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...!