I wrote a post a little while ago about the urge to re-read old favorite books amidst the chaos and uncertainty of my current and post-pandemic life. With the release and excitement of Midnight Sun this past month, I finally jumped back into Bella’s world with a re-read of the book that started it all, Twilight. I must have lent my books to one too many people back in the day, because I could not find my original copies. While browsing Half-Priced Books with my sister, I found them and it just seemed like the right time. I felt a sense of giddy excitement at the thought of beginning the journey again. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. Would it hold up to what I remembered? Would I come to hate one of the books that catapulted me into my love of YA literature?
From the first page, which I began in the car on the drive home, the wave of nostalgia washed over me. I was immediately taken back to my late middle school and early high school years and the memories of biking 14 miles to the bookstore while up in Door County with my best friend for the release of Breaking Dawn. I was very quickly drawn back to Forks and the delight of meeting Edward Cullen for the first time. Despite my happy nostalgia, I definitely had some new, or should I say evolved, thoughts about Twilight than I had when I read it for the first time as a 13 year old with very little life/romantic experience.
Bella is kind of a psycho.
The fact that I ever felt like I related to Bella Swan makes me cringe, cuz she is kinda cuckoo. She has some crazy and toxic thoughts y’all. Talk about a stage 10 clinger with a warped sense of self! The fact that she seriously thinks, and I quote, “If I had to, I supposed I could purposefully put myself in danger to keep him close…” is not ok. Also the fact that as a young teenager I read these kind of thoughts and was like “yes, that totally makes sense. YOU GUYS ARE IN LOVE.” just shows you how much experience I had with boys and relationships…
I don’t remember it being so instalovey.
When I first read Twilight I thought it was so ROMANTIC. Bella and Edward’s relationship was a love to end all loves. Now? My reaction was…. “You literally just met.” How did this not register in my brain back then?! I got so caught up in the grandiose declarations of love that I didn’t even comprehend how little their relationship actually develops. I feel like not having experienced a relationship of my own, I didn’t even realize that there were deeper aspects missing. All I needed to know was that they loved each other and I was on board. Their chemistry is definitely still there, but as an adult reader I was really missing the build to the deeper connection that they supposedly have.
We get it. Bella is clumsy.
I don’t remember Bella’s clumsiness being her biggest defining trait. It was mentioned A LOT. Pretty much any time she had to move in any capacity.
Wow, the technology is dated.
I don’t feel like this book came out THAT long ago, but when you see the types of technology that were current then…. it puts it into perspective and makes me feel really old.
Edward is still charming…. and also a little creepy?
Since I’ve watched the movies more recently than having read the books, I forgot why I fell in love with Edward Cullen in the first place. He is charming! I think a lot of that is lost in the films and I really enjoyed getting to see that again. I loved their banter and his dark, mysterious, dangerousness. However; there are moments that I remember finding so incredibly sexy that now just seemed a little creepy. I get that he is attracted to her partly because of her scent… but does he have to sniff her so much? It’s all just a little creepier than I remember it being.
Oh, Hey Jacob!
It’s crazy meeting Jacob in this first book with the knowledge of what is coming. I feel like I barely even registered him the first time I read it and now I was reading into everything. Bella really does him dirty, doesn’t she?
The Cullen’s are awesome.
The Cullen family are actually really awesome characters. There are so many details about them and their backstories that I forgot, especially Alice and Esme, and we only get a glimpse of them in this book. I honestly would love full novels going into depth on each of their individual stories.
The plot still slaps.
Despite some of my newfound issues with the book, the plot is still pretty rockin. I can’t help but love the storyline and there are some really strong moments. It has a great flow of events and plenty of excitement. The world building is pretty good as well and the way it is shown to us is seamless and thorough.
So, it wasn’t the epically amazing book that I once thought it was. However; seeing it through my adult eyes, I still lived for it and I was able to appreciate it in a different way. This book was a big catalyst in sparking my love of YA literature, and really was one of my first experiences of being deeply affected by a romance. I am definitely going to continue on with a whole series re-read, especially because I remember the books getting better as they go, and then finally get to Midnight Sun. Twilight filled me up in a much-needed way that other books just don’t have the ability to do and while it may not be perfect, I am not quite ready to let it go.
6 thoughts on “#TBT: Revisiting Twilight by Stephenie Meyer”
AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID. I haven’t re-read it in a while but have read the whole series maybe 3 times? I remember thinking that she wasn’t the best writer on the re-reads. While her plots (except for the questionable ending but I almost always have issues with endings of series) are really good, the actual words strung together are a bit sub-par.
Ooh, great review. I recently re-read twilight to prepare for midnight sun as well. Weirdly, I think midnight sun made me appreciate twilight more, but yeah, I still agree with all your points.
Thanks! I have yet to make it to Midnight Sun, but I’m looking forward to it!