Pure corn syrup. The best thing about this book was its cover, so honestly I can’t recommend opening it.
You might as well watch the movie — this book is so incredibly low-density that its entire 425 pages are covered scene-by-scene in 122 cinematic minutes. This is especially astonishing considering that the movie spends a lot of time on atmospheric shots and silent emotional close-ups. Pride and Prejudice, may I remind you, weighs in at 367 pages and a weeklong miniseries.
The movie is also a lot wittier and pulled a few clever little edits such as making Bella a vegetarian (which dovetails nicely with Edward’s “vegetarianism”). The Bella of the book eats meat, drives a gas guzzler, has no evident interests, and is mainly virtuous in that she cooks for her dad and does the laundry. Twilight‘s characters are so weirdly empty that all I can see are Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. One gay friend who loves the series says that he thinks Bella’s emptiness is the key — you can insert yourself and bask in the glory of being desired by the hot guys.
Note: I don’t care how hot Edward is — I’d still be skeezed out if he followed me around, watched me sleep, and eavesdropped on my conversations by reading people’s minds.
The editor said that she knew halfway through the manuscript that she had a bestseller on her hands and gave Meyer a $750,000 advance for a 3-book deal. Twilight, like Sweet Valley High or Harry Potter,* feeds straight into childish wish-fulfillment and uses only the easiest of prose. No vocab words, no sly metaphors, just pure corn syrup. Bella is an awkward, clumsy girl who never fit in in Pheonix, self-sacrificingly moves to the Northwest because she wants to set her mom free, and immediately becomes the local hottie. In one day, three hormonal little bachelors ask her to ask them out to the lady’s choice spring dance. Then beautiful, perfect Edward just can’t stay away. In 80-odd years he’s never met anyone like her. Hahaha.
Because if I had immortality, obviously I would spend it by going to high school over and over again in a small town.
* Yes, yes, I know everyone says the Harry Potter books got better after a rocky start, but Potter-mania was already a phenomenon by the time I picked up that completely forgettable first book.