2000 - 2007 YA

Twilight – Stephenie Meyer (Book and Film)

I had been wanting to read Twilight for a long time, as I hate not knowing what everyone else is talking about. I suspected that I wouldn’t enjoy it, but tried to approach it with a fairly open mind.

Unfortunately I quickly realised that it wasn’t for me – the writing style grated, the characters lacked depth and there was no atmosphere. After trudging through 50 pages of this drivel I gave up and decided to watch the film.

I immediately liked watching it a lot more – the characters, who had been so dull on paper came to life! The film was beautifully shot and was packed with colour, action and even emotion at times. After 20 minutes I paused the film and picked the book up again, wondering if I’d been wrong about it, but after struggling through another ten pages I realised that my initial reaction was still holding up. The dialogue was so cheesy and as the book consists of almost nothing but talking it was impossible to avoid!

I finished the rest of the film and found that I really enjoyed it. I’m not normally a fan of vampire films, but I found that Twilight was different to many of the others due to the lack of excessive violence. The plot concentrated more on the love story than the vampires chasing each other round and killing one another. I even found the love story almost believable on screen – there were several touching scenes.

Once I had  finished watching the film I skim read the rest of the book, reading only the important scenes. I noticed a few differences between the two, but generally the film seemed to follow the book very closely. I’m afraid that the writing quality remained quite low for the rest of the book and I was never tempted to finish it properly. I’m sure that I would have loved Twilight when I was 14, but as an adult I was thoroughly bored with it.

I won’t be reading any more of the books, but will ensure I watch the DVDs as they are released.

Book: stars1 (DNF)

DVD:  stars41

Did you enjoy Twilight?

Did you prefer the book or the film?

71 replies on “Twilight – Stephenie Meyer (Book and Film)”

I have also thought about reading this book, but I just can’t quite bring myself to do it, though I am tempted, but it is everything that I don’t like in a book, so I don’t think I would get very far with it.
I haven’t seen the film yet, but I can imagine that it would be better as a movie then a book. My B/F has seen the film and he said it was brilliant.
Hugs, Bethxxx

Beth, I’m not a fan of teenage romance books or vampires, so knew it wasn’t for me, but when you hear about it non-stop for years the doubt stars to creep in! I’m pleased that I finally picked it up and can now talk about Twilight with others – even if it is only to criticise it!

I have to admit I didnt love the first book when I read it. I then completely loved the film, which made me read New Moon which is soooooo much better than Twilight to read. The film of the sequel also misses a couple of key points but I think if you enjoy the films more just stick with them.

Simon, It is interesting that you think New Moon is better to read. I think I’ll stick to the films from now on though – I’m sure someone can fill me in on the key points that are missed out!

The very best Twilight series recaps I’ve ever read were by Cleolinda Jones:

I liked the books (though they were very, very bad) and I just could not stop laughing at Cleolinda’s commentary.

My reviews, in case you’re interested:
Twilight book:
Twilight movie:
New Moon book:
New Moon movie:
Breaking Dawn:

I read the book first then saw the film. I loved the film, especially as Bella is less drippy in it than the book. I tried to read the book with its key audience in mind, and can see why it has been so influential. It’s overlong and not brilliant writing, and Bella was frustrating, but I did want to find out what happened so I thoroughly enjoyed it as part of my Halloween vampire-fest last autumn. I am looking forward to reading the rest, and seeing New Moon (I’ll wait for the DVD though).

But each to their own – Sometimes you just have to read or watch something to confirm your own feelings – I sat through an episode of Gavin and Stacey and loathed it unlike virtually everyone else I know.

I know by the success of this book that it is loved by its teenage market, but if the book is well written then I can enjoy/love YA books too. (eg. The Hunger Games) I did want to know what happened, but wouldn’t have been able to finsih the book even if I hadn’t had the film to watch.

I know what you mean about Gavin and Stacey. I once sat through an episode and wondered why everyone loves it – but then I will always wonder if this is because I didn’t watch it from the beginning….

At the urging of one of my daughters, I read the book. It was struggle to finish, and she is still disappointed that I won’t be reading the rest of the series. Maybe I should watch the movie …

I did read the book and thought the story was okay, but the writing ruined it for me. I don’t really have a desire to see the movie, but it’s good to know I may like it better.

