I’d like to take a quick look at the first novel in the Twilight series and write about three points that bother me about it.
As you probably know, Twilight follows Bella as she moves to a tiny city, Forkes, and falls in love with the mysterious but amazingly beautiful Edward. But Edward has a secret; he is a 108-year old vampire who has not drunk human blood for decades. But Bella’s blood is different, and he has to use all of his strength to resist her. Their forbidden-dangerous love culminates in him saving her from another vampire coven.
I am willing to ignore the plot and put it down to being not my personal taste, but there are aspects of the novel I can’t ignore. Firstly, Meyer’s writing style. Her use of cliché similes and metaphors are far too abundant for my liking. The reader is constantly being reminded of Edward’s beauty (especially his comparison to an angel); to the point it seems that Meyer is paranoid that the reader will forget. This panicky insistence of Edward is beautiful, Forkes is small and Bella is average makes for a sluggish read.
Another problem I have with the novel is the characters. As I have described in another article, Bella is left almost characterless. Edward has too many contradictions. I can only imagine that Meyer wrote her character like this to make him complex and interesting, but her inability to deal with the characteristics in anything other than a clichéd way makes him confusing and flat. The other, minor characters show no real personality. Carlisle is supposed to be a respectable character, but most of the time he just seems like a push over. Esme is the stereotypical mother, quietly standing in the background. Even Alice is just a series of quirky tick-boxes in Meyer’s attempt to make a character stand out.
Thirdly, the general voice of the novel is particularly annoying. It is told from Bella’s perspective. As a reader I should relate to her and yet I find her shallow, self-wallowing nature off putting. This maybe her only actually characteristic, making her a feminists nightmare. She hates Forkes, and yet makes no real effort and yet makes no effort to make things better for herself. She becomes obsesses with Edward and becomes reliant upon his character (to the point that she fails to function with out him in the next book) but there doesn’t seem to be any reason for this.