Sunday, November 27, 2011

Series in Review: Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

Series are a tricky thing. I have series that I love as a whole, but an individual book within the series did not impress me.  So I am not always sure that reviewing the individual books is fair to the author's vision. However, I do not want to postpone all of my reviews of the books within a series until the end. With those thoughts in mind I decided to start Series In Review. In these postings, I will be looking at more than one book in the series or if possible the entire series at one time.
**This review may contain spoilers for some of the books in the series**

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Love & Romance, Vampires, Werewolves
Books Released in Series: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn

Supplemental Books: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Author Info: Website | Goodreads
Rating: 3 stars
Borrowed books from the library.

In A Nutshell:
This series left me torn.  Stephenie Meyer has an exceptional ability to put emotions into words.  I have known love and loss of love, so Bella's emotions throughout the series resonated with me--and the way that Stephenie Meyer put them into words was better than anything I could have done myself.  But there were definite elements of the relationship between Bella and Edward that I struggle with.  I do not think it is a healthy model of relationships particularly for the YA audience that the books were written for. 

I had been very resistant to read The Twilight Saga, but after listening to my niece talk about it almost non-stop during one of my visits to see my sister's family I decided to take the leap.  I tried reading the novels, but I had to stop because the grammar issues really got under my skin (if you want a good explanation of what I mean look at Reasoning with Vampires).  The best solution for me so I could still finish the story was to switch to audiobooks.  These books were the ones that got me hooked on audiobooks--I love that I can put them on my iPod and take them with me everywhere.

Stephenie Meyer's ability to put Bella's emotions into words is riveting.  I really felt like I was in the head and the heart of a teenage girl.  This ability to escape from my every-day life to remember what first love feels like is one of the things I love about reading YA literature.  But one of the things that bothers me is that Bella is making decisions as a teen in love that will affect the rest of her life.  Maybe that is fairly realistic since I know I had friends who made choices in high school for love that affected the rest of their lives, but that is not always fun to read about because I just find myself saying over and over again that this decision is permanent.  It cannot be taken back.

The fact that Bella is making so many permanent decisions is a big part of why I do not like the relationship between Edward and Bella.  He is controlling.  He does a lot of things that seem to be stalker-ish to me.  He can only be with her if she gives up everything in her life, including her family, friends, and very humanity.  No one should feel they have to give up everything about themselves to be with another person.  And I do not like to see that being set up as the model relationship to aspire to.

In the end, I was glad I had read it and glad to be able to talk to my niece about it.  It was great to have that connection with her.  And when she got Scene It? Twilight Deluxe Edition for Christmas--I actually held my own and almost won one round. 

If you have read these books and watched the movies, you should definitely get this game.  My family played for hours on end!

And I will be reviewing it separately later, but I really liked the novella.  I hope there are more to come because there were so many characters in Breaking Dawn that I want to learn more about:

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