[twilightSERIES] personal view

13 10 2008

I have been thinking about posting a review of the [twilight] series ever since I finished reading the 4th book and never really got around it. now, with kat’s post of the new and definitive trailer of the up-coming movie and the fact that I have been also checking on MI trilogy updates, I think the time is perfect for a post on the YA bestseller.

however, I don’t feel like doing a whole review of the four books – it’s been a very long time since I read the first one and the last two and a half I devoured so hastily that they count as one book in my head… seeing I would only manage an awful mess of a review, I will not even try it. instead I just offer my opinion, my views on the series as a whole. *warning, possible spoilers ahead*

I have heard some people say the [twilight] series is a trilogy – hinting that the 4th book was unnecessary I guess. I could have gone further and say it’s a two book series; but being honest – though never straying from the point here – for me it was a very enjoyable two and a half sequence. let me explain. if I should consider the novels separately I have no doubt as to which ones are the most accomplished, best written and more “whole”. those two should be the first and last books of the series. one of the reasons I continued reading ’til the end even though YA romantic fantasy is not exactly my cup of tea, was that I thought stephenie meyer’s approach to the subject of vampires was fairly interesting. the way she strips the myth of all draculesque vestiges and brings it down to Earth, adding her own touches and adapting it to her line of story – this was a first for me in the vampire lairs. everything is conducted very naturally from the beginning, the context is also very un-extraordinary for a vampire novel and the main character is not gifted with unnatural perfection or beauty – she is clumsy and reserved, has a strong personality and in some cases shows more maturity than most teenagers are credited with. at least that was the impression you got when you read the first book, but this is another issue.

what I was trying to convey is that the initial novel made a good read to the point where no continuation would have been necessary. the second book takes a turn for the worse, as was called for after a happy end of a cliff-hanger. then ensues the most interesting arc in the books to come: some characters take leave and a new one is reintroduced to play a more decisive part. the dynamic of the story changes completely, but the reader gets used to this new pace very easily, which means the writer is doing well. here I draw a line and wipe out half of the book and the next one too, until we reach [breaking dawn]. this is what I meant by “two and a half series”.

it’s not that [eclipse] or the second part of [new moon] are specially bad or uninteresting – from a literally point of view they follow in line with the others and I’d say the pace comes more naturally than before, the writer seems finally at ease with battle or action scenes. the problem is the main character and her all-too-perfect, greek god statue of a boyfriend. their love story is so sappy my fingers got sticky from touching the pages and sporadic nausea overtook me from time to time. to make things worse, bella mysteriously becomes a spoiled and selfish brat – as if being constantly in need of everybody’s help weren’t enough for my nerves – turning your initial respect for her into reluctance and then plain dislike. her behavior and personality strays so much from the girl you knew in [twilight] as her relationship with edward progresses, that you no longer recognise her. since the books are told from bella’s point of view, the fact that the reader should develop a strong aversion towards her is not good – it wasn’t good for my mental health and kat and akiko had to suffer the consequences, aka me showering complaints about bella all day.

it is a pity that just when jake starts to gain importance and the werewolf issue is being developed, everything should be eclipsed by this new side of bella. I think those were strong points in the second and third book and would have made all the difference, yet all I recall from the time I read them is this impending urge to see bella dead and the sad notion that it would probably never happen.

which brings me to [breaking dawn] – the one I also count into my series. first thing that made me like it from the start is that bella stops telling the story after 140 pages :). from then on we have some good 230 pages of jake! I celebrate the writer’s decision here – jake has always been the antidote to the anxiety and angst bella arose in me. and in truth a change in the point of view was becoming really necessary in the story – not to mention that I’d probably have thrown myself out of a window if I had had to suffer bella’s pregnancy seeing it through her eyes!!! thanks SM for sparing us.

the second good point of the book is that we finally say goodbye to overly-clumsy, dependable bella and get to enjoy a stronger and more independent character (at last!). it’s also interesting to experience the subtleties of becoming a vampire in first person, instead of collecting the information from other characters. my only objection would be the predictable happy ending. I don’t know why, but, maybe because I have a knack for tragedy, my insticts told me it would have been far more interesting if bella’s plan B had had to be carried on. for some reason the thought of jake and little renesmee starting a new life together in brazil, the christmas present locket the only left token from her parents, gave me a stronger feeling of reality. sad endings are much more emotional than happy ones. oh, well.

so this was it. just wanted to share. the veredict would be that I liked the first one very much and enjoyed some parts of the others, here and there, but continued reading with the feeble hope of seeing bella finally die in one of the thousands of oportunities she is presented with. my wish was not fulfilled, but a good thing came of this experience nontheless: I love cassandra clare’s books twice as much now. 以上!




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