Stacy, I agree – the story is OK. I just couldn’t get into the book as the writing was so poor. I think you’ll like the DVD more, but it probably isn’t worth watching if you didn’t love the book.

I lipped off at Thanksgiving about this series to my sister who loves it. She quickly pointed out that I was judging something I had not read. I hate when other people do that, so my penance is to read the entire series. I recently finished this one. As someone who has read literally hundreds of romance novels, my problem with this one is that I’ve never cared for romances that focused almost entirely on the main relationship. I need a meatier story. I thought this got more interesting at the end when you started to hear more about Edward’s family, but for the most part I just thought it was okay. But then again, I’m 45 years old and hated high school. Reliving it via this book was irritating. 🙂 I hear the series gets better as it progresses though. I guess I’ll be finding out. 🙂


Lezlie, I hate judging things I haven’t read yet, so always try to avoid doing it. I haven’t read that many romance books, so actually didn’t have a problem with the plot. For a YA novel especially it was fine – it was just that the dialogue was too dreadful for me to read.

I must be a saddo, as I read all four books in the series, and really liked them, yeah it’s a bit cheesy in parts, but the hillside walled town written about in book 2 or 3 can’t remember which as I read them all in about three weeks early 2009 really does exist in Tuscany, and it’s described brilliantly, I drove through the area,whilst staying at a friends house a few years ago,on hols in Italy and really glad I didn’t go in as it looked real spooky, not that you’d say I’ve an over active imagination (lol). I then lent them to my step-daughter who’s early twenties, and she loved them also. I wasn’t that keen on the film,the 1st time I saw it, as I felt it missed quite a bit of the book out, however, was def worth watching the gorgeous Mr Patterson, I’m most def an Edward fan, and a very sad 49 yr old (lol)

I’ve not seen the movie, but I read the book about a year ago. It was okay. I went into it knowing it was pure fluff, and it kept me entertained. Afterwards I tried reading the second book, however, and HATED it. It was horrible. A million times worse than the first book. I never read beyond it and I have no desire to.

Amanda, I knew it was going to be fluff and don’t mind the odd bit, as long as it is entertaining, but this book failed to entertain me. I’ll take your warning about the second book and stick to the films!

I do like the films a lot more than the books – they are just a bit more lively than the writing in the books. That said, I have read and re-read all four Twilight books (I’ve even read the partial draft, Midnight Sun) and I have really enjoyed them all ( I do like New Moon best). I just think of them as fun, silly fluff books that are great to read every now and again. I agree with you that the writing is not great in any way and that the characters can become rather boring (what with all the obsessing over each other – Bella and Edward), but to be frank I didn’t expect anything else from these books. I would read a new Twilight book if Meyers decided to continue with the series and I’m certain I would enjoy it. However, I totally understand if you couldn’t finish the book and hey, at least you enjoyed the film. Check out New Moon ( I think it was better than Twilight).

Nadia, I’m sure there are a lot of people who are very jealous that you’ve read Midnight Sun. It is great that you enjoy them and I hope she writes a lot more books for you to enjoy!

I read the first three books early ’08 before the major hype hit (the craziness surrounding the movies and the actors is irritating) and pre-ordered the fourth, which I devoured upon its release (in, I think, August of that same year). I read the books as if they were oxygen and I was starved off it. The writing is poor but I was enthralled; Meyer may be accused of being a hack writer but she can tell a good story (if memory serves, the first book is setting the scene more or less). I wouldn’t compare the twilight books to anything else I read because they are completely different but I know that sometimes I require completely tuned-out escapism and these provided that; I like to think of them as “popcorn books”, that make a great snack but have no longer-term satisfying or nutritional qualities.

I’m not surprised that you didn’t finish this; it’s really not your thing. They provide a nostalgia for me for my teenage years when I tore through Point Horror books and in my later teenage years when I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Joss Whedon and Alan Ball in True Blood do vampires so much better than the Twilight franchise that it is cruel to compare).

I thought the movie was passably enjoyable and will watch the others on DVD but I find the cheesy dialogue even worse on screen; lines like “you’re my own personal brand of heroin” make me cringe.

