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Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Overlong but engrossing popular vampire romance.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 155 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 606 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Even teens who don't consider themselves readers may find themselves tearing through this long book and its sequels.

Positive Messages

The books summary nails it perfectly: "captures the struggle between defying instincts and satisfying desires." Romantics will swoon.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bella is a smart, brave girl, though some readers may wonder why she so naturally accepts that Edward is a vampire (and find it troubling that he could change her forever).


A brutal, bloody battle, and hints about others. And it's about vampires, after all.


Some passionate kissing.


Car brands, OTC drugs, soft drinks.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bella uses cold medication as a sleep aid.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, while very mild by the standards of its genre, this is a vampire romance, so there is talk about blood and romantic kissing, as well as one battle with bloody injuries.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysakuuya October 17, 2009
I cannot fathom the reason Bella is held up as a positive role model for teen girls. For all her pretensions to intelligence and independence, she is shockingly... Continue reading
Parent Written byamomof2girls October 25, 2009

Maybe ok for high school age kids, but not elementary!!

I am glad to see there are others who saw what I saw when I read this book, as a parent previewing it for my young daughters. My 5th grade daughter was begging... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byVelvet_Leggings_XD May 7, 2010
All right. First of all, I hated this book pretty bad. I mean, it had an okay plot and all, and when I read it the first time I said to myself, "Well, all... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byIsntThatGreat June 28, 2010

Worst book of all time. Go read Harry Potter instead.

Title says it all. Harry Potter for the win.

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?

Book details

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