First I must say that I enthusiastically endorse any or all temperate written literature designed to encourage people to read---especially young people. Anything to coax them away from TV and other electronic devices. These things have their place, but not exclusively. I do not have a problem with Stephenie Meyer's vampire books, and would actually encourage youngsters(Ed Sullivan use to say that word---I know, I know, who's Ed Sullivan?) to read them.
I have to tell you, this was the fastest time I've ever read a 500 page book! I would have read it in one sitting but I was getting a headache from laughing and cringing so much. But it was all so familiar. I taught English literature in Junior High and High School for 35 years, and read and corrected an untold amount of student-written stories and essays. Invariably, from girls, there would be the obligatory walk through a questionable area of town followed by an ominous shadow, the hopelessness of being lost in the woods, and the near-disaster car crash. And, oh for sure, the handsome, dark, mysterious, young lad skulking around the periphery. Ms. Meyer knows her audience; she's some smart. She also writes in a slightly advanced early high school style---although I've had top students whose writing was absolutely amazing for their age.
All this actually took me by surprise. I don't know what I was expecting, but the whole time I was reading this book I had this driving need to dig out my red pens. Anyway, this novel is definitely geared to young girls. I can't see boys reading this for enjoyment, although there is an intriguing story line and interesting albeit stock characters.
The cringe factor was quite evident in me while reading this. I chuckled, groaned, cringed, shook my head, covered my eyes, and exclaimed "oh dear" many times. My wife said, "Well, that's certainly getting a reaction from you!" She wants to read it now. Cringe Material: Example #1.( "You really shouldn't do that to people," I criticized. "It's hardly fair." "Do what?" "Dazzle them like that..." "Do I dazzle you?" "Frequently," I admitted.)
When I read this, I turned to my wife and asked her if I dazzled her. She said, "You're kidding, right?" "No", I responded in indignation. "Yes" she said, "you dazzle me all the time, dear", and she patted my arm. I wasn't convinced.
Cringe Material #2. (this is good)
("But animals aren't enough?"
He paused. " I can't be sure, of course, but I'd compare it to living on tofu and soy milk; we call ourselves vegetarians, our little inside joke. It doesn't completely satiate the hunger---or rather thirst...." ) Tofu. He said, tofu.
And I learned things about vampires! I found out that they go to school---I often suspected that! They play baseball---who's at BAT? teehee, get it? Bat? Oh, they said that they don't turn into bats, that's a pity. There are really nice vampire, they only feed on animals. That's OK for people, but what about the poor unsuspecting animals? Animal rights groups would be outraged. These vampires go out in daylight---cloudy days are better. I think this is a major breach in vampire lore. You just can't go changing the rules, can you? They don't sleep in coffins---now that's going too far! A vampire rising from a coffin at dusk is standard procedure for the species, so I've heard. Vampires go to proms---that I knew!
The sexual and romantic undertones are prevalent throughout the story---Edward the vampire is always sniffing and licking about her neck. And at the end of TWILIGHT Bella actually wants to become a vampire in order to be with her Edward forever. But I really don't care if she becomes one or not, I mean, who cares? Right? Maybe it would be a good move for her, and it would make the next few books really interesting, but it's not...it's really not...well...Do you think she will? Do you think Edward will comply and make her a vampire? Like I care...yeah...silly, just silly...ah, Does she though? What about her mom and Charlie? Oh, nooo, you won't catch me reading anymore of these silly books...no, ah, I was wondering, though, if maybe she.........
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