The cult of Twilight amuses me and I’m glad I read them early on to know what all the fuss is about; if the fuss could move swiftly on its way though, I’d be grateful! I really don’t see the fascination about whether Edward and Bella in real life are actually a couple – yawn. Sorry, my little rant is over now!

Claire, It is interesting that you found the Twilight books nostalgic. I loved Christopher Pike as a teenager too, but I can’t watch Buffy or Angel as I find them very irritating. They seem to have no plot – or just repititions of the same one.

It is also interesting that you found the cheesy dialogue worse on screen. I wonder why I am more sensitive to it on the page and you on the screen?

I also have no interest on the fuss surrounding Twilight and had no idea there was speculation about whether they were a couple in real life. I hope they are happy whoever they are going out with!

I saw that you were reading this the other day and was anticipating your thoughts. I haven’t bothered to read the books, but enjoyed the first movie. I really enjoyed watching it with friends for a sort of girly night in! I think I’ll be sticking with the films though 🙂

So here’s the deal…if you couldn’t get through the first Twilight, you definitely wouldn’t get through the rest of them. The first, in my opinion, is the most alluring. Yes, the writing is bad, and yes, it is very teenagery, but to me, it took me back to my youth and all the angst. It seemed to capture that very well. It got old really really fast though. By the fourth book, I was just like “get this freaking thing over with”. One thing I will say, the first two movies have stayed very true to the books. Nothing wrong with that second movie, if you like men’s chests!

Sandy, I thought that the film captured the teenage angst and the emotion really well, but the book failed to do that for me. I do like men’s chests, so I look forward to the second film!

I read the book because my 14 year old son devoured the first three in one sitting and begged me on a daily basis for the 4th until I acquired a copy for him over the Christmas holidays.

I enjoyed the book, I thought it was very atmostpheric and as much as the film was very true to the book I thought it lacked the atmostphere and tension that reading the book had.

I did not get around to reading the 2nd book but I have seen the film and I was even less impressed than I was with the first. My son disliked both films and much preferred the books in both cases although he did say that the 2nd book was the weakest of the three he had read.

Karen, It is great that your son loved these books so much, but I’m surprised you found the book more atmospheric. I found very little atmosphere in the books – but perhaps it became more atmospheric as it progressed?

I hope your son has found many more books to enjoy since he finished the Twilight series.

Just my opinion that I thought the book had more atmosphere and tension than the film just as your opinion was the reverse. I’m not surprised that was your opinion! Perhaps I don’t expect too much from a book aimed at the teenage market, I just enjoy the story and enjoy sharing it with whichever son is reading it.

As for my son we always manage to find something that he is keen to read, and to be honest I don’t care if he reads a cereal packet as long as he enjoys what he reads.

I’ve read the first three books in this series, which is actually kind of funny seeing as I didn’t really like any of them. As you said, the writing was incredibly bad and I found Bell to be an annoying little twit. I’ve also seen the first movie since I like watching bad movies… I can’t say I enjoyed either more than the other since I think both are pretty vapid BUT I might say the movies are better simply because you can get through them faster!

Sometimes I get frustrated when I try to understand the hype regarding these books, but then I remember that they are badly written, which means they are easy to read and they don’t really provoke much thought. At the end of the day, these tend to be the types of books that sell best because they’re approachable by pretty much everyone. They don’t challenge, they just entertain (provided one enjoys mindless entertainment, which I think we all do on occasion).

I think you have to remember that these books are written primarily for a teenage audience. My teenager loves them, they obviously entertain him and tap into subjects that interest him. He does not read them for any literary merit – his studies give him quite enough Shakespeare and so on. I read some teenage fiction because I want to read something in common with my sons and I have to say I have not read anything I’ve hated yet.

Karen, I have no problem with teenagers reading these books – in fact as long as they are reading a book I don’t mind what it is!

My blog rating is only an indication of how much I enjoyed reading the book and has nothing to do with how much others will enjoy it. I know that millions of children/people have read Twilight and enjoyed it.

My comment here was in relation to Steph’s 2nd paragraph rather than your original comments. I’m very much of the opinion that reading anything is better than reading nothing especially where teenagers are concerned.

