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* "Propelled by suspense and romance in equal parts [this story] will keep readers madly flipping the pages of Meyer's tantalizing debut."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
* "The novel's danger-factor skyrockets as the excitement of secret love and hushed affection morphs into a terrifying race to stay alive. Realistic, subtle, succinct, and easy to follow, Twilight will have readers dying to sink their teeth into it."-School Library Journal (starred review)
* "In the tradition of Anne Rice. . . this dark romance is gripping." -Booklist (starred review)
Maybe, if I looked like a girl from Phoenix should, I could work this to my advantage. But physically, I'd never fit in anywhere. I should be tan, sporty, blond - a volleyball player, or a cheerleader, perhaps - all the things that go with living in the valley of the sun.
Instead, I was ivory-skinned, without even the excuse of blue eyes or red hair, despite the constant sunshine. I had always been slender, but soft somehow, obviously not an athlete; I didn't have the necessary hand-eye coordination to play sports without humiliating myself - and harming both myself and anyone else who stood too close.
When I finished putting my clothes in the old pine dresser, I took my bag of bathroom necessities and went to the communal bathroom to clean myself up after the day of travel. I looked at my face in the mirror as I brushed through my tangled, damp hair. Maybe it was the light, but already I looked sallower, unhealthy. My skin could be pretty - it was very clear, almost translucent- looking - but it all depended on color. I had no color here.
Facing my pallid reflection in the mirror, I was forced to admit that I was lying to myself. It wasn't just physically that I'd never fit in. And if I couldn't find a niche in a school with three thousand people, what were my chances here?
I didn't relate well to people my age. Maybe the truth was that I didn't relate well to people, period. Even my mother, who I was closer to than anyone else on the planet, was never in harmony with me, never on exactly the same page. Sometimes I wondered if I was seeing the same things through my eyes that the rest of the world was seeing through theirs. Maybe there was a glitch in my brain. But the cause didn't matter. All that mattered was the effect. And tomorrow would be just the beginning.
I didn't sleep well that night, even after I was done crying. The constant whooshing of the rain and wind across the roof wouldn't fade into the background. I pulled the faded old quilt over my head, and later added the pillow, too. But I couldn't fall asleep until after midnight, when the rain finally settled into a quieter drizzle.
Thick fog was all I could see out my window in the morning, and I could feel the claustrophobia creeping up on me. You could never see the sky here; it was like a cage.
Breakfast with Charlie was a quiet event. He wished me good luck at school. I thanked him, knowing his hope was wasted. Good luck tended to avoid me. Charlie left first, off to the police station that was his wife and family. After he left, I sat at the old square oak table in one of the three unmatching chairs and examined his small kitchen, with its dark paneled walls, bright yellow cabinets, and white linoleum floor. Nothing was changed. My mother had painted the cabinets eighteen years ago in an attempt to bring some sunshine into the house. Over the small fireplace in the adjoining handkerchief-sized family room was a row of pictures. First a wedding picture of Charlie and my mom in Las Vegas, then one of the three of us in the hospital after I was born, taken by a helpful nurse, followed by the procession of my school pictures up to last year's. Those were embarrassing to look at - I would have to see what I could do to get Charlie to put them somewhere else, at least while I was living here.
It was impossible, being in this house, not to realize that Charlie had never gotten over my mom. It made me uncomfortable.
I didn't want to be too early to school, but I couldn't stay in the house anymore. I donned my jacket - which had the feel of a biohazard suit - and headed out into the rain.
It was just drizzling still, not enough to soak me through immediately as I reached for the house key that was always hidden under the eaves by the door, and locked up. The sloshing of my new waterproof boots was unnerving. I missed the normal crunch of gravel as I walked. I couldn't pause and admire my truck again as I wanted; I was in a hurry to get out of the misty wet that swirled around my head and clung to my hair under my hood.
Inside the truck, it was nice and dry. Either Billy or Charlie had obviously cleaned it up, but the tan upholstered seats still smelled faintly of tobacco, gasoline, and peppermint. The engine started quickly, to my relief, but loudly, roaring to life and then idling at top volume. Well, a truck this old was bound to have a flaw. The antique radio worked, a plus that I hadn't expected.
Finding the school wasn't difficult, though I'd never been there before. The school was, like most other things, just off the highway. It was not obvious that it was a school; only the sign, which declared it to be the Forks High School, made me stop. It looked like a collection of matching houses, built with maroon-colored bricks. There were so many trees and shrubs I couldn't see its size at first. Where was the feel of the institution? I wondered nostalgically. Where were the chain-link fences, the metal detectors?
