Welcome to another edition of Mini Reviews, in which I take a whole series and give each book/movie/mistake in said series a one or two paragraph review. Today, we’re looking at The Twilight Twilight! Because I’m a font of originality—and incapable of letting things go.
The gift that just would not stop giving, Stephenie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga is the reason that it became impossible to open your internet browser without stepping in vampire shit. The series tells the story of Bella, a morose teenage girl who could be out personality’d by my left nipple, and the Twipire (the internet’s name for the sparkling breed of wimpy vampires created by Meyer) with bronze hair and a relentless crooked smile who steals her heart by being flat, uninteresting, and incredibly controlling and manipulative.
The series spawned a massive fandom. It also sprouted into the mainstream a huge hatedom. I acknowledge that I’m not cool or interesting for hating Twilight, but I’m going to do it anyway. Many were quick to point out the ill-conceived plot, the endless stream of poorly implemented cliches, the weak writing, the flat characters, and the relentless admiration given to an unconvincing and mutually abusive relationship.
And, lucky us, it only got worse as the series went on. So let’s take a quick look at each of the books in turn.
1. Twilight (2005)
This is no doubt the least offensive of the books. In Twilight, Bella Swan moves to the town of Forks and meets Edward Cullen, the sparklepire who used to be Cedric Diggory (except that he didn’t because book!verse) and the rest of his vegetarian-because-that’s-convenient-and-they-weren’t-even-cursed-omg-I-miss-Angel family. While compared to the others in the series this book has a strong, interesting (ha) plot, with an actual rise to the climax (though Bella does spend said climax unconscious) and actual surprises here and there, it was the beginning of this series’ problems.
The characters are, for the most part, are uninteresting, or needlessly vilified because, to be honest? Bella is judgy, and she reads like Meyer venting about past school grievances. The writing reads like an early draft and someone looking at it in more detail than myself could point out multiple issues, as well as how technologically backwards Meyer seems to be. The romance is also your classic insta-love situation, not all that convincing, and it’s just a series of creepy and/or abusive situations that aren’t presented like they’re creepy and/or abusive, spawning many spitefics in which Bella realises what a creep Edward is to try and karmically rebalance the universe.
But, hey. It could be worse.
2. New Moon (2006)
Welcome to the latest edition of How Not to Get Over a Bad Breakup, starring Bella Swan. While the previous book had, you know, events (however dull) occurring throughout, in New Moon Edward leaves Bella for her safety (pulling another Angel-but-not-good, fuck you) and Bella mopes. And mopes. And takes part in a series of increasingly unhealthy activities to see … visions of Edward? That are never really concluded to be really unhealthy because it’s not like these books ever had a young impressionable audience.
Oh, and she skips over the far superior second love interest, Jacob (who’s a werewolf, or whatever), because he has to butt fuck her future fetus or something. And look! Edward’s back! In the final part of the book, we finally get to an interesting plot when the vampire leader Volturi are pissed that Edward’s been dating a human. And this could have been an “interesting” plot throughout, but Edward is an asshole who leaves Bella to mope and us to have to listen to it. So this plot doesn’t isn’t so much a build up as it is a rumble and spike.
3. Eclipse (2007)
Sagging Middle Syndrome: the book. In this book, while we wait for one villain to show up and get revenge for the death of another villain, Meyer tries desperately to fill some time without boring us. She fails. True story: When I was first reading through this series, I fell asleep every fucking time that I tried to read this book. I barely remembered what happened. I had to check.
Turns out not a lot happened. Edward and Jacob measured their dicks a little bit. The same bad writing and Mary Sue parties as usual. Pretty standard.
4. Breaking Dawn (2008)
Do you like conflict? Me neither! Worry not, because this book has none. Well, it almost does, but every threat of conflict is quickly wrapped up, so don’t you worry your pretty little head about it. Not only that, but the “plot” which so lacks conflict is a massive clusterfuck of vampire babies, creepy pedophilic vibes, and a random point of view change to Jacob, which isn’t really acceptable when nothing like that has been established so far in the series, and it’s not even a whole book, like what Midnight Sun was meant to be.
And look! Lazy writing! Flat characters! Absolute nonsense! Constant reminders that Meyer doesn’t know how normal human things work! And your good old classic Twilight abusive relationships. And to make it even better, we can get two whole movies out of it!
Twilight is bad. There’s no conflict, just the Meyer insisting that bad things are going to happen I swear please don’t close the book, and when I read Life and Death earlier this year all it did was remind me how much of Twilight I’d erased from my memory.
I don’t know why I wrote this. I’m sad now. So to cheer myself up, let’s close this series of mini-reviews with a vampire who doesn’t drink human blood that’s actually, you know, a character.
Because when that vampire love interest went to prom, it broke my fucking fangirl heart. It’s called conflict, Meyer. It’s called chemistry.