I think it is one thing to have a book written so that it is accessible for a younger audience, and another thing to have it be badly written. I think Meyers books are a combination of the two. Teens aren’t necessarily going to get Proust (though some surely will), but that doesn’t mean that writing has to be bad in order for them to read it. I’d also argue that while I take no issue with some of the content (of course teens will be interested in love stories), some of it I do think is worrisome, especially in terms of the way it portrays relationships and acceptable behavior for girls. I do NOT think the Bella & Edward relationship is a good model, but clearly girls are getting wrapped up in it and want there own Edward… and that’s creepy for MANY reasons.

It’s great if these books get teens/YA reading, only I hope they’re reading more than this. I’m not convinced they are, but I will agree that reading something is better than reading nothing. That said, clearly it’s not just teens reading these books, and I kind of wonder about the people who are much older and are not just reading these books to find out what they’re kids are reading. Some YA novels can transcend their genre and speak to readers of all ages (I might argue that To Kill a Mockingbird is one such example), but I don’t see that with these books at all.

Steph, I’m surprised that you read 3 of the books, but agree about the films being quicker!

I didn’t find Bella especially annoying – she was just a typical teenage girl!

With the book(s), I found Bella to be unbelievably whiny. With the movie, I found Edward to appear pretty creepy. The second movie, “New Moon”, didn’t live up to my expectations because I did enjoy the book. Since I thought Eclipse was pointless, I’m not sure I will see that movie. I do want to see “Breaking Dawn” when it comes out on film.

My mom, who has never read the novels, liked “Twilight” the movie, but thought “New Moon” was too long.

Christina, I did think that Edward was a lot creepier in the film and that was a big improvement for me. I agree that Bella was a lot less whingy in the film – I almost liked her!

I haven’t read the series or seen the movies, and I suspect I never will, for the very reasons you mention here. Bad writing is an instant turn-off, and the few snippets I saw of the first movie made me me think it would be a cheesy mess.

I have avoided this whole series much like I have avoided The DaVinci Code and The Lost Symbol. I do have Twilight on my shelves but after reading your review I don’t feel compelled to pick it up anytime soon!

Kathleen, I actually liked The Da Vinci Code, but haven’t got round to reading The Lost Symbol yet.

If you own a copy of Twilight you might as well give it a try – you’ll realise very quickly whether it is for you or not.

Like you, I tried to have an open mind but I gave up after 50 pages or so. The poor writing bothered me, and it bothers me that people believe we should forgive poor writing because this is a book for young adults. After teaching writing to college students for many years, I also disagree with the idea that kids get “enough” exposure to good writing at school that reading poor writing in their spare time is okay. The number of students who arrived in my university classroom via “advanced placement” courses (supposedly for top performers) who could not write a complete, coherent sentence was appalling. I admit that I am also bothered by the whole premise of this teenage girl subjugating herself to this vampire, which is essentially what she does–but she doesn’t have sex before marriage! Let’s all focus on that. Mmm hm.

Priscilla, I agree that it isn’t necessary for teenagers to read poor quality writing – there are so many fantastic books out there for them to enjoy. I loved The Hunger Games, The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas and Uglies – all with great writing. More does need to be done to educate children as I agree that a shocking number of youngsters can’t write properly.

The writing can be something that you dislike and don’t like to read and I suppose you can say it’s poor quality if you want to, but I don’t agree. It appeals to it’s market, teenagers want to read it. They enjoy it because it’s content, subject matter and style appeal to them. Teen books I have read are all written in complete sentences and are grammatically correct. I have bought numerous books for my sons because they have won prizes awarded by adults, but they have remained on the shelves untouched and I finally got it. They want to read their own choice outside of the school set books and not more set books in their leisure time. Books by Anthony Horowitz, J K Rowling, Sophie McKenzie, Michelle Paver, Garth Nix – to name just a handful – are never up there with the prize winners but they have produced books that my sons have been desperate to read.
Bit of a rant, but something I feel very strongly about – not that you can tell of course!!

I haven’t seen the movie. I made it to 280 pages of the book, before giving up, which is either quite commendable or quite worrying, depending on how you look at it. Bella seemed so whiny in the book, and parts of it was so cringe-worthy. Maybe the movie assuages the cringe/corny-aspect of the book?