I parked in front of the first building, which had a small sign over the door reading FRONT OFFICE. No one else was parked there, so I was sure it was off limits, but I decided I would get directions inside instead of circling around in the rain like an idiot. I stepped unwillingly out of the toasty truck cab and walked down a little stone path lined with dark hedges. I took a deep breath before opening the door.
Inside, it was brightly lit, and warmer than I'd hoped. The office was small; a little waiting area with padded folding chairs, orange-flecked commercial carpet, notices and awards cluttering the walls, a big clock ticking loudly. Plants grew everywhere in large plastic pots, as if there wasn't enough greenery outside. The room was cut in half by a long counter, cluttered with wire baskets full of papers and brightly colored flyers taped to its front. There were three desks behind the counter, one of which was manned by a large, red-haired woman wearing glasses. She was wearing a purple t-shirt, which immediately made me feel overdressed.
The red-haired woman looked up. "Can I help you?"
"I'm Isabella Swan," I informed her, and saw the immediate awareness light her eyes. I was expected, a topic of gossip no doubt. Daughter of the Chief's flighty ex-wife, come home at last.
"Of course," she said. She dug through a precariously stacked pile of documents on her desk till she found the ones she was looking for. "I have your schedule right here, and a map of the school." She brought several sheets to the counter to show me.
She went through my classes for me, highlighting the best route to each on the map, and gave me a slip to have each teacher sign, which I was to bring back at the end of the day. She smiled at me and hoped, like Charlie, that I would like it here in Forks. I smiled back as convincingly as I could.
When I went back out to my truck, other students were starting to arrive. I drove around the school, following the line of traffic. I was glad to see that most of the cars were older like mine, nothing flashy. At home I'd lived in one of the few lower-income neighborhoods that were included in the Paradise Valley District. It was a common thing to see a new Mercedes or Porsche in the student lot. The nicest car here was a shiny Volvo, and it stood out. Still, I cut the engine as soon as I was in a spot, so that the thunderous volume wouldn't draw attention to me. I looked at the map in the truck, trying to memorize it now; hopefully I wouldn't have to walk around with it stuck in front of my nose all day. I stuffed everything in my bag, slung the strap over my shoulder, and sucked in a huge breath. I can do this, I lied to myself feebly. No one was going to bite me. I finally exhaled and stepped out of the truck.
I kept my face pulled back into my hood as I walked to the sidewalk, crowded with teenagers. My plain black jacket didn't stand out, I noticed with relief.
Once I got around the cafeteria, building three was easy to spot. A large black "3" was painted on a white square on the east corner. I felt my breathing gradually creeping toward hyperventilation as I approached the door. I tried holding my breath as I followed two unisex raincoats through the door.
The classroom was small. The people in front of me stopped just inside the door to hang up their coats on a long row of hooks. I copied them. They were two girls, one a porcelain-colored blonde, the other also pale, with light brown hair. At least my skin wouldn't be a standout here.
I took the slip up to the teacher, a tall, balding man whose desk had a nameplate identifying him as Mr. Mason. He gawked at me when he saw my name - not an encouraging response - and of course I flushed tomato red. But at least he sent me to an empty desk at the back without introducing me to the class. It was harder for my new classmates to stare at me in the back, but somehow, they managed. I kept my eyes down on the reading list the teacher had given me. It was fairly basic: Bront?, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner. I'd already read everything. That was comforting ... and boring. I wondered if my mom would send me my folder of old essays, or if she would think that was cheating. I went through different arguments with her in my head while the teacher droned on.
When the bell rang, a nasal buzzing sound, a gangly boy with skin problems and hair black as an oil slick leaned across the aisle to talk to me.
"You're Isabella Swan, aren't you?" He looked like the overly helpful, chess club type.
"Bella," I corrected. Everyone within a three-seat radius turned to look at me.
"Where's your next class?" he asked.
I had to check in my bag. "Um, Government, with Jefferson, in building six."
There was nowhere to look without meeting curious eyes.
"I'm headed toward building four, I could show you the way...." Definitely over- helpful. "I'm Eric," he added. I smiled tentatively. "Thanks."
We got our jackets and headed out into the rain, which had picked up. I could have sworn several people behind us were walking close enough to eavesdrop. I hoped I wasn't getting paranoid.
"So, this is a lot different than Phoenix, huh?" he asked.
"It doesn't rain much there, does it?"
"Three or four times a year."
"Wow, what must that be like?" he wondered.
"Sunny," I told him.
"You don't look very tan."
"My mother is part albino."
