SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

Discussion started on

i LOVED the edward and bella relationship so much i was actually avoiding reading because i didn't think they would wind up together.  i thought edward would do what he thought was best for bella and leave and i didn't want to get to that part.  if i'd known there were sequels planned, that wouldn't have been a problem  ;D  the only criticism i thought an editor or agent would have (although it wasn't a problem for me) was there seemed to be way too much telling and not enough showing, especially in regard to bella's feelings.  this is why i'm surprised that a previously unpublished writer managed to get this published (and with a great advance, too!).  it seems like the only people who can get away with so much telling, not showing are previously published authors with name recognition.
#31 - May 12, 2006, 06:54 AM

Uber Sparkly Poster
Poster Plus
I loved this book, in part because it's really different from a lot of the YA vampire books out there.  The truth is, in the wake of Buffy, there's a surplus of "girl kicks vampire butt" type books out there, and very few, if any, of them actually do it as well as Buffy did.  I enjoy books with quippy, snarky main characters who don't fall for the vampire's elusive charm and instead kick his butt as much as the next girl, but there comes a point in time when SOMETHING DIFFERENT becomes very attractive.  The more I think about it, the more I think that Twilight might have felt different BECAUSE Bella was much weaker in many ways than what I've come to expect from heroines in this kind of book.  I always thought that something about the book felt kind of gothic, and it always struck me as a throwback of sorts, and that's part of what appealed to me.
#32 - May 14, 2006, 11:07 PM

I didn't really want Bella to kick butt, either, for the reason you mentioned, Jen.  I'm not a kick-butt girl myself, in the Buffy sense, and I don't identify with that very much anyway.  But it bothered me that Bella didn't really stand up for herself in any way--even inwardly.  Or she didn't display any of her own strengths--for instance, perhaps an emotional strength.  One of my favorite male characters is a very strong personality and very charismatic, too, and I have written a few stories where the women in his life let him take most of the control in the relationship--but they always have some strength of their own, even if they are afraid to show it to him, or even if it's a gentle strength.  Only at the VERY end, when Bella says she'd like to save Edward sometimes too, do we see anything like this.  Besides that, Bella's primary characteristic is her klutziness; not, say, her compassion, or being an artist, or SOMETHING positive.  Undoubtedly, there are girls like Bella out there, but it's hard for me to enjoy a story about one. 
#33 - May 15, 2006, 07:08 AM
Author of the Magic Under Glass duology
& Between the Sea and Sky
Dark Metropolis, 6/14
http://jaclyndolamore.blogspot.com

as a klutz and a shy, not-exactly-strong-in-any-way girl myself, it was really nice for me to see a klutzy girl get the hot guy (albeit a vampire guy).  in other books i've read where the klutz, non-cheerleader type wound up with the hot guy, the girl always seemed to have a very dominant, strong personality and wasn't really a wallflower type (like me  :) ). 
an earlier post mentioned that the book doesn't send a good message because bella falls for a dangerous guy (a vampire).  although edward can be dangerous, he was essentially a good guy and didn't want to harm bella (and put her safety ahead of his own desires). a lot of "typical" teenage boys are controlled by hormones and although i'm certainly not saying the majority of them are dangerous (date rapists, etc) , i think they are more controlled by their hormones and doing what feels good to them than trying to do what would be best for the girl they're dating. 
now, i'm off to stephenie meyer's web site to see if the  "i love edward cullen" t-shirts are on sale yet  ;D
#34 - May 15, 2006, 07:59 AM

Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region dakotas
I don't think it was a conscious thing, forgetting to give Bella a strength and a clear victory of her own at the end. (Well, she does have an impenetrable mind, but I never got a clear sense of the why of that--maybe in another book.) I know that when I started writing my now-in-revision-stage first novel, my male lead kept doing interesting things, and suddenly he had this whole backstory, and things to overcome--whereas my actual MC (first person girl) was just kind of living through a series of odd events, recording what she saw happening to the guy. Basically, he started taking over, and I had to really scale back, and consciously assign a clear (and dominant) character arc for my MC. (Now, unfortunately, readers are telling me that the guy needs to overcome more at the end--ah, well, back to the drawing board.) I wonder if that's the kind of thing going on here. I really liked Edward's character arc--the idea that we always have a choice, no matter what our circumstances (ie, even if you're a vampire). The whole time he's fighting to be morally human, and finally proves himself when he's able to save Bella's life and not give in to snackies. That was very satisfying to me.

