Twilight – 2 stars
2006 rating – 5 stars
During my first read-through, I never picked up on the fact that the plot literally doesn’t show up until the end of the book. Seriously. The entire book is just cheater-y exposition that didn’t need to be as long as it was.
Bella, while she gets worse throughout the series, is just plain awful. Like, she’s a total witch to all of the people like Jessica, Angela, Eric, and Mike who are just trying to be nice to her on her first day of school. There is no need for it. She also forgets to breathe a lot, which is very concerning. You shouldn’t even have to think about breathing, let alone realize that you weren’t.
And the medical side of this book. Ho-boy. I know that the medical side takes up like nothing of the book, but these scenes just frustrated me to no end. For instance, she cracks her head on the pavement during the car crash that wasn’t and doesn’t have any repercussions from it aside from a slight sore spot (that went away like 5 sentences later). No one in their right mind would’ve let Bella go 5 minutes after examining an x-ray and feeling for a tender spot without some observation for a little bit. Like, just, no. My head canon is that she *did* get a concussion and slipped into a coma and was just imagining everything that happened for the rest of the book.
And then there’s the end of the book when she is in the hospital in Phoenix. Her heart rate literally goes haywire enough that the machine catches it and she is able to talk to her mother and Edward before a nurse casually strolls in to check on things. There is no way in hell that would happen. I know from personal experience that when someone’s heart monitor is going wrong, the nurse’s desk gets a call asking what is going on (there is someone who’s full-time job is to watch a monitor of all patient’s heart rates). If the patient’s nurse can’t go at that moment, another nurse or CNA will go check to make sure that the patient is not having heart failure or to see if maybe the heart monitor just got disconnected or something. So that is strike one. Also, Edward tells the nurse that Bella is ready for pain medication. And despite Bella saying that she did not want it, the nurse still gives it to her. THAT IS NOT OKAY. Pain is what the patient says it is. And especially since she was given a narcotic (seeing as she goes to sleep after she gets it), the nurse has to document Bella’s pain before and after the medication, for starters. Strike two, Phoenix hospital/Meyer. And there is way more I could rant on about, but I think I’ve covered a decent amount right about now.
I’m still creeped out by the fact that Edward was sneaking into Bella’s room for months to watch her sleep. And that she was okay with it when she found out. Like. No. That’s just. No. Girl needs to sort out her priorities. And this has creeped me out from the first time I read it. So that says something.
And I still have a major problem with the fact that Meyer felt like Bella needed to be saved from potentially being raped in Port Angeles. I’m especially frustrated because in the gender-bent version, Beau is simply saved from a physical altercation. Why couldn’t Bella have been saved from a physical altercation? Why did there have to be rape-y undertones? I’m so sick of the treatment of females characters in this way.
Anywho. I know there are worse things than Twilight out there *cough New Moon cough*. And there were still parts where I can remember 14-year-old me loving and that I still enjoyed. Like Bella’s friendship with Angela. And Carlisle’s background (why can’t we get a whole book about him and another about Alice? I love those two). And the idea of the meadow. So yeah. It wasn’t as good as I remember it being, but it wasn’t quite as problematic as I chalked it up to in my mind, either. Like, I was thinking I was going to give it 1 star, but I am okay with giving it 2.
New Moon – 1 star
2006 rating – 3.5 stars
New Moon was always my least favorite book in The Twilight Saga, but this re-read made me pick up on so much more than just the fact that I hated that Edward and Bella were not together when I first read it. It’s going to just be easier to do a list of everything that is wrong with this book:
- Bella is the absolute worst. Examples of this are as follows
- She blatantly ignores the fact that Billy and Jacob both say to not call and acts like she is entitled to know everything that is going on in their lives. She calls incessantly (one day she even says that she calls every 30 minutes from the time she got home until 11pm at night) and decides that she can just show up at their house.
- She does not even care about hurting Charlie. She just runs off to save her *true* love.
- On that note, she acts like she is entitled at the end of the book when she threatens to move out because she is an adult and he can’t force her to obey stupid rules when she is in his house.
- She treats her friends like absolute shit. No wonder they all ganged up against her and were not welcoming with open arms once she ‘woke up.’
- She blatantly uses Jacob as a crutch and does not stop to think how her actions will affect Jacob. Now, I am in no means a Jacob fan, but I was really bothered by how she treated him, especially in the beginning.
- It’s racist
- The vampires are all beautiful and pale and white and smell sickly sweet
- The Native Americans are described by their skin color (like, every time they are mentioned, so is their dark skin) and their hair color as well as how they smell horrible
- The Native Americans literally turn into animals (now, I know that you can argue that this may stay true to Native tales, as I am not completely familiar with them so I am not sure if this is true or not, but that also means that Meyer appropriated these tales and probably got them completely wrong and just ugh)
- Emily is described as being beautiful, except for her ruined/deformed face. Mind you, the vampires go around looking like they have eternal bags under their eyes (hey-o, I could be a vampire!), but they are still gorgeous
- Jacob and co. are constantly referred to as ‘boy’
- It’s homophobic
- This may be a bit of a stretch, but there is the whole scene where Bella is all ‘Maybe try *not* being a werewolf’ that reminded me of the stories of the LGBTQ+ community in which they talk about being asked if they could try not being who they are
- It’s a poor representation of mental health
- Good God, I could write a freaking thesis on this
- Bella *actively* seeks out auditory hallucinations and is worried that she will lose them, but no one does anything about that
- Bella *actively* puts herself in danger to achieve said hallucinations and no one does anything about her constant trips to the ER
- She literally goes comatose because her boyfriend broke up with her. This is not healthy
- Charlie gives up when she fights back about going to therapy. No. He is the father. He should have done more
- I could go on, but I am getting super angry
- Edward is super annoying/controlling
- I just. No. He pissed me off the entire time
- Alice’s power is a joke because it makes no sense (though I do still love her and she will always be one of my favorites, I can’t deny that)
- I know it *kinda* gets explained in Eclipse but good Lord
- What even are the Volturi?
