"Softly he brushed my cheek, then held my face between his marble hands. 'Be very still,' he whispered, as if I wasn't already frozen. Slowly, never moving his eyes from mine, he leaned toward me. Then abruptly, but very gently, he rested his cold cheek against the hollow at the base of my throat."
As Shakespeare knew, love burns high when thwarted by obstacles. In Twilight, an exquisite fantasy by Stephenie Meyer, readers discover a pair of lovers who are supremely star-crossed. Bella adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love. But Edward is having a hard time controlling the blood lust she arouses in him, because--he's a vampire. At any moment, the intensity of their passion could drive him to kill her, and he agonizes over the danger. But, Bella would rather be dead than part from Edward, so she risks her life to stay near him, and the novel burns with the erotic tension of their dangerous and necessarily chaste relationship.
Meyer has achieved quite a feat by making this scenario completely human and believable. She begins with a familiar YA premise (the new kid in school), and lulls us into thinking this will be just another realistic young adult novel. Bella has come to the small town of Forks on the gloomy Olympic Peninsula to be with her father. At school, she wonders about a group of five remarkably beautiful teens, who sit together in the cafeteria but never eat. As she grows to know, and then love, Edward, she learns their secret. They are all rescued vampires, part of a family headed by saintly Carlisle, who has inspired them to renounce human prey. For Edward's sake they welcome Bella, but when a roving group of tracker vampires fixates on her, the family is drawn into a desperate pursuit to protect the fragile human in their midst. The precision and delicacy of Meyer's writing lifts this wonderful novel beyond the limitations of the horror genre to a place among the best of YA fiction. (Ages 12 and up) --Patty Campbell
10 Second Interview: A Few Words with Stephenie Meyer
Q: Were you a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Angel? What are you watching now that those shows are off the air? A: I have never seen an entire episode of Buffy or Angel. While I was writing Twilight, I let my older sister read along chapter by chapter. She's a huge Buffy fan and she kept trying to get me to watch, but I was afraid it would mess up my vision of the vampire world so I never did.
I don't have a ton of time for TV, and my kids get rowdy when I have on "mommy shows," but I do have a secret fondness for reality shows (the good ones, at least in my opinion). I always TiVo Survivor, The Amazing Race, and America's Next Top Model.
Q: What inspired you to write Twilight? Is this the beginning of a series? Why write for teens? A:Twilight was inspired by a very vivid dream, which is fairly faithfully transcribed as chapter thirteen of the book. There are sequels on the way--I'm hard at work editing book two (tentatively titled New Moon) right now, and book three is waiting in line for its turn. I didn't mean to write for teens--I didn't mean to write for anyone but myself, so I had an audience of one twenty-nine year old (and later one thirty-one year old when my sister started reading). I think the reason that I ended up with a book for teens is because high school is such a compelling time period--it gives you some of your worst scars and some of your most exhilarating memories. It's a fascinating place: old enough to feel truly adult, old enough to make decisions that affect the rest of your life, old enough to fall in love, yet, at the same time too young (in most cases) to be free to make a lot of those decisions without someone else's approval. There's a lot of scope for a novel in that.
Q: What is your favorite vampire story? Fave vampire movie? A: I guess my favorite vampire story would be The Vampire Lestat, by Anne Rice, simply because it's one of the only ones I've ever read. I keep meaning to pick up Bram Stoker's Dracula, because I get asked this question so often and I should probably start with the classics, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Again, I'm afraid to read other vampire books now, for fear of finding things either too similar, or too different from my own vampire world.
Ack! I can't even answer the movie question. I can't remember ever seeing a single vampire movie, outside of clips from Bela Lugosi movies on TV. I don't like true horror movies--my favorite scary movies are all Hitchcock's.
Q: What other young adult authors do you read? A: My favorite young adult author is L.M. Montgomery I also enjoy J.K. Rowling (but who doesn't?), and Ann Brashares. As a teen, I skipped straight to adult books (lots of sci-fi and Jane Austen), so I'm rediscovering the world of teen literature now.
