“Twilight” Book Review

Banned Book Week: the teen cult classic is underwhelming and problematic, despite its adoring audience.

I’m a full believer that books shouldn’t be banned. Books, fiction or nonfiction, give us so much insight. Even when that book is “Twilight.” “Twilight” was banned for promoting religious viewpoints and being sexually explicit. 

There’s much to say about “Twilight,” not a lot of it good. I really try my best to be nice but Stephanie Meyer makes it so very difficult. 

The writing is just terrible. Her writing style is too straightforward. There’s no description of feelings but rather statement of the feeling. I read “Twilight” and “New Moon,” but I ended the torture at the beginning of “Eclipse” when a chapter started with, “I was really sad.” Readers could have been able to guess that Bella was not feeling the greatest with the events happening. Meyers decided to just reiterate that in the blandest way possible. 

Meyer’s writing is classified as young adult, but I’m pretty sure even kids can make a couple of inferences. That’s my main problem with Meyer’s writing: it’s telling and boring. The story idea might be okay, but the execution is just terrible. Meyer’s characters are another type of catastrophe. 

I can see where a book about a human and a vampire falling in love is a good selling point. But oh my did it spiral. Meyer’s characters promoted toxic and unhealthy relationships to young teenage girls. 

Edward is the gaslighting king of the Vampire Boyfriend world. He made Bella question everything when she asked him how he got over to her so fast. Edward found any excuse to tell her the simple truth, he ran over to her. At this point of the book, Edward was still hiding his identity as a vampire, but that does not excuse the countless lies he told Bella while doing so because much of those lies were unnecessary and easily avoidable. 

Edward uses the idea of a vampire’s inevitable damnation and holds it over Bella. He has this idea that all vampires are destined to hell and any time a casual conversation of vampires occurs. By doing this he garners sympathy from Bella, ringing her closer to him and even more attached.  

Throughout the entirety of the Saga, Edward controls all of Bella’s time and who she spends it with. He stopped her from trying to see Jacob on multiple occasions, on one going to lengths as breaking the engine of her car so she wouldn’t be able to leave. “A controlling virgin,” senior Zoe Rossi said of Edward, and I couldn’t agree more. 

At the beginning of the Saga Edward hated Bella for her scent because it made him thirst for her blood. Edward was able to control his thirst but the bottom line is the only reason Bella and Edward began dating is because he wanted to kill her at first. This is the relationship so many teens are putting up on a pedestal.  A relationship built on hatred and grew on manipulation. A habit both Bella and Edward were fond of. 

Edward manipulated Bella into believing every word he said, and by the end of the first book she was attached. At the beginning of “New Moon,” once Edward saw how dangerous the relationship could be to imagine, and hiding his secret, he left. He brought Bella into the middle of the woods and told her he was leaving. This broke Bella and she spent the rest of the night in the woods until someone found her and brought her back home, where police cars and search parties were waiting because she had been gone for so long. 

After months of dealing with depression, Bella began chasing any type of adrenaline she can find because when she was about to make a dangerous decision she would have hallucinations of Edward. Bella went cliff diving on her own in a storm, despite barely knowing how to swim. All so she could catch a glimpse of Edward. Bella constantly putting herself in danger to help cope with the feeling of losing Edward is portraying to young minds that putting yourself in harm to gain the attention of a significant other is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. 

And Bella brought Jacob along to help her do this. Jacob was in love with Bella, and she knew that. She used it to her full advantage in any way imaginable, ranging from getting him to repair a couple of motorbikes she found on the street to just having him there to distract. Bella had no intention of Jacob becoming more than a friend but she made it seem like she did to keep him there. She was just as manipulative as Edward, she used Jacob only to her benefit and only when she realized that she had lost him did she start to put a minimal amount of effort into their relationship. 

And though Bella was in the wrong for leading Jacob on, the way Jacob handled the rejection after Edward finally returned was extremely harmful and toxic. 

When Edward returns to Forks and his relationship with Bella continues, Jacob grows incredibly jealous and tries to force himself onto Bella. Jacob and Bella grow apart from but not much. Later in the book, Jacob becomes furious with Bella because she and Edward got engaged, and to calm his frustrations Bella allows Jacob to kiss her. Bella is feeding into Jacob’s toxic behavior, proving to him that if he is upset she will do anything to calm him down, even if that means cheating on her fiancé. Thank you Stephane Meyer for illustrating such good relationships for your young readers. 

This book is targeted towards teenage girls and many “Twilight” fans idolize the characters. Some of them probably chased similar relationships. Relationships that were manipulative, toxic and borderline abusive. 

I’m in shock of how this made it past the editing process, let alone get published. 

What started as fanfiction for My Chemical Romance’s creator Gerald Way, who is portrayed by Edward, spiraled into a story that romanticized heteronormative, toxic, and abuse relationships. In my opinion, he should sue for libel.