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By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
The Seventh Bride
T. Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
The White Hart
Nancy Springer
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Jim C. Hines
Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
Sarah Gristwood
Twilight - Stephenie Meyer, Stephenie Meyer First review: I actually read this, what, a couple of weeks ago? Something like that. Anyway, I feel that Twilight is like a Twinkie (I’m totally stealing this metaphor from cleolinda, by the way). If you actually want something that’s going to fill you up, you eat real food. But sometimes, even though you know that Twinkies are sugary and full of preservatives and don’t have a natural ingredient in them, you want a Twinkie.

I have a few major problems with this story and a few things I thought were okay. Major problem no. 1: The first 150-200 pages. They were repetitive and annoying and full of teenage ANGST. I mean, I knew Bella and Edward were going to get together from the beginning and I wanted them to just get it over with already. However, once we actually reach something approaching a plot, the book becomes a lot more decent. I actually think it has something interesting to add to the vampire genre. Except for one thing (Major problem no. 2): The sparkles. No, seriously. We’ve just spent all this time with Edward angsting all over the place that Bella doesn’t take seriously enough that he’s DANGEROUS, I tell you, DANGEROUS. Trouble. Angst. Angst. So what does he do? He takes her out to a meadow and walks out in the sunlight and SPARKLES. I almost fell off my chair laughing. Maybe it’s just me, but a sparkling vampire (sparklepire to borrow from cleolinda again) does not seem all that threatening. Kind of the reverse.

I do also have some philosophical issues with the whole stalker thing and how obsessed Bella is with Edward after so little substance. But I’m sure it’s been said before, so I’ll leave that alone.

I’ll probably read the rest of the books because…Twinkies are addictive. (Cheese puffs also work for this analogy—I will eat far too many of them.)

There were also some individual lines that I want to point out the ridiculousness of. Sorry, major Twilight fans.

No one was going to bite me. p. 14 I suppose this was supposed to be funny and somewhat eerie, but I just found it annoying. Seriously.

Once I got around the cafeteria, building three was easy to spot A large black “3” was painted on a white square on the east corner. p. 15 I don’t even know what to say about this one.

Today I was worse than usual because my head was so filled with Edward. p. 75 Sigh. Yes, we know.

I shivered and rose quickly from my place of concealment p. 139 Okay, I know Bella is a big classic book fan, but “place of concealment”???? If her whole voice was like this, it would be one thing, but it’s not.

The rocking movement of his walk. I snorkled over this one. Really?

I wondered if it should bother me that he was following me; instead I felt a strange surge of pleasure. p. 174 YES. It SHOULD bother you.

I’d given more information than necessary in my unwilling honesty, and I worried that it would provoke the strange anger that flared whenever I slipped and revealed too clearly how obsessed I was. p. 230 Well, at least she admits it. That’s the one thing where I do feel a little okay about the whole obsessed thing. I mean, it’s strange, but Bella does make a conscious choice to be obsessed. I don’t understand it, but I can sort of accept that choice.

Second review:
I saw someone in the cafeteria wearing a Twilight shirt.


For some reason my initial reaction to the books was fairly balanced and mild but now I’m kind of in this “WHY???” stage where people are annoying me. I think it’s mostly a counterbalance to the people who are like: “tHis iS thE greAtest bOok EVARRR!!!!!!!!!!!!” Uh, no. It’s not a terrible book, but it is NOT the greatest book ever. There are issues of writing and plot that should probably have been addressed by the editors. Like tightening up that first 150 pages.

I am also vastly scared by the number of people who think Edward is the most perfect human being in the whole world. I know there are extremes of fangirldom for almost every book/movie/tv show out there, and I squee over a good number of characters myself. (Gen, Ned, Lord Peter Whimsey…) But Twilight seems to breed them for some reason. And, sorry Team Edward, I just don’t see it. I mean, from the first book I like him better than Jacob who basically is just like, “Dude sucks.” But if you find it extremely romantic for a guy to watch through your bedroom window while you’re sleeping before you’re even officially together, I just don’t know what to say to you.

Also, he sparkles.

Now, I’m not, not, not saying that you can’t enjoy these books! There was certainly some part of me that liked the one I’ve read. What I am saying is that you can’t claim them as great literature, or great YA literature. (Robin McKinley, Ursula Le Guin, Madeline L’Engle, Megan Whalen Turner and L.M. Montgomery are much better choices. Lloyd Alexander too. And Robin McKinley even wrote a vampire book.) If you want to keep your hoard of S. Meyer books around for when you need that kind of book, go for it. Who am I to judge? I am reading through Georgette Heyer one after another. Just give up the claims to eternal glory.