Why I Can’t Get Anything Done

I am interrupting a frantic reading marathon to stop in and blog about the culprit.  It’s the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (individual books are Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn).  And don’t worry, you won’t read any spoilers here.

You’ve probably heard of the series (it’s being called "the next Harry Potter", with which I disagree–I’ll get to that in a minute), and it seems that everyone is reading them.   They’re about–and let’s just get this out of the way–vampires

I know.  I was skeptical too.  I do not like scary books or movies, and I was hesitant to give these a try. To my surprise, the whole thing works.  They’re nice vampires.  Sort of.  In a yes-we’re-blood-suckers-but-we’d-prefer-to-be-productive-members-of-society kind of way. 

They’re young adult fiction, though they’ve found a widespread audience among adults (especially, I’m guessing, adults of the female persuasion).  Though they are chock-full of teenage angst, the incredibly romantic love story at the plot’s center appeals to a wide variety of ages.  I thought a book with this much hype was worth checking out, just to see what all the fuss is over.  (That is my Serious Academic Reason.  Also?  I am a sucker for a love story that has teenage girls all over the world swooning.)

Here’s my take (and keep in mind, I’m still only in the middle of the second book.  If you Twilight veterans see that I’m way off base, don’t laugh at me.)

The story is engrossing and compelling.  I read the first book in only a couple of days; partly because I was so interested, and partly because it is a very fast read.  It isn’t bad writing, though it isn’t especially excellent writing, either.  It’s a little like reading a screenplay–almost entirely dialogue, little poetic language, and the whole thing just flies by. This is why I can’t say that they rise to the level of a Harry Potter series, which had the riveting plot and superb writing.

But the plot is undeniably page-turning and imaginative.  And it is really, really romantic, full to the brim of that most intense and powerful emotion:  first love.  The kind of love that makes you all tingly and breathless.  (Which is not, by the way, the same thing as seasoned love, which is breathless and tingly AND gets up with the baby at 3 am and remembers to take out the trash on Thursdays, but that is a different post altogether.)

In fact, as I kept getting caught up in the first volume, I knew the whole thing vaguely reminded me of something, though it took me until the end to put my finger on it:  goofy, clumsy, capable, delightful heroine falls in love with a brooding, complicated, good, unattainable hero. 

Aha!  It’s Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy!  Pride and Prejudice!  Except, you know, with really sharp teeth.  I guess you could say it’s a romantic narrative with a impressive track record of resonating with readers.  (Although, Mr. Darcy?  He totally takes out the trash on Thursdays.  I’m sure of it.)

The movie version comes out in November, and I want to finish the series before then.  That shouldn’t be hard, at the rate I’ve been eating these up (an unfortunate choice of words for vampire novels, perhaps).  What do you think?  Have you read them?  Like them?

117 thoughts on “Why I Can’t Get Anything Done

  1. Slacker Mom says:

    Oh I am totally addicted. Never thought it would happen..but I managed to read Twilight in one day. That was a week ago. I’m just about to finish up with Breaking Dawn. I loved the first book…it was an easy read and I was being prompted by my daughter who wanted to read it – but couldn’t do so until I gave the okay.
    I’m looking forward to the movie. I suddenly feel though that I am in a world where everything revolves around Twilight. I noticed someone used that subject in all of her spelling sentences this week!

  2. Janet says:

    I read them because of all of the hype and while I was reading I just kept saying, “This CAN’T be the books that everyone is talking about!” I honestly could not STAND them and stopped in the middle of the third. I thought it was like reading a bad soap opera script. The story was shallow, the characters were lame (hello, why in the world would anyone like this girl?) She has NO personality and no one can fall THAT much. I do not see the comparison with Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth was wise, responsible, outspoken and strong. And Darcy wasn’t an old man living in a teenage body. Twilight just didn’t do it for me..
    But I can still be friends with people who like it (which is pretty much every woman in the world.)

  3. chrissie says:

    I read the first two books. I enjoyed them. I agree, they were compelling, but the writing was not excellent, and downright cheesy at some points. (Maybe because it’s for teens, but it seemed like she continually reiterated facts we had already learned.)
    I don’t think I’ll read the last two, but I had fun reading the others.

  4. Lisa says:

    I loved almost all of the books in the series. I don’t want to give anything away so I will leave it at that. If you go to her site, you’ll see that she started another book called midnight sun. It’s the first book, only from Edward’s perspective. It’s unfinished and put on hold because the copy got leaked onto the internet and now she is putting it off indefinitely. Which is a shame(yes i read it- could not help myself) because it is better than the first book if you can believe that! Edward really does love Bella more!

  5. Summer says:

    Like you said they’re engrossing and Stephenie Meyer is a decent story teller. But Edward and Bella’s relationship is disturbingly co-dependent.
    I fear for love sick teenage girl’s everywhere. I’m afraid so many of them who worship these books and Bella’s choices will think that it’s normal and ok to ditch your friends or your desire to keep living in the name of lust. Because lustful is really what Edward and Bella’s relationship is.
    Like the previous books had hinted at, I was awaiting Bella’s awakening so to speak, as I read Breaking Dawn. At least I was hoping to see further contemplation over her decisions, more maturation. Sadly, the fourth and final book fell well short of it’s potential.

  6. Audrey says:

    I read the series this summer after my 13 year-old sister-in-law lent me the first two books, and I was hooked. I’m glad I didn’t find out about them when they first came out; it would have been agony to wait for them all.
    Stephenie Meyer also has another book out called “The Host”. Its supposed to be an adult novel, though I couldn’t tell why. Its not as easy as a read as the “Twilight” series, but once you get into it it’s a pretty good book.
    Have fun reading!

