Meyer, Stephanie (2005). New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN: 978-0-316-16017-9

When reserved 17-year old Bella’s mom wants to travel with her new ballplayer husband, Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in rainy far north Forks. On her first day at her new school she sees Edward Cullen, very pale, very handsome, but when they are paired as lab partners Edward becomes agitated and disappears for two days. He returns in time to save Bella from an out-of-control car, and soon after from a marauding band of rapists on the mean streets of Port Angeles, Washington. But how did Edward traverse the parking lot in fractions of a second? How did he know where to find Bella during the attack? After hearing her Indian friend Jacob’s legend of “The Pale Ones”, Bella figures it out: Edward and his whole ‘family’, including beloved town doctor Carlisle Cullen, are the bloodsucking undead. Lucky for Bella they are “vegetarians’, only drinking the blood of animals, because by now she and Edward are hopelessly in love. Not so lucky for Bella is the interest she has inspired in another nearby group of vampires—will she survive long enough to figure out if human-vampire love can succeed?

Reader’s Annotation
First love is always complicated, but especially when your boyfriend has superhuman strength, sparkles in the sun, and is Creature of the Night. Romance progresses with difficulty as Bella is in constant peril from evil vampires, predatory humans, and the anguished self-restraint of her noble vampire love, Edward Cullen.

It's almost beside the point to mention that much of the writing in Twilight is dreadful. Many adults have reported screaming out loud in pain as yet another character 'murmurs inaudibly', or Bella must once more be rescued, crushed to Edward's "vast chest". Nevertheless, while we scream in pain we keep turning those pages faster and faster, at least for one volume. Some narratives are so compelling that the reader is willing to forego nuance of character or believable dialogue just to see the situation resolved in satisfying fashion; in this archetypal love story, Stephanie Meyer has definitely created such a plot. We are always interested in star-crossed love; vampires have always possessed a swooning sexual glamour. Ann Rice, who should certainly know, said on NPR last week that she thought Twilight was about "the desire of very young girls for the mystery and power and protectiveness of an older man. And I think the vampire is simply a stand-in for that".

About the Author
Stephanie Meyer was born in 1973. She went to BYU and is a Mormon; she has 3 sons with Biblical names. She saiys the idea for the Twilight series came to her in a dream.


Curriculum Ties

Booktalking Ideas
Is Edward too much like a stalker?
Contrast Jacob and Edward.
Do you think you would want to be friends with Bella?

Reading Level/Interest Age
9th Grade and up (SLJ)

Challenge Issues
Be knowledgeable about the book and prepared to discuss it calmly. Provide complaint form per board policy; list
reviews linked to; gather student responses

Why Included?
#1 book most frequently recommended to adults by teen girls
Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2005

Selection Tools
Student recommendation; pressure of popular culture

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