Not tempted to watch it at all – specially as The Road is in the cinema, as is Sherlock Holmes, and I might be the only person in the whole wide world who hasn’t seen Avatar yet.

anothercookiecrumbles, Congratulations on making it to p280! I did find much of the book cringe worthy and although there is still a lot to cringe at in the films it is much better. I don’t get out to the cinema, so have to wait for the DVDs to come out. I haven’t seen Avatar yet either – I think I’m going to really miss out by not seeing that at the cinema. I really want to watch The Road too – not too long to wait!

mee, It is nice to be able to join in with all the Twilight discussions – I always felt left out before. I think the reviews are even more funny if you know what they are getting at – perhaps you should try it one day!

Yeah, I support your decision not to read the rest of the books. I suppose I’m glad teenagers are reading anything, though I do truly think the Twilight books are poorly written, badly characterized, and send bad messages – I hope it puts the teenagers on to better things, at least.

I really enjoyed the books and read them with gusto. I do enjoy vampire novels and don’t mind the violence. I’m not sure why I didn’t notice the bad writing — I’m usually very sensitive to that.

The movies I have avoided because they look so cheesy. I’ll probably watch it someday.

Maggi, I don’t mind violence, as long as it is justified, but a lot of vampire stuff (On TV at least) is just one long excuse to chase and kill each other. I haven’t read any other vampire books, so am not sure if the same is true for them, but I’m not sure I want to find out!

BLEHHHH. I read/watched for the same reason as you. The book was terrible. The actors are the two most boring people on the face of the Earth. I have so many issues with Twilight that it’d take me about a day to get through them all. I’m sticking to Buffy.

Kari, I actually thought the actors in the film did a good job – they at least brought the limited plot to life and gave it a bit of emotion. I’m not a fan of Buffy I’m afraid, so I’ll leave you to watch it in peace!

I have to wonder if I would’ve felt differently had I read the book before the movie even existed. I have a couple younger friends from college that were OBSESSED with this, mostly with Edward. Since I read it post-movie release with an image already in my head I just said, “Ick, not my thing.”

I really felt this book was a total guilty pleasure. I was prepared to hate it but got sucked in. I actually thought the book was better than the movie … but you’re right, the writing isn’t fantastic but I was drawn in by the whole Edward thing. (I think the allure of these books is the idea of Edward really.)

Jenners, Edward had no appeal to me in the books, but on screen he did! Don’t feel guilty about enjoying them – it is good that they entertained you.

I think you must have given up before the bit where Edward and Bella hike to a secret place and he glitters in the sun – proving that vampires don’t have to hide from sunlight but they stand out a mile.

Annabel, I didn’t read about it, but I saw it on the film. I meant that I didn’t understand why vampires glitter – that was weird! I thought they were supposed to avoid the sun!

My daughter (16) and I agree with you that the movie is much better than the books–not a thing I say very often. I love some of the commentary and have devoted a whole section of my sidebar to it.

Jeanne, Until last year I hadn’t watched any films that were better than the books – this is the third in recent months though. I hope I don’t find many more!

I read and enjoyed all four of Meyer’s books, but I can totally understand where you’re coming from! I read them years ago and was at a different place in my life… I think if I read them now, especially after they’ve gotten so much hype, I probably wouldn’t like them nearly as much.

I liked the film version of “Twilight,” too, but I have to say that I enjoyed “New Moon” even more! And the book version of that was really boring. The movie was a huge improvement on the story, I think!

Meg, I’m sure I would have enjoyed these books when I was younger. I don’t think the hype has changed anything (apart from the fact I read them in the first place) I think it is just that my reading tastes have changed so much.

I hope I enjoy watching New Moon!

I, too, read the book because I wanted to find out what all the hype was about – and be able to comment, because discussions of the series seems to pop up everywhere.

I, too, didn’t like the book very much, and will not read the rest of the series. But I couldn’t help asking why so many people like it, and not only teenage girls! I looked in on the Twilightmoms forum for instance, and read some of the discussions there, by adult women. Some of them do talk about the books as if they are on par with Jane Austen or beyond…

So – how come? I don’t like the idea that the general public are just stupid, I don’t want to be an elitist – so I have tried to understand the appeal. I think bestsellers always tell a story that people want to read, and tell it in a way that somehow connects with the people of their day. Twilight of course is the classic Beauty and the Beast theme. So people in the Western world still want to hear that story, then. That theme wasn’t so outdated after all.