  7. Abbey says:

    My cousin just told me about this series and has lent me the first book, with more to follow. I can’t start yet, because I’m reading “Nights in Rodanthe” before that movie comes out. It sounds so good- I can’t wait!

  8. tracy says:

    I have read all of the series and yes they are page turners.I couldn’t put them down. My 15 year old introduced me to them and we recently both finished the newest edition. I heart them all! I agree with you it is a Vampire type love story.

  9. Amanda says:

    Oh my goodness, these books are awesome!! I read the first 3 in 5 days and then read the 4th one in 12 hours! Breaking Dawn is by far my favorite, so anyone who has stopped reading on the 2nd or 3rd, keep going! Seriously, I think the 4th one totally makes up for the first 3 (even though I have to say I loved them all)!!

  10. Melody says:

    I love this series!!! I’ve reread Breaking Dawn 4 or 5 times.
    I am bummed that Midnight Sun is on hold. I read all 264 pages that she has already released and I think it’s my favorite so far. It adds a complete new level to the story. I wish she would write all four books from Edwards perspective.
    Also on her website are “extras” and “outtakes” things that didn’t make it into the book which I think is really cool.

  11. Forgetfulone says:

    My step-daughter has been bugging me to read it forever! She has a signed copy of Twilight from when Stephanie Meyer visited Houston a couple of years ago. I just don’t know if I want to read romantic stuff about vampires. Who knows? Maybe I will give it a shot. Now my 12 year old wants to read them.

  12. Stacy says:

    I liked the first and second books but three and four were a bit of a let down. Yes it was a page turner, but I judge a book on my own self control. If I can’t put a book down then I know it is good but if I can walk away and not think about the book then well it just isn’t as good. Bella just gets more and more whiney and man does she ever learn?
    I really liked The Host and prefer it to the others but you need to enjoy Sci Fi to really get into that book.

  13. amykay says:

    oh thank you for not posting spoilers. i kept hearing about this series from various sources but putting off reading it… i’m really not sure why. but then, i saw twilight at target for less than $10. and one day later, (i accomplished absolutely nothing except for…) i finished it! i am a youth pastor and i put out a frantic plea to all my kids in the hopes that somebody would let me borrow the next books. luckily, one of my girls is bringing me the next TWO on sunday. i think that should hold me over at least until wednesday. πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing!

  14. Sue says:

    Oh no. No no no no no.
    I love you to death, but comparing Twilight to P&P is just – NO.
    I’m a TOTAL romantic sap, but didn’t get the romance at all. Edward is stilted and dull, and Bella is just boring as all get out.
    Bella is no Elizabeth Bennett. Eeeek.

  15. Liz C. says:

    I’m an admitted book snob. Before and after reading the whole series, I can very objectively criticize the writing, characterization, plot, etc. While reading them through, I had a hard time putting them down. The most embarassing thing is that reading Bella is uncomfortably like reading my own journal at 17. Right down to the clutzy parts.
    I don’t anticipate needing to read them again, but it’s been fun to discuss with friends, and there are some really funny one-liners smattered about.
    And if we’re going to move from “Team Edward/Team Jacob” to “Team Darcy/Team Edward”, I’m gonna have to go with Darcy, 100%. With Colin Firth in the role, please.

  16. Tammy says:

    I’m of split thought on the Twilight books. I read through them at the speed of light over the course of a week, starting Twilight right after Breaking Dawn came out.
    The writing is not very good. I cringe every time Stephenie Meyer is compared to J.K. Rowling, who is both a better writer and plotter. Perhaps it’s because I’m an adult reading a young adult novel, but the “hints” she would drop were as light as a brick.
    The overall story “human girl and vampire boy fall in love” is great, but there’s not much plot here… about 2/3 of the way through each book it’s like she decides she needs to have something happen. So a thin conflict comes up and is resolved quickly and easily.
    And for those of you who stopped reading after book two, do NOT keep going. Those are the best two of the series, and if you didn’t like them that much, I guarantee that Breaking Dawn will make you want to pluck your eyes out. Seriously. Please, Shannon, post a spoilery review when you’re done with the series. I’m dying to read your take on it.
    However, I heartily second the recommendation to go to Stephenie Meyer’s website and reading the excerpt of “Midnight Sun,” which is Twilight, rewritten from Edward’s perspective. It’s very good… far better than books three and four. (You don’t have to wait to the end to read it either. It doesn’t matter when you read it, as long as you’re done with Twilight.)
    All that said, I really enjoyed it, am glad to have read it, and am really looking forward to the movie. But I’m psycho like that.

  17. jennie says:

    i agree with summer…i LOVED the first two books, but with books 3 & 4 i felt like the story kind of went downhill. i am anxious to see the movie because from the trailers, it looks like it might actually follow the book (rare!). and i hadn’t heard of midnight sun, so thank you to your commenters – i will have to check that out!!

  18. Carrie says:

    I love this series! I read all 4 books within a two week time period. The author was also supposed to come out with Twilight written from Edward’s point of view in the near future. But, apparently, one of her rough drafts was leaked onto the internet so now she has put the book on hold indefinitely. I can’t wait for the movie!

  19. Louise says:

    I have not read these books, nor do I plan to. First of all, I find the whole fascination with vampires in this culture slightly disturbing.
    Mostly what bothers me, though, is that I have read that Meyers admitted that she lifted the plot of P&P and used it for Twilight. She also lifted plots wholesale from other famous romances–Romeo and Juliet being one–for the other books. Now, she said that she hoped by that to encourage her readers to delve into these marvelous books, but as I don’t think (like I said, I haven’t read them, so I can’t say for sure) she mentions the original plots in any of the books themselves, it comes off uncomfortably like plagiarism. At the very least, it smacks of laziness in writing, and as a literary snob, I can’t condone that.
    But, I won’t put anyone’s head on a stake for enjoying them! Just because I’m over-the-top fussy about books doesn’t mean I expect other people to descend to my level πŸ™‚

  20. chocolatechic says:

    Haven’t read them, haven’t even heard of them.
    I, like Louise, wouldn’t read them. I am rather fussy about the books I read as well.
    However, I am totally, absolutely, and 1,000% sure that Mr. Darcy takes out the trash on Thursdays.

