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The Anonymous Post: Twilight Book ReviewAnonymousxcxc This post series is experimental and hopefully goes well. Constructive criticism and feedback is welcome. (On a side note yes this was supposed to go onto my Lita2Review account but because that account was deleted for some reason I had to post this on here). So today I have decided to start up this post series by reviewing the entire Twilight series through a four post saga. Now this post will be very subjective as it expresses my opinions on Twilight however I will try my best to respect those who do like the book. Anyways this is Twilight.
First let's discuss some background knowledge. As you all know Twilight is a very successful book franchise that has millions upon millions of fans in addition to successful book sales, each year selling over 100 million copies. On top of that the movie franchise of this series is also a successful one each one grossing several million dollars at the box office (Twilight [2008 film] earned at least $380 million, New Moon earned over $296 million, Eclipse earned over $300 million, and Breaking Dawn Parts One and Two earning over $281 million and over $292 million respectively). Plus Twilight was able to give the town of Forks, Washington lots of tourism and money for funding as a result kind of making the small town an underground tourist attraction. Now this makes me sound like I like Twilight right? Well I'm here to tell you that that thinking is wrong, wrong, and more wrong.
In addition to the success that the book series as a whole has gotten there are also a lot of negatives with the reception of the book series. For instance many people consider the main character Bella a Mary Sue and a setback on feminism (while others also consider her a symbol of feminism) which I agree with the naysayers and... yeah I'm going to get back to Bella later. Also the romance between Bella and Edward, which is arguably the most memorable part about Twilight, can be seen as an abusive relationship given that Edward is seen constantly telling Bella what she can and can't do. Overall the series as a whole is a very controversial one and many who have heard of it or read it are either very split between liking or hating it or they are indifferent about it but given my experience with this book series' reception it is more of the first that I have seen.
Then there's the fans and non-fans of the series to talk about. Many people that I have encountered on the Internet have a deeply passionate hate for Twilight (given the popularity of the anti-Twilight memes in recent years) but there are also many people on the Internet that I have encountered that like this series. I guess with any fandom or non-fandom there are two different factions that it can be divided to and they are the extreme and casual ones and the same applies to the Twilight series. I have encountered Twilight fans that like the series but not so much that it basically takes over their entire life and in my experience I have found these fans to act more mature and accepting towards others opinions. Then there's those fans that are so passionate about loving a certain book or book series that basically drives everyone else criminally insane. Yeah you know the ones who can't take opposing opinions and type in all caps all the freaking time. In other words I'm talking about the fangirl now they can be nice but typically the extreme ones are ones that I have found to be very annoying and kind of whiny. Now the series has also garnered an unusually high anti-fandom as well and the same principles that apply to the fans also apply to the anti-Twilight fans as well. A perfect example of how fans and non-fans clash is that of the Harry Potter vs. Twilight fandom war, many of the Harry Potter fans are often very brutal to the Twilight fans and have probably never even read the book series and still bash the series. This actually makes me feel bad for the fans of Twilight because they're only supporting something that they love, even if I may not return the same feelings I will still try to respect them. However I still have seen those really crazy Twilight fans out there as well and it still baffles me on how this book series has even garnered a huge following. Plus in this fandom war perhaps an even more fandom shamed group is the group of people that like both Harry Potter and Twilight and honestly I find it wonderful that people can like both book series whereas I am not able to share that opinion.
Okay onto the actual book. For those of you who are completely lost on what I am talking about Twilight is about a teenage girl named Bella Swan who decides to move from the big city of Phoenix, Arizona to the small town of Forks, Washington. In this town she decides to move in with her father Charlie with whom she has an estranged relationship with and this book vaguely goes into how Bella interacts with Charlie. So on the first day at her new school Bella finds herself making a fair amount of new friends and she ends up seeing a group of kids at school that look much different from everyone else. She ends up getting an obsession on finding out who these kids are and ends up being particularly interested in one of the boys who she later learns is named Edward. Basically half the book is just her coming up with conspiracies on who Edward is and I guess tries to develop their "relationship" and also this conspiracy tendency increases after Edward saves Bella from being run over by a car in an ex machina type of way (which also introduces a dude that falls in love with her). This pattern of Edward saving Bella continues various times throughout the story. Then during a trip that Bella has with her friends (that she doesn't really spend time with) she becomes convinced that Edward is a vampire when some old childhood friend tells her of legends of vampires that were supposedly Edward and his family that the kid's dad believes in. Eventually this conspiracy is proven to be true and the rest of the book is basically about Bella dealing with falling in love with Edward and wanting to impress his family or something. And yeah without giving too much away that's basically the plot summary of Twilight.
