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The International Writers Magazine

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: ATOM; New Ed edition ( 2007)
Language English ISBN-10: 1904233651
ISBN-13: 978-1904233657
Nicole Foulger

Romance, Ugh! At least that’s 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 Meyer’s writing that caught my attention; that’s 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. Meyer’s characters are well defined, they have personality traits you can relate to. They have strengths and weaknesses. It’s 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 Bella’s 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.

Meyer’s story was compulsive and I didn’t want to put it down; as far as I’m concerned that must mean she’s doing something right. It just goes to show that even those of us who aren’t 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". It’s true. Good job there’s a sequel, huh?

©  Nicole Folger May 2007

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