  21. Emily says:

    Have I read them? HAVE I READ THEM?! Why, yes, I most certainly have. I live in a foreign country (yay for Colombia) and my sister sent the first back with me. I read it in two days and then spent more money than I ever could at Sonic having the other three shipped here. Worth every dime.
    Now, If I could just quit falling in love with fictional men….

  22. Sandra says:

    I read it, but I decided not to read any more in the series. I heard it gets more violent and I really can’t “check out” of real life and get so involved again like I did with Twilight. My book club read it and discussed what age would be appropriate for girls to read it. 10? 12? 16?

  23. Joanna says:

    Excellent point about it being Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy I didn’t even realize. I agree that the writing isn’t great but it isn’t bad and I am interested to see how the movie turns out!

  24. Mary B says:

    I started reading them in August when my 12yo daughter mentioned them. Not sure if they were appropriate I told her I would read them first. Much to my surprise I have enjoyed them! Vampires are not my genre!
    Now that the kids are in school full time, my goal was to tackle some Jane Austen. Thanks for further motivation!

  25. Debbie says:

    I’ve read the first three and am sure I will read the fourth (although my immaturity has renamed the fourth one Breaking Wind, but that is a different post too). My daughter loves them and I wanted to see what all the hype is about. They are entertaining but not quite the writing level as even Harry Potter to me. And why am I the only person that seems to think Edward is not the ideal man? He seems too controlling to me. He gives me the creeps – and not because he is a vampire.

  26. Leslie says:

    My sister tried to talk me into reading them and I resisted. Then another friend who’s taste in books I trust also mentioned them. I got the first two from another friend this past monday and had read them both by Wednesday night. Couldn’t wait for the friend to finish three so I went out and bought it yesterday and should have that one finished by today.
    Now, I am a fast reader but you are very right about how addictive these things are. And, they are a pretty easy read too. I have to admit to being totally drawn into them. My family has been lucky to have been feed the last few days. That is about all that I have accomplished other than reading. My husband has been informed that he is basically not to talk to me until I get the 4th book finished. Of course, at this rate that should happen sometime over the weekend :-).
    I have to disagree with the Pride and Prejudice comparison though. Bella doesn’t strike me as being at all like Elizabeth. Just my opinion though.

  27. Suzie says:

    I read the first one rather quickly and then halfway through the second one, I just got tired of it. Too much flowery romance for me.
    I don’t really agree with the Pride and Prejudice comparison either unless you are comparing it to the recent Pride and Prejudice movie that came out with Keira Knightley. I can definitely see that comparison, but not with the actual book.
    But then again, I am kind of strange anyway because I tried to read Harry Potter and just could not get into it.

  28. Kristin @ Blue Skies says:

    I just picked up the first book two days ago. So far, so good. I was very skeptical as well, because you know, the vampire thing.
    The main reason for giving them a try? A good friend told me, “You have to read these. They are the next generation’s ‘Pride & Prejudice’.” Very interesting that you had the same insight!

  29. Denise says:

    No, the writing isn’t great. It’s not really horrible but certainly not great.
    No, it’s definitely NOT the next Harry Potter. Definitely NOT.
    The first book was the best, the last one pretty good considering the mess Meyer made of book three.
    I’m glad you’re reading them – and mostly enjoying them. πŸ™‚

  30. Lorraine says:

    To Louise, yes, she does indeed mention the other stories in the books. Often the other stories play a very strong pivotal role in the book as Bella realizes her life is like that book or story.
    To Sue & others who think that Edward is stilted – please, read the 264 pg release of Midnight Sun. You will see that he is so not stilted & stiff, but doing his best in an extremely tough situation for him. Bella is tempting to Edward… It’d be like setting a plate of chocolate under my nose, and then telling me I’m not allowed to eat any of it. I can touch, I can look, but not eat. Talk about torture! Also, Bella is like a robin’s egg to him, extremely fragile & breakable when compared to his super human strength. it’s taking every ounce of control not to break or bruise her when he touches her.
    That said, I can’t speak to the comparison to Darcy. I never read that book, though now I think I need to.

  31. Aimee says:

    This is why I love you, Shannon, and I’ve never met you!
    I have been furtively hiding my affection for the Twilight series because a) my husband teased me about it (although affectionately) b) you’re right, it’s not stellar writing (although it’s an engrossing story) and c) I’d only ever heard of it in connection with teenagers (and I’m way past that age).
    And I’m also not that into vampires, so it seems like these would not be the books for me. However, I have really enjoyed them.
    I think the central love story is unique, but timeless. Who doesn’t want a person to love them warts and all? But what happens when that person turns out to be a vampire?
    It’s been a fun read — and now I’m having a hard time finding something as quick and entertaining. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for letting me get my Twilight fix this morning.

  32. Alicia says:

    I have the first two, but haven’t had a chance to start reading yet. If they’re as good as you and others say, then it won’t take me long. I just have to get a quiet moment, and with two children under the age of three…well.

  33. nicole says:

    I’m picking the books up from a friend today. I didn’t even know what they were a month ago, and now I can’t go half a day without seeing a mention of them somewhere.

