Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Don't believe the hype about Twilight

After reading some articles about the frenzy stirred up by the fourth and final in the Twilight series, I decided to read the first book, Twilight (Stephenie Meyer, 2005). And as usual I can't figure out what the fuss is about. I hate that, when I pick up a book because the buzz is that the author is "the next JK Rowling." Silly TallGirl, when will you learn!

This YA tale of a teenage girl who falls in love with a teenage vampire is nothing like I'd expected from all the hype surrounding it. I was expecting intense romance and suspenseful action. But no. Instead there is way too much corniness like "and when he looked at me, my heart stopped/quickened" or "he dazzled me with his smile" or "I'm trying not to hyperventilate" for my tastes. I wanted to yell, "OK we get it! He's gorgeous and undead, and you're into him, and he's into you (though I can't understand why)." In fact, I didn't really get interested in the story until around page 390 (of 498), when a bad vampire starts to hunt our heroine and the good vampires come together to protect her.

The characters are trite, the dialog is forced, the action is predictable. And I don't really even like or believe the main characters; all they talk about when they're together is how much they adore one another, but there's really no reason for it--other than he's gorgeous and she smells good enough to eat. Really, the only thing I liked about this book is that it was a fast read that didn't require a great deal of brain power. (I know...pretty lowly criteria from this editor of literacy books!)

Yet somehow, despite my strong dislike, the second (and longer at 560 pages) book in the series is calling to me from the shelf. I've read spoilers about a triangle between the human, the vampire, and the Native American werewolf-boy...interesting. But I don't want to be disappointed again. For now, I'll hold out hope for True Blood, HBO's new vampire series, to fill the post-Buffy void in my life.

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