Published October, 2005
Little, Brown and Company
Grade Range: 6 and up, Age Range: 11 and up
Young Adult Fiction, 498 pages,
Bella Swan, an anti-social teenager, moves from Arizona to live with her father in the small town of Forks, Washington, where she meets an exceptionally good looking boy who turns out to be a vampire.
Bella Swan is a seventeen year-old girl who decides to move to Forks, Washington to live with her father, even though she has always detested the small town. While attending Forks High School, she meets an extremely handsome boy named Edward Cullen, who she feels is hiding something. As their feelings for each other grow, Bella discovers that Edward is actually a vampire who was born in 1901, and who can read every person’s mind except for Bella’s. Bella learns that Edward’s family members do not “eat” humans, and that they are not actually related; they came together through a series of different events. Edward convinces Bella to meet his family officially, and they decide to play baseball in a clearing in the forest. The noise that their game makes attracts three rouge vampires, Laurent, James, and Victoria. When James discovers that Bella is human, he begins a twisted game of hide and seek where once he finds her, he will kill her. Edward must protect Bella from James’s “hunt”, but in order to do so, he must overcome his natural attraction to her blood, and have faith that their love will help them defeat James.
Although Meyer’s story is aimed at an older teenage audience, her vocabulary and writing style are simplistic and more appropriate for younger readers. Even though her style is ordinary, Meyer does not fail to captivate and enchant her young adult readers. Meyer launches the reader into the exciting world of a first love, while incorporating the age old story of two socially incompatible lovers fighting through the adversity of their differences to be together. By making one character perfect and the other average, Meyer addresses the incredibly overwhelming feeling of insecurity during the teenage years, and makes it a point to have these two exceptionally different characters attracted to each other. Meyer offers her adolescent readers a plot to which they can relate, full of teenage anxieties and desires, and the need for reciprocated love, whether it comes from a parent, a friend, or a lover. Meyer combines ancient legend and myth with modern troubles, resulting in a very popular young adult novel with a large teenage following, and the balance between reality and fantasy makes Twilight very accessible to a younger audience that has a great need for the imagination to be satisfied. Meyer’s novel leaves the reader wanting to know how Edward and Bella’s adventure together will end up, making it one of the most popular books for modern young adult readers.
Reading level/Interest Age:
Although the reading level is that of a 6th grader, I feel that this book would be more appropriate for ages 14 and up, due to its subject teenage love, which a younger audience may find offensive or embarrassing. This book is mostly loved by teenage girls, although some boys may find its genre appealing.
Information about the Author:
Stephenie Meyer lives in Arizona with her husband and her three sons. She graduated with a degree in English literature from Brigham Young University. The idea for Twilight came to her in a dream, and wanted to write about Edward and Bella just to see how their story would pan out, never intending to write a novel. Meyer has written four other published books, three being part of the “Twilight Saga”, and one called The Host, a science fiction novel about a complicated love triangle.
A low-level companion piece to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
A quintessential love story between a nerdy teenage girl, Bella and a hot vampire, Edward. The story becomes interesting when Edward becomes extremely attracted to Bella’s scent, and has to learn to control himself around her—as well as protect her from other vampires who have a lesser sense of morality.
Religious. Some groups may object to tales of the "undead." However, Frankenstein is on many required reading lists at high schools, and this book is far more tame.
Why I Included This Book:
I decided to include this book due to its unparalleled popularity among teenage girls, including my daughter. She practically forced me to read it, just so I could “...experience the phenomenon.” Although I was not particularly impressed by the novel, I can appreciate the appeal to young readers, and I am grateful to have read one of my daughter’s favorite books.
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