All member reviews for Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1

Common Sense Media says

Overlong but engrossing popular vampire romance.

Users say

(out of 715 reviews)
age 11+
Review this title!
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 anti-feminist, and Edward is far from the ideal boyfriend. Throughout the Twilight series, Bella defines herself solely through relationships with boys. Because her one "flaw" is incredibly exaggerated clumsiness, she is unable even to walk across a patch of ice without Edward to protect her. Her interests? Edward. Her goals? Edward. Her dreams? Edward. In a later book, when Edward leaves, she engages in suicidal behavior in an attempt to win him back. For his part, Edward shows several signs of abusiveness. He breaks into her house to watch her sleep, refuses to let her spend time with her other friends, and even breaks her truck so she'll have to depend on him for transportation. Additionally, he's emotionally unstable. He continually tells her how dangerous he is, but spends time with her anyway; Bella also describes his "sudden mood changes [which] left me always a step behind, dazed." None of this would be too bad for older kids if it wasn't presented so appealingly. Bella is too vacuous and ignorant to realize the danger of her situation. She even idealizes Edward, and since the book is written from her point of view, the reader is treated to endless descriptions of how perfect he is. But he is, as discussed above, far from a positive influence, and the way the book idealizes his relationship with Bella is frankly dangerous. Twilight goes farther than simply telling girls that it doesn't matter if their boyfriend is controlling and unstable; it holds such an unhealthy relationship up as the ideal.
Educator and Parent of a 9, 12, 14, and 18+ year old Written bySunniemom March 21, 2011

Emotional porn

Amazingly misogynistic for a story embraced by so many girls and women. The typical pattern of an abused woman is to 1) prefer the pain of the relationship rather than being without the person 2) make excuses and take the blame for the abuse. Bella fits the bill, being drawn to a man (who is what-114 years old? Like, ew!) who is dangerous to her, feeling 'unworthy' of his love (exactly what is so special about Edward besides his looks?), enduring his controlling behavior and blaming herself for it. She lies to all of her friends and to her parents. Not a good role model. Meyer indulges in an overabundance of adjectives and flowery language, and it leaves one a bit wrung out. Hearing about Edward's eyes for the umpteenth time left me wanting to poke them out. Give me a break already. It wasn't awful, but it certainly wasn't great. This may be, on the surface, a light fantasy story, but the message is not a healthy one for young girls. It's emotional porn for the tween set. Read it WITH your girls and explain the problems with Bella's behavior.
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 me to read it because all of her friends had and a couple of moms whom I would usually trust said, "Oh, Twilight is harmless!" But for me, as a single mom who has just left an abusive relationship, the negative messages of this book stood out as ones my young daughters don't need to be exposed to, especially when they are being glorified. There is way too much desire in this novel for young girls to be reading about, let alone the fact that Bella desires someone who is dangerous, and she is more than willing to ignore the danger in the name of love. This is not a sweet, innocent love story, and I am amazed at how many VERY young girls are not only reading this series and watching the movie, but are obsessed with it, and their parents don't see it as a problem. We need to open our eyes with our daughters at this age and think about what we are teaching them about the world and how they, as women in it, should expect to be treated.
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 right. This is an okay book." Until I read it a second time. I'm a book freak, and the first time I read a book that actually interests me (I'm an extreme book critic as well) I sort of gloss over the flaws in it. Until I read it a second time. I read Twilight once more, sort of half-skimming through the pages, and then notice one thing that really bugs me, since I'm a half author, half editor (Well, very nearly, and no, I do not vomit out some vampire crap): Spelling, punctuation, and, most of all, grammer mistakes. It's one of my biggest pet-peeves besides socks and pillows, as well as the texture of my walls (I know; I'm a strange one). The second thing I just happened to notice was that Bella, the main character, is a really big whiner. Now, whiners also annoy me, and I started to think, "Now why the heck did I read this book in the first place?" Bella also depends too much on Edward, who sort of gives off some creepy stalker vibes and an impression of a serial killer (Seriously, I had nightmares of him stalking me. Just a tad strange). And then I read, once more, the part of how he sparkles. Really, now, we know Edward is hot (In the book), but you're seriously overdoing it now. I'm thinking, "Really? Does he really need to SPARKLE?" Then I noticed the dad, Charlie. He's the worst dad ever, or haven't you noticed that? I thought I noticed you noticing. Seriously, though; all he does is sit around and watch TV, talks to Bella about once a week, goes fishing every day and leaves the kid unsupervised, and doesn't seem to really give a crap about the poor girl. No wonder she's such a whiner and willing to have any man, right? I also noticed that Meyer adds tons of weird and unrelated details to the book, the h--- word is used every once in a while, and, the biggest problem of all I read in Newmoon, Bella gets a little on the suicidal side. Seriously, she got my friend thinking that jumping off a cliff is really cool and fun and that she should try it as well. Meyers has also gotten two of my friends thinking that they're vampires, and she got my friend on drugs lined with BLOOD. Seriously. I'm getting a bit worried about our society and the Twilight series. My other friend is a literal addict of it, and it's creeping me out about how loyal she is to the books/movies. And yet another thing: Bella has no personality. She's all whiney and dependant, yes, but pretty much nothing else. Even in the movies (Really bad acting, by the way), the person who plays her has like, this blank stare the entire time. Even when the one guy kisses her at lunch, she's giving the girl next to her a look that says, "What? Did I pee myself again?" It just...bothers me. It's unnatural. And little ten-year-old girls, believe what you will. But really, you shouldn't be reading this stuff. Why not read Catherine Called Birdy? Best and most funny book of all time about this stubborn, personality-packed girl who's being forced to get married--to the ugliest, most disgusting man ever. But will she have to marry him? Not if Birdy can help it, with a little luck with accidentally catching the privy (bathroom house) on fire and running away multiple times (She always comes back to her friends, of course). Now THAT is a good book!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byVampireGirl April 9, 2008

