Unless you've been locked in a coffin for the past four years, you already know that the Twilight saga is the story of the romance between out-of-place teenager Bella and ageless vampire Edward. The novel was initially marketed at Young Adult readers, but Stephanie Meyer's first novel quickly proved that it had the ability to cross age barriers and has become a publishing tsunami.
Stephanie Meyer is either a genius, naive, or perverted. I'm not sure which. What an ingenious feat she has accomplished. The concept of an 100-year old vampire obsessed with a 16-year old girl is more disturbing than anything Anne Rice has ever written (even in her sado-sexual fantasy novels), and Meyer has brilliantly disguised all this perversion in the guise of a sappy romance ... and the general public has swallowed it completely! Lolita could not find an American publisher for years, but Meyer's books are proudly displayed on the shelves of Wal-Mart and school libraries across America! Ingenious!!
The story is told in first person from the perspective of Bella, who is shy and lacking in confidence; her sarcastic inner voice narrates the story for the reader. Meyer keeps Bella's narrative simple and yet full of beautiful passages.
I admire any writer who goes against convention; most of us have become bored by the glut of cookie-cutter vampire books that flooded the market in the post 1980s success of Anne Rice. Meyer uses the vampire device as an interesting way to explore a very cliqued story: young teenage forbidden love, and pulls it off with a disturbing touch of dark romanticism. Bravo!
BIBLIO SAYS: Recommended with reservations.
Companion Read: The Chosen Sin by Anya Bast.