So let's move onto action. There's barely any action in here is all what I'm going to say. The book is almost 500 pages long and the most action-packed part of the book was in like the last three chapters of the book. So basically in the late 300s for pages is when some real action is really put into the story and even then it's just like eh. I mean there were a couple of action scenes prior to this longer and more fluid piece of action but they were short and more of the book felt like filler than legitimate action. Look I get that romance books probably aren't going to have that much action and if you've looked at my profile or have gotten to know me then you would know that romance really isn't my thing so this part of the book doesn't bother me as much as some other parts of the book do. However at the same time it kind of bothers me a lot because I personally felt bored with the world that Miss Meyer had created. The lack of action problem wouldn't bother me as much if the atmosphere that Bella was put in was well... more interesting.
I get that Ms. Meyer wanted to make the story more relatable by putting it in the real world but in a way this attempt kinda hurt the story more than helped it. Now there are stories out there that are fantasy and take place in our world that are very good but in Twilight it doesn't really work because Miss Meyer doesn't really allow herself to be very creative with the atmosphere and the characters. In Twilight the atmosphere is much like the real world but maybe a little bit too much like the real world because it's literally in a regular ass town with regular ass people however there's also vampires and thunder baseball. Meanwhile in something like The Mortal Instruments series the atmosphere of taking place in primarily New York City does work because with the Shadowhunters and mythological creatures they have the book does better on creating their own mythologies and cultures and they do have their own realms where these mythologies and cultures are further expanded. Yet in something like The Mortal Instruments they were also able to incorporate regular human stuff in addition to all of the stuff on Shadowhunters and vampires and werewolves and et cetera.
Now let's talk about how I actually feel about the plot. Yeah I pretty much found myself cringing in boredom. It's literally the cliché new girl meets hot guy and falls in love with hot guy story and it ends in a cliché way. 99.9% of it is a living breathing cliché and I actually kind of find it scary that critics call Twilight a "dark romance" when it is probably the least dark story with supernatural creatures that I have ever read. No literally I'm pretty sure frickin' Hotel Transylvania had some darker moments than this did and that's a goddamn kid's movie. Anyways I found the plot lacking and boring, but despite the plot being pretty boring I found it to not be terribly written. Now by all means it's not a good plot but the writing isn't terrible, it's okay writing. The only problems with the plot are the lack of action, long filler scenes, and some risky factors that didn't work out so well (*cough* vampires sparkling *cough*). Other than that I didn't find that the worst part of the book.
Okay here's the moment that most of you have probably been waiting for. It's time to review the characters of Twilight. Now this is probably the part of the book that I have the most problems with. Most of the characters are just...ugh! I hate so many of the characters in this goddamn book and oh my gosh I just want most of these characters to fall off of a cliff (oh wait...). As you can see I really dislike most of these characters. Again this book isn't too terribly written but what really weighs it down are the characters. They're all either too stupid, too boring, too annoying, or almost all of the above and the good characters (yes there's good characters that I found in this book) are almost never seen. Now before I start analyzing characters I am going to mention my note on there being good characters in Twilight; yes I found two characters that I liked in this entire book. Just two and no more so I'll be listing them among my least awful to worst character bullet list.
Anyways here it is, my bulleted analysis from least awful to worst Twilight character list:
- Mike- He was the character that I liked the most out of this book. He was very nice and friendly towards Bella, even when she was being a total biatch to him, and his other friends. Although I dislike the fact that he has a temporary crush on Bella I still found him to be the least awful character in this book. I found him to be very interesting and with enough development he could actually be a very awesome character. Plus out of all of the other characters Mike has the most likeable personality because he's nice but he's not weak, he's a smart person but not over the top smart, plus Mike is also athletic (in the book Bella mentions that during their gym badminton unit that Mike was able to do a one man show with it because she sucked at the sport and Mike was actually able to win their games) and is again nice to Bella even when she is a total brat. Goddammit I just want a book about Mike and/or Rosalie (the other character I liked in this book).
- Rosalie- The second least awful character in the book. Like I really truly like her and with more time I believe that she could be an awesome character. Plus I also like her because she's the only Cullen that hates Bella and she has a legitimate reason why. She sees Bella as an intruder in her family's life and I can see why, how would you like it if your family has had a huge secret for decades and your brother just decides to blurt it out to some random girl he's in love with and has only known for like a month or so? I'd probably be super pissed if I was her. Plus her reaction to Bella is probably the most realistic out of all of the Cullen's. Most of them just accept her right away with Carlisle Cullen calling Bella his family on the first day they met. Like what the heck?! Most families of a love interest don't do that that quickly. On the downside she really isn't given that much development so we don't know that much about her but I like her because she seems nice and logical in her thinking.
- Charlie- Why is he so low? I don't know. I didn't find him an entirely awful character but he's not necessarily a good character either. He's only so low because he legitimately seems to care about his ungrateful brat of a daughter. If given some further revisions he could be a great father figure.
