Sunday, November 04, 2007

Reviewed by Dayna Davis, Staff Writer

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Published by Little, Brown and Company.

Bella Swan moves to Forks, Washington, to live with her father and to give her mother and her new husband some space. She anticipates being very bored in her new life. But Edward Cullen in school immediately intrigues her. She learns right away that he is not what he appears to be. She is drawn into a relationship with him, and even the knowledge that he's a vampire doesn't intimidate her. But is it a safe relationship to be in?

I thought for a long time before posting this review. But there are a few things that I feel I must say, so here goes. The good stuff first; this book is extremely addicting. If you are looking for a book that you absolutely cannot put down, this is it. I know several people, myself included, that stayed up until 2 or 3 AM to finish it. Next, it is clean. There is a lot of kissing, and staring into each others eyes, but nothing graphic either for a vampire or a human to read. It is an excellent example of imagination and fantasy and the main characters really do come to life. Last, it is definitely not predictable in any way. It has a naivete that is charming. A more seasoned author would have taken advantage of some of the character quirks that she creates, and the lack of that happening in this book is most likely due to lack of experience. But in this book it works.

Now for the rest of my opinions. I think this book should definitely be looked at as rated PG-13 (or PG-15). Just because it's sold in Deseret Bookstores doesn't mean that it's safe for everyone. I suggest to all mothers out there, that they should be careful with letting their children or early teens read it. It portrays relationships in a way that is not healthy. The main characters are obsessive, predatory, controlling and driven. Would we be okay with letting our daughter's boyfriend stay in her bedroom with her all night? With her sneaking out and not being truthful with where she is going and what she is doing? And with whom? Just because he's a vampire and doesn't have the same motivations - doesn't make it safe. The father comes across as an idiot in this book and the daughter has no respect for him and his boundaries. Is that how we want our teenagers to view us? I think the same parental guidelines should be taken with this as with a movie or other suggestive subject matter. Parents should talk with their children about what is good and healthy, real and not. The addictive characteristics of this book should not be overlooked. Readers should not be impressionable. I like to compare it to a soap opera: very addictive, but very little substance.