He studied my face apprehensively, and I sighed. It looked like clouds and a sense of humor didn't mix. A few months of this and I'd forget how to use sarcasm.
We walked back around the cafeteria, to the south buildings by the gym. Eric walked me right to the door, though it was clearly marked.
"Well, good luck," he said as I touched the handle. "Maybe we'll have some other classes together." He sounded hopeful.
I smiled at him vaguely and went inside.
The rest of the morning passed in about the same fashion. My Trigonometry teacher, Mr. Varner, who I would have hated anyway just because of the subject he taught, was the only one who made me stand in front of the class and introduce myself. I stammered, blushed, and tripped over my own boots on the way to my seat.
After two classes, I started to recognize several of the faces in each class. There was always someone braver than the others who would introduce themselves and ask me questions about how I was liking Forks. I tried to be diplomatic, but mostly I just lied a lot. At least I never needed the map.
One girl sat next to me in both Trig and Spanish, and she walked with me to the cafeteria for lunch. She was tiny, several inches shorter than my five feet four inches, but her wildly curly dark hair made up a lot of the difference between our heights. I couldn't remember her name, so I smiled and nodded as she prattled about teachers and classes. I didn't try to keep up.
We sat at the end of a full table with several of her friends, who she introduced to me. I forgot all their names as soon as she spoke them. They seemed impressed by her bravery in speaking to me. The boy from English, Eric, waved at me from across the room. It was there, sitting in the lunchroom, trying to make conversation with seven curious strangers, that I first saw them.
They were sitting in the corner of the cafeteria, as far away from where I sat as possible in the long room. There were five of them. They weren't talking, and they weren't eating, though they each had a tray of untouched food in front of them. They weren't gawking at me, unlike most of the other students, so it was safe to stare at them without fear of meeting an excessively interested pair of eyes. But it was none of these things that caught, and held, my attention.
They didn't look anything alike. Of the three boys, one was big - muscled like a serious weight lifter, with dark, curly hair. Another was taller, leaner, but still muscular, and honey blond. The last was lanky, less bulky, with untidy, bronze-colored hair. He was more boyish than the others, who looked like they could be in college, or even teachers here rather than students.
The girls were opposites. The tall one was statuesque. She had a beautiful figure, the kind you saw on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, the kind that made every girl around her take a hit on her self-esteem just by being in the same room. Her hair was golden, gently waving to the middle of her back. The short girl was pixielike, thin in the extreme, with small features. Her hair was a deep black, cropped short and pointing in every direction.
And yet, they were all exactly alike. Every one of them was chalky pale, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town. Paler than me, the albino. They all had very dark eyes despite the range in hair tones. They also had dark shadows under those eyes - purplish, bruiselike shadows. As if they were all suffering from a sleepless night, or almost done recovering from a broken nose. Though their noses, all their features, were straight, perfect, angular.
But all this is not why I couldn't look away.
I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful. They were faces you never expected to see except perhaps on the airbrushed pages of a fashion magazine. Or painted by an old master as the face of an angel. It was hard to decide who was the most beautiful - maybe the perfect blond girl, or the bronze-haired boy.
They were all looking away - away from each other, away from the other students, away from anything in particular as far as I could tell. As I watched, the small girl rose with her tray - unopened soda, unbitten apple - and walked away with a quick, graceful lope that belonged on a runway. I watched, amazed at her lithe dancer's step, till she dumped her tray and glided through the back door, faster than I would have thought possible. My eyes darted back to the others, who sat unchanging.
"Who are they?" I asked the girl from my Spanish class, whose name I'd forgotten.
As she looked up to see who I meant - though already knowing, probably, from my tone - suddenly he looked at her, the thinner one, the boyish one, the youngest, perhaps. He looked at my neighbor for just a fraction of a second, and then his dark eyes flickered to mine.
He looked away quickly, more quickly than I could, though in a flush of embarrassment I dropped my eyes at once. In that brief flash of a glance, his face held nothing of interest - it was as if she had called his name, and he'd looked up in involuntary response, already having decided not to answer.
My neighbor giggled in embarrassment, looking at the table like I did. "That's Edward and Emmett Cullen, and Rosalie and Jasper Hale. The one who left was Alice Cullen; they all live together with Dr. Cullen and his wife." She said this under her breath.
I glanced sideways at the beautiful boy, who was looking at his tray now, picking a bagel to pieces with long, pale fingers. His mouth was moving very quickly, his perfect lips barely opening. The other three still looked away, and yet I felt he was speaking quietly to them.
