Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. New York: Hachette Book Group USA, 2005. Print.
Annotation:  Seventeen-year-old Bella moves away from Phoenix to the dreariest, sunless place on earth...Forks, Washington.  Alone and often clumsy to a fault, Bella has all but given up on the sunshine in life until she sees Edward Cullen on her first day of school.  If you think Vampires are hideous creatures who drink blood, wear long black capes, terrorize the town, dread the sunlight, and oh yes, have no capacity to love...think again.  Edward Cullen will change your mind -- and you just may fall in love, too. 
Justification for Nomination:  The Twilight series by author Stephanie Meyer is no stranger to the literary world, or the entire world, for that matter.  It seems redundant to write yet another blog on this very successful book series that turned into a blockbuster movie, and solidified the celebrity of some really cute actors, and when I mean “cute,” I mean, wow.  That aside, there are some really worth-mentioning literary qualities in the book.  This is a book that has crossed over from being yet another YA novel to a broadly read story by the young and old alike.  The story of Bella, the somewhat rebellious, but likable young woman who has, by choice, left the comfortable home of her recently married mother in Phoenix, Arizona, to live in Forks, Washington, with her father, Police Chief Charlie Swan, is a classic coming of age love story with some supernatural twists and turns. 
Feeling awkward and alone, Bella starts off her new adventure on the first day of high school – a very small, rural high school, where everybody knows your business.  Entering the lunchroom, she gets a glimpse of Edward Cullen, an unusually handsome young man, who sits with his family, all of whom are incredibly good-looking and out of ordinary in such a place.  Long story short, Bella and Edward are immediately drawn to each other, and share an electric magnetism that puts all reason and wisdom aside.  A true love story, Twilight, appeals to all of us who love to hear about love and all of the complex, painful scenarios that follow it – this plays out especially in this story.  Edward is a vampire, but not a hideously ugly one – a gloriously beautiful one, who falls in love with Bella… and shouldn’t have, because, well, vampires just do not mix with humans who bleed…and Bella is what one might call, a real clumsy sort of gal. 
The story of Twilight forever changed the horizon of the “horror” genre as we know it.  This book has the horror and supernatural elements so intriguing to the young reader, but also romance.  While some literary experts feel Twilight is perhaps not well written, this obviously has not done much to discourage the widespread appeal of the book.  Importantly, the plot is creative and interesting, and the characters are well-rounded.  Emotionally speaking, it is easy to become attached immediately to Bella and then Edward.  Stephanie Meyer catches the reader immediately with Bella’s dilemma of loneliness, isolation, and the unknown.  Further on, her writing is able to connect us to Edward and Bella’s deep love and attraction for each other, and the constant battle they face to secure their relationship.  The emotional attachment in the book is really what makes this story so intriguingly successful, regardless of what critics may say.  While the book is not what I would say is Printz material, the story of Twilight emotionally connects to the reader and possesses the coming of age issues all teens face.  Meyer’s narrative style is simple and easy to read, but entertaining and addictive.  I would recommend Twilight for young readers.  Personally speaking, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the book, seen as how I was a bit befuddled by all the fuss about vampires and werewolves, initially.  Unfortunately, my teenage daughter is now fighting me to get her Twilight books back…J

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