Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is the first book in the Twilight Saga. It was originally published in hardcover in 2005. It is a young adult/fantasy/romance novel about a human girl (Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan) who falls in love with a vampire (Edward Cullen). The story is told from Bella’s perspective. The upcoming companion novel, Midnight Sun, features the story told from Edward’s perspective, which was illegally leaked out onto the internet.
Plot summary[edit | edit source]
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from the ever sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
When Bella sits next to Edward Cullen in biology class on her first day of school, Edward seems utterly repulsed. Edward is stunningly attractive, and inhumanly beautiful, yet he is an outsider too. He moves as far away from her as possible. He even attempts to change his schedule to avoid her, which leaves Bella completely puzzled about his attitude towards her. Shortly after he disappears for a while, Edward begins to talk to Bella, having seemingly forgotten their unfriendly first encounter. One day, Bella looks at Edward, who is far away, in the parking lot. Oblivious to her, a student named Tyler Crowley, had lost control of his vehicle and it was rapidly progressing in her direction. Bella realizes this at the last moment and thinks she is dead when Tyler's van collides with Bella's truck. However, Edward appears and stops the oncoming car completely with one hand, leaving a dent, and shocking Bella with his speed and strength.
During a trip to La Push, Bella tricks a family friend, Jacob Black of the Quileute tribe, into telling her the local tribal legends and she finds out why, although the Cullens have lived in Forks for two years, they have never really been accepted by the townsfolk. Jacob mentions the Cullens, and says that most of the reservation believes that they are vampires, though he doesn't think so. During a trip to Port Angeles, Edward rescues her again, this time from a band of serial rapists and killers. Bella asks him if what Jacob said about his family is true. Edward admits that he and his family are vampires, but says that he and his family only drink animal blood to keep themselves from turning into the monsters unlike other vampires.
Edward and Bella's relationship grows over time and they fall passionately in love. Their foremost problem is that to Edward, Bella's scent is a hundred times more potent than any other human's, making Edward struggle to resist his desire to kill her. However, despite this, they manage to stay together safely for a time.
The seemingly perfect state of their relationship is thrown into chaos when another vampire coven sweeps into Forks and James, a tracker vampire, decides that he wants to hunt Bella for sport. Edward's family plan to distract the tracker by splitting up Bella and Edward, and Bella is sent to hide in a hotel in Phoenix. Bella then gets a phone call from James in which he says that he has her mother, and Bella is forced to give herself up to James at her old ballet studio. Upon meeting him, Bella discovers her mother wasn't at the dance studio and was safe all along. James attacks Bella, but Edward, along with the rest of the Cullen family, rescue Bella before James can kill her. To Edward's horror, Bella begins to feel like her hand is on fire; James had bitten her. The only thing that could be done to save her life was to suck the venom out. Edward is the only one who can do so as the others would find it too hard to finish. To his, and Bella's amazement he is able to stop after sucking the poison out.
James is subsequently ripped apart and burned by Emmett Cullen and Jasper Hale, Edward's brothers. Bella is then taken to a hospital in Phoenix, where she recovers from the attack. The story they choose to give Bella's parents is that she fell down two flights of stairs and through a window in a hotel, using her clumsiness to cover up for what really happened to her.
Once returning to Forks, Bella goes to the prom with Edward, where she expresses her desire to become a vampire, which Edward refuses to let happen. The book ends with neither of them refusing to budge, but as deeply in love as ever.
Cover[edit | edit source]
"The apple on the cover of Twilight represents "forbidden fruit." I used the scripture from Genesis (located just after the table of contents) because I loved the phrase "the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil." Isn't this exactly what Bella ends up with? A working knowledge of what good is, and what evil is. The nice thing about the apple is it has so many symbolic roots. You've got the apple in Snow White, one bite and you're frozen forever in a state of not-quite-death... Then you have Paris and the golden apple in Greek mythology—look how much trouble that started. Apples are quite the versatile fruit. In the end, I love the beautiful simplicity of the picture. To me it says: choice." -Stephenie Meyer
Awards and nominations[edit | edit source]
Twilight gained recognition and won numerous honors, including:
- A New York Times Editor's Choice
- A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
- An Amazon.com "Best Book of the Decade...So Far"
- A Teen People "Hot List" pick
- An American Library Association "Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults" and "Top Ten Books for Reluctant Readers"
- Translation into 20 languages 
- A New York Times Best Seller
Critical reception[edit | edit source]
The critical reception for Twilight has been mixed. Booklist wrote, "There are some flaws here–a plot that could have been tightened, an overreliance on adjectives and adverbs to bolster dialogue–but this dark romance seeps into the soul." Kirkus wrote: "[Twilight] is far from perfect: Bella's appeal is based on magic rather than character." Patty Campbell of Amazon.com noted that "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." Publishers Weekly's starred review described Bella's "infatuation with outsider Edward", their risky relationship, and "Edward's inner struggle" as a metaphor for sexual frustration accompanying adolescence. BusinessWorld Weekender reporter Johanna Pohlete noted the "mass hysteria" over Twilight and the series as a whole.
Film adaptation[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Twilight (film)
Twilight has been adapted into a film and was released on November 21, 2008. It was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and the screenplay written by Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Rosenberg. The film stars Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, along with several other notable actors and actresses.
Outtakes[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Twilight series outtakes
Stephenie Meyer has posted outtakes from Twilight on her Website:
- Original Chapter 20 "Flight" a.k.a. Shopping with Alice
- Emmett and the Bear
- Extended Prom Remix
Fan sites[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Fan sites
Twilight is popular with people all over the world, and there are hundreds of websites dedicated to it.
Fanfiction[edit | edit source]
Twilight is popular with people all over the world, and many fanfictions have been created by fans. Some have also combined it with other series, such as Harry Potter, Glee, and even the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.
Editions[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- What's with the apple?. StephenieMeyer.com. Retrieved on 2008-02-08.
- Stephenie Meyer's Official Website. StephenieMeyer.com. Retrieved on 2008-07-23.
- Leila Summers (2008-01-19). Part of 'Twilight' movie will be filmed at Kalama school. The Daily News Online. Retrieved on 2008-07-10.
- Booklist Review at Amazon.com. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2008-07-23.
- Kirkus Review at B&N.com. B&N.com. Retrieved on 2008-07-23.
- Stephenie Meyer's official website - Twilight reviews. Retrieved on 2008-05-29.
- BusinessWorld Weekender 'Gothic romance'. Retrieved on 2008-07-23.
[edit | edit source]
|Published novels||Twilight • New Moon • Eclipse • Breaking Dawn|
|Companion novels||The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner • Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined • Midnight Sun|
|Graphic novels||Twilight: The Graphic Novel • New Moon: The Graphic Novel|
|Illustrated guides||The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide|
|Movie companions||Twilight: Director's Notebook • Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion • New Moon: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion|
|Unpublished items||Forever Dawn|