Sunday, January 22, 2006
Meyer, Stephanie. 2005. TWILIGHT. New York: Megan Tingley Books. ISBN 0316160172 [Suggested Grade Levels 8-11]
Upon moving to the town of Forks to live with her father, seventeen-year-old Isabella Sparks falls in love for the first time. Unlike most teens, however, Bella falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen, who along with his adopted brothers and sisters -- also vampires -- attends her high school. Due to Bella’s alluring smell, Edward is drawn to her, but must exercise the utmost in self-control. When another group of vampires arrive in town during the Cullen family’s baseball game and one wants Bella for himself, the Cullen family must protect Bella from her own death by splitting into two groups: one to protect Bella by leaving town with her, the other to kill the vampire predator. Shaking off her protectors, Bella is lured to her old dance studio with the falsified threat of her mother’s impending death. Bella, cornered and bitten, faces the end of her mortal life and impending transformation into a vampire herself when Edward and family arrive, avenge her death, and reverse the venom beginning to spread through Bella’s blood. Ultimately, Bella returns to Forks to be with Edward who promises to stay with her as long as she wants him.
Far from a typical teen love story or a traditional vampire novel yet with elements of both intertwined, the improbable plot seems all too plausible through Meyer’s skillful writing. Edward, as a character, is refreshing as he struggles against his natural impulses to avoid hurting Bella. While waiting for intimacy is a rare message in contemporary teen novels, TWILIGHT is a haunting story that will resonate with teens.
Readers can read a traditional teen love story and a traditional vampire novel and then compare the points of convergence and divergence with TWILIGHT.
Other books about vampires:
Klause, Annette Curtis. THE SILVER KISS. ISBN 0440213460
Smith, L.J. BLACK DAWN, NIGHT WORLD. ISBN 0671014765
Vande Velde, Vivian. COMPANIONS OF THE NIGHT. ISBN 0152002219
By Terri Moore