Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer...a review

I'm just going to say this quickly and get it over with. I enjoyed the Twilight series more than any other series I've read so far this summer, and because of this, I'm fairly certain that I will receive some flack. However, I'm not going to apologize for liking it, and if anything apologizing for being against it for so long seems a bit more appropriate.

Even while committing to my summer reading program of popular series books I never once imagined I'd actually like the Twilight series. In fact, I actually predicted it would be last based on everything I had tried to avoid hearing over the years. Avoiding this series, by the way, was nearly impossible. For three years in a row, female students wrote essays to me explaining why they wanted to be Bella Swan, not because she's such an amazing female character, but because, "she gets to be with Edward Cullen". Ugh. This reason as an argument is disgusting, and is the exact reason I initially avoided the series. And then when it reached its height of popularity, when "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" began spewing from people's mouths, I wanted nothing more than to punch those same people in the face. Admittedly, I didn't give it a chance simply because I often distrust the reasons why "everyone" chooses to like something.

Having said all of that, there are a few stand out reasons as to why I enjoyed the series; the most prominent being that Stephenie Meyer is an excellent storyteller. She has created a slew of like-able characters who make it hard for the reader to avoid desiring ultimate success for them. The relationships, the conversations, and the physical interactions are woven together with such a clear vision and direction it is very easy to fall into this world that is just a little different from our own. 

I have not read many books dealing with vampires and werewolves, but I also wouldn't say I'm against the genre as a whole. Actually, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading about this kind of "fantasy" life, but again, I think that is because of how Meyer tells her story. Within the series, Meyer takes time away from the romance aspect and leads the reader into what I can only assume is her history behind the vampires and the werewolves. I especially liked her tales of how the werewolves came to be which read like Native American oral storytelling and bits of old mythology.

It was a little hard to be in the mind of Bella, who in the first three novels lacks confidence so completely, it made it hard for me to relate to her. I have a hard time liking a character just because other characters in the novel are drawn to her. I need to "see" it myself, and I really didn't until the last novel where she finds some of her own strength and makes some independent decisions. 

My biggest complaint this summer with reading the various series books was that within each, I became bored with repetition either in the story lines or in how the writer presented their characters and story. In each, I looked forward to the end.  I just didn't feel that while reading Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, or Breaking Dawn. 


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