The Twilight Saga: Where does it fall in Literary Terms?

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, copyright 2005 by Stephenie Meyer

published by Little, Brown And Company, Hachette Book Group USA, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

ISBN 978-0-316-16017-9 (hardcover)  978-0-316-01584-4 (paperback)

The Twilight Saga fever began sweeping the country with the appearance of the first volume in the Saga, aptly named Twilight. Despite it’s unusual presentation of the family of vampires involved in the storyline and more than its fill of teenage angst the book is not without merit.

Stephenie Meyer’s vampires are no harder to believe in than were Bram Stoker’s when he wrote Dracula a little over a century ago.  Stoker’s Dracula has since become the standard by which all vampire stories are measured, but is it totally inconceivable that a vampire could have a conscience; one that would turn him or her away from human blood and toward animal blood providing a means of survival without the necessity of what is essentially cannibalism?

Another thing to keep in mind is the population for which Twilight was written. It is a YA, or Young Adult, book targeting an audience of mostly mid-teens to mid-twenties. This is a population that can identify with teen angst, with the concept that the ‘bad boy’ isn’t really bad and that in the end, love will conquer all.

Meyer isn’t the first person to pair up a vampire and a human in a romance. It’s been done before (and since) in paranormal romances. Meyer does do it better than anyone else though. Her plot is well developed. Her characters aren’t flat, but are well rounded and full of life. You can tell almost immediately which ones will be important, although there are a few surprises in later volumes of the Saga. She provides excellent explanations for the reasons her vampires differ from the vampires of folklore, and she explains why her vampires don’t eat human blood. Her story is well told and interesting. I have to say I enjoyed it, there was some suspense, enough to accelerate my heart somewhat, but not enough to put me on the edge of my seat. That wasn’t the purpose of this tale though, Twilight is about two people falling in love in impossible circumstances. One a vampire, frozen forever at seventeen, the other a seventeen-year-old thoroughly human girl, heartbeat, blood and all. Talk about temptation, surely the apple in the tale of the Garden of Eden couldn’t have provided such irresistible allure.

What follows is an excerpt from the book:

“He seemed to be wavering, torn by some internal dilemma. His eyes locked with mine, and I guessed he was making the decision right then whether or nor to simply tell me the truth.

“You can trust me, you know,” I murmured. I reached forward, without thinking, to touch his folded hands, but he slid them away minutely, and I pulled my hand back.

“I don’t know if I have a choice anymore.” His voice was almost a whisper. “I was wrong – you’re much more observant than I gave you credit for.”

“I thought you were always right.”

“I used to be.” He shook his head again. “I was wrong about you on one other thing, as well. You’re not a magnet for accidents – that’s not a broad enough classification. You are a magnet for trouble. If there is anything dangerous within a ten-mile radius, it will invariably find you.”

“And you put yourself into that category?” I guessed.

His face turned cold, expressionless. “Unequivocally.”

I stretched my hand across the table again – ignoring him when he pulled back slightly once more – to touch the back of his hand shyly with my fingertips. His skin was cold and hard, like a stone.”

Twilight is worth the time it takes to read its 498 pages. There is no sex in the book, although there is some very passionate kissing. It’s good for all ages, the storyline is interesting and it makes a good beach read. In the grand Pigeon Scale this is Pigeon Gold, though with all the hype it truly pains me to admit it.

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