First, it’s totally “for girls”. That is, goes on and on about how beautiful, amazing, exquisite Edward is in every way possible. That is, Bella keeps looking at him and describing his perfection and cold (but perfect) skin and amazing (perfect) knowledge and (perfect) tolerance/patience – and did I mention perfection? She even says this near the end, that Edward can do anything and does everything he tries perfectly. And not in a mocking tone, either, though she’s somewhat irritated by the idea by that time. I was irritated much sooner than she was. Maybe it’s different when you’re sitting in the room with perfection, but I’m just reading about it.

Second, its comparatively tame which – if you’re the mother of a tween – could be a good thing. I guess. I think the book was marketed as a young adult book, but it’s unclear because the cover isn’t all that revealing one way or the other.

Third, the story is old. That’s not in and of itself is a bad thing, since there are no new stories in the world, but there’s enough changed for me to really enjoy the page turns, as it were. I mean it feels so old, and not in a good way. It’s predictable. Girl falls for boy; boy falls for girl. And the not-so-new twist is that boy is vampire, so boy wants the the girl and the girl’s blood. And if that wasn’t enough, girl is being chased by other vampires who want her just because the boy wants her. That could be really exciting, but I wan’t surprised by any of the… surprises.

Fourth, Meyer did two things my professors have told me over and over not to do when writing. That is, she added characters (most notably James) and sent the main characters on a trip – within the last 5 chapters. Those two things are a collective sign that the plot is weak. When the characters need a new face to create more tension, something is wrong. Or, if they can’t end the story in roughly the same (physical) place as where they started it, there’s something wrong. The latter doesn’t apply as much to travel stories or to stories n which the precedent is travel, but in this case, Bella arrives in Forks, Washington, right as the novel begins, and the story is in Forks. Technically, it ends there, too. But at the end, the whole entourage heads down to Phoenix for a lovely ballet lesson and hospital visit. (I don’t want to completely give things away here, but just so you know, if you read it, you’ll know what I’m referring to.) I hope it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound.

I was disappointed in Twilight. After hearing that it was a great book, and how amazing and cleaver the writing was, I read it and I was disappointed, I feel like I’m wearily scolding a bad child after I thought he was doing something worthwhile with his time but was instead out in the back smoking homemade cigarettes. It’s sort of pathetic. I mean, it’s not a bad book, per se, but it’s not really a great one either.