Series Review: The Twilight Series

Series: The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2005-2008
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Vampire, Romance, Teen Lit
Rating:heartheart
Source + Date Read: Partner’s library + Dec 2012
Recommend
: For those that love some fantasy with their sappy teen lit, this will get you going!
Series Pro’s: The cover’s are genius, they’re simple and artistic at the same time and very marketable, that undercurrent of red is brilliant.
Series Con’s: Bella is god-awful annoying. As are most of the main characters actually.

Summary: Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
More Information: GoodReads

Instead of reviewing individual books, as that would probably kill me and I have no interest in spreading reviews for this book so far, I decided to do a series review and short mini reviews of each book!

Some of my friends were surprised when they found out that I was reading this. First, Babe loves the series so I can’t really argue with Her about what I don’t like if I haven’t actually read the material. So, with my mighty, bookish snobbery, I read the series and what I discovered was both surprising and yet, not very surprising at all.

Twilightheartheartheart

As the first in the series, the book has an interesting way of sucking you in. Meyer fleshes out Bella’s move to forks and her eventual transformation from a very awkward, insecure single girl to a very awkward, insecure not-so-single girl. My biggest gripe with this book was the flawed nature of Bella and Edward. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want perfection, but I don’t want to read about someone who is so whiney and so… detestable. I could put up with Edward, but I had a hard time dealing with Bella’s character. My inner feminist raged and yet my inner romantic kind of went, awww, I want someone to be obsessed with me like that. Then I came to my senses and said, not really.

The pace of the book moves along fine and despite the annoying nature of some of the characters (and what is with everyone’s obsession with Bella? I’ve moved to very tiny places and it is not nearly so neat and pleasant as a time as she had, wtf?), it was a fairly enjoyable read. Enough so that I was willing to pick up the second book.

Let it be known that I haven’t watched the Twilight films yet, Babe and I are going to complete my Twilight education this weekend and don’t worry, I won’t make you suffer with a film series review.

New Moonheartheart

This book made me nearly put down the entire series. I had to give this book a 0, it deserved nothing else. First of all, Bella’s character spirals into an even more annoying place, which I never thought was possible. The total shutting down after the love of her life leaves? A touch melodramatic. Ok not even a touch, I’ve had meltdowns but I lived, I moved. She just died. We meet Jake who at first, is a likeable, lovesick sort of puppyish character. Then he is filled with testosterone and becomes King Kong and likes to lay his claim on his women.

Actually let’s speak on that, why do the men feel the need to lay claim to their women in the series? Jake, Edward, you like her, I get it, but she isn’t a toy, you can’t share her and she isn’t a thing to keep.

All of these things add up to make a very dis-likeable book, but the true killer of the story is its pace. There is no need for it to drag on that long, Meyer could have saved everyone some screaming and kept it around 50 to 100 pages shorter and kept the story line and theme intact. What bothers me a great deal is this: I remember every book I’ve read that has meant something, but this, I can’t even remember what the culminating fight was, the finale and climax. I can’t remember it at all. It’s too bad because New Moon was my favourite cover.

Eclipseheartheart

Meyer continues with the series with a close likeness to Twilight. Bella is back in school with the love of her life right next to her and now they have a new fight, when shall Bella become an immortal? Oh it is a huge fight because, you know, at 18 she is getting older every day and it’s something she can’t bear. Every time I think that Meyer plunges Bella to the lowest depth’s of annoying-ness and shallowness, she upstages me and digs Bella deeper.

It’s sad because the story line in Eclipse is a good deal more dynamic and engaging than the other stories. Here, readers find themselves with multiple story lines, and conflicting emotions, of all which give the characters a greater sense of deepness. Meyer also strengthens the series, I believe, by focusing a touch more on the other characters in the series, such as the Quileute clan, and the other vampires. I am quite intrigued to read about Jasper’s past and what haunts Rosalie. Finally, we get depth and a true story!

Another bad point: The sheer annoyingness of Leah Clearwater. Why do you dislike women with feelings Stephanie?

Breaking Dawn heartheartheart

I realise that I am using a lot of ‘ness-es’ in this and I apologise for my shoddy grammar and informal nature. I’ve also done a lot of whining myself, and I want to make it clear, I do not love this series, but I did enjoy it somewhat. I would not have read the books if I had not been prompted (or told to really) but it is not something that I regret. It’s also gotten me off of my high horse to see the harm in bookish snobbery. Babe hardly ever reads, and if this gets Her to read, then have at it.

I thought this book was the best in the entire series. We see things from Jake’s point of view and finally, a mature Bella. Immortality did something good to her, because she isn’t whining and complaining girl we know her as. I appreciate Meyer’s attempt at developing her main character more and adding some depth to her.

The conflict is an unsurprising one, as it was to be expected from New Moon, and the ending was much too neat for my tastes, but Meyer successfully ends the Twilight series with some intrigue and credibility.

The most enjoyable part for me was meeting the new vampires and coming to understand the powers that some had. I like that Meyer included talents, or powers that are normally overlooked such as Carlisle’s super-compassion. I think this is something important to note for every-day life, as those with extreme talents are lauded, such as the super runner or musical prodigy, as they should, but what of those who have talents that are not overt and yet still valuable? Meyer shows us the different parts of this ‘debate’ (if you would call it that) and I think that lends itself to a strong book.

Indeed, I wasn’t very sad to see the series go, but I must say, I really did enjoy the last one. Give Twilight a chance peeps, if you can get past Bella you’ll be OK. I promise.

Now I want to hear from everyone else, do you like Twilight? Be honest? Be brutal!

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About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, SFF, YA. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Series Review: The Twilight Series

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  2. Nicole says:

    I only read the first two, but I completely agree with your assessment. I don’t have a hatred like many do for the series. I think I just lost interest, though… which, to be honest, is actually super easy for me to do because I don’t follow series well (especially ones with long books). I think it’s okay for the age group – certainly is escapist. And I don’t think it would negatively impact any one…not on its own anyway – let’s give teens some credit, eh!?? I think you were super fair.

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Thanks for thinking I was fair! I think it’s super easy to bash something because it’s in style to hate it, but it wasn’t bad, it just… wasn’t good either. I think teens deserve some credit.

  3. ManatheCat says:

    I bought Breaking Dawn recently just so I could say I had finally finished the series and could have a well-informed opinion about it. My gripes so far though are very similar to yours. Bella is not someone I find particularly enthralling, her life revolves around men and falls apart when one of them leaves. What kind of message is Meyer trying to send to young adolescent girls- that we can only feel validated if we have some arm candy? (I have only read Twilight and New Moon so I can’t say anything for the other two novels in this series). It’s very unfortunate but Twilight was the impetus that stopped my love affair with YA. I still enjoy it now and again but this book firmly pulled me out of that phase.
    Great, concise review.

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  6. DoingDewey says:

    I agreed with your points about the annoying main character. I don’t think I made it past the second book, may have read the third, but it was a pretty forgettable series, in my opinion. I think you did a really nice job giving it a chance and liked your review 🙂

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  8. Heather says:

    My husband and I both read this series to see what all the hype was about (we wanted to know all about it in case our daughter asked to read it). It was…okay. I mean, we kept reading, so we didn’t hate it. I had a lot of issues with it, though. Thank goodness Ashley was never interested in reading it. Hahaha!

    • bwithbooks says:

      Yeah.. it isn’t as horrible as everyone made it seem. It isn’t the death of literature. But it isn’t.. something I’d go get for my cousins if they asked to read it.

      You’re lucky to have never had to make that decision with your daughter!

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