When seventeen year-old Bella Swan leaves sunny Arizona to live with her father in the small and gloomy Pacific North-West town of Forks she doesn’t expect to like it. After all she has made excuses not to go there enough times over the past few years. If living in Forks, with its constant mist and rain, wasn’t bad enough she will have to make a whole new set of friends and settle into a new school.
Bella soon makes some new friends at school but when she sees a boy called Edward Cullen sitting with his brothers and sisters in the cafeteria she is instantly intrigued. Edward is stunningly attractive, almost inhumanly beautiful, and yet he is an outsider too. Although Edward and his family have lived in Forks for two years they have never really been accepted by the townsfolk.
At first Edward is aloof, sometimes it almost seems like he can’t stand to be in the same room as her, but eventually they strike up an unlikely friendship. Even as Bella falls hopelessly and irrevocably in love with Edward, she still can’t work out exactly what makes him so different to everyone else.
On a trip to the beach, Bella is told of the local legend about the “cold ones”, a group of blood drinkers who have sworn off hunting humans but are still not welcome on Indian land because vampires are not to be trusted. Realising Edward is vampire changes nothing for Bella, she knows that she still loves him even if he’s not human.
Edward and his whole family are vampires. Edward himself was made a vampire when he was seventeen years-old, although that was at the end of World War I. For Edward his love for Bella is both a delight and a torment. A delight because she is the first person he has loved since he was made a vampire. A torment because although he has sworn off human blood and only hunts animals the craving for human blood never truly leaves him and the very scent of her also stirs his hunger for blood….
Twilight is the story of Edward and Bella’s romance. Forget any vampire romance you have read before, Twilight is so unique it is almost like it’s in its own genre. The book is marketed at Young Adult readers but it has the ability to cross age barriers and will satisfy both teenagers and adults alike.
The story is told in first person from the perspective of Bella, so the reader only ever know what she knows, making Edward and his family a mystery that is slowly unravelled through out the book. Even by the end of the book I was still thirsting for more of the Cullen family back story - hopefully their characters might be developed further in future books. Bella herself is a well written and realistic character, shy and lacking in confidence, her sarcastic inner voice narrates the story for the reader.
Twilight is simply and yet beautifully written. The descriptions of Forks leave you feeling like you can almost smell the damp air and hear the rain falling on the roof.
The romance between Edward and Bella is both touching and compelling. There is a melancholic feel to their impossible love, yet at the same time they both are unwilling to give up hope that their relationship is not doomed. The book reaches a fever pitch of excitement as the romance between Bella and Edward turns into a frantic race to stay alive.
I have heard Twilight described as “a vampire story for people who don’t like vampire stories” and I think I would agree with that. This book really has something for everyone. Young adult readers, vampire fans or romance readers will all find Twilight to be an appealing story.
For a Young Adult novel the book is quite long but don’t let that put you off reading it because each page is to be savoured. Believe me, this is one book that you won’t want to end.