- They are literally a joke
- The vote is the stupidest thing ever
- Especially Edward’s reaction. Because he is the worst
- Authors need to learn how faces work
- How dare Stephenie Meyer try to compare Bella and Edward to Romeo and Juliet. Just. No. Stop that. They were not in an abusive relationship like Bella and Edward.
- WHO HAS AN EPILOGUE THAT IS LONG ENOUGH TO BE A CHAPTER?! (Spoilers, City of Glass, that thing was like 40 pages long).
I could go on, but I’m getting rant-y and I think I covered the main things that I found super offensive
Eclipse – 1 star
2007 rating: 4 stars
Oh boy. Eclipse. It’s still as abusive and ridiculous as I remember it. I still hate Jacob for his behavior (I don’t really give two shits that he is a teenage boy. Bella clearly said no and was pushing him away and he clearly ignored it. That’s called sexual assault, people). I still hate Charlie for not taking Bella breaking her hand because she punched her assailant seriously because he thinks that Jacob is better for her. I still hate that Jacob calls Bella honey (I always read it as him being condescending). I still hate that Edward is controlling, even if he thinks it’s for Bella’s safety. I still hate the unnecessary love triangle between Edward, Bella, and Jacob. I did still love Angela and how she was a genuine friend to Bella, despite Bella being the absolute worst. I wish that Angela had been in the series more. I still hate that we only see a glimpse of any action because Victoria happens to show up where Bella and Edward are. I still slightly enjoyed the backstories of Jasper and Rosalie and wish that we knew more about the Cullens. I still hate that there are inconsistencies in the book: the ones that most stood out to me is that Bella says that she’ll go to La Push after her first finals (calculus and history) but later when she’s at La Push she says that finals were over and at one point, it’s brought to Bella’s attention that it is June but later she says that it’s too cold for May. Come on, Meyer, read back your work, please. I still hate the contrivance that is imprinting. I just. Nope.
Breaking Dawn – 1 star
2008 rating – 4.5 stars
I very clearly remember when I first read this book – I stayed up for hours without eating, drinking, or even using the bathroom. And I remember my mom coming into my room to tell me that I had to go to sleep because I was hysterical when I thought that Bella was dying. I remember finishing the book and wanting to immediately start reading it again.
And when I read it again in 2016, I saw where my almost 16 year old self was coming from. Despite how terrible it is, Breaking Dawn really is an addictive read. But for my almost 24 year old self, it’s addictive because it’s such a train wreck. At this point, I think that everyone has pointed out what is wrong with this book, so I don’t really know if I want to write an entire review on it.
I will say that you know it’s bad when an author has a chapter called, “Contrivances,” because, really, the entire book should have been called that. I remember being frustrated when I first read it that Bella got everything she wanted, but at the same time, I still loved it precisely because she got a happy ever after (and who doesn’t want that?). Now, though, I realize that it is complete BS that she got literally everything she wanted. Meyer literally went back on everything she had previously written and said in interviews (and I know this because I read Twilight Lexicon like it was my Bible. It was a dark time in my life and I shudder every time I think about just how addicted I was to this series). I don’t really feel like re-hashing all of the improbabilities that should not have happened, but just know, they are there and they are making my head hurt from how frustrating they are.
And the whole no one but Irina dies thing? No thank you. It was such a let down that four books built up to this epic battle that ended up being a cop out. I remember sitting in the theater watching the last film with one of my college buddies and we freaked out when the battle began because we finally got to see some action. We were both giddy when they went after Jane and were cheering throughout the entire battle. And then we were disappointed when it was all a dream. But hey, at least it was better than what the book delivered.
I don’t even really wanna touch on the characters other than to say that this is the book that Bella is the absolute worst (she progressively gets more and more horrible throughout the series). Her treatment of both Edward and Jacob is appalling. How can she claim to love either one of them when she is so selfish and hurts them both all the time? And Edward goes from being controlling asshole in Eclipse to Bella’s doormat in Breaking Dawn. It’s disturbing how he just caters to her whims no matter how destructive they are for her. I really wanted Jacob and Leah to end up together, but no. Meyer just had to have him be a part of Bella’s life so that Bella could get everything. I’m still nauseated by the fact that he imprinted on her daughter. I just. Nope.
I think that’s the best word for this entire book: Nope. Everything about it is wrong. The writing is terrible. The story is bullshit. And Edward calling Jacob his son just made me gag. Okay. I think that’s enough for now.