- Billy and Jacob Black- I put them together because I don't have time to analyze all of the characters individually. Basically I like Jacob better than Billy but only a little bit more. Jacob's basically a kid who tries to bring sense into his family but Billy's just a crazy old man in my personal opinion. Also he tries to get into Bella's personal life a bit? Like what? But hey a least it's real concern rather than the creepy possessiveness that Edward has.
- Reneé and Phil- They're minor characters so they're this low. Reneé doesn't sound like a bad mom but she raised Bella so hey I'm calling her a bad mom. Phil's only mentioned so I'm not even bothering on going into him. Basically she's Bella's cheerleader.
- Carlisle, Esmé, Jasper, and Emmett Cullen- Why bother going into them? We only get to meet them like in the tenth to last chapter of the book. They're basically Bella and Edward's background cheerleaders. Also the way that they just accept Bella is a little too unrealistic.
- Angela, Ben, and one or two other people- They're probably the most forgettable characters in Twilight so they're super low on this list. We really don't know that much about them.
- Jessica- In the movies she's played by Anna Kendrick (who is totally awesome!) but this character however is not awesome. She's kinda like Bella's cheerleader but she has slightly more character than most of Bella's cheerleaders. She's nice to Bella so I guess that's a decent reason for her to end up with Mike (who really deserves a better book). Anyways she's higher up on this list because I found her to be kind of annoying and a little too peppy.
- Alice- She's Bella's cheerleader alright. I mean she has more development than Bella's other cheerleaders but oh my gosh I just dislike her. Sure she has a cool origin story but she's such a boring character. Maybe if a little more time were spent on her then she could be a good character but nope she wasn't my type.
- Tyler- I thought that I was going to like him I really did. He's the dude that almost ran over Bella with his car, guarantee to like right? Wrong. Right after that it turns out that he starts to really like Bella and wants to date her (leading to an awkward love square with Bella, Edward, Mike, and Tyler although the only person that Bella truly loves is Edward in the story). So yeah he kinda becomes an awkward competitor of Edward's for Bella.
- Lauren- The basic bully of the story. Do we really need the basic bully stereotype? Oh wait in a story like this, yes we do. The basic bully is the partial conflict in the filler so I guess it's alright. But yeah she just makes faces at Bella (which I probably would do) and hates her just because Tyler liked her. Wow that's shallow.
- Edward- Ugh where do I start with this creep. I could go on forever about him but I don't want to so I'm just gonna try and boil it down a bit. Basically he's possessive, a stalker, a creep, and kind of abusive. He's possessive because he always wants to be with Bella and never leaves her, he's a stalker because he's always following her around and checking her out, a creep because he likes to do things such as watch her in her sleep, and kind of abusive because he always tells Bella what she can and can't do and (most of the time) she listens with no questions. In short I hate this guy. Also what he proclaims as love isn't love at all. That's just being frickin' possessive and abusive. Then again Bella is a total biatch so maybe they're just right for each other after all.
- Bella- Finally we get to whom I consider to be the worst character in all of this book. She's a brat, boring, doesn't do anything, and is a total Mary Sue. Where Edward would be considered a Gary Stu, she would be a Mary Sue. No literally her only flaw is being clumsy and boring but other than that she's a total Mary Sue. Despite her boring personality she managed to get three guys after her and she's apparently special because for some reason she's the only person with a mind shield. Plus her dad's the chief of police so that's a kind of Mary Sue-ish trait. Plus she's a damsel in distress because Edward (or someone else) always saves her from danger and she almost always listens to Edward (which kind of does make her a setback on feminism). Also she's apparently super smart but somehow gets stuck in not ideal situations. But the two most annoying things about her are that she's a brat and that when she narrates or talks she doesn't sound like a real teen (or Edward for that matter but he's over 100 years old so he gets an excuse). Let's get to the latter one; look the reason why I'm so bothered by Bella not sounding like a real teen is because she uses complicated words like jubilant and ocher and so on all the time except for when she's describing Edward (then she uses the words perfect and godlike repetitively). Look I'm fine for complex words but not all the time. Especially for a teenager. Sure using them makes you sound older and smarter but most middle aged adults I know never use the complex words that Bella uses. Plus using the complex words no longer makes Bella sound like a real teenager but rather a Language Arts teacher pretending to be a teenager. This also decreases the amount of relatability we get from her. Also Bella being a brat probably bothers me the most because she gets to do all sorts of things and she gets whatever she wants and she doesn't even say thank you. Also on like the fifth page her mom even says that she doesn't have to go to Forks but she went anyways and complained about the town for like half of the book. Not only that but when Charlie gets her the truck she literally complains about it the entire time until she actually drives it. Not even a thank you? Just wow. Anyways that's enough on Bella, you can figure out that I dislike her by a lot.