  34. Princess Leia says:

    Heh…never heard of these books before now (my son is _far_ more interested in finding out…again…what Brown Bear sees and #2 is still cooking, so I’m wrapped up in babyland and don’t get out much)…and from the descriptions above it sounds like a knock-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer…at least of her relationship with Angel. Maybe not so much the slaying part.
    Anyway, I still have no desire to read these books, but now I think I’ll pull me out some P&P and think of my husband with a Colin Firth accent. Mmmm….British accents…

  35. Kelli says:

    Hi! I’m a lurker, but you posted on Twilight, therefore, I must comment. I’m addicted, even though the writing is abysmal. There are so many parts that I (and my friends)figured out before Bella and the Cullens even though about what was actually happening.
    That said…I still have read all the books multiple times. πŸ™‚ And I’m glad you picked up on the P&P underlying themes!!
    You’re absolutely right…they do NOT compare to Harry Potter. (So said by a HP Fanatic.)
    Love the blog!!

  36. Sara says:

    I love when I see that people are reading these. I love them from both a personal and professional viewpoint– I’m a librarian, and I studied the first three books in depth for a term paper for a young adult lit class in grad school. And, I’m in love with Edward.

  37. RAN says:

    I have about 30 pages left of Breaking Dawn to read……hoping my boss will be out at a lengthy meeting today, so I can finish it!! My 2 dil’s are also reading them like crazy. I have to finish Breaking Dawn, or else one dil will be peaking at chapter 1 as I finish chapter 39! We are enjoying them. Great writing? nope. But when a book sucks you in and you can’t put it down, I consider it good. Look forward to re-reading the series.

  38. Lori says:

    OK, now I’ve heard SO much about these, I really need to give them a try!! I felt the same way about Harry Potter and finally started reading them and was HOOKED!!! I’m going to check out the availability at my library and put them on hold. Thanks for the review — I’m intrigued!

  39. Karen says:

    I read the first one and wasn’t super impressed. Then I read some negative reviews and thought about it even more and realized I agreed with a point many reviewers were bringing up: how is this a model for healthy relationships/love? Of course any girl can relate to that first crush feeling, and the notion of being irresistable to someone, even tho’ she’s not portrayed as some Angelina Jolie or whatever. But seriously, this guy IS a killer, at least potential killer, and she shuns very nice and average peers to flirt with death, so to speak…..all in the name of “love”? What if the guy was human and named Bundy, would this still be a romantic story?

  40. Jesse says:

    Oooh, I liked this book, even with the bad writing and over-use of some words (dazzling, chagrin). She’s not Rowling, and NOWHERE near Austen-status, but I really think she encapsulated how I felt at that age about my first love – that it was a serious thing, even if I was young, and yet how caught up you can get in it. And even though I didn’t like 3 and 4 as much as 1 and 2 (and I liked 2 less than 1, but I agree, what I’ve read of Midnight Sun on Meyer’s website puts it ahead of even Twilight!), there’s still something about it that draws you in and makes you finish it. And I was Team Edward – totally couldn’t understand how she could make Bella like Jacob, because her love for Edward was so consuming.
    My mother-in-law actually got me into this series, and my 3 year old likes the covers and wants to read them “when I get big, like you, Mom”. I had to clue her (my MIL) into Midnight Sun, though, and she LOVED it.
    But while I liked it, you could still give me Mr. Darcy over Edward any day. πŸ™‚

  41. rechelle says:

    Huh? What? I have never heard of these books! Are the too girly for my boys to bring home? What is going on? I am going to question them up one side and down the other when they get home from school today!
    A vampire version of P and P? Now that is something I have to check out.

  42. Melody says:

    I haven’t read these, but have looked into them since you mentioned your obsession on Twitter…I’ll have to check them out.
    I was wondering though, did you ever read “The Time Traveler’s Wife”? And if so, what did you think?

  43. MommaChelle says:

    I read most of the series, and quite honestly, I rolled my eyes through half of it. My husband was getting too annoyed with my “you have got to be kidding me’s,” so I had to leave the room and read elsewhere. lol.
    After reading the third book I wrote a post on my blog about what disturbs me about the Twilight series. Wow, I needed to vent.
    And as far as P&P goes…the best character trait in Elizabeth is her independent nature. I didn’t see that in Bella at all.

  44. Haydensmommy says:

    As a high school librarian i loved this series. The 1st book is beautifully written with elegant words flowing on the page. I didn’t enjoy the 4th book as much as the others. But so many kids who have no intrest in reading have picked this series up and devoured it. Now i did not like Harry Potter very much, magic and wizardry isn’t my thing, but as far as Fantasy Fiction goes these are the only books i have ever enjoyed. NOt looking forward to the movie as saddly i am sure it won’t do the book justice.

  45. Reesie says:

    I agree, the writing isn’t good, but the stories are engrossing. I enjoyed reading them. It’s kind of like enjoying a little PB&J on white bread in the midst of your whole grain diet πŸ™‚
    I really got the sense that she was rushed to complete books three and four. As if the attention span is so short for YA, that the publisher didn’t want to risk loosing the audience.
    It is targeted at teens and I thing brings up some valid discussion points for mid-to older teens those who are dating.
    Edward is a control freak and Bella makes some less than wise decisions at times. Great conversation starters with teens about touchy topics.
    I like that it is romantic and lustful, but he pushes her to wait. I don’t like the reason Edward uses (it amounts to I’m old fashioned). But hey, if it gets kids to wait, then great.
    I have one and two in paperback, and I am searching for them in hardcover to go with the last two in Hard cover. I want my daughter to read them when the time is right specifically so we can discuss some of the issues that arise.

  46. phillipsacademy says:

    This type of story line only glorifies the evil and makes it appear to be somehow good. Readers are slowly made to believe that a vampire is a possible love interest! Forgive us, Father God. Chrisitans need to protect our “little eyes” from anything that dulls our senses to the truth from God’s word about what is good and what is evil.

