Twilight starts out with the somewhat overdone premise of 'girl moves to new town and meets boy'. But Forks holds quite a few secrets, and the boy is not at all normal. Bella meets handsome but secretive Edward Cullen, and the book centers on their romance as they try to overcome the obstacles to their relationship. For Edward is a vampire, and if he is to be with Bella he must first overcome the temptation to drink her blood.
Stephenie Meyer has completely reinvented the vampire myth, making it more palatable to people who were never really into vampire books. To purists, her canon may seem outrageous, but to the teenage female demographic it is irresistible. Most of the vampires in Twilight are not dangerous, since they choose not to feed on humans, and there is less gore and horror than in typical vampire stories. This is truly the vampire book for people who do not like vampires.
Like any other debut novel, it has its flaws - minor characters seem rather flat, even stereotypical. Sometimes you find yourself wondering what on earth a 105-year-old vampire is doing, repeating school over and over again. But the charm of Twilight lies in the regular and rather plain girl who manages to end up in extraordinary situations. The setting is our modern world, making it easier for girls to put themselves in her shoes. Bella herself is a clean slate, allowing the reader to become fully immersed in her. It is not Bella who undergoes all these adventures; it is each and every one of the teens who picks up the book.
There is plenty of symbolism for those looking for it. Indeed some have identified a theme of female submission to the male: Bella cannot live without Edward; she does not seem to have a life without him. This has made feminists all over the world jump from their seats in outrage. And they may be right - immature girls may be subconsciously influenced. Is Bella right to revolve like a satellite around Edward?
Nevertheless, Twilight is an easy and entertaining read, ideal for quiet, empty afternoons.
Amazon.com: Meyer has achieved quite a feat by making this scenario completely human and believable... The precision and delicacy of Meyer's writing lifts this wonderful novel beyond the limitations of the horror genre to a place among the best of YA fiction.
Publisher's Weekly: The main draw here is Bella's infatuation with outsider Edward, the sense of danger inherent in their love, and Edward's inner struggle—a perfect metaphor for the sexual tension that accompanies adolescence. These will be familiar to nearly every teen, and will keep readers madly flipping the pages of Meyer's tantalizing debut.
Becky Anderson, of Anderson's Bookshops: What a totally amazing debut! Twilight is that rare story that combines suspense, desire, love and friendship with an awesome twist on the vampire genre! Both young adults and adults will be "sucked" into Edward's and Bella's world and beg for more, especially after they turn the last page. I can't wait for the next book!
Karen Rosenthal, Children's Department Manager for R.J. Julia Booksellers: I'm not usually a vampire book reader, but I haven't read a book in a long time that had as much sexual tension and creepy terror throughout as Twilight by Stephenie Meyer [Little, Brown]. The main character is extremely compelling. The protagonist is so consumed with her crush on him that she blocks everything else, and the fact that he's a vampire adds a whole other level. It really is the perfect crossover book. It will appeal to kids who read fantasy and darker books, but also kids who like more realistic fiction like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and all those kids who read Gossip Girl... It's a riveting action book but thoughtful as well. Sometimes teen books can be plot-driven and the quality of the writing goes out the window, but this one has both.
"Twilight is one of the most moving books I have read in a long time. It kept me thinking about it long after I read the last page. Its heartbreaking romance and suspenseful twists made it hard for me to put the book down. Twilight allows the reader to experience a whole new outlook on vampires and how they interact around mankind. After reading this book I recommend it to anyone who would enjoy reading about an incredibly suspenseful romance."
Katie, age 16
"Stephenie Meyer's first novel Twilight is a gripping journey through the united worlds of fantasy and high school. As soon as I started reading Twilight, I couldn't stop. The plot is the thing that led me to the book in the start. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy turns out to be a vampire. The characters are so vivid, so intense, that you feel like if you look up from the pages Isabella or Edward or Alice is going to be staring at you. This suspenseful novel leaves me with one question... Is there going to be a second?"
"Twilight caught my interest so much, I couldn't stand to put it down once I started. I read this book in one sitting and didn't finish until 5:00 AM, but it was worth every minute. It's the love story between a vampire and a human, and the love feels so real, it's hard to imagine it's just a book. The main character, Bella Swan, is instantly likeable, and it's impossible not to empathize with the new couple as their relationship starts to bud. The vampire, Edward Cullen, is captivating with his extraordinary beauty, ancient genteelness, and ability to read minds. But just when the tension eases and it seems like things are going to work out for them (and that's a hard thing to come by, considering their separate diets), disaster strikes. The book was so much more than I expected; the love feels so real, and at its heart, it's more a love story between two beings than anything else. Of course, because one of them is a vampire, there's a bit of hunting and quite a lot of action as well. This was a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable book—I recommend it completely."
"Wow! I must admit, that when I heard about Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer, I was very intrigued. A book about a regular teenage girl— just like you and me— falling in love with a gorgeous vampire? Who wouldn't want to read it? I was hooked from the first page, and as I read it, it only got better. Twilight is great because it seems so ordinary; is it possible for this situation to happen in your life? Imagine seeing a guy, more handsome than any you've ever seen, and not being able to tear you eyes away from him. Imagine that the force of your mutual chemistry feels like electricity. I promise you that every girl will want to be Isabella Swan. Throw in a little danger, a sticky situation, and a love more powerful than either character has ever known, and what do you get? Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. It is definitely a book worth reading."