But wait, you say! Bella is the main character here! Right. Maybe I'm totally misreading things, but I felt like Meyer *wanted* us to feel Bella was making bad decisions. Her desire to just have someone bite her was pretty self-destructive, and it wasn't very considerate of others, either (what if she ate her family and friends?). She's got some growing to do. I hope she gets her head together over the series. (And at the same time, I want a happy ending...)
#35 - May 15, 2006, 10:40 AM

Well, that is true, you bring up a good point--this is a series, and I don't know what the author has planned.  Bella might change over books (we would hope!) and become stronger in some ways.  I will have to read the next one and see--there was enough to interest me that I'll have to read the sequel.  BTW, I don't have a problem with Bella being klutzy, but the degree of klutziness described seemed extreme--she needed Edward to hold her hand while hiking or something, didn't she?  I know a super-klutzy girl and she isn't THAT klutzy.
#36 - May 15, 2006, 02:04 PM
Author of the Magic Under Glass duology
& Between the Sea and Sky
Dark Metropolis, 6/14
http://jaclyndolamore.blogspot.com

Athena529

Guest
In a New York Times book review from February 12, 2006, Elizabeth Spires had this observation about Twilight:

“The plot may sound rather comic and camp, but Meyer chooses to play it straight and serious. Vampires or not, what this novel is really about is a fatal attraction to someone or something dangerously different from yourself. The trajectory of the story is such that Bella's behavior and choices grow increasingly more disturbing, with irrevocable, self-destructive consequences.”

It will be intersting to see where Bella'schoices take her in the next novel.
#37 - May 15, 2006, 03:21 PM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region losangeles
  • SCBWI PAL
I am dying to know why the kids liked it so much.  I found this book didn't have enough plot to hold my attention and I didn't feel the chemistry between the two characters.  But I am clearly in the minority based on Amazon reviews.  What kept them reading?  Was it that mysterious love of the "bad boy" that so many of us seem to have as teenage girls?  What, what, what?  dave r - ask your kid and report back, please!!

Tracy
#38 - May 15, 2006, 03:46 PM

Member
Poster Plus
If anyone is headed to BEA, there are ARCS for New Moon available . . . at least there were earlier today. 
#39 - May 20, 2006, 04:54 PM

Member
Poster Plus
I just finished this book last night, and I had to say that I would have been more interested if it were told from Edward's POV, about his internal conflict.... From Bella's POV it felt as if there was no conflict, of course she can't resist him, it's part of his power! But like Jen said, maybe that's what made it different, what makes it stand out from the rest of vampire tales...
#40 - May 21, 2006, 10:50 AM

GreenFrog

Guest
I think that what makes it what it is, is how intense the telling is. It's a book that you can fall into and read and read and read. It feels a little like you could be Bella--which is attractive if you find Edward attractive. (I actually preferred Jake, but that's me.) It's a bit like a teen girl's diary. There may be imperfections, but it feels like a certain type of teenage girl's mind, to me. And, honestly, i enjoyed it. I can't say 100% why, but it's one of the ones i am counting the months 'til the sequel for. I want to know more.

Maybe that's what it is. It gives you a lot, but it makes you want more. It's a world to live in--a place that is both comfortable and dangerous and romantic. What else does a girl want? It's a fairytale. It's beauty and the beast. It's... like rich, chocolate cake.
#41 - May 22, 2006, 05:39 PM

That is a good description, GreenFrog.  It is rather like a teen girl's diary...I can totally see Bella looking back on this one day and going, "Aw, man, what was I thinking?  I thought I was so mature and I totally wasn't!"  And that's kind of what I'M thinking while reading it.  But it also had a sort of intriguing-ness to it that kept me reading.

