The International Writers
by Stephanie Meyer
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: ATOM; New Ed edition ( 2007)
Language English ISBN-10: 1904233651
Ugh! At least thats what I thought when I curiously picked
up a copy of Stephenie Meyers debut novel, Twilight; having
heard about it during my Writing for Children unit at university.
I hate romantic novels with a passion, so why did I go out and
buy it? Because we were read an excerpt; because there was something
interesting about Meyers writing that caught my attention;
thats why. Oh, and not forgetting the Vampires of course.
Edward was as compelling to read about as a vampire should be. I felt
addicted to his character, his quickly changing moods leaving me as enthralled
by him as Bella was. Meyers characters are well defined, they have
personality traits you can relate to. They have strengths and weaknesses.
Its a nice twist to have a Vampire who is complex rather than a
fairy-tail villain. Bella, accident prone and drawn to danger, is someone
who every girl can relate to. Meyer writes from Bellas perspective;
a seventeen year old girl, recently moved to a new town completely different
to her own; having to make new friends in a new school. We see the transition
from sunny Phoenix to cold and oppressive Forks through her eyes. These
are experiences that so many children have to go through and seeing Bella
succeeding in her new life, however dangerous it may be along the way,
is a great comfort.
The story twists and turns through its ups and downs and you know that
there is always another surprise waiting just over the page. The narrative
is fast-paced, balancing action, with fantasy, with romance; the three
elements are woven together with delicacy and skill. Of course this is
primarily a love story; a story of forbidden love. Part of me really wanted
Bella to be with Edward and their struggle to make their relationship
work does, in parts, emulate real life relationships. I desperately wanted
Bella to become a vampire; Edward clearly has the upper hand in their
relationship and I felt, to my surprised distress, like it was doomed
from the start as long as he held on to that power balance. Perhaps my
one criticism of the book is that Bella is too dependant on Edward; unhealthily
dependant on someone she barely knows and it does send the message that
first love lasts forever, a fact nearly all of us know is not the case.
Meyers story was compulsive and I didnt want to put it down;
as far as Im concerned that must mean shes doing something
right. It just goes to show that even those of us who arent taking
a creative writing course have the potential to write brilliant, un-put-down-able
fiction. Inspiration can come from anywhere, even dreams. Her imagination
takes the idea of Vampires to a new level and I was captivated by her
descriptive yet fast-paced prose. Twilight is an "extraordinary love
story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page".
Its true. Good job theres a sequel, huh?
© Nicole Folger May 2007
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