So I finally finished the first two teen vampire books by Stephanie Meyer. I wanted to know what the fuss was about. I hadn't even heard of the books until just before the last one came out and then the movie was released, so I already felt a bit under the rock on this one. How could I have missed this big teen girl cult following? Well, after reading two of these I can say, they're no Harry Potter.
The books are incredibly disappointing. They have all the components that make them so appealing, but they are so poorly put together that you just sit there thinking, “this could have been so good”. My biggest beef is that they clearly lacked a competent editor to help the author pare down the repetition, build the plot and fix the huge holes, and create a story that isn't a bunch of jagged scenes thrown together within a binding.
I realise that a few of my friends loved these books as-is, and that's fine. I understand the appeal, I've admitted that all the key ingredients are there: sullen troubled incredibly beautiful man, super powers, protective, impossibility of their love, the protestations, the revelations, the plain girl who is the object of total love for this god-like man, it's female bait, a checklist of it. In fact, you can almost hear the author checking them off one by one as the story goes on – and then repeating the list over and over until you just want to say, “enough! we get it!”. When you finish you want to scrub your brain with something really good and apologize for making it sit through it.
I'm amazed that these managed to get picked up by a publisher and sent out to print in this condition. On the other hand, if something like this can get published and make the author a very happy rich lady, surely there is hope for other bad writing to make it big out in the world, perhaps even mine some day ;-)