A must read for anyone above the age of 12 and who loves Vampires

Honestly while reading this I totally fell in love will all books vampire. The idea of Edward Cullen the seeming less flawless teenager makes any teenager girl love him. The idea of being a vampire at first is exploited as something great but as we go more into the story we learn about Edward's struggle with the want to be good and not kill mortals. This also shows his attraction to Bella. The "Common Sense" review sounds as if whoever reported on this didn't read the actual book. The book engrosses you from beginning to end. Some parts may be slightly "sappy" but its a romance/fantasy what do you expect? Stephanie Meyer did an amazing job writing this vampire story. No, this is not a classic vampire love story. Trust me I've read so many of those. Usually it involves a vampire slayer who hates the vampire its-self and tries to kill it, they fall madly in love and run away to have an amazing romance somewhere else. Also if you feel the need to complain that this isn't sending the right message actually read the book. Edward refuses to turn Bella into a vampire, insisting that it would be unbearably painful and unenjoyable. He is also worried about her soul. Then when Alice describes how to become a vampire she describes it as very painful. I see no reason why "common sense" would rate this as a bad book. It seems to me as if "common sense" should review only books and movies for small children as they seem to shoot down everything MEANT for teenagers to read saying that it is inappropriate. Well its better to read a book like this then to get into trouble, smoking or doing drugs, don't you think? This book is amazing and very well written, the message isn't "bad" at all and the "use of drugs" is not a problem. Now if your child is so easily influenced to say "oh Bella drank cold medicine to go to sleep I'm going to drink a whole bottle" I suggest you teach them the principal of not doing everything they see on TV or read in a book. Reading the review "common sense" wrote made me almost throw up. In all of the descriptions I have seen of this book it has said for ages 12 and up. I believe that this book deserves a 5 star rating for its amazing imagery, plot line, and character detail. Read this book!!!
Adult Written byKimberlie_Rock September 25, 2010
I'm not even going to go into Twilight's structural issues (the plot is badly organized) and grammatical errors (there are plenty). The main problem I have with this book is the main character, Bella. She is a one-dimensional, weak female character. She is completely obsessed with, and submissive to, her controlling and jealous boyfriend, Edward. The "love" Edward has for Bella, doesn't seem to be love at all. What they have between them is emotionally abusive and more closely resembles a power struggle than a respectful relationship. I can't imagine allowing young girls to read this book, or any other in the series, without a serious discussion about what being in love with another person really entails.
Parent of a 7 and 12 year old Written byelinor dashwood March 25, 2010