(I thought Carlisle was more interesting than Edward.  But I usually like the older guy.  Although it seems a little funny to say that, considering circumstances.)
#42 - May 22, 2006, 07:06 PM
Author of the Magic Under Glass duology
& Between the Sea and Sky
Dark Metropolis, 6/14
http://jaclyndolamore.blogspot.com

yeah- what holly said.
I read this book in less than 24 hours. And after I did, I dreamed about the characters (ok, so my husband was Edward in the dream and looked great in Edward's jacket. Which I'm sure I could psyhcoanalze for awhile).
#43 - May 23, 2006, 07:43 PM
« Last Edit: May 31, 2006, 07:06 AM by lindsey »
PRINCESS FOR HIRE Out now!
SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD (Bloomsbury, March 2011)
THE ROYAL TREATMENT (Hyperion, May 2011)

katep

Guest
I stopped reading after page 142.  The copyediting was really sloppy.  "Dust moat"?  Aaarrgghhh!
#44 - May 30, 2006, 08:11 PM

katep- I found a few errors in there as well *shrugs*
#45 - May 31, 2006, 07:07 AM
PRINCESS FOR HIRE Out now!
SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD (Bloomsbury, March 2011)
THE ROYAL TREATMENT (Hyperion, May 2011)

GreenFrog

Guest
I wonder if we'd be this picky if it weren't for the large advance. Large advance = marketability, not perfection.

I stand by my liking it, though. It's not one of the ones i rave and rave about, but i do recommend it to other readers. It's not perfect, but it's compelling. At least for some of us. :)
#46 - May 31, 2006, 08:18 AM

katep

Guest
More like large advance = get it out the door too quickly. 
#47 - May 31, 2006, 08:57 AM

kaml_09

Guest
It is a pretty cool book. I can't wait till the next books come out! :dancing:
#48 - June 06, 2006, 10:21 AM

Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region dakotas
For those of you who liked Twilight, Stephenie has the first chapter of New Moon, the sequel, up on her web site. www.stepheniemeyer.com and go to the New Moon link. You need a recent version of Adobe Acrobat to read it.

I read it because I LOVED Twilight, and can't wait to read more (although I'm leaving the US just before New Moon comes out >:(--thank goodness for Amazon.de). I also happen to be working with my first few chapters, trying to strengthen my hook and get the reader emotionally involved a whole lot quicker. One thing that's helping me educate myself is to read first chapters of books that aren't out yet. If I'm dying to keep reading and it makes me crazy that I can't, it's a good thing.  :). I found that with New Moon, and with Melissa's first chapter as well. (And I'm looking for more, if anyone knows of any.)

Anyhow, I can't wait to read what happens next! I've read comments from people with ARCs that both the writing and Bella's character are stronger. Since I already liked the first book, it's only getting better.  :)
#49 - July 01, 2006, 09:50 AM

Athena529

Guest
I did enjoy reading Twilight, so I checked out the first chapter. Interesting foreshadowing with Romeo and Juliet- I wonder how the author will continue that theme throughout the book (the Italian vampire family she mentions is bound to play a major role) and if R & J will actually foreshadow the entire series. Will it be a trilogy or will there be more than three books?
#50 - July 01, 2006, 10:20 AM

Member
Poster Plus
I did enjoy reading Twilight, so I checked out the first chapter. Interesting foreshadowing with Romeo and Juliet- I wonder how the author will continue that theme throughout the book (the Italian vampire family she mentions is bound to play a major role) and if R & J will actually foreshadow the entire series. Will it be a trilogy or will there be more than three books?

Twilight uses Wuthering Heights; New Moon uses Romeo & Juliet.  I'd suspect that Eclipse (bk 3) uses another lit classic.

. . .  I also happen to be working with my first few chapters, trying to strengthen my hook and get the reader emotionally involved a whole lot quicker. One thing that's helping me educate myself is to read first chapters of books that aren't out yet. If I'm dying to keep reading and it makes me crazy that I can't, it's a good thing.  :). I found that with New Moon, and with Melissa's first chapter as well. (And I'm looking for more, if anyone knows of any.)

I think that both Kelley Armstrong & Kim Harrison (both adult urban fantasy) upload their first chapters.   (PS Thanks for the sweet remark.)

