Monday, 9 March 2009

Book of the fortnight

Sadly overdue, again (insert library joke here). Must try harder to turn these in on time!

Anyway, on with the review. Jo and Dave bought me Twilight for my birthday; I remember the hype surrounding the film (why teenage girls think Robert Pattinson is attractive is beyond me, maybe I need to see the movie) but I hadn't read much about the books.

Jo quite rightly thought a book about American teenagers and vampires would interest me, and once I got used to the slightly adolescent style it was a good read, although definitely a piece of escapism rather than a literary work of genius.

The story centres around Bella, the new girl in a very bleak Washington town, who falls in love with Edward, another outsider, who just happens to be a vampire (but he doesn't eat humans, so that's okay). Cliches abound - lonely teenagers, high school cliques, vampires with good intentions - and the romance element reminded me of Mills and Boon; this is definitely a Buffy-Angel teen fantasy, not a complex Buffy-Spike one (no offence to Joss Whedon, who is a much better writer). The fluffiness is saved by Bella's pithy sarcasm, though (I couldn't help picturing her as Ellen Page), and the plot does darken as it unfolds.

But I'm not the target audience, and it's easy to see why the series is so popular. What teenage girl can't identify with being the outsider, or wanting to fall for the devastatingly handsome but slightly dangerous boy at school (and, even better, have him fall for her?). If you roll your eyes at the mushier stuff, Twilight is a great guilty pleasure and it's way cooler than reading Harry Potter on the tube.

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