critic to fan

A former critic, I am astonishingly now a fan. This book/series is sort of Jane Eyre meets X-men saga; it tells the story of a humble, kind, introverted girl who feels incomplete and longs for home, love, connection, intimacy, family, and agency. Within a simple 'boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again' tale there are many layers. To explain the book's appeal and artistry I strongly recommend the Granger lectures on Ancient Faith Radio. Bella, with her shy, self-effacing manner and intense first love, is not a model of career woman efficiency. This is a fairy tale parable of opening our hearts to love, and allowing that love to transform us. This tale is also a coming of age story. We see a smart, capable girl grow up, mature, make her decisions, and blossom. That she chooses being a wife and mother as her adult priority is probably the single most controversial aspect of this book. Now read my earlier negative review from years ago - written in a knee jerk reaction after having read the book only once. My previous review: "Bella is a poor role model for chastity, honesty, and self-care: The book was suspenseful and erotic, but morally 'junk food'. WHY are parents letting young girls read this? Bella pursues only her infatuation w/ the vampire. She makes no female friends; she has no career plans; no extracurricular interests, no religious practice; no sports; no job. She has no interest outside of wanting to give her body to the older powerful attractive male - even if he kills her. She lies to and deceives her father. She hides her boyfriend in her bed at night as he passionately and dangerously kisses her neck. Bella is not an upstanding role model for a young girl." Obviously my feminist hackles were raised the first read through, but strangely enough I delight in the book now and have read the series through several times. In fact I really like everything S. Meyer wrote: The Twilight series, The Host, and especially, Midnight Sun (book 1 from Edward's voice) downloadable from her website. And I no longer think Bella's physical desire for Edward is inappropriate for teens to read. Humans feel desire. What matters is how we handle it. Bella and Edward's restraint and choice of chastity is more of an accomplishment b/c it did take effort. Bella and Edward are fine role models - their maturation takes 4 books, so don't judge them too soon. If interested in the inner life, popular culture, or the power of story to transform, I strongly recommend you read or listen to John Granger on both Twilight, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter at hogwarts professor site.
Kid, 12 years old May 9, 2010

Horrible Characters, Horrible Messages, Horribly Boring

This book was horrible. All of the Twilight books were horrible. I just can't get over the fact that they're 17! And excuse my reference to other books in the series (as well as some possible spoilers coming up) but they get married at 18, at 19 (or still 18?) they have a baby... I mean, the author is basically sending the message that "If you believe you're in love when you're only 17, go for it! Get married in a year, have a baby the next. You know your love is true and because you've been together for almost a year, you two are perfect for one another. You'll never get a divorce." Okay, my friend (a seventh grader) was with a boy for a year. Does that mean they were planning to get married? No. But teens might start thinking about that earlier and earlier if we send out messages like this. The book was awfully boring, dragged on and it was just horrible. Vampires aren't meant to sparkle and make out with humans. Now, Bella isn't even a character. Well, she has no emotions anyway. She's somewhat dumb and naive, too. What a great role model. Honestly, this entire series is horrible.
Adult Written byCrystallia November 12, 2009

Don't read it until you're older

The relationship between the two protagonists at a glance seems romantic, but the messages the book sends out is a definitely abusive relationship between two young adults who aren't ready for a relationship yet. The main protagonist dedicates her life to him. He tells her he loves her, but then to go away. Not very healthy. I don't think this book is good at all; it was a long, drawn-out read. The characters had very little depth; paper thin, one might say. Younger children, whom are easily influenced, should avoid this series due to the messages it sends out. As a vampire fan myself, I found Meyer's 'creations' to be a FAR cry from folklore and myth; PLEASE do not think of this as a good vampire romance, as it is not even close to it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written byBlueside09 February 22, 2010
Edward and Bella's relationship is a textbook for emotional abuse.
Parent of an infant, 3, and 9 year old Written by00lylie06 November 10, 2009

Great for teens and up...

As an adult I absolutely LOVE this book. It has very mild content, but it's a romance novel and I just don't see why children younger than their teens would be (or should be) into it. I personally don't think romance is an appropriate subject for younger children.
Teen, 13 years old Written byJdog68 April 9, 2008


I loved this book oficially the best book I have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I recomened to every age because it dosn't have any bad stuff in it or anything and I love the vampire thing!!!!!!!! I LOVE EDWARD COLLuN
Parent of a 13 year old Written bygrandjjsmom January 31, 2011

Entertaining story for 17+ written by grownups for grownups

Mrs. Meyer is a young, prolific 34 year old author with NO teenage children. I'd like to know for whom she writes these books.
Adult Written byEissen February 24, 2010

It's about necrophilia... how is that a 'highlight' for anyone?

