26 August 2008

Book Review: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn

Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
2 stars
Twilight, Book Level 4.9
New Moon, Book Level 4.7
Eclipse, Book Level 4.5
Breaking Dawn, Book Level unpublished (I assume it's right around 4.5-4.7)
I just read all four in the series, but instead of reviewing each one,

I’d rather lump them into one big novel. Granted, the first three were much (MUCH) better than the last, but they all had a general blah factor for me.

PROS. One thing I absolutely LOVE about the Twilight series is that it has so many self-professed “non-readers” actually delving into literature. For me, the greatest value in her work is seeing so many people read. The literary mediocrity is almost nullified for that reason alone.

1) Zero character development. They were all flat and thus, unable to relate with.
2) Details were either scattered or lacking, making it difficult to make predictions. I often found myself wondering if this was a clue, or if it was just poorly written.

Breaking Dawn. Hmm. Such a strange addition to the series, it requires its own little bit of commentary. This was rather far-fetched, even for a werewolf-vampire story, and by far-fetched, I mean not well-supported. Fantasy fiction typically has that “yeah right, like that could ever happen” feeling because that is the defining factor of the genre.

If I had not just had a baby, I don’t think I would have understood her decision to keep the growing unknown in her belly. Granted, that is a feeling that cannot be fully understood if you have never been in that situation, but Meyer made no reasonable rationale for Bella’s strong conviction. Jacob was the closest to explaining it when he remarked that it was “so Bella” to be a martyr. In addition, who wrote the middle of the book? The beginning and end went together (albeit, they were still boring). The middle was a completely different story (um, did the Jacob/Leah thing have a point? Because that could have been good) and I’m not really sure why it was included (although it was more entertaining).

Big Disappointment Number 1.
How anti-climactic! The Volturi is the all-powerful vampire ruling class. They have ruled for 3000+ years and have a guard of deathly proportions. And yet the final “battle” turns into an argument between Caius and Aro. And Bella saves the day with her amazing self-control (which, by the way, was not her strongpoint in her mortal life). And they lived happily ever after.

Big Disappointment Number 2.

Jasper. He could have been an AWESOME character! I just wanted something more. Anything. He has an intriguing past, real weakness, and an analytical mind. Please. Challenge me with a dynamic character. I can handle it.

Big Disappointment Number 3.
Edward’s mind-reading ability was a cop out (but didn’t have to be). “I am not going to let you figure it out, I’ll just tell you what everyone is thinking because I didn’t put enough clues for it to make sense and for you to figure it out on your own.” Again. Please. Challenge me. I’m begging for it.

Overall, the vampire love saga was a great idea written by the wrong author. Paradoxically, the books are lengthy, yet the details are limited. And unfortunately, imaginary worlds with immortal beings and shapeshifters need slightly more detail than, say, a story about regular kids (Mike Newton and Jessica Stanley) attending high school. Most people already know the nitty-gritty of high school. Worlds made up in someone’s head need to be fleshed out a little more for the general population to understand and relate.

All in all, these books didn’t live up to the hype (for me, at least). I say, forget Edward Cullen and his smoldering eyes. Here’s a real dream man who does live up to all the hype.


Blarney Girl said...

The first two books kept my attention and I was excited about learning more about the characters. I'm only about half way through Eclipse and it's taking me forever to finish. I feel a little bad because I've listened to everyones analysis of Breaking Dawn and read all the spoilers and truthfully, now that I know the ending, I don't really care if I finish Eclipse; nevermind Breaking Dawn!

I never really was an Edward Fan. I always leaned more to Jacob. I'll take hairy-hot-guy over cold-marble-guy anytime!! LOL

Chris, Heather, Gabe, and Marissa said...

I agree totally agree with you. I loved the first book and then the second was good. The third was okay, but not great. The last book was a waste of my time and thought, "Am I getting Punked right now?"

The Huffs said...

My sister called me a few days ago and wanted to argue with me over why these are the best books! I on the other hand, don't agree. I am right with you on at least they are getting people reading but I am not as pleased with them as the rest of the women in this world seem to be. It is nice to finally hear another review that is similar to my own. Poorly written, long books with not much happening, and "really - that did not just happen!" every 30 pages.

Momoko Photography said...

Josh always says that he wishes he could live like Asher (pre-toddler age), but the awareness of his situation. Word.

Momoko Photography said...

I think I meant that comment for your most recent post. Sorry.

Jason and Lissa said...

Yay! So I'm NOT the only one who didn't drool over this series! I thought admiting I didn't like the book would be as blasphemous as saying you didn't like Harry Potter (which I did like). But then, I only read Twilight. I felt like the book could have been about 100 pages shorter. I *love* fantasy, so I was surprised this didn't grab me since it grabbed everyone else. And I do like that it's getting the YW to read, and that they have a good LDS role model in Stephanie Meyer.

Jennifer said...

mmm phelps.

nbrawley said...

I, on the other hand, really enjoyed the series. I guess it just goes to show you that everyone has a different perspective and different interests when it comes to books and even movies. Interesting view on the books though. I enjoyed reading your opinioin although I don't necessarily feel the same way. Do you have any good book recommendations (fiction preferrably)?