This was originally live-blogged into an open email application at work, while I was reading my Kindle during quiet spots on a night-shift. It then got emailed home, posted onto Facebook outside of work, and promptly vanished into the ether. Two years later, it’s popped up on Memories (best thing Facebook ever did, provided users don’t overdo it with the resharing… yeah, I’m occasionally guilty of that). Now I’m inflicting it on anyone who stumbles across this blog for the rest of time.
To clarify, I bought Twilight solely in order to experience it and provide context to , not because I thought it’d actually be good. This may explain the subtle bias against the book that the most observant readers might pick up.
– Preface? Dan Brown’s notorious curator Saunier sequence was far better. This tells you nothing. At least The Da Vinci Code told you too much.
– So, Bella’s abandoning her generically, vaguely, mentally ill mother? With her new fella, admittedly, but still a bit of a bad omen for character sympathy.
– Only one bathroom that she’d have to share with her dad? ‘I was trying not to dwell too much on that fact.’ First world problems, much?
– Writing style is simple, uncluttered. Not bad, particularly, but certainly not attention-grabbing. The dialogue is stilted as all hell. People provide information and then stop. Maybe they’re not really people but tools for telling a story.
– Steeling herself for the first day at school: ‘No one was going bite me.’ Hahahahaha. Hm.
– Cafeteria scene – she’s sat at the opposite side of the room from the (SPOILER WARNING!!!) vampires. She can tell that they all have dark eyes.
– ‘It’s not my fault you’re an exceptionally unobservant person.’ 1) She spotted your eyes from the other side of the room, and 2) isn’t this technically gaslighting, or negging at the very least?
– Okay, it just got really sinister when he’s forcing her into his car so he can give her a lift home. Yeah, there’s the fact she fainted earlier, but there’s also his anger and physical aggression.
– I think I might be Team Jacob. He’s the only one of Bella’s five suitors (FIVE? Sure she’s not a Mary Sue?) who isn’t a miserable loser and actually has something interesting to say.
– Her English essay is on whether Shakespeare’s treatment of his female characters is misogynistic. O, sweet irony.
– This book was published in 2005. Dead Until Dark, the first book in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries series (adapted for TV by HBO as True Blood) came out in 2001. Both books have the same basic story: female outcast in a small American town with something weirdly mysterious about her falls in love with a male vampire. Okay, it’s a recurring trope of modern fantasy (mainstream vampire stories are rarely horror these days), the most famous pre-Twilight couple being Buffy and Angel, but… well… Twilight has nothing that Dead Until Dark doesn’t have. However, Dead Until Dark does have the following: humour, actual emotions, a sense of a larger world existing beyond the main character’s own life, imperfect lead characters, and a serial killer. All of these things would be welcome in Forks. Particularly the serial killer. Ideally one that preys on one-dimensional characters.
– Okay, 49% of the way through the book (damn Kindle and its confusion at the concept of page numbering) and I’m waiting for plot to happen. Something happen. Anything, please… We don’t have to have arms and legs ripped off, or throats torn out, because this isn’t that kind of vampire story (not yet, at least), but anything other than Bella getting out of bed, going to school, waxing lyrical about Edward’s muscles bulging through his sweater, then coming home and lying to her dad, sorry, I mean ‘Charlie’, about it, and then having a dream about Edward, ready for a new day of getting out of bed, going to school, waxing lyrical about Edward’s weird vampire eyes being her favourite colour, then coming home and lying to Charlie about it, and then having a dream, and then… MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN!
– Not quite sure how long Edward and Bella have been in a relationship by the 49% stage, and maybe I drifted off and skipped a bit out of boredom, but… uh… there seems to be something missing from it. She’s sixteen or seventeen years old. He’s a lot, lot older (several Jimmy Saviles older, but let’s ignore that inevitable awkwardness about vampire/human romances). They haven’t even kissed yet.
– ‘Gratuitious drug use.’ Now we’re talking. This is True Blood, right there. Oh, she’s being sarcastic about her cold medication.
– There’s an entire paragraph of adjectives describing Edward’s chest after he unbuttons his shirt on a hike. She stifled a gasp.
– Am I going to have to read 50 Shades of Grey now, just to see how closely the characterisation of Ana and Christian Grey match Bella Swan and Edward Cullen? From the brief snippets I’ve read/heard from 50 Shades, the author got that particular bit of Twilight fan-fic spot on.
– The touch of his cold skin makes her heart thud erratically. She should probably see a doctor about that, and Meyer should probably see a dictionary.
– And then, at the start of chapter 13, he steps out into the midday sunlight, and we get an even longer paragraph about his chest beneath his open shirt, but this time… HE SPARKLES.
– 56%. Ah, I was right. They hadn’t kissed yet. They were saving themselves like the good little puritans they are. Unfortunately, kissing makes Edward goes all stiff and hard, while all the blood rushes to Bella’s lips, which part, and her breathing comes out in gasps. Um.
– Oh no, I was mistaken earlier. He’s only one and a bit Saviles older than her. That’s not so bad. Bill Compton was Civil War era. Angel was silly wigs era.
– And here’s the “I break into your house and watch you when you sleep,” scene. Oh dear. At least she’s completely implausibly fine with it. Otherwise it would just be weird.
– 60% in. I can’t take this any more. I’m going to go and read The Moomins & The Great Flood instead.
Don’t panic, children! I did eventually give the last 40% of the book a go, but you’re going to have to wait until Facebook spits it out again before you can read it.