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Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When her mother gets remarried, Bella Swan moves in with her father, Charlie, who lives in a small town on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, where it rains nearly all the time. There she meets Edward, a strange and gorgeous boy from a strange and gorgeous family -- and soon she's fallen madly in love with him. She also discovers that he and his family are vampires, which doesn't bother her at all. But it bothers Edward; even though his family long ago swore off human blood in favor of animals', he still worries for her safety, both with him and with his family, who control their lust for human blood only by willpower.
Is it any good?
This incredibly long book is really two books. The first two-thirds of TWILIGHT is a fairly engrossing, if not terribly imaginative, vampire romance, with lots of smoldering eyes, palpitating hearts, mood swings, and a nice touch of fantasy. Then in the final third it turns into an action-thriller, as another vampire sets his sights on Bella.
Despite its length it is very readable, though it's all too easy to read a hundred pages, enjoy it, and then not be able to remember anything that actually happened. The vampires are not only presented sympathetically, but with their amazing superhero-ish powers, spectacular looks, and hipster style, they also make vampirism seem like a sensible and appealing lifestyle choice -- though they would certainly fit in better in Soho than in Forks, Washington. Still, it's mostly good fun, and passes the time pleasantly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of the series. Why do you think this story resonates so well with teen readers? Is it the writing itself -- or is it more to do with the vampire theme and the doomed romance?
This book has sparked many more books about vampires and fantasy books in general, such as Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising or even funny books like Vamped. Do you think publishers should keep printing these books -- or is the market sort of getting oversaturated?
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