Stephenie Meyer's List of Books You Should Read
Anne of Green Gables
Romeo and Juliet
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Princess Bride
See more recommendations from Stephenie Meyer
Amazon.com's Significant Seven Stephenie Meyer graciously agreed to answer the questions we like to ask every author: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.
Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life? A: The book with the most significant impact on my life is The Book of Mormon. The book with the most significant impact on my life as a writer is probably Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card, with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier coming in as a close second.
Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they? A: The CD is easy: Absolution by Muse, hands down. It's harder to give myself just one movie, but the one I watch most frequently is Sense and Sensibility--the one with the screenplay by Emma Thompson. One book is impossible. I'd have to have Pride and Prejudice, but I couldn't live without something by Orson Scott Card and a nice, thick Maeve Binchy, too.
Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told? A: My lies are all very, very boring: "No, you really look great in hot pink!" "My children only watch one hour of TV a day." "I didn't eat the last Swiss Cake Roll--it must have been one of the kids." That's the best I've got.
Q: Describe the perfect writing environment. A: It's late at night and the house is silent, but I'm still (miraculously) full of energy. I have my headphones in and I'm listened to a mix of Muse, Coldplay, Travis, My Chemical Romance, and The All-American Rejects. Beside me is a fabulous, and yet mysteriously low in calorie, cheesecake....
Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say? A: I'd like it to say that I really tried at the important things. I was never perfect at any of them, but I honestly tried to be a great mom, a loving wife, a good daughter, and a true friend. Under that, I'd want a list of my favorite Simpsons quotes.
Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with? A: I'd love to have a chance to talk to Orson Scott Card--I have a million questions for him. Mostly things like, "How do you come up with this stuff?!" But, if he wasn't available, I'd settle for Matthew Bellamy (lead singer of Muse).
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be? A: I'd want something offensive, rather than defensive. Like shooting fireballs from my hands. That way, you're really open to going either way--hero or villain. I like to have choices.
Shannon (USA: OR) (2008/05/19): ABSOLUTELY AWESOME BOOK. I have never read anything as good as this.
Ashley (USA: TX) (2008/06/26): Definitely the best book I have ever read. Stephenie Meyer created an amazingly realistic story that completely captivated my attention and failed to relinquish its hold. "Twilight" is certainly worth reading, and I recommend it to every teen (and adult as well) out there.
Scarface133 (Denmark) (2008/06/28): I didn’t like it at all, the writing was really bad. Maybe I would have liked it a couple of years ago in my early teen years.
Amy (USA: FL) (2008/07/11): Loved this series! Very glad my friend told me about it. Look forward to the last book. They "say" it's a teen book but I'm a 30 something stay at home mom so I think it appeals to all ages.
Sam (USA: PA) (2008/08/14): It was like poorly written internet fan-fiction. Very predictable. I definitely don't understand what all the fuss was about. It wasn't original or captivating in the least.
Kadavar_Kate (USA: CA) (2008/10/02): Didn't see what the fuss was about. Really poorly written with characters who have are devoid of personality or flaws. Fan-fiction-esque.
Book Activist (USA: IL) (2009/01/04): Absolutely an AMAZING book. Her writing flows easily and is very easily read. This book had me flipping page after page MADLY. I've became totally obsessed with this series. I think I feel in love with Edward! LOL. I would rate this book right next to the Harry Potter series. It's one of those books (like Harry Potter for me) where when I read it, I become so engrossed in the book I'm literally there with the characters and forget about reality. I would suggest everyone from teens to adults to read this book.
Cody (USA: OR) (2009/01/05): Mediocre at best, only for pre-teen girls and the criminally immature (Yes, PRE-teen girls only, even a teenager should need more than what this has to offer). I applaud Stephenie Meyers for taking the whole "Vampire thing" in a new direction, but when that new direction leads you off a road into a cliff, it was probably a bad idea to begin with. I honestly DO NOT understand why this book is a NY Times Bestseller.