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written bykirstenluise September 28, 2009

Unhealthy messages about obsession

Ok this is a good book. I read the whole thing because another parent showed my daughter the movie when she was a guest at a ninth birthday party. I was NOT happy about this. She has been arguing with me about it ever since. The book is a page turner for sure. But it also reminded WAY too much of being a teenage girl and the status associated with having a boyfriend, and how easy it is to get wrapped up in the relationship and push away friends and families concerns. Teenage girls are too vulnerable about this stuff. This book gives the wrong message.
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 other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 6, 11, and 12 year old Written bysadsmile October 8, 2009

Conservative-thumbs down!!!

Total dangerous and suspenseful romance. There are a lot of occasions of close contact and sexual tension. Passionate kissing or wanting to there bodies pressed against each other.. Bella even somewhat bounces back and forth for two guys. Lying to parents happens a few times. This connected to too much to passion and sexual longing and being attracted to danger. I am conservative and my kids are not reading this!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byBookWorm888 April 28, 2011

A total teenager book!

Hey guys! Twiilight is one of the best books ever! As you can see, I marked Twilight with lots of concerns. If you are a matured teen, I think that you can totally handle this stuff. The violence is when Edward or Jacob loose control, and they go crazy. Other part is when Bella freaked out and jumped over a cliff and nearly killed herself. The sexualy part is when Bella and Edward kiss and when Bella tries to have sex with Edward. Language wise, well that depends on what you think is bad language. It has words like He**, A**, but that's about it. The noticible product placement is when Edward drives super expensive parts as a yound teenager. The messages aren't that positive because Bella hates herself cause Edward is leaving her. Also, I think that its really inappropritae for a 17 year old to get pregnent. even with all the negatives, this book is worth reading. Its better then Harry Potter for sure! Love it love it love it! You're missing out big time so go the the library and borry a copy! Bye! -BookWorm888
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 14 years old Written byBeyondBD October 18, 2009

Edward Hottsickle!

It's Twilight, is there anything else to add? I got this book because of how popular it was. I'm pretty mainstream when it comes to books. But this was the worst book ever! Okay, my thoughts on this book... For a romance, it's completely dumb and I wouldn't never recommend it. Here are my reasons. It is extremely anti climactic. Vampires sparkle in this book, what a pathetic thing for a vampire to do! I expected him to rise up in the air with fire spurting out of his mouth, his eyes burning out of their sockets and his skin become chard and black...but no...he sparkles. The author is a quack, she thinks of the weirdest things. The end of the book was descent enough, but mediocre to say the least. The characters are weak and Bella is a completely obsessive person who makes wrong decisions for her boyfriend stalker, Edward. This book encourages kids to not take drugs (in this case cough syrup)...unless there's a hot boy in the equation. It's also okay to be stalked, I mean, who doesn't find it hott to be stalked!? And having a creepy boy watching girls sleep, no that's not a pervert at all! Edward Cullen, the boyfriend stalker, also is very sexist. He wants to protect Bella with the simplest things--which is not what life is about. She worships him as if he were a god, but this is stupid. She’s not independent, and I feel that if girls read this book, they will not think of the flaws, but only how Edward Cullen is hott! I haven't bothered to read the second book because it was boring and had negative messages—but I heard Bella jumps off a cliff after Edward dumps her. I also feel the author was a very religious person, involving old customs into this book. What I'm trying to say is that, I don't not like it for the plot--I hate it for its message and the way the plot was pieced together. It also made me want to puke with how romantic it was. It could have been more interesting, but it failed miserably. The movie was surprisingly better.
Adult Written byLauraHopalong April 21, 2009

I wouldn't present it to a daughter of mine.

I work in a bookstore. So, of course, I have read the Twilight series. The story itself is captivating at first read when it is not thoroughly examined. Now that I have looked back on what I've read; I have to say that I really cannot stand the book! The series features the main character, Bella, as being controlled by her vampire boyfriend, Edward. He controls nearly every aspect of her life and ignores what she has to say about their relationship if it goes against his own desires. It teaches young girls that romance is when you give your entire being over to a boy to the point where you go catatonic when he leaves you. That is not what a healthy love relationship is. We should be teaching girls that they need to be complete in themselves, not that they need a boyfriend to complete their souls. Upon learning that the author is Mormon, I wasn't all that surprised. In the end, I have to say that I wouldn't give this to my daughter. I wouldn't forbid her from reading it, though I strongly dislike how it displays what romance "should" be. Girls, having a guy you don't know watch you sleep without knowing it is NOT ok. It's not romantic. It's creepy. (P.S. This is pretty badly written. It reads like she was pulling words from romance novels and had a thesaurus permanently at her side.)