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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

And Then She Finished The Twilight Saga...

So, at last, I can say it : Yes, I read the Twilight Series ! It took some time, but I did it ! Now, what will I say when I'm asked what I thought of it ? Ah, that's the tricky question.

*Spoilers ahead, read at your own risk*

Top 5 : Things that I liked in the Twilight Saga

- The Vampires and Werewolves' world. I thought it was well-done. I read many vampire and/or werewolves books before Twilight (that were written after it), and I think the supernatural world Stephenie Meyer created is rich, complete and interesting. The vampires' particular powers, the way they think and act really intrigued me and made me want to discover more as I got into the books.
- The town of Forks. Don't ask me why. I liked the atmosphere and the places, especially the forest. I could actually feel what the author described. I felt like I was there.
- The secondary characters. I think Charlie for instance is a strong character in the books (and it feels like it in the movies too !). I loved the Cullens' views on things. I actually felt closer to all these characters than to Bella, Edward or Jacob, although less pages were devoted to them.
- The legend behind the Werewolves (or Shape Shifters, whatever !). I loved that part and could've read more about this legend without hesitation. I found it fascinating, and it was totally unexpected.
Alice : I loved her personality (although she can be a bit pushy sometimes !) and the role her special power played throughout the series.

Top 5 : Things that I disliked in the Twilight Saga

- I was unable to appreciate Bella. I did try, but as the books went by I had more and more trouble dealing with her. The whole "I don't want to hurt or inconvenience anyone but I do it all the time" thing got to my nerves. When I got to Breaking Dawn, I couldn't stand her anymore.
- The lack of action. I clung to the hope that something would happen until the last chapter of the last book, but even then what could've been an action-packed scene became a neverending discussion. I wasn't prepared for a happy ending, ha !
- The sexual tension. Everything is sexual, but nothing is. I'm not saying I wanted sex scenes everywhere, but maybe less emphasis on the subject would've been appreciated.
- Renesmee : the name bugged me as much as her arrival in the story.
- The Imprinting part. When it comes to fiction, I try not to analyse things too much. I've read a lot about Twilight, and often readers talk about the image given of marriage, giving birth, etc. That I shall not comment on, because I didn't see it as an issue. But the Imprinting thing on babies and children ? I just couldn't get my head around it. It felt more than weird.

Overall, I have very mixed feelings about the series. I started reading it only a few months ago, and I did my best not to read anything about it (ok, that's impossible, but let's say I didn't look for anything !) and not to be influenced by anyone and any reviews, may they be good or bad. I wanted to be surprised, and I managed ! I really wasn't aware of what would happen in the books.

It's weird, because whenever I put down the books, I was always impatient to read the rest. I had trouble putting them down when I had to. But I was bored with them at the same time. It's like I waited for something to happen, had high hopes that it would, but what I waited for never did occur. What the critic of the Times said about Bella's story being 'recounted in hypnotic, dreamy prose' is exactly it : when I read the books, I fell into that same hypnotic and dreamy state that made me cling on to the story, but I would've liked to be surprised at some point and woken up by something. Anything. But I wasn't.

I try to understand why this series became so popular. I've read about it and tried. But I can't really understand it. I've read worse books, that's for sure, but I've read so much better books (at least in my opinion). I tried to think about what I would've written in my review if I had read the series for work. I don't think I would've been much enthusiastic (and I would've been wrong obviously, since it's the publishing house I'm working for that published the books in France !). :)

If I had to give my feelings in one word, it would be Frustration. I don't think the author's a bad writer at all, but I don't think she's a genius either. I didn't love the books, but I didn't hate them. I wasn't swept off my feet, but I didn't feel fooled either.

That's my experience with the Twilight Series :  Yep, not bad. But oh, I was expecting so much more...!


  1. I have not read the series yet. I have heard all the wonderous things of the series and the drooling over the movies (which I have not seen yet either). I think I am waiting for the hype to die down before I read them. I am afraid they will not live up to the hype for me. I will most likely get to them eventually but just not at the moment.

    Thanks for the honest and great review!

  2. That is very commendable of you, and it makes your conclusions all the more fascinating and unbiased (well, as unbiased as they could be).

    So wait. YOUR publishing company printed the Twilight series? That is so cool.

  3. I am a die hard fan (Go Jacob).
    Great review.

  4. Yes, Renessme, how dreadful a name! I really enjoyed it but I also have a few ummm...reservations ... about the imprinting concept. Great post.

  5. excellent points! i didnt like renesmee either...
    - Amelia :)

  6. I'm with everyone - Renesme is a terrible name! I'm glad you finished the series, though, even if you didn't love them like everyone else.
    I ADORED them, but I would have loved them even more, if I had actually liked Bella. She was just so needy and annoying and, like you said, always causing people trouble. Her relationship with Edward was also annoying.
    It's weird how I love them anyway.

    Anyhow, sad that they weren't all you were hoping for!

  7. Melissa : I know what you mean. The Twilight Hype kind of ruined my excitement about reading the series. I hope you won't be deceived by it.

    Heather : Yep, it's really cool ! I'm just disappointed that it happened before I got hired. I would love to know what I would've said if I had to read it for review. :)

    Juju : Hehe, so you're Team Jacob, right ?

    Becky : Renesmee and the imprinting concept are so weird...

    Amelia : Welcome ! And thanks for your comment.

    Brizmus : Bella is such a weird heroin. I totally understand how you can love the books although not being a Bella fan. There are many good things in the books.

  8. You're braver than I am! I actually had to read the first tome for our dear boss, and if I remember correctly my review was: the girl is unsufferable, all this fascination is quite unhealthy, I wouldn't put it in my kids hands, but it will surely be a hit. Thank God I wrote that last part, because I don't know if our boss would have kept me if I'd made her miss the deal of a lifetime! lol! Anyway, I just can't seem to get past all the mormon subtext and sometimes clearly sick context... But The Host is very good, on the other hand! You should read it, it's definitely less boring (in my opinion)!

  9. Laure : Heee, I didn't know you read it for review ! Thank heavens for the 'this is gonna be a hit' part, you would've felt so bad if she had turned the offer down. I should definitely read The Host. Encore plus maintenant que j'ai ton avis. :)

    Au fait, il paraît qu'on n'a pas du tout été d'accord sur Everlasting ?! J'adore quand on a des avis complètement opposés !

  10. Great stuff! I agree with you pretty much completely. Before they became popular, I always recommended them to people (ie teens) because they are completely engaging -- great for people who think they aren't readers. They are not written perfectly by any means, but if you're reading for pleasure and can get past that, it's not an issue. That's what I always told people.
    Of course, then they exploded...
    Love Alice.
    Hate the name Renesme.

  11. And yes, Forks is absolutely a character all its own. I love when she first arrives and is so disturbed because everything is so *GREEN*!


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