A Sparkling Review of That Twilight Book Everyone is Howling About

by Josh Hanagarne on April 29, 2009

You know I’m right, but if you’re going to fuss, please do it in the comments section so everyone can enjoy it.


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan Horton April 29, 2009 at 7:38 am

Josh don’t look Edward in the eye or all will be lost. Don’t let him into your house. For the love of everything holy, don’t let him get his sultry hooks into Max.

So….Hot Topic or Dark Fantasy??

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Josh Hanagarne April 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

Too late. I am now sparkling in the sunlight.

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Megan Horton April 29, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Crap. I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist his chiseled sparkling, ice cold abs.

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Josh Hanagarne April 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Too true. He caught me unawares and I was lost. “Scorching” was the word in the book. His eyes, abs, and lips were always scorching someone.

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Maren April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Twilight is definitely the best of the three books. Books two and three get lost in fabricated werewolve and vampire histories. Having just watched the movie, I like the movie better than the book.

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Josh Hanagarne May 1, 2009 at 7:09 am

Hey Maren. We made it through about 40 minutes of the movie. Not saying it wasn’t better than the book–just that we only made it through 40 minutes:) I thought the music was really odd. constant drums in the background like in The Lion King.

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Megan Horton May 1, 2009 at 7:42 am

Josh…Don’t watch the movie. It’s fine if people like it, I just know YOU and Janette won’t! However if you do watch it, I would love to watch it with you so we can make fun..

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Greg Fedderson May 4, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I must confess, I did read Twilight. And even more shameful is that I enjoyed it. Did it enlighten me in any way? No. Did it change my world? No. Is it my new favorite book? Not remotely. Did it entertain me? Yep. My wife is a fan of the series and she convinced me to give it a try. Now having read all four books I can honestly say it keeped me entertained for a few weeks. Now that I have I finished the series I can move on to something a little more educational, like manga!

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Josh Hanagarne May 4, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Ah, Greg, I can’t stay mad at you. More than anything, I just want people to read. It’s no small feat to get a kid to read anything, let alone read a 500 page book like Twilight. I’m just insecure and wishing that I was as dreamy as Monsieur Cullen.

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Stephanie Smith August 10, 2009 at 5:51 am

I have to say- I bought the first book on a whim and then I did really get some entertainment out of it, so I bought the series. I am a big fan of Laurell K. Hamilton, so some parts of the vampire and werewolf portrayl were not up to my “reality”( if there is such a thing in Sci -Fi):)
-nevertheless, I felt the series was good. I especially enjoyed the excerpt on the website, which gives you Twilight from Edward’s perspective.
I will not watch the movie, as it has been my experience that few, if any, movies live up to the books.

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Professor Beej December 6, 2009 at 12:15 am

Oh, Twilight. I can’t get behind the “it gets kids to read” argument because of how subversive the narrative is. The relationship is abusive and built around infatuation rather than any lasting factors, and the target demographic is so young and impressionable that they have no idea that Bella’s first-person narration could be unreliable. Because of that, readers are unwittingly exposed to abuse as the norm rather than the exception or that something else might be a valid choice.

The writing style is tired, too, if you ask me. Her prose lacks the polish I’ve come to expect from talented YA authors. I wrote a post recently for my blog’s Anti-Twilight Week where I analogize her writing style to fanfic authors. The downside to that is that many fanfic authors move on and learn their craft and enhance their writing while Meyer was unfortunately found and developed a fad empire through it and never had a reason to get any better.

My wife’s article covered your main problem with Twilight: the ridiculous fans. I have that problem, too, in my line of work. Except that I get it from students more than co-workers. I’ve yet to have another teacher do that, but when I mention the series in class, I always have to divert my lecture to discuss (with seemingly intelligent students, too) what exactly the series does as literature (or even as Literature with a big L, if you prefer).

My take: I think there’s a decent enough narrative in the series that gets marred by inadequate writing and subversive themes that uninitiated readers may never pick up on but be influenced by. I’ll take A Wrinkle in Time or Harry Potter any day.

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Nochance May 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Whatever happened to people enjoying a great story from a great storyteller? Writing was never about the intelligence level of the author or its readers. It is only meant to entertain.

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Marc Wyzykowski January 15, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Couldn’t possibly agree with you more. My wife fell under this spell. This was after we made fun of her friend for taking a family vacation to Forks, WA and writing “Edward hearts Bella” in the sand to confirm the fact that she was there as a groupie.

She has read the book countless times. She has read the others in the series, but keeps coming back to Twilight again and again.

It doesn’t stop there. She watches the movie too. Over and over again. Interesting note about this: we saw the movie before we read the book and laughed it off as complete nonsense.

Following her first reading, she kept insisting that I read the book as well. After about a week and a half of the constant prodding, I picked it up with an open mind.

Somewhere in one of the first chapters there is a line that reads something like this “…Edward said in a low attractive voice…” as if the author was really trying to hammer home the point that we should really be “attracted” to this Edward guy. This was probably the third mention of the word “attractive” in describing Edward.

I put the book down and really could not continue any further.

P.S. I share your sentiments about Prius’ and their obnoxious owners.

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Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Here’s to us, Marc! This is a lot more mean-spirited than I am, but you might enjoy this:
http://theoatmeal.com/story/twilight

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Marc Wyzykowski January 15, 2010 at 11:30 pm

That was right at my mean-spirit-level. Pants is awesome.

I urgently wanted to show my wife, but her response when I told her about your post, and my version of your twilight fan, did not leave her amused. So I’ll just link to it on Twitter to cure the itch.

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Bill Jones May 31, 2010 at 2:12 pm

So I’m playing catchup on the blog thing and I get to this. Freaking hilarious.

Now I haven’t read the book nor seen the movie…even as free as it is on TV…all they do is bring up the memories of the people (all over 30) that I know that live for this stuff.

I can never look at them with a straight face…

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Julio Crookston October 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I found this to be very . I have went through and read many of your posts. They are great!

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Josh Hanagarne October 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Thanks Julio!

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