  47. Lauren says:

    OK, as a library science student and a reader of these books, I have to post!
    I am a fan of these books, to a point. I won’t lie – I did go get Breaking Dawn at midnight when it came out. I didn’t think it was worth it, but I don’t want to jade you. I think the first one is the best. And I’m sure I’ll be seeing the movie this November, perhaps the day it comes out.
    I don’t think you can necessarily fully compare Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett to Bella and Edward. Elizabeth stands on her own without Mr. Darcy; Bella seems to lose more of herself after meeting Edward. Mr. Darcy is a flawed character (though we all still love him); Edward is written as the “perfect man”. Stephenie Meyer has even given an interview stating this. I’m one of the few in the Team Jacob camp, but I think we all know where Stephenie Meyer stands on that!
    The reason I love them (though it might seem otherwise) is that the story is pretty unique. A vampire-human love that’s actually substantial! A vampire clan who works hard to contribute to society. I’m not into vampire stories at all and these drew me in. I also think, for the young adult genre, they are totally appropriate for this age group. I’ve been reading a lot of young adult books lately and many of them have scenes of sex and drugs, that at age 12-14, most kids shouldn’t even think of reading (in my opinion). As Edward fully condones self-control (in more than just biting humans!) I think these are good choices for students to read.

  48. Deborah says:

    I read the series because a few of the teen girls from church (all girls who babysit my kids) were obsessed with Edward. πŸ™‚ After we all finished the series, we had a book club night at my house to discuss the books. I enjoyed them, but probably will not reread them (unlike my Harry Potter books, which are totally worn out from all the reading and rereading). I found the Twilight series, especially the first book, very melodramatic. I also liked Jacob, not for Bella, but just in general. I was in the minority for sure!
    I also read Meyer’s adult novel, The Host, and loved it.

  49. Melissa says:

    Absolutely loved them! People identify with books differently because we all have different life experiences, as well as have different ideas about what love and romance are. And that’s ok. To me, what makes a great book is not how sophisticated the writing is, how perfect the characters are, or how it compares to other books, but how much I can not bare to put it down. I have never read any other books that I could not put down as much as these! Is Bella flawed? Sure. Does she make some poor choices? Don’t we all? That doesn’t make her unlikable. In fact, it makes me like her even more.

  50. Lora Lynn says:

    Darcy had “people” for trash removal, I’m sure of it, but I think you’re right that Lizzy could have been goofy and clumsy. She’s “every woman” and we all know that we are goofballs at heart.

  51. D... says:

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog.
    I have read the series. I discovered them earlier in the year and had to WAIT for Breaking Dawn. Like you, I was hesitant to read them. Vampires aren’t my thing. But, when I finally picked it up (set on my nightstand for months), I couldn’t put it down. Without spoiling it, I will say that the 4th book was my least favorite with the 1st being my favorite.
    I am so curious how this series will translate on the big screen. I’ll be there in November watching it! And I’m really(!) looking forward to Edward’s story in Midnight Sun.
    I have ponder the Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy connection you have with it. I never gave that a thought while reading.

  52. Amy in West TX says:

    My almost 13 yo daughter asked if she could read Twilight. I checked with a friend of hers who is a senior in high school, she highly recommended the books and said that she thought I would love them too. I decided to “pre-read” the book before letting my younger daughter read it and I was hooked! I read Twilight last Saturday (easy read, 4.8 reading level), my 16 year old took the book to her room less than 5 minutes after I put it down. The youngest has to wait in line now! I am about to start the 4th one today. I love this storyline and these characters.

  53. Hillary - The Queen I Am Not says:

    I am hopelessly addicted to the series. I’ve finished the first book, and just received the second one from the library. I agree with your assessment, though. While I’m addicted to the series for now, I probably won’t ever buy these books or reread them, whereas I own the entire Harry Potter series and reread them on occasion.

  54. pam says:

    I’m so with you, Shannon. I’m hooked but it’s definitely teenage girl drama, which sometimes I love and sometimes I just want to move on!
    I’ve been listening to these in the car, and I find myself rolling my eyes and gagging at times–the actor’s breathy pronunciation of “Belllla” and “Ehdwherd” drives me crazy–but I just can’t stop listening to see what happens next.
    I’m thinking Romeo and Juliet right now, but I don’t know yet how the second book ends.
    Try “The Host”–Stephenie’s new adult novel. It’s quite different (science ficton) but a tiny bit more mature.
    All very fun!

  55. lovedandamazed says:

    I enjoyed reading your post and the comments, even though I am not a “Twilight” fan. My teenage sisters are HUGE fans, daily hovering over multiple fansites, watching every single video clip EVER related to the upcoming movie (whether a released clip or interview or news spot) and talking about the books so much that for a time my 16-year-old sister had a friend at church convinced that her boyfriend’s name was Edward Cullen.
    Now I haven’t read the books. Watching such obsession is a turn off for me. I am not a fan of YA fiction in general and don’t want to read about vampires because they are not real. Philippians 4:8 could be used as my verse of reasoning on this… but my sister challenges me in the fact that I read the “Mars Hill Classified” books by Austin Boyd. To me, there is a world of difference because the Mars books are about Christians, facing adult Christian struggles with adult Christian convictions and resolutions. Even if some characters do live in outer space. πŸ˜‰ The books made me laugh and cry and race through them to see what happened next. They have a really cool promotional picture here: http://tinyurl.com/53jj7c
    Anyway, there is my respectful reasoning behind this staunch non-Twilighter. πŸ™‚

  56. Mrs. Who says:

    I adored “Angel” so was really interested when these books came out. As a librarian, I am all about books that get kids to read, so there is that. But I also really enjoyed reading them. I’m finishing the newest one this weekend. They are definitely not great literature but they are fun and entertaining and there is definitely a place for that on our reading list. Also, I think the comparison to Harry Potter is more the facts that they are a series, they are about the supernatural, and they have kids reading like crazy, rather than a comparison of the two authors.

