As I posted a few days ago, I'm delving into the unknown world of the YA. More importantly, I'm trying to research Urban Fantasy YA's so I can get a feel for what's out there -- how they're written -- what types of plotlines are working, how complicated they are, how they handle sex, the list goes on and on. I simply want to _know_.
Anyway, first on the block is TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer. It's a bestseller, so I figured I'd start right at the top. The question in my mind -- what made this book sell so many dang copies -- and how can I do it _better_? (Yeah, goodluck, right? lol) Verdict: LOVED the beginning, hated the middle...ambivalent about the ending... and ABSOLUTELY want to read the next book.
Brief Synopsis: Isabella Swan, a seventeen-year old high school student, moves to a small town in Oregon to live with her father. Once there, she discovers this mysterious family--the Cullens--and finds herself strangely attracted to the youngest of the clan: Edward Cullen, who just so happens to be a hundred-year old vampire. Mayhem and hormonal urges ensue.
Let me first say that I loved Isabella (Bella) right from the get-go. She was intelligent, independent, and she wasn't down with the superficial BS that so many kids are caught up with today. I found her completely intriguing. Then she met the vamp. Hmm, how do I put this? She met this vampire and became a complete idjit. All of a sudden she's pouting a lot, whining, and constantly begging him to stay with her. Talk about co-dependent. Now, I know vampires are supposed to have a certain mojo they use on people, but the sudden switch didn't make sense to me. I want the old Bella back!
Then there's the vamp. He's hot, he's pale, and he has an unrelenting attraction for Bella. You gotta admit -- whether you like vampire stories or not, there's something very seductive about them. In the beginning, I couldn't wait for them to get together. You could see him fighting his attraction and it made it so yummy waiting for them to give in. Then they did and cute vamp turned into a jerk. He had more mood swings than a menopausal woman. Good. God. One second he's happy...the next he's angry...back and forth, back and forth. Good grief, give the boy a Midol. Worse even is the fact that Bella would apologize when he became angry -- and worry she was doing something wrong. HELLO -- NO..
And of course, within a week they're hopelessly in love. *sigh* I dunno...I like romance just as much as the next person, but love in a week -- with a complete stranger -- doesn't strike me as plausible, even if there's vampire mojo involved. Call me old-fashioned, but I like a relationship to be based on _something_ other than hormones.
All that, and you're probably wondering why I want to read the next book. My answer? I have no idea. I think it's the vampires. LOL. I mean, they're sexy -- they have these amazing abilities that make them super-human and they're always saving the damsel from the clutches of death. What more could you want?
I will say in this book's favor -- the plotting was good and fast-paced. Meyer added her own flourishes to the whole "vampire" thing -- some rather unique. (I won't spoil them for you.) She had some really genuinely laugh out loud moments in there. I loved that Bella is an absolute klutz (something I was planning on working into Shadow Walker -- so please don't think I got it from this book when I actually write it. (g)) There were also some really great moments that made me say "Dang, I wish I thought of that!" The ending "uh-oh" moment kept me turning the pages in a need to know what would happen... so, yeah, I guess you could say I liked the book despite the characters. LOL.
To my disappointment -- No SEX. Okay, I'm not a perv or something, but I really wanted to see how she would handle it so I know where the bar is set. LOL. Trust me, after all the whining and mood swings, I didn't want to see them take to the sack. (Okay, maybe a little ;))
Buy or Rent? Buy -- what the heck -- it's a 500 page book, probably worth the 9 buck cover price. You can always pass it off to a teenager you know.
(Of course, this is only if you want to actually read YA (g))