I believe that if you really want to read a certain kind of story, you don’t need stellar writing. It’s enough that the language is serviceable, that it doesn’t stand in the way of the story. Obviously, the language did get in the way of the story for you, Jackie. But maybe that is because this type of story doesn’t really interest you very much in the first place?

I don’t think it is stellar writing either. Far from it. But it has this everyday diary or face-book type blog quality – someone writing down all their thoughts and actions of the day, the trivial together with the important in one un-edited mix. Maybe that makes the book very available to a lot of people who actually write and read that kind of style themselves, every day nowadays. We are told how Bella made dinner, went upstairs, put her hair in a pony tail, searched the net and realised her love interest was a vampire – all described in the same style and given equal weight. There is something strangely comforting and – safe – in that kind of writing.

Yes, I did find it boring at places, but I can see how it also creates this kind of alternative existence for a reader to enter: Bella’s world is very recognisable in all its trivia. I’ve seen several fans write just that: it all feels so real…

I also believe what several of you have commented on already: Bella’s state of obsessive, tunnel vision infatuation with the beautiful “bad boy” at school everyone tells her is dangerous, is very recognisable. Haven’t we all been there at 14? (Some of us have been there at later periods in our lives as well!) If I don’t think of the book as a great romance story, but as a true, loyal report from the inside of such an infatuated girl’s mind, without the interference of the cold, dissecting, balanced view of the adult looking back – I may actually think it is quite good! The vampire thing as a metaphor for sex is not that ridiculous – yes, selfish lust may be destructive, inside or outside marriage…

What does bother me, though, is that so many seem to see the romance in the book as an ideal, and Edward as the ideal lover. I could not see that. Yes, I totally believed in Bella’s infatuation and her complete disregard for her own safety and her own welfare, how she sees that as proof of how great and true her love is. Too realistic, happens too often, and not only to someone Bella’s age. But it is not a mark of True Love. It’s a dangerous illusion. Edward as described in the book – possessive, jealous, stalkery – is actually dangerous. And that’s not even counting his vampire killing instinct. It was disturbing to read how Bella, after she has realised Edward may kill her if they are alone together, not only risks being alone with him, but actually arranges it so that if he does kill her, he will have an alibi and will not be caught! Because she loves him so…

No, I don’t think this made the book bad – on the contrary, it made it more realistic! Too many women do end up in abusive relationships, calling it love. But it does disturb me somewhat that so many, teenagers and adults alike, seem to think the relationship between Bella and Edward is the Great Ideal, the True Love, and everyone should have one like it…

Torill, Thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment. I agree with you that the story did not appeal to me initially and so that was probably part of my reason for disliking the book. I know that a lot of people criticise Dan Brown for his poor writing, but I enjoy the plot of his books that it doesn’t seem to bother me so much.

I wasn’t expecting amazing writing when I started Twilight and can see the appeal of the journal style, but it was that blandness that caused me to have no real connection with the characters – everything was too normal for me to get excited about it.

Your points about the romance were very interesting. I hadn’t really picked up on the domestic violence issues, but you are right. It is a worrying glimpse into how easily women fall into potentially dangerous relationships, all in the name of love. Perhaps I’m wrong about Twilight – there are so many issues buried within the pages of this book. It may be poorly written, but I hope that people are having similar discussions after reading it and enjoy them – perhaps even learn a bit about love and its dangers!

Thanks for your kind reply. The bland journal style is not my cup of tea either – takes a greater writer than Meyer to make it interesting for me – but I can understand its appeal.

About Dan Brown – I think he has one good thing going for him as a writer: he knows how to pace a book so you can’t put it down! Maybe his writing is otherwise pretty pedestrian, but that one thing he does know how to do. He gets me hooked so I have to read on to “see how it all ends” – even when I find his plots ridiculous! Which I do – annoyingly ridiculous. But I still have to read his books to the end… So, he does have a talent there….

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