  57. Lisa says:

    Though I’m having trouble reconciling the comparison of P&P with a teenage vampire novel, it does sound interesting. I think. I love your observation: >>Which is not, by the way, the same thing as seasoned love, which is breathless and tingly AND gets up with the baby at 3 am and remembers to take out the trash on Thursdays, but that is a different post altogether.<< and am looking forward to that different post altogether!

  58. Alicia says:

    I love them, and I think that they are some of the most romantic books that I’ve ever read. I love the characters like they’re real people, even if I sometimes hate the things that they do. I’ve reread these books more times than any other books – I’m thouroughly addicted. And everyone I’ve recommended them to at least enjoys them, and often fall completely in love with them too.

  59. Keely says:

    Man, I can’t stop reading about these books, though I haven’t read the books themselves. Tbh I found the teenage romance that Rowling stuffed into her books the most annoying part (though I love the entire series), and nobody does vampires better than Anne Rice or Joss Whedon. But I read quickly, so maybe I’ll give em a go.

  60. junosmom says:

    I’ve been reading Twilight along with my 12 year-old. (She has already finished it. I’m 3/4 through) No doubt, it’s an enjoyable read. But, it does read like a movie, which make one wonder how television and movies influence modern fiction writing. I would never compare it to P&P! The romance is universal in theme, which is why so many women are captured by it…we all want to be the “only one” to capture the attention, affection, desire of a man with the qualities described for Edward. We all want to be Bella to an Edward. There is nothing “special” about Bella. She is average and unassuming, clumsy and awkward, yet comfortable with her physical shortcomings. I think most women like think of themselves like that, and that someday a man will come along and find her the most desirable creature he has ever met.

  61. Molly says:

    I am about 1/3 through New Moon as well. Sucked me right in…but it is a great “relate to the teens at church” thing…they are all (ok just the chicks) GUSHING over this book and since I am not really a girly girl (having a 13 yr old boy) this helps.
    I was joking with another mom about my “concern” for the vampire fantasies starting as SUCH a young age…I was atat least 20 when all my buddies were reading Ann Rice.

  62. Maren M. says:

    I do like the Twilight series. I read them because of peer pressure, too. πŸ™‚
    But what I like even better is her latest book, The Host. The writing is better (more seasoned) and the story is great. One of those books that you continue to think about and miss days after you finish reading it.

  63. Christina says:

    No hiding the truth here… I LOVED them all!!
    Yea, they’re a quick read… no, they’re not perfectly well-written… and certainly not scholarly–but who cares?! They’re a fun indulgence.

  64. Ashley says:

    I LOVE THOSE BOOKS!! They’re just so great. I can’t believe I like them. When someone asks me what they’re about I’m like, “uhh, a vampire… and a girl… don’t look at me like that!” They’re just great.

  65. brandiandboys says:

    love them… totally agree with your review. not top notch writing, but i can totally overlook that for the sweet romantic story.
    i am finishing up the “midnight sun” chapters she released on her website today. it is twilight from edward’s perspective.
    team edward!

  66. Inna says:

    The books were pretty entertaining and fast read, though the main trio were driving me crazy. I kept thinking: “Can someone, please, sleep with Bella so she can calm down.”
    There’s no way to compare this to P&P or Harry Potter, IMO.

  67. Jenn says:

    I loved them too. I just broke down and bought the hardcover of the last book. I couldn’t wait for it to come out in paperback! I don’t know exactly what it is about the books that drew me to them but I do agree with your thoughts. And I’m VERY excited for the movie to come out! (I love your line “with really sharp teeth”.) πŸ™‚

  68. mzzterry says:

    As the only person on this earth who didn’t love P&P I have giggled my way through these post! I have a friend who has a saying that I just love………..sometimes a book is just a book!
    And here is not a thing wrong with reading for pure enjoyment, we need to diversion. More power to you all!

  69. Melodie Monberg says:

    I fell in love with these books and read the entire series in a week.
    But I would never allow my preteen to read them. I felt the love is very addictive and portrayed as selfish.
    I would allow my older teen to read them pending a long conversation following each book.
    But for me, an adult, I can’t wait to raed them again!

  70. Paula says:

    It is so funny that I came across your blog again today. The young women (AKA under 35) I work with have been reading these books and just gushing over them. I am thinking Nora Roberts – vampires and I thought there is no way I want to read these. Well, I just may have to cave in and read one! Thanks for commenting on the series!

  71. Kari says:

    My daughter (16) read the first 2 books in the Twilight series AND Pride and Prejudice on our week vacation “Up North” this summer, it’s so funny that you mention them both in your post! I’ll definitely have to point her to your blog, she’ll probably be able to see the similarities as well!

  72. Kether says:

    I read them after a coworker left Twilight on my desk. I had insisted that I wasn’t interested. I couldn’t understand my obsessive need to finish them. The writing is not bad/not good. Some points she repeats ad nauseum. The teenage angst was a tinge annoying…and yet…I read and read and read and read all four in one week. I NEEDED to know…
    Know why? Its the same reason that when you’re a teenager and feeling all that angst you turn up every sappy, sad love song and brood. These books let you wallow in first love and angst. And I haven’t wallowed in those teen-aged feelings in a long, LONG time…

  73. MaryLea (Pink and Green Mama) says:

    Just started Twilight, It was the book club choice this month for my club but I missed the meeting because I haven’t had enough time to read it yet. My husband snickered when it said “Young Adult fiction” but so far I’m enjoying it. Very light reading and I don’t have to think hard, that is my idea of a good bedtime wind down. Looking forward to the movie and am hoping to borrow the rest of the series from a friend. Not into vampires but am enjoying it so far.

