Friday, August 27, 2010

'Guilty Pleasure Reads'- 'Twilight'


Publisher: Atom Books

ISBN: 978-1-904233-65-7

Length:434 Pages

Opening Line:

'I'd never given much thought to how I would die - though I'd had reason enough in the last few months- but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.'

Review:

I generally have sensible taste in literature. However, from time to time, I read books which I classify as my 'Guilty Pleasure Reads'.

'Guilty Pleasure Reads', are the sorts of books which you know aren't greatly written or very age inappropriate, but can't help but enjoying. Up until recently, I have counted the 'Harry Potter' series as my guilty pleasure (they particularly cheer me up if I'm ill), however, my new guilty read, is 'Twilight.'

Since this phenomenon came out a year or two ago, I had deliberately stayed away from joining the bandwagon of perfectly sensible, twenty some women (and older), turning into silly teenagers, going on about whether they were on 'Team Edward' or 'Team Jacob'. However, out of curiosity, I watched the first film, adapted from the series of books and hated it. The story was slow, boring and in my opinion, the two central characters had the chemistry of two planks of wood (sorry if I have offended anyone, but that's just my opinion!).

Someone suggested I read the books, but still I resisted, that was until last week. As we have visitors staying at the moment, two of which are teenagers, we asked if we could have some questions at our local quiz, which they could answer. As 'Twilight' was one of their favourite things at the moment, we suggested this and so I decided to force myself to read the first book 'Twilight', so that I didn't look completely clueless. Since then, I've become addicted.

The first part of the saga, tells the tale of Bella Swan, a girl who moves to a small town called Forks in Washington State, from the warmer climbs of Phoenix, after her mother remarries.

Life in Forks is dull and boring, until Bella comes across a group of strange, but beautiful group teenagers, named the Cullens. Bella becomes particularly drawn to Edward and gradually she discovers that the Cullen family are not what they seem, they are in fact, vampires. The difference between the Cullens and other vampires is that over time, they have found a way to control their thirst for human blood, by hunting animals.

However, Edward is not only physically attracted to Bella, but he finds her scent irresistible. Despite the danger, Edward fights his urges for Bella and embark in a love affair.

After an encounter with another pack of Vampires, with a preference to human blood,called James, Victoria and Laurent the story turns into a cat and mouse chase for the Cullens to protect Bella from death.

The book ends, with a stern warning by Jacob Black, a boy from an Native American reserve, whose family have shown hostility towards the Cullen Family for centuries, that Bella should stay away from the Cullens and that his family are watching her.

Even though I thought that Stephenie Meyer's writing could have flowed better, I was surprised just how intelligently she writes. Even though this novel is aimed at a younger audience, I didn't feel that she patronised her audience at all. Ok, there were things about boys and going to the prom, I didn't feel that this novel was particularly over sentimental. Also, I felt that they story was well paced and wasn't predictable, which I had expected that it would be.

The thing that really makes this book, is the way in which she develops the characters Bella and Edward. In the films, I hated the choice of actors to play Bella and Edward, because I didn't like them and in turn, didn't really care about whether or not their relationship would endure the difficulties that they have as a vampire/human couple.

However in the book, Meyer portrays the characters as like able and much more complex. Bella is vulnerable, sweet and feminine, as opposed to her rather hard, moody persona on-screen and Edward is funny, seductive, although sometimes neurotic, but utterly irresistible, compared to his one dimensional, miserable persona in the film.

You can't deny that this novel is a little silly and definitely isn't going to win a 'Pulitzer Prize' for Literature any time soon, but it successfully sweeps you away into a world of romance, fantasy and action. I loved this novel and can't wait to add some more of the 'Twilight Saga' novels, to my 'Guilty Pleasure Reads.'

What are some of your 'Guilty Pleasure Reads'?

9 comments:

  1. This is a very good review. I like 'Twilight' lots.

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  2. Thanks Jess! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. I have stayed away from the Twilight series, because vampires are just not my thing. It was interesting to read your review on it. I think perhaps if I pick up a book in a charity shop then I would have a go at reading it. I would not go out of my way to buy one.

    At the moment by guilty pleasures are Debbie Macomber books.

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  4. Thanks Jo. I was surprised to see how cheap Amazon are selling the 'Twilight' books for. I would have thought, due to the series' popularity, that the books would be a lot more expensive than 3-4 pounds each.

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  5. Think I will borrow yours, Spangle!
    Good review!

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  6. I think the difference in the character in the book to on screen is due to the difficulty to portray deep thought on screen. The aim of the film is to get across that edward is still a vampire and cold still bite people, therefore Edward and Bella's relationship is dangerous and shouldn't be happerning. Bella's character in the film is portrayed diffently as the directors decide to show her as a average teenage (who has many mood swings and is living with her father when she clearly wants to go back home. Bella is shown as moody to show the exterme situation the poor teenager has been placed in; how many teenagers get force to move from there home with their mother to their father (after not seeing them for many years) and being meet by people who turn into wolf's and fall in love with a vampire and have other vampire's want to bite you.

    I love the film and think they show a different side to the book; it opens the depth and comprehension of the charaters and there unusual situations.

    love the blog though :D

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  7. You raise a very interesting point daydreamer. With the written word, it's possible to convey many sides to a character's personality, which is very difficult to portray on screen. Maybe if I watched more than the first 'Twilight' film, then maybe the actors would convey these complexities also, through the series of films.

    I'm glad you like the blog!

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  8. Well, I'm still resisting reading this series, but I did watch the film Blue Moon on a plane. Maybe I will..:)

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  9. If you decide to read the novels L'Aussie,I'd be interested reading your views on them.

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