Since I'm generally a fan of vampire novels, and wanted to see what all the buzz was about, I decided to read 'Twilight.' I won't be reading any of the others in the series. This book is not just dull, but offensively dull.
The whole 'vampires in high school' theme was done very well by Buffy (the TV show). Buffy was exciting, clever, and portrayed believable interactions between teenagers with a good mix of action and humor. 'Twilight' takes the whole cute-boy-in-school-is-a-
vampire thing, and does it with hardly any action and no humor whatsoever - the whole thing is deadly, roll-your-eyes earnest. It's a romance, not a horror novel - but I was never convinced by either of the characters' feelings. I can very much enjoy love stories - but again, it's a romance, not a love story. It's also a romance with no sex whatsoever, not even implied. Now that's fine, if not very believable, when we're talking about a bunch of high school seniors. But my problem with the book is really the way in which Meyer uses vampirism as a metaphor for sex. Vampirism is, of course, pretty much always a metaphor for sex. But here, we have a 'vegetarian' vampire (he avoids feeding from people, hunting bears instead), who is attracted to a young woman pretty much only because of her scent. He is so attracted to her, he can barely keep himself from ravishing her. Since he wants to be 'good,' he refrains from ravishing her, even though she wants him to. On her part, she seems to be attracted to him pretty much because he's good-looking and dangerous. (Ah, the allure of the 'bad-boy'). The two don't seem to have anything in common, and compared to him, she is a completely powerless partner, passive except for continually putting herself in the way of danger, with what seems to be a deathwish. When a villain FINALLY shows up, 3/4 of the way through the book, he's one of those guys (uh, vampires) who doesn't really care about a girl at all, they just want to ravish her and leave (her dead). The very clear message running through all this is that Most Guys don't care about you and only want One Thing. Occasionally there might be a guy who does care about you, and can refrain from "taking" That One Thing, but Watch Out, because even the nicest guy (vampire) really does want That One Thing, which is just a step into untold disaster and could end up with You Dead. Personally, I feel this is a really terribly inaccurate and unhealthy (not to mention un-feminist) way of viewing relationships, yes, even teen relationships. Considering this, I'm finding the current popularity of the book (and movie) rather disturbing.