanie did to create tension...poof, gone.

The book is popular. I find this fact absolutely fascinating. Why? Why do people embrace this book so much? I've given this quite a bit of thought but have not come to any satisfying conclusion. If you have any ideas about why this book is so popular, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Overall, I do not recommend this book. I thought it was poorly written.

So, until next time...

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