official review of Twilight

All right, so today I'm posting a review I wrote on Amazon for Twilight. Now you can see exactly why I think that on a scale of 1 to 1,000,000, its literary merit is about a 3.


First I'd like to say she tried. She really tried hard to make this a great book. But that may be the root problem--she tried too hard and it came out truncated and overdone.

Second I'd like to say that I tried. I really tried hard to make it to the end of this book. But in the end I found out that staring at the page was too nauseating to think about (it's true, I can't read Twilight for more than five minutes without closing it in disgust). So I gave in and listened to the audiobook.

So without further ado, let's get the train wreck rolling.

The first thing you trip over is the most ridiculously flowery and pompous prose ever. Observe the (in my opinion) worst-written paragraph ever that falls on you like a billiard table so early (page 8):

"It was beautiful; I couldn't deny that. Everything was green: the trees, their trunks covered with moss, their branches hanging with a canopy of it, the ground covered with ferns. Even the air filtered greenly through the leaves.

"It was too green--an alien planet."

This is an example of every writing error and annoyance in this book. Let's put a microscope on it.

1. Semicolons. They're everywhere in this book, and every time she could have replaced it with a comma. These distracted the heck out of me.

2. Trying to say something and locking herself in a box. She doesn't realize that there are different ways of saying something so it sounds smoother, but she just tries to "make it work" the way she originally had it. This is very amateur.

3. "It." Their branches hung with a canopy of it. Of what? Who knows...there have been four nouns it could have meant. This happens too much.

4. She's so busy writing all the unnecessary details that she forgets their purpose. Notice that in the first sentence she admires the green. By the next paragraph, she dislikes it. What?

And that covers the writing. On to plot and character, which, in this book, are the same thing.

The plot is nonexistent. It's page after page after page of Bella gushing over Edward until there's only about 150 pages left. Meyer then suddenly rushes to find a plot and pulls out a stock bad guy who wants to get Bella and Bella alone.

Why? Same reason as why a praying mantis spends most of his day cleaning himself.

Because he can.

That is the entire plot. All of it. She finds out he's a vampire, gushes over him for 400 pages, and then spends the next 150 running from a cheesy villain.

Let's move on to the characters, beginning with Bella, whom you have to spend every moment of the book with. And what a character to tell the story...a whining, selfish, and ultimately insecure person who defines herself by Edward and spends all day talking about Edward, Edward, Edward. And it's the most repetitive thing ever.

My favorite thing to laugh at is the way she describes his face--she can't just say his face. She always has to attach something that says how wonderful it is. This is one of the things that has made it to my list of the worst things ever (don't worry--it's not hard to get on the list. All you have to do is comment on this review with teen fury).

And Edward is a girl personality in "hot" male form. That's it.

So to sum up, she wrote a story and her characters happened to be morons, her plot wasn't there, and she tried too hard to write it. And I need to go to Walmart, pick up a copy of Twilight and five red pens, and get to work.


So tell me what you think--you can vote for it as "helpful" or "unhelpful" right here: and you can give your comments below. I love hearing readers' opinion!



  1. Haha! Awesome! I always wondered why I hated Edward and Bella so much! I did enjoy the movies though, and tolerated the books, hoping they would improve. They don't, they get worse. It is fun though to get caught up in the hype and pretend I am 15 again. I love arguing with 15 year old girls that the final book would have been better if Alice had died, and Bella had chosen Jacob over Edward!
    Good review!

  2. Blergh, you listened to the Twilight audiobook? You're braver than I am. I wouldn't touch that load of *expletive deleted* with a barge-pole.

    But that paragraph is, perhaps, not the best one to choose as an example of bad writing. It isn't great writing, but I've seen worse in better books.

    1. Semi-colons are tricky and that one should probably be a dash not a comma. A comma would be too weak, and a full stop would be too strong. As it stands the semi-colon is probably too strong, which makes me gravitate towards the dash.

    2. No comment on 2 - that is certainly true.

    3. It's an over long and wordy sentence but "it" is moss from the context (one advantage of being the run-on queen(*) is an ability to navigate wordy sentences with relative ease). Not that you're wrong to criticise the sentence - it could be better.

    4. I would also not agree with you analysis that she does not know where she's going with the paragraph. Let me explain:

    If I started a paragraph with "She was clever - I couldn't deny that" you'd know I was going to end the paragraph on a negative note about the subject. The phraseology indicates that the narrator wishes to deny it. The same applies here, and adds a note of unease to the description leading up to the "an alien planet" punchline. It's an artifice that can be use to good effect for character revelation etc - sadly this is Meyer so I doubt it was used to good effect. But it must be said that in isolation from the rest of the mess it's not so bad. Needs hitting with the edit stick but it's fairly evocative of an urbanite in the country.

    Oh, and it's certainly not the worst paragraph ever. I've written worse (I can even dig out and quote one of my worse for your entertainment should you want). In my favour I do understand that it's bad.(**)


    (*)or so my beta readers tell me (***)
    (**)and a few days ago I read a paragraph so awful it made me exclaim in delight that I had never written a paragraph that bad.
    (***)This usually results in me pointing out that all my conjunctions are appropriately paired with a comma, so it can't possibly be a run on.

  3. Thank you both for the comments--I love hearing what you think.