Strange, unpopular names, I thought. The kinds of names grandparents had. But maybe that was in vogue here - small town names? I finally remembered that my neighbor was called Jessica, a perfectly common name. There were two girls named Jessica in my History class back home.
"They are ... very nice-looking." I struggled with the conspicuous understatement.
"Yes!" Jessica agreed with another giggle. "They're all together though - Emmett and Rosalie, and Jasper and Alice, I mean. And they live together." Her voice held all the shock and condemnation of the small town, I thought critically. But, if I was being honest, I had to admit that even in Phoenix, it would cause gossip.
Excerpted from Twilight by Stephanie Meyer Copyright © 2005 by Stephenie Meyer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
I had heard about this book from one of my sister's friends and I never thought anything of it. Then two of my closest friends started RAVING about this book so I decided to look it up. I read the first chapter online and was hooked. I quickly bought the first one and I could not put it down. You really grow to love and care for Bella, Edward, and the whole Cullen family. They each have their own personalities which you also grow to love. Twilight is exactly my type of heroine!
182 out of 238 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Still reading Twilight. Also love HYPNOTIC by Maria E. another great CRAZE! LOVE LOVE LOVE
147 out of 147 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2009
I was an original fan of this series having read it after the second one came out. As I reread 1-3 and then read the 4th one I began to realize how horribly written it was. The writing style was as if a kid in middle school or high school wrote it. I thought the storyline was certainly unique but poorly executed. It dragged on and had too much repeated detail. I must admit I am a fan of vampires that burn when the sun hits them, not sparkle.
95 out of 189 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 31, 2009
The Twilight Series is like literary candy. I has almost no substance, is sickeningly sweet, and can make you want to throw up if you ingest too much. That said, it is also good if you have a sweet tooth that needs to be taken care of.<BR/><BR/>This series is fun if you are just looking for a distraction from your everyday books. The writing is simple and easy, the dialogue is sappy bordering on disgusting, and the plot is one dimensional. The books get better as you get further into the series (as the writing and plot progress).<BR/><BR/>If you like this book because of the supernatural element, you should check out the Dead Before Dark series by Charlaine Harris. Those books have more interesting characters and a more complex plot.
87 out of 186 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 4, 2005
I started this novel on Friday and didn't put it down until it was over...yeah I lost some serious sleep over it! Meyer does an exceptional job drawing her readers into the world of her characters. I felt like I knew each and every one of them by the time I was finished with Twilight...and let me tell you I was really sad when it was over!!! I can definitly see a sequel in the making...please give us a sequel!!!!!
73 out of 102 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 31, 2009
At first, I wasn't too sure about reading Twilight. I thought to myself as I held the book in my hand, "there's no way i'm reading this." I just figured that it was going to be about another lame vampire story with coffins by day and garlic being the end of them. By the time I read the book, I learned that the description I first thought about the book was the total opposite. What really intrigued me the most about the book was when I flipped the book to a random page where Edward is right about to kiss Bella (for those who haven't read the book, those are the two main characters) and Bella's describing Edwards beauty to the extreme all the way to the sweetness of his breath. It became so overwhelming to her how this beautiful creature was just about to kiss "her," so she almost faints! Flipping through pages is something I always do before reading a book just so I know I'm not going to be wasting my time.. So once I read that, I just had to read the book and because of all the great feedback I heard about the book. The day I actually started reading the book, I was instantly hooked! Even though I could have kept reading, I had to stop because of life's sometimes unpleasant committed obligations. During breaks at school or on my lunch at work I would read, any spare time that I had I would read. The intensity of the book, the description of Edwards's beauty, the insane stories and drama was just mind blowing. The book is such a thriller and it always, always, always left me anticipating, nervous thinking about what was going to happen next! The night I finished the book was the night I had just finished reading three chapters and the book was right at its climax. I honestly did try to put the book down to get some sleep, but there was absolutely no way I could do so. I had to keep reading I just had to! If you're not much of a reader, or are afraid of the thickness of books typically how I am, then have no fear! Twilight is the most amazing book I've ever read. I hope that Stephenie Meyer publishes six more novels. I never want this love story to end! Read this book, trust me, you will not be disappointed. I can almost bet my life on that!
