When Bella’s mother gets remarried, Bella leaves her home in sunny Phoenix and goes to live with her father in the perpetually rainy town of Forks, Washington. Forks is a tiny, gloomy town and Bella is fully prepared to be miserable for her final two years of high school. She doesn’t expect anything interesting to happen in Forks; that is, until she meets Edward Cullen.
Something is different about Edward. Breathtakingly beautiful and from a wealthy family, he baffles Bella with wild mood swings. When they first meet, he instantly despises her to the point of frightening her. Then—after disappearing for a week—he appears perfectly cordial. But it’s not until Edward saves her life in a feat of superhuman strength that Bella realizes the Cullen family is guarding a dangerous secret. It would be smarter to walk away, but by the time she realizes that, it’s too late. Live or die, Bella has fallen in love with Edward and she can’t walk away no matter the consequences.
Twilight is an epic story of love overcoming all challenges. The unique storyline has spawned an entire subsection of supernatural YA novels. The well-developed cast of characters will make the story come alive and hook readers immediately. Bella is not an overpowered heroine; she is quiet and clumsy to a fault, but she is fiercely loyal and brave. Bella risks everything for love, a choice that not all adults will agree with, but that most readers will understand and respect as they follow Bella’s journey with eagerness and excitement.
Twilight is a delightful start to a wonderful quartet. Parents may not want younger readers to pick up this book as Bella lies to her father about her relationship with Edward, and Edward frequently climbs in Bella’s window and stays the night (though they don’t go further than kissing). Aside from that caveat, Twilight is a wonderful story that swept through a generation of young readers like wildfire and will continue to be picked up by swarms of readers in years to come.
- When Bella and Edward kiss for the first time, “Blood boiled under my skin, burned in my lips. My breath came in a wild gasp. My fingers knotted in his hair, clutching him to me. My lips parted as I breathed in his heady scent.”
- The second time Bella and Edward kiss, “His fingers traced slowly down my spine, his breath coming more quickly against my skin. My hands were limp on his chest, and I felt lightheaded again. He tilted his head slowly and touched his cool lips to mine for the second time, very carefully, parting them slightly.”
- Edward and Bella kiss a few more times. These kisses are described briefly, such as “for the shortest second, his lips were icy and hard against mine” or “his lips touched mine gently.”
- When saying goodbye, Edward “leaned in to swiftly kiss me just under the edge of my jaw.”
- Bella gets lost in a bad part of town and is followed by several men. She considers dropping her purse, “But a small, frightened voice in the back of my mind warned me that they might be something worse than thieves.” Edward rescues her.
- Bella asks Edward if marriage for vampires is “the same as it is for humans.” She then says, “Well, I did wonder…about you and me…someday…” Edward says he doesn’t think that would be possible, as humans are so breakable.
- Esme tells Bella that after her baby died, “It broke my heart – that’s why I jumped off the cliff, you know.”
- After Carlisle became a vampire, he “tried to destroy himself…He jumped from great heights…He tried to drown himself in the ocean.”
- Bella is tortured and almost killed by a vampire. “A crushing blow struck my chest…He was over me at once, his foot stepping down hard on my leg. I heard the sickening snap before I felt it. But then I did feel it, and I couldn’t hold back my scream of agony.” This scene takes place over three pages.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Once, Bella “did something I’d never done before. I deliberately took unnecessary cold medicine – the kind that knocked me out for a good eight hours…tomorrow would be complicated enough without me being loopy from sleep deprivation.”
- Bella thinks, “Forks was literally my personal hell on earth.”
- Bella says, “Holy crow!” a few times.
- Bella says, “Darn it,” once.
- Damn is used three times. Once, Edward says “Damn it, Bella! You’ll be the death of me.” Another time, Bella says “Dammit, Edward! Where are you taking me?”
- When Jacob’s father sends him to warn Bella, Jacob asks, “Should I tell him you said to butt the hell out?”
- A legend of the indigenous Quileute people “claims that [they] descended from wolves – and that the wolves are our brothers still.”
- Edward and his family are vampires, and Bella meets another coven of vampires that pass through Forks. Unlike most vampires, Edward and his family survive off the blood of animals, so they do not have to murder people.
- Some vampires have special abilities. Edward can read minds; his brother Jasper can control the emotions of those around him; his sister Alice can see bits and pieces of the future.
- Edward tells Bella about a time in his life when he was a true vampire who fed on humans. He says that he “had a typical bout of rebellious adolescence…I wasn’t sold on [Carlisle’s] life of abstinence, and I resented him for curbing my appetite.”
- Before the prologue, there is a Bible verse. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest therof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:17”
- At first, Edward tries to stay away from Bella because he thinks it would be safer for her. Then he decides “as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly.”
- When Bella asks to be turned into a vampire, Edward says, “I refuse to damn you to an eternity of night.”
- Carlisle’s father was a pastor who was “enthusiastic in his persecution of Roman Catholics and other religions. He also believed very strongly in the reality of evil. He led hunts for witches, werewolves…and vampires.”
- In passing, Bella hears a legend that the indigenous Quileute people “tied their canoes to the tops of the tallest trees on the mountain to survive like Noah and the ark.”
by Morgan Lynn