I read an interview with Stephenie Meyer where she described the process of writing Twilight as transcribing her dreams. It definitely reads so. Meyers is fond of adjectives and adverbs – anything to create some kind of striking image or scene in the reader’s mind. The problem is that the style in how it’s done reminds me of when I was nine and reading Ann M. Martin’s physical characteristics and outfit descriptions of the members of the Babysitter’s Club. Or when I was 14 and reading about the “refreshing” American girls with the brown copper streaked shoulder length hair and tan slender legs Prince William fell in love with while living undercover on a farm in Kansas (This was during my Prince William fan fic phase. No, we are not going there).
Okay, I’ll stop it.
“It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue. I was wearing my favorite shirt – sleeveless, white eyelet lace; I was wearing it as a farewell gesture. My carry-on item was a parka.”
“I took the slip up to the teacher, a tall, balding man whose desk had a nameplate identifying him as Mr. Mason. He gawked at me when he saw my name – not an encouraging response – and of course I flushed tomato red.”
Edward had a “glorious face […] It was like trying to stare down a destroying angel.”
But this is my favorite:
“Clair de Lune?” I asked surprised.
“You know Debussy?” He sounded surprised, too.
“Not well,” I admitted. “My mother plays a lot of classical music around the house – I only know my favorites.”
“It’s one of my favorites, too.” He stared down in the rain, lost in thought.
In addition to the adjectives, Meyer brings in the band name dropping. Perfect. So perfectly high school. It takes me right back to my own high school experience where a ticket to cool was boasting about my extensive rock history knowledge courtesy of VH1’s Pop Up Video or Behind the Music. While I do give credit to VH1 for brushing me up on my pop/rocks basics, looking back I must have sounded like such an insufferable pseudo-rock music know-it-all teen.
“You like them?”
“Julian Casablancas. What else do I have to say?”
Ack! I am proud to say this conversation never happened in those exact words during high school but it echoes those sentiments of icky music pretension that now make me roll my eyes and groan, UGH, but before made me think I was so well-versed in my rock knowledge, laughing off those who thought Simple Plan was “punk” (Meanwhile sneaking in Good Charlotte listening sessions in my room…).
Though this time reading Twilight I had to chuckle. Debussy? Well played, Meyer. You could’ve done The Strokes or the White Stripes or even Nirvana but you did Debussy. Way to go for not falling into the trap of dated pop culture references. Then again we are talking vampires. I guess classical music and vampires make sense? Like wine and cheese? Meh.
For all the crap I give the writing I keep on having to remind myself this is a young adult romance series. I’m not familiar at all with vampire romance novels, vampire novels, and the romance genre in general so I’m not sure how to critique the book’s writing. How do you compare Harry Potter to Twilight? You can’t. I wish Meyer had a better editor, to be honest. I was so tempted to strike through so many useless words that made the descriptions more LOL-worthy. I don’t think that was the point. Really? “I tried to make my smile alluring, wondering if I was laying it on too thick.” Meyer, come on!
The writing isn’t my biggest peeve so much as Bella and Edward INTENSELY GAZING AT EACH OTHER ALL THE TIME. It’s either that or passion-filled passing glances. I could feel Edward’s eyes on me as I walked over to the side of the car. It felt like electricity when Edward’s hand brushed the wisps of hair from my eyes. He looked so stern, so focused. Blah blah blah. I guess this is supposed to heighten the suspense leading up to Edward’s mysterious “secret,” set up conflict, and create huge payoffs but it’s so annoying. Sigh…I have to remind myself these are hormonal teenagers who are trying to cool it.
The worst part about reading this book is knowing full well how Bella and Edward look like. In my head KStew is Bella and Pattinson is Edward. I wished I would’ve read the series sooner (Much like every Twilight fan who literally gasped when I told them that I just started the book) just so I could imagine for myself how the two leads would look in my own Twilight world. But no, I got future Joan Jett and Cedric Diggory. Although, Pattinson seems perfectly cast for Twilight. He really can pass for a vampire.