  74. Mrs. D says:

    I’m with Louise. I have no interest in reading the books, and I’m actually really disturbed with the current fascination with vampires, witchcraft, and the like, even among Christians. I just don’t get it. I hold no judgment over anyone who chooses to read these types of books, but as someone who practiced witchcraft and was involved in paganism and New Age occultism before coming to Christ, I can say that these things are diametrically opposed to the beautiful message of the gospel. The Lord’s own words tell us that:
    “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
    Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
    For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Deuteronomy 18:11
    It seems to me that our Savior came to save us from these things, not to lead us into them. But I have a unique perspective as one who’s been on the “other side”. Love and blessings to you all, whatever you’re reading. πŸ™‚

  75. Jessica says:

    Okay, so I have to weigh in here on the whole “Twilight” thing.
    First of all, I AM enjoying the books, having borrowed the first three from a friend and read them with dizzying speed. Anything that gets (and keeps) teens and young adults reading in our television-obsessed society gets a vote from me. The whole story is bound to strike a cord with many teen girls, and many adult women who can still remember what it was like to be that awkward, unpopular “new girl.” I’m certainly one of those.
    However, this is where my mama voice kicks in. If this was my daughter, would I want her in this kind of relationship? No. Absolutely not. Edward is controlling, judgemental and stalkerish. (He hangs around all night just watching her sleep? Creepy!) It reminds me of a guy I dated at about 15, who, when he knew I was away at a church youth retreat, showed up unannounced at my family’s home, wanting to clean my room for me. *shudder*
    After almost 100 years, Edward is suddenly interested in this young girl, who, for all intents and purposes, is young enough to be his great-granddaughter, and why? Because she smells good? It’s only less creepy than Hugh Hefner and his harem because Edward doesn’t look like an old man.
    So to sum up, the books have been good reading for me, but there are some things that really bother me about them, and when my daughter picks them up (which she inevitably will, since I was sneaking Stephen King books off my folks’ shelves at 10), I will caution her that what she reads isn’t necessarily the way love should be.
    Now to read Breaking Dawn and see if it irritates me as much as Eclipse did.

  76. Lisa says:

    Hmmmm, I’d take Mr. Darcy over Edward any day too!
    I loved the first book. LOVED IT!! I found the 2nd and the 3rd to be a bit slow and thought the 4th to be shallow.
    In my opinion, the 4th was a bit of a money grab and there wasn’t a lot of thought put into it. The story sort of went down hill and it didn’t do it for me.
    But, that didn’t stop me from getting my book signed by Stephanie Meyer and attending the concert series. They are still a VERY fun read. Not great writing but still very fun. Something a little different from the every day.
    I’m definately a fanpire just the same.

  77. Linda at 2nd cup says:

    My 15 y.o. daughter and her friends are passing these around like crazy. I have always intended to be a mom fully engaged and informed about what my kids read/watched, but I confess I didn’t know which way to turn on these. I wasn’t all that crazy about her reading about vampires in the first place. I’m ashamed I haven’t read one yet, but now I think I will. I just knew that if I banned these because of the vampire content, I’d be setting up a battle and maybe tempting her to read them anyway. Thanks for the info.

  78. Mississippi Mama says:

    Commenter Louise needs to know it’s not nice to make assumptions and sweeping generalizations about things she hasn’t even read. She couldn’t be more off-base about plagiarism. There is nary a whiff of it in the Twilight books, and I’ve read all the other texts in question. What an unfair thing to say about an author. Tsk, tsk, Louise. Bad form.
    Anyway, I love the books. Love. Them. Can’t wait for the movie. I’ll be there, by myself, with all the teenagers!

  79. Carrie says:

    I picked up Twilight 5 days ago and finished New Moon last night . . . um, yeah – those books are a teeny tiny bit addicting and I can’t wait to finish up the other two.
    Plus, I went to college in Port Angeles, for my first 2 years, at Peninsula College (it’s mentioned towards the end of book 2) and can totally relate to the location, I know it well!
    Glad you’re enjoying them too!

  80. Heidi says:

    I decided to read this series because I teach high school students and I kept having to tell the students to put these books down and get to work!
    I am glad that I read them but I do agree that they don’t compare to Harry Potter in literary prowess. It was especially nice to find a series that I will let my daughter read when she is a bit older!

  81. Kristin says:

    Ok, you sold me on it. Before this post, I could not motivate myself to read a book about vampires, even with all the hype – but all you had to do was mention Mr. Darcy, and you had me. My sister and I went out last night and each bought a copy of Twilight – I’m excited to get started!

  82. Karen says:

    Um, comparing this series to Jane Austen? I don’t think so. Just had to get that off my chest first thing!
    My sister loaned me the first two books – she thinks they are the most romantic thing she has ever read.
    I cordially disagree. Edward and Bella are both self-absorbed and selfish in what the author chooses to call love. Bella is consistently two dimensional – she is always right, her instincts are correct, her desires must be fulfilled.
    The writing is never stellar and it progressively gets worse by the end.
    So, to sum up: no literary merit, no relational merit, no thanks.

  83. Natalie Steadman says:

    I finished each one of the books in no more than 12 hours. I started the series a month before the fourth book came out, I was so glad that I didn’t start them when the first one came out. I’m not that patient πŸ™‚ They are definitely NOT H.P, but it was nice to have such a easy read after reading H.P. I agree that they are not the best written, but at the same time they suck you in and you have to read all of them. Book 2 was the hardest for me to get through, as far as writing is concerned. Worth reading in my opinion.