71 out of 89 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2011
Where to start? The fact that the books encourage physical abuse, mental abuse as well as pedophilia, necrophilia is probably a good place to start. Not to mention the bad grammar, the repetitive use of words which, I'm sure, the author has no idea how to use correctly ("Inconceivable!" "I do not think that word means what you think it means"). It abuses geography, it sets back women's rights to about 50 years or so. And the romance? What romance can be had between to very stale characters who have absolutely no personality. And what about the plot, please, there is no plot. Girl moves out of town, meets boy, finds he's a vampire, falls in love within the span of a couple of days, thinks she's not good enough for him, blah blah blah. And by the end of the book series, no conflict is resolved, the characters are basically the same characters they were at the beginning of the books, and they ruined the one character I actually liked.
Simply? I only recommend this book if you are an airhead whom can't get over the fact that there are /better/ books out there, and there are, believe me there are.
65 out of 139 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 23, 2008
I can not believe that this is what the world has come to. This book is completly awful. First of all it's 100 pgs of Bella (the drama queen who is the main character)living a day to day life in a boring town. Then 100 pgs of her arguing with the stalker vampire Edward Cullen about who he is. Then they get together and say things that are forced and make you gag such as "You are my everything" is places where it does not fit. You have to have an IQ of 0 to think this is good writing. Sure girls like it because of the romance, i thought hey maybe it'll be ok with vampiers and them fighting but no it has 300 pgs of boring and gag causing scentences like "I'm unconditionally and irrovocably in love him." After she knew him for what a week or two then get to an ending that is so anticlimatic of some other vampier wanting to eat her which you always knew it would never happen so it had so suspense to it and the fighting chapters were so poorly written. IT IS AWFUL please do not get this book it will be a waste of your time
55 out of 134 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2005
Wow. That had to be the best book I've read in a long time. The fact that fiction could be so subtly involved in a story - I didn't even know I was reading a fantasy novel until about halfway through. The characters were well written and the book invited me to become Bella through the love and pain that she endured throughout the book.
43 out of 64 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Oh how could I ever begin to explain how much I love Twilight? What an incredible plot! What incredible characters! Just plain out...what an incredible series! I love love LOVE Twilight and would recommend it to anyone to read!
30 out of 47 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 15, 2009
Alright, so in I will admit I read all of the Twilight saga, but something hit me after I finished the final book. This book is terrible. It kills the true vision of vampires. They are suppose to be scary, not wimps with feelings. But really it is stupid how people are flipping out about this book. No offense, but it was terribly written.
28 out of 57 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 22, 2008
I Also Recommend:
This book caught me from the beginning...The character of Bella was very easy to imagine and her flaws made her seem more realistic and made it easier for a lot of people to be able to identify with her. The mystery surrounding Edward Cullen and his family pulls the reader in, making them want to find out more. I have guy friends that love the books too, so it's not just for girls, or even just teenage girls! It really is an amazing book!
26 out of 37 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This was the most amazing book i've ever read to say the least. Edward and Bella leave you wanting more and more and the chemistry and romance and excitement between them totally get you hooked. Throughout reading this, there was so much thrill, love, and very intense situations that'll leave you smiling or even fuming with anger. Edward is so complex and the way Ms Meyer describes him leaves you wishing you knew someone like Edward and constinetly wanting to read more to see what he does next. The end will defintetly shock you and you'll never see it coming. I love this book and I cannot wait to read the next three. Also, once you've read Twilight you have to go see the movie because it was pretty much as great as the book. TWILIGHT IS A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!
24 out of 37 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2009
The beginning was good. It was mysterious and interesting but then after a while it became Edward this and Edward that and stars and bull. I got completely bored. I had to really force myself to finish reading this book. It did pick up again but ended so quickly I was unable to enjoy the action. The author had a good idea she just couldn't execute it well. It's written poorly and it doesn't deserve this huge credit, praise, and success.
22 out of 45 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 14, 2008
I'm tired of so many people at my school saying this is the best book. I don't think it's good at all! Really! The main character is shallow let along stupid and clumsy. Edward has bad taste in women *cough*. And he only loves her because of her smell.... If he really 'loved' Bella, then why would he put her in harms way? He's a vampire, she's his dinner. Come on, that's NOT true love. Sorry Stephenie Meyer, but this isn't your best work and i don't recommend anyone reading this! you'll easily get sick of the main character and everything else in this book.
22 out of 51 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2009
This is a caution to everyone that have obligations (ie children to care for, a house to clean) this book will prevent you from wanting to do anything but read!! This book is excelent. I could't put it down. The characters a wonderful. The way that Stephanie Meyer describes the closeness of Bella and Edward makes you need to take a break! It's very age appropriate for young adult. However, I'm 28 with a husband, 2 kids and now reading New Moon. You need to this book!!!
21 out of 27 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Beautiful characters. A coming of age story. A forbidden romance. Will spark the imagination of every heart.
21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.