Written by Claire Booher
This past summer was when I first heard my friends speak about Twilight. A good friend of mine knew I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and knew I would love this book she read because “it is just like Harry Potter, but with vampires.” I took the bait and read Twilight when I returned to school in the fall. I have heard a general consensus from fans on their infatuation with the book. “It’s not necessarily the characters but the plot and the different world [Stephanie Meyer] created, like with Harry Potter, it’s a new world to get involved in,” said junior Kelley Ferguson. To be fair about this review, I have not read the entire series. I did not like the first book and Twilight fans have told me not to bother reading the rest of the series if I didn’t like the first book because it gets worse.
Twilight tells the story of a young girl named Bella Swan who falls in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen. The story unfolds into a forbidden love story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. Reading Twilight is like reading Romeo and Juliet for the first time. You are swept into a love story of two people that are completely devoted to each other and would die for one another. However, if you have ever really looked at the story of Romeo and Juliet, you notice a few things. The story revolves around two kids who fall in love and get married in a span of three days. After Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin and he is banished, the obvious solution is for Juliet to pretend to be dead so that she and Romeo can be together forever. Unfortunately, this simple plan surprisingly goes wrong and they both decide that after everything they have been through within the past three days, they will commit suicide in order to really be together forever.
Twilight offers the same logic when it comes to two people falling in love. Author Stephanie Meyer gives no concrete reason why Bella and Edward are so infatuated with each other. The only reason we are really given is that Edward is drawn to Bella’s scent. Like if you fell in love with the best brownies you have ever smelled but you can’t eat them. One of Edward’s powers is the ability to read people’s minds. Unfortunately for Edward, he is unable to read Bella’s mind, and therefore becomes compelled to actually speak to her to find out what he’s thinking. At the beginning of the novel Bella is an extremely appealing angsty teenager. She is in a new town with her father. She doesn’t really get along with him, and is constantly pursued by boys that she doesn’t really like. She does what she wants, despite what the people around her tell her. She is independent. Once Edward gives Bella a smile out of the side of his mouth, however, her independence is lost. Bella decides within a week of falling for Edward that her life is now dedicated to him. Meyer sends a great message to her readers that if you follow your boy crushes around like a puppy, everything will work out in the end.
On November 21, Twilight fans will be able to enjoy the vampire love affair in movie theaters. It is possible that this love story will be less aggravating, considering that Hollywood is usually able to make these types of love stories believable. However, even the stars of the film have had some problems playing their love-struck characters. Robert Pattinson, mainly known for playing Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter the Goblet of Fire, plays the role of Edward Cullen. According to Entertainment Weekly, Pattison had trouble trying to add a realistic element to a character that has been stuck being 17 years old for several decades. “I tried to play it, as much as possible, like a 17 year old boy who had this purgatory inflicted upon him.” The article reports that the producers followed Pattinson around on set reminding him how many times Edward smiled. Kristin Stewart also reported in the same issue about having problems with the studio on how to portray her character Bella Swan. “We were like, ‘We’re going to play this real’ and the studio was like, ‘But it’s fun. Lighten up! …You knew what you were getting when you hired actors who aren’t Disney kids! We’re actually going to consider the characters and not just smile on our marks, and hope we’re in focus.” Both Pattinson and Stewart will hopefully be able to delve into the reason behind the passion between Bella and Edward that Meyer does not provide.
One of my main issues with Twilight is its constant comparison to Harry Potter. Meyer may have been able to create an addicting world, but her writing and story line does not compare to that of J.K. Rowling. Rowling was able to explore hundreds of emotions throughout her novels. The audience watched many characters grow over a period of seven years and was able feel the pain each person endured. Harry did not follow a literary mold like Bella Swan or Edward Cullen. Harry had to overcome emotional obstacles dealing with loss of family and constant fear, as well as the general trauma of being a teenager. All Meyer is able to give her readers is teenage angst and forbidden love (add a vampire to The Notebook, A Walk to Remember or Titanic), something that will probably be seen again when an author wants an easy way to make money.