This is an AMAZING book. Stephenie Meyer is an excellent writter, she flows amazingly and is very easy to read. This book has me FURIOUSLY turning the pages wanting more and more. This is one of those books that you become so engrossed in, that you forget that what you are reading is actually a book, and not reality. I would rate this book well series, right up there with Harry Potter. I would suggest this book to teenager and adult a-like. I finished this book on January 4th and today it is January 7th and I'm just starting the 3rd book of the series. I literally can NOT put these books down. She will capture you attention from the first sentence you read and you want to read read read and never stop. I do believe I have fallen in love with Edward myself, and many characteristics in Bella I find in myself. Meyer's writing makes you SEE what the characters SEE and truly FEEL what the characters are FEELING. After all, isn't that what good writing is supposed to do?
jbatson (Canada) (2009/01/25): Even though I am a 30-something female, I must say I LOVED IT!! I read lots and lots ... and this is one of the best I have read in a long time!
Ashley (USA: OH) (2009/02/02): this is my favorite of the Twilight Saga. I feel they gradually get worse as you go on, but that's just my opinion. originally bought in paperback and recently bought it in hardcover to go with the last three I own.
Aise (Australia) (2009/02/05): I'm in my late 20's and just discovered the Twilight Series after (forcibly) watching the Twilight movie by my 14year old sister lol. But since picking up the first book of the saga I have not been able to put it down and have continued on to read all 4 published books PLUS the unpublished "Midnight Sun" on Stephanie Meyer's website. Yes, I admit, I AM obsessed!!! haha.
Although some reviews have stated that the books are not "well written" I have to counter this with the fact that Meyer just gives so much LIFE to her characters and you can't help but just fall in love with them all and feel them come to life in your minds eye - and to me that's what matters the most... and is THE REASON why her books are loved world wide.
Dayna (USA: AL) (2009/02/22): I discovered this book from a friend, and was initially uninterested because it was about vampires. But as I read the first couple chapters, I became addicted to see what would happen. It is definitely a page turner. I would recommend it to women, teens especially. Stephenie Meyer is the American J.K. Rowling!
Nikki (USA) (2009/04/13): I LOVE Twilight!!! I thought it was a great read, it had me hooked from the first few pages. I have to say it is one of my all time favortie books, and will probably read it again!
Allison (USA: TX) (2009/04/25): I was initially quite taken with this series, as I was curious to find out how the story would unfold. Upon reflection, however, I have become very concerned that this series will give young female readers unrealistic expectations about love and relationships.
maristelle (Philippines) (2009/05/10): I loved it. Super. I was never really that interested in vampires,but twilight got me. CAN ANYONE RESERVE ONE COPY FOR ME?
riley pearse (USA: VA) (2009/05/25): READ READ READ READ IMPORTANT IMPORTANT IMPORTANT IMPORTANT READ IMPORTANT READ I do not have this book but I do. I have the one with all the characters in the movie on the cover. If you would like this book with this cover shown,
DO NOT CONTACT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SienaGesmondi (USA: NJ) (2009/06/06): Cover a little bent on the corners. scratched on the edges a bit. first few pages bent at the corners, but not much, maybe a cementer, even less.
Kym777 (USA: AL) (2009/06/29): I put off reading this series because it was a "Vampire book". lol I am generally not big into vampires, but that was before Edward. I have to say the "It's not a vampire book. It's a love story." was true. I was very impressed with Mrs Meyer's writing. I was even more shocked that I was reading a YA book. So if you haven't read Twilight then shame on you.lol! I will say that I made it nicely through "New Moon" (2nd) until last half of book then it dragged for me. I despised Eclipse until the very end. I did enjoy the last book Breaking Dawn but not nearly as much as Twilight! I must also say I wish they had put a little more thought, effort, and time into making the movie. They didn't capitalize on some of the sweetest and best parts that make this such a wonderful love story, but what do I know anyway.hehe
Doory (USA: IL) (2009/07/21): I sat down and read this in a day without stopping. It reads a lot faster than you would think.
