If you don't know...this series of 4 novels chronicles the life of Bella, a junior in high school, who moves to live with her dad in a gloomy Forks, WA. She ends up meeting lots of people including a family of vampires and some other mythical creatures. That is all I will say until those of you who want to read it STOP NOW!
I've waited to write about the series until I was complete. I love to read series from start to finish. I liked the first book. It was a nice quick read that took me back to high school romance (that worked out for me pretty well, I married him). I think this is the draw to the 30-something crowd that is devouring the series along with its intended audience of teenage girls. However, after the first novel...the second was almost unfinishable for the first half. But I've never not finished a book...so I read on. At this point, I was just curious what happened...why does everyone love these things that are sucking the life out of me?
I'll be brief on my likes and dislikes...
CharactersI love Jacob (and his 'family').
I don't like Edward. (although he came around in the last installment)
I HATED Bella. (I really have a problem with her being the main character of novel that so many young women are reading. I will use her as an example of what NOT to do with my daughter...like make friends and try to keep them...talk to your parents...don't obsess over a single person...don't risk your life for others...take care of yourself...don't get married, pregnant, and die at 18)
Writing styleYou have to remember that it is written for a younger audience and by a new author. I was a bit disappointed in the obviously allusions to classic literature...the middle two books are great books to learn about using classic stories (Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights) in your own original manuscript. It didn't need to be explained over and over again. We get it.
Also know that the books are written in Bella's point of view...something I had to remember to be satisfied with Twilight's ending. She wasn't conscious during the big finale...so its absent from the story. I think this is actually a major flaw. Meyer sets up some great climaxes and then drops the ball (I wanted those 'battle' scenes). (I am happy to see the film is not).
They need a better editor...each book could have easily dropped 100 pages.
The Fourth BookThis is where it gets really weird. I really didn't like it at all. I was so dissatisfied with the ending. Although, I get tired of formulaic series (e.g. Robert Parker or James Patterson...even Harry Potter)...I wanted this last book to follow some of the previous books patterns....ongoing battle with Victoria, friction between werewolves and vampires, struggle to become immortal, choosing between Edward and Jacob. I wanted final resolution. I didn't like one bit what Bella did in the last book...at all.
Overall, I'm glad I know what everyone was talking about. I've heard that either you love it or hate it. I suppose I'm in between. And I am looking forward to the movie (I am hoping that the filmmakers fill in the flaws of Meyer's original work).