#51 - July 01, 2006, 10:56 AM

I just booked Stephanie at our store for September.  I'm looking forward to meeting her, but my daughter and her friends are going crazy about it.

keep writing and reading,
dave r
#52 - July 22, 2006, 09:55 AM
Just One More Page
www.riterdave.blogspot.com

I know this is about vampires, but is it scary.  Suspense is fine, but I can't handle scary.
#53 - July 22, 2006, 01:48 PM

inkjunkie -- i don't think it's scary :)

dave r -- where's your store?
#54 - July 22, 2006, 02:48 PM

The store is The Blue Marble Bookstore in Ft. Thomas, KY. (just across the Ohio from Cincinnati).  It's a great litle independent that's been open for 27 year now.  It's a terrific place to work, and we get some wonderful authors and illlustrators at the store.  Some are very well known. Others will be soon. (Kevin Henkes stayed with the owners at their house on his first book tour. Several others stayed in the living quarters above the store when they visited.)  Thanks for asking.

keep writing and reading,
dave r
#55 - July 23, 2006, 10:46 AM
Just One More Page
www.riterdave.blogspot.com

dave r -- it's too far away for me :(  otherwise, i'd be there and be even more excited than the teenagers!
#56 - July 24, 2006, 03:17 PM

GreenBeans

Guest

I just finished Twilight and thought I'd reopen this thread. (okay, I'm behind on my reading)

My teenage daughter insisted I read this book, so I slogged through the first part, where I thought there was a lot of smoldering intensity and cryptic conversations, but not a lot happening. I got interested when Bella met Edward's family and the tracker vampire showed up, then I had to find out what happened.

I liked the idea of vampires living among regular humans in a semi-normal way. I liked that he sparkled in sunlight. I totally bought the idea of being attracted to someone because of their smell.

I have an unusually keen sense of smell, (but not like Edward's) and I remember a time when I liked this guy but couldn't get past his smell. Not body odor or anything like that, just that everyone has their own peculiar body chemistry and this guy smelled like an old man. My grandpa in particular. Talk about a turn-off.

So with the smell thing in mind, (and not to get too earthy here) but if Edward loves Bella's smell, what happens when she's on her period? Just asking. Wouldn't he have to stay away from her for a week or so?

Another glaring thing that popped into my head, is the fact that this vampire family has lived in this town for a while, it sounds like. So how long does Edward get to stay 17 before someone notices? Wouldn't they have to move every few years and enroll in a new school?

I asked my daughter why she loved this book so much and she said it was Edward. She totally loved Edward and wanted to be Bella.

GreenBeans
#57 - October 12, 2006, 04:09 PM

Member
Poster Plus
So with the smell thing in mind, (and not to get too earthy here) but if Edward loves Bella's smell, what happens when she's on her period? Just asking. Wouldn't he have to stay away from her for a week or so?

I didn't want to bring that up, but that was my first question when I read the initial chapter of New Moon (on Meyer's site).  The event that set NM into motion is that the vamps freak out when Bella gets cut at their house.  Now, only Edward is particularly sensitive to Bella's blood, so I had to wonder how they were able to go to high school or the park or anywhere.  People have smallinjuries often, and women with periods . . . well, I can't imagine the vampires could avoid all of them. Ever. I could buy that Edward has trouble & maybe he avoids her those days, but they ALL respond strongly. I struggled with the logic here.  Maybe there's an answer, but we aren't being provided it just yet.

Don't get me wrong: there were parts of both books I truly enjoyed, but this was one of the illogical things that struck me as needing explained.
#58 - October 12, 2006, 04:21 PM

I recently bought Twilight and I'm only on chapter 3, but I am absolutely riveted! I love the voice. Vampires aren't my usual reading material, but so far I'm terribly impressed.
#59 - November 06, 2006, 04:42 PM
OPEN COURT, Knopf

Book Addict
Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region illinois
I listened to the first disc and was bored. Saw that there were eleven more and said, "Uh, no way." KIM
#60 - November 07, 2006, 05:08 AM
FLIP THE BIRD (HMH ) 2018 IL Reads Winner
WANTED:  DEAD OR IN LOVE (Merit Press)
ONE SMART COOKIE (Omnific Pub)
kymbrunner AT gmail.com
@kymbrunner

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.