I'd seen the books in Borders a lot and I saw a couple ppl at my school reading the book and at first I had no clue what it was about.
My exchange student form Belgium got the first book and told me what it was about. At first I didn't think I would like it because it was about Vampire's and I'd never read anything like it before. but a couple months after she bought it i decided to give it a try.
After I read Twilight I was hooked! I flew through the series and bought Breaking Dawn as soon as it came out.-Which I finished in 21 hours of non-stop reading.
I'd have to say Twilight and Breaking Dawn were my favorites of the whole series. my third favorite was Eclipse, and i really didn't like New Moon.
Go Stephanie Meyer! (The Host rocks too!)
xiaoying (Singapore) (2009/08/20): I really really like this book.Sometimes i wish i can be in the cullen family.I reread this book lots of times,because i really like it!
MasterBleh (USA: MO) (2009/10/03): This is quite possibly one of the worst books I've ever read. AND the worst ten bucks spent. Ever. I can't wait to ship this one off. I've seen picture books with better plots and more realistic characters.
Valerie (USA: OH) (2009/11/01): I picked this up because I was worried about what my daughter was reading. It was before the epidemic of twilight fever, so I knew nothing about the series. I couldn't put it down. Not only did I completely enjoy the read, but I loved talking about the story and underlying themes with my daughter. Since it became so popular, it created expectations that are simply out of control. It's a wonderful book from an inspiring author and I'm ready to read it again.
Brittany (USA: OH) (2009/12/31): You know,they say these book are for teens BUT I am 24 years old and I enjoyed them very well. I know plenty of adults who have also enjoyed them. In fact I'm kinda worried I wont find any book better then this series. Anyone know of any books that might be worthy enough to say they are as good as the twilight series??...
Avigail (Israel) (2010/02/22): This is a book well worth reading and an absolute MUST for fans of themes revolving around vampires. I was hooked right away from the first page. What is so remarkable about this book is that the author incorporates such realistic themes into the story that it is hard to discern the fantasy elements. The author touches on everyday teenager topics such as moving to a new town, fitting in to a new school, and falling in love. The author does a GREAT, great job of portraying the vampire world in a totally new light; the vampires of this story are so intriguing! I would consider "Twilight" to be mostly a love story, and let me tell you, an absolutely breathtaking one! Edward and Bella's love is one that transcends all time.
Kristen Wallen (USA: CT) (2010/07/21): Twilight was a very good book, but I think it would be better if Edward didn't sparkle. I think it would've made the book a little better.
JW (USA: NC) (2010/10/06): I didn't like this book at all. I found it boring. The few interesting characters were side characters. It read like bad Buffy fanfiction, and the author had decided to throw out all the redeeming elements of feminism. I used to like Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' books, which were similar in many ways, and I definitely don't like this kind of teenaged Mary Sue any longer.
Amanda<33 (USA: FL) (2010/10/09): When I read this book, I LOVED it, and read the whole series. I was Team Edward the whole way... but now I realize that it was pretty poorly written, as I read this series a few years back. However, this still remains one of my favorites, simply beacuase any book that I read and enjoyed WHILE READING it, becomes one of my all-time faves. :P
I did really like the Host by Stephenie Meyer a lot better, because the audience is more adult-based.
Tiffany Moran (Ireland) (2010/10/24): First time I read this book, I was obseesed, Team Jacob all the way! (Still am but, shh!) Now, I just find it childish and 2-demensional. It was a great concept that could have been taken a lot further and made a lot better. For a first attempt at a book though, it is pretty good. Here's hoping Stephenie Meyer can continue to improve!