  84. Liz Casstro says:

    I read all 4 of them in a week, I got that caught up! I think the Harry Potter idea only relates to the imaginitive side of the story and the intense characters. Otherwise, it’s just another love story to get lost in.

  85. Ginger says:

    I believe that the comparison to the Harry Potter series is less because of the writing style or plotting but in the way that they capture readers. However, I feel that this new series is ever more destructive. If grown women are being captured and “falling in love with fictional characters” imagine the fantasy that teens and preteens are falling into. It’s frustrating to me because I like a chic flick just as much as the next girl (and enjoy reading books other than the bible) but here we are all sharing/chatting about a fictional love and not once talking about the real and truly everlasting love of Christ.
    Please be careful as you read these and any other books and think about what sort of impact they are having on youth today and even women today that yearn for love…
    I don’t want to offend anyone, really I don’t, if just makes me sad that people are falling in love with fictional vampires when there’s real love out there for everyone.

  86. mombrud says:

    Though my comment may get lost in the many already made, I have read these books a couple of times. My husband is actually reading them now. (He thought the 1st book was 300 of pages of estrogen before it got good. Evidently the “good” was enough to convince him to read more.) As I have read others comments I realized that this series is not one to be over analyzed but just to be enjoyed. These are the books to read when you want to set aside intellectualism (is that a word?), and liturature analysis and just enjoy a fast, intriguing, read.

  87. The Mom says:

    You must read “The Host” now. Totally different from the Twilight series. I have had so many people say it was hard to get into. I think that is only because it was written for adults, not teens. It is intriguing.

  88. CousinJ says:

    Shannon, I am about 150 pages shy of finishing the 4th book. Eric was actually the one who read them first, and interestingly, what he liked best about them is what I liked least:). I have enjoyed them although I did occasionally get annoyed with the teenage characters. I have to admit I haven’t read Pride & Prejudice so now I need to put it on my list.

  89. Shauna says:

    I don’t agree with the P&P analogy at all and actually find it offensive, Jane fangirl that I am. πŸ˜‰ Twilight is a fun series and the books are definitely page-turners, but Stephenie Meyer isn’t even in the same league as JK Rowling, and Miss Austen is in a class of her own.

  90. Amy in West TX says:

    I posted earlier. I am on the final book, Breaking Dawn. I loved the first 3 books, but I do not think I will encourage my 13 year old to read the final book. The third book, Eclipse, ended in a good place. The 4th is darker and a little bit more mature than a 13 yo can handle, imo. I’m addicted though.

  91. Our J'Ollie Home says:

    When I want to buy a new book, or want to peek at whatever book all the bloggers are buzzing about, I’ll go to the book store and open the book. In the middle. If the midst of the story can’t get me excited about what happened before or after, it goes back on the shelf. “Twilight” went right back on the shelf. Not for Book Snob me. Just not my cup o’ tea.
    My BFF loaned me the sequel to P & P, “Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife” Same reaction but it DOES get better after page 101.

  92. denni says:

    Between this and the books that new HBO series “True Blood” is based on, there does seem to be some kind of mini vampire-love explosion, which I’m sure has something to do with the influence of “Buffy.”
    “Buffy” was different, though, in that most vampires were evil — though enough exceptions and permutations could be engineered that Buffy wound up with two vamp boyfriends in the course of the series. Another difference is that series creator Joss Whedon is a pretty brilliant writer. For folks who’ve never seen it, with the exception of two episodes much later in the series it’s not particularly scary at all — much more action action-adventure mixed with strong soap opera and comedy elements.
    I’m probably too big a snob ever to pick up “Twilight” (though I did have my Anne Rice period).

  93. Anissa@Hope4Peyton says:

    I just finished Twilight this week too.
    I kept forgetting that it was a teen book, not just a stiffly written adult book and waiting for the sniffing to move into the more frisky stuff and then was “oh, right, teens”.
    Then I got all weird because Edward’s basically 100+ years old and has the emotional maturity of a 17 year old…just goes to prove some guys never grow up?
    And again…what’s up with all the sniffing?
    It was definitely not HP quality writing by any means, but it was a sweet love story.

  94. Candace (Mama Mia) says:

    I’ve read the first 3 and agree- they’re engrossing. When I bought Twilight at the book store the worker said that she had a friend that read it in one day. I figured that her friend was crazy. It’d take me at least a week to finish it- with 3 kids ages 5 and under and you know- a life. It only took me 2 1/2 days to finish Twilight! I can’t remember the last time I read a book so fast. I’m sure it was before kids.

  95. mumple says:

    Read ’em and am now loaning them out.
    One of the managers at work laughs that at 50-something she’s reading and totally engrossed in a teenage love story!

  96. angela says:

    I just finished book 1.
    I heard all the hype about the last book and decided to see what it was all about. WOW
    I took the book with me on vacation and I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to get the next book of the series!
    VERY accurate description in my opinion. I too disagree with the comparison to Harry Potter. They are on different levels.

  97. alece says:

    i’m always ashamed to admit that i’ve read this. they were brainless, easy reads and i found them enjoyable… but i always turn a bright shade of scarlet when i pass them in the “young adult” section of a bookstore.

  98. Julie says:

    Well, I have read them and here in the very near future I plan to give the whole set away in a giveaway at my place. I believe it will be sometime before Halloween.
    I loved the first three books, but the last one didn’t really hold my interest like the others. It had it’s moments, but I really liked the first three better.
    McD was certainly glad when I finished the series, he said he was glad to have his wife back. πŸ™‚

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