Please see list below and click if you’ve missed the previous reviews:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins
Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
And also a short list of books mentioned last year that deserve your attention if you haven’t done so already:
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer: my favourite book of 2006 and, in my opinion, one of the best memoirs ever written.
26A by Diana Evans: the most haunting and memorable opening sentence, like, ever. And it only gets better. This was her first novel. Can you imagine the talent? Love her. Hate her!!!
Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, Charmed Thirds, and Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty: authors in the young adult genre are often underrated, and deservedly so. But the Jessica Darling series is beyond YA. Sure, teenagers get it but the content and the tone are way funnier and way more enjoyable for adults. And that is Megan McCafferty’s gift. She is much more accomplished, much more talented, much more profound that she’s given credit for. And the evolution of her character is a testament to her depth as a writer. Every turn, every development, every story decision makes sense. Jessica’s choices are so real and so poignant, even when they hurt, even when you don’t like them, that at the end of the read you still wouldn’t change a thing. Because they are right. It sounds ridiculous to applaud an author for being “right” about her character but isn’t it amazing how often the opposite is true?
Next book, the one I’m having a torrid affair with at present – please forgive the cover art. Honestly, the cover art is NOT representative of what’s inside. Yet another example of piss poor literary marketing…
How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper.
Now the current review…
The Twilight Series
by Stephenie Meyer
There are three releases in this series so far: Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse. God help me, apparently there will be a fourth and probably a fifth and now I’m hoping it will be like Outlander, when I stopped caring about Jamie Fraser;s bulging Scottish loins halfway through book 4. Ugh.
I have very good friends who are writers. I know a little, little, little about the anxiety and torture they go through to produce something they can live with. I’ve watched them battle self doubt and agonise over their own self worth. Writing is lonely and it is humbling and as such, there is no intent here to devalue someone for those efforts in the same way that Denise Richards is crucified for being a lying, manipulative twat. Books that are posted on this page will only be recommendations.
Please know then that there is no malice behind this review of Meyer’s books. Only an opinion of the experience of reading them. Would love to know your opinions too.
Spoilers below…be warned.
Bella is 17, Bella decided to move from Phoenix to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father so that her mother could travel around with her new husband.
Bella is the new girl. Everyone is nice to the new girl. Everyone except Edward. Edward is hot. And his family is hot. And they are strange. And Edward is strange to Bella. Because Edward is a vampire and wants to suck all of Bella’s blood out. Then Edward and Bella fall in love. But before they can live happily ever after, other vampires come along and want to suck Bella’s blood too. So they flee and then they fight and Edward saves Bella but thinks he can’t truly save her unless he leaves her because he’s a danger to her so he breaks her heart and she is devastated and ends up seeking solace in Jacob who turns out to be a werewolf. And on. And more. And on. And more.
It sounds ridiculous. I KNOW. Ridiculous and complete and utter cheese. So cheese that there were times when I had to stop and ask myself – why are you reading this? The writing is vain, the details are gratuitous, I felt like I was going to stab myself with a stiletto if I had to read about Bella feeling “staggered over Edward’s beauty” one more time. Or falling down weeping on the beach. Or Edward’s lips hardening into a straight line when he was annoyed, or concerned, or angry…which he often is.
And then the embarrassing dialogue – like when Edward “overhears” Bella telling a friend that she doesn’t think he cares for her as much as she cares for him (gagging now) and when he asks her why, she says something to effect of…
“Well aside from the obvious, you refused to talk to me for weeks and weeks”. And OF COURSE Edward has to be like – what’s the obvious?
And she says it’s because she’s not that special…because she’s not that attractive. Needless to say, he goes there. Of course he goes there. Of course he has to tell her that on the contrary she is indeed attractive. MORE than attractive. That in fact she is “the opposite of ordinary”.
Or the scene in Eclipse when Bella is supposed to be “asleep” which was just a convenient way for the reader to eavesdrop on her two suitors, Edward and Jacob, competing over who loved her more and how they show the ways and how each of them feels inside their hearts when they think of her…
I mean COME ON!!!
So yes…those parts were painful to endure.
But still, even though I’ve just told you that the story is terribly told, was it really terribly told if I raced through all three books and even at one point (and I NEVER do this) had to flip to the end before the end to check if Jacob dies just to make myself feel better – can it be terribly told if it was so terribly, compulsively engaging? So much so that even though it’s far far far from “literature”, even with so many cringe-worthy eye rolling Rossum moments, the books are still so obsessively readable?
THAT is indeed a rare talent, non?
For me, it’s the story. Like a really, great action movie. The acting is irrelevant. The script is full of corndog…but you want to know what happens. You need to stay in your seat and suffer through the rest to see who dies and who lives and who she loves and who gets left behind. Stephenie Meyer has created a great story. An imaginative gripping story. And I suppose the rest is just irrelevant.
As for the characters themselves – didn’t give a sh-t about Bella. Could care less. I honestly can’t see what he sees in her. If they ever made a movie, a younger version of Emmy Rossum would be perfect. She really is that annoying.
On the other hand, am all about Alice. Alice the ballerina vampire. LOVE Alice. In my mind’s eye, Alice is Ellen Page.
And finally… Edward. All the emoting became a little overwhelming. If he stopped emoting and just drove around in his fast sexy car all fast and sexy and killed other vampires, I might still have a crush on Edward. But by the time the first book ended, Edward was too much old school poetry and overtures of love. He’s corny. He smothers her. It’s kinda gross. As such, Edward isn’t rocking my headboard.
Having said that, I’d still like to “see” him. Only because she can’t seem to stop writing about how “staggeringly beautiful” he is. So of course, if they absolutely had to make a movie, the question would be… who can possibly pull off Edward’s legendary good looks?
Two options in my imagination and neither look or act 17. Because 17 year olds are either awkward, gangly and pimply or so pretty they look like elves.
1. Taylor Kitsch: stars as Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights. Used to be a model, the most beautiful features, the most beautiful skin, full lips, warm hazel eyes, lean and lithe but not skinny, and he looks great in clothes. Which is something insignificant I loved about Edward. Edward has great style…minus the time they spent alone in the meadow declaring themselves. On that occasion he was wearing a sleeveless white button-down shirt? Ew.
Only problem with Taylor Kitsch is that, given his performance so far on FNL at least, he’s probably not as articulate as Edward needs to be. Edward is an old school speaker. Edward doesn’t grunt and burp. Edward speaks with an affected accent like Kelsey Grammar. And even with 10 acting coaches, I’m not sure Taylor Kitsch could pull that off. Then again, all Edward really does is lose his temper and smolder and carry Bella around and drive fast in his fast car anyway. How important, really, is the way he speaks? Still…the purists will complain. So perhaps Jamie really is the perfect choice.
2. Jamie Dornan: former boyfriend of Keira Knightley, once a model, now an actor, most recently starred opposite Kiki Dunst as her lover in Marie Antoinette. Jamie is beautiful. Really, really beautiful. And GREAT at onscreen sex. If you’ve seen Marie Antoinette you should know this. He’s also Irish so Edward’s speech pattern requirements will be satisfied. More I think about it, the more I think he’s perfect.
Jamie Dornan for Edward?
Please do share your thoughts. And please do read the series. Once you numb yourself to the cheese, it truly truly is a gripping read.