Twilight - Stephenie Meyer, Stephenie Meyer Honestly, there is very little I can write about Twilight that hasn't already been covered in academic-level thoroughness on the Internet. It reads like wish-fulfillment fan fic. The characters are blander than bland (when they aren't being creepy). Vampires are spayed, neutered, and put out to pasture to sparkle in the sun for all eternity. Very little of note happens. Very little. Almost nothing, really.

I read Twilight in 2009 at the recommendation of some friends. Now, I have since forgiven those friends, especially the one who admitted when I started reading it that the story "gets kind of weird." Does it ever! And once I started, I felt like the fate of humanity depended on me finishing that fluffy book. If I couldn't read Twilight, which required the reading comprehension of a 4th-grader, what kind of book lover was I? It turned into a sick game, the story drolling on and on, and me turning page after page, sure that something, ANYTHING had to happen after Bella gets through describing Edward's hair for the millionth time. Oh, those were confusing times. I'm not particularly proud of managing to stick it out, but at least completing the book (and the whole terrible series) gives me the right to review it. So here goes! (I'll try to be as nice as possible.)

Bella Swan moves to Forks, Washington from Arizona to live with her dad. She's plain and shy and a book reader and boring, but everyone seems to love her. At school, she meets Edward Cullen, the dreamiest boy with the palest skin and goldest eyes she's ever seen. Edward has an attitude problem and acts like a major jerk the first time he meets Bella. It's 'cause he's a vampire, and Bella's blood is apparently Edward's "own personal heroin." Naturally, they fall in love.

Meyer's narration through Bella has an easy-to-read, conversational tone, which probably explains why so many people have finished her books. This would actually be a good thing if A) Bella wasn't already a whiny jerkass with no personality, and B) the plot actually went somewhere. Huge portions of the story are dedicated to describing Edward's Adonis-like looks. Yes, the term Adonis is used multiple times. He's mega sexy and SPARKLY - every girl's dream. Bella, next to Edward, is a drab little thing. She doesn't have friends (mainly because she snubs all of the people who try to befriend her), she wears sad looking clothes, and her physical description is left pretty much blank. All the better to create an audience self-insert!

Edward, for his part, is exactly the opposite of the guy you'd want dating your daughter. He's moody, lethal, a "reformed" serial killer, a girl watcher and midnight stalker, a creepy mind-reader, a hundred years old, and a member of a reclusive family that doesn't socialize with others. Like a monster cult member, only totally hot. Also: This guy can't be destroyed. The process that Edward describes for killing a vampire is near-impossible. Vampires in Twilight are characterized as immortal underwear models with no weaknesses. Buffy couldn't kill the things. Now, as far as I know, in order for a narrative to work, all characters must have a weakness. If there's no real danger for everybody involved, then there can't be a damn story.

Granted, being naturally clumsy (this is supposed to be adorable, I think), Bella does fall into danger. Being close to Edward brings her close to other vampires who also think her blood smells tasty, you see. I won't spoil the "big fight scene" for you, but rest assured, Bella survives.

For her first novel, Meyer did a decent job of characterizing a whiny, selfish girl who doesn't seem to like any creature that can't tear things to shreds with its teeth. Of the four books in the saga, Twilight is the least offensive. It didn't impress me, but it also didn't make me want to bleach my eyes when I finished reading. No. That particular urge came with the next 3 books.

2 stars for not being the worst!