The Teen Reader

Your source for reviews and ratings on every type of YA fiction.


Posted by Danielle on July 5, 2009

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: urban fantasy, romance

Reading Level: moderate

Rating: PG-13 (when included with the entire Twilight series)

Summary: “When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret…”

Danielle’s Review: Ah, Twilight. If you haven’t heard way too much about it by now, you’ve been living under a rock. If you have been in the vicinity of a teenage girl anytime recently, you will likely have noticed a strange trend appearing in the form of an obsession with blood, pale skin, and sparkly boys.

The problem with the Twilight books is, quite simply, that people either make too much or too little of them. Meyer has been called the new J.K. Rowling, and the Twilight books have been called the Pride and Prejudice of our time, which is a gross overstatement; however, there is the opposite side which calls the books vampire porn and refuses to be seen in the same room with a Stephanie Meyer book. Both are wrong.

If you hadn’t guessed, Twilight is an age-old plot of forbidden love. A human and a vampire; oh, the cruel fate of star-crossed lovers. Obviously, it’s been done before, but never before quite like this. As an (almost) completely unbiased reader, I have to say that the books are entertaining at best, bad poetry at worst. Not to say that Steph Meyer is not an exceptionally talented woman, but don’t go into this series expecting an Austen-style plot. The characters are thrilling, and the romance-laced action scenes are Meyer’s forte, but the classic “love-triangle” and “dangerous relationship” themes will not surprise you. However, there is enough substance and serious entertainment value to these books that if you are of the female persuasion, you could become seriously addicted to Edward’s absolutely perfect charm, despite the sometimes utterly ridiculous romantic dialogue.

Now, let me just say that I have no problem with older teenagers reading Twilight, as long as they don’t elevate it to the position of Austen. But for those of you who are parents, let me caution that younger readers shouldn’t be into these books. I’ve seen junior high girls and even junior high boys reading these in the hallways and it’s very concerning. There are no graphic sex scenes to worry about, though there is enough innuendo and an obvious skip over what would have been a sex scene in the last book (at this point they are married, and like I said, the scene is skipped over). However, the relationship between Bella and Edward is not one that young readers should be treating as normal. Edward is somewhat of a stalker and actually sleeps in Bella’s bed throughout the books, behind her father’s back. Now, a more mature reader can understand how different their relationship is from the normal “human” one, but don’t let your junior highers read this until they’re older, okay? Once you’re fifteen or sixteen you should be just fine.


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