I'm not sure why, but with the Twilight series I wasn't too keen to read them at all. Maybe it was because I was too sick of hearing about the actors in the all the gossip mags? Anyway, within the space of a couple of days a client of mine raved about the series and I saw the movie (which was amazing!), so I decided that the time had come for me to read this book. I wasn't disappointed!
I image everyone knows the basic story by no. Bella (Isabella Swan) moves from the city of Phoenix to the small and dismal town of Forks with her father, whilst her mother travels elsewhere with her new partner. Bella begins to settle in better than she expects. Hs eis good at her lessons, makes new friends and gets on well with her father. From the first day, she is drawn to the Cullen family, particularly the youngest of the family, Edward. She soon discovers that he is mysterious, moody and unpredictable but she is irresistably drawn to him. Eventually she discovers the family secret - they are all vampires, although good vampires that only feed on animals. Still, Edward is greatly attracted to Bella' smell, and it is a challenge for him to prevent himself from eating her. This obviously adds an element of difficulty to their blooming relationship.
I think I read the book over the space of a few hours, so despite its size it's an easy read. I really loved it, 'couldn't put it down' loved it. The sexual tension between Bella and Edward could be cut with a knife. It was really nice to see Bella making friends so quickly at school and watching her develop a relationship with her father, who was a real sweetheart. The involvement of Jacob and Billy Black added another element of tension to the story. I enjoyed watching Bella flirt with Jacob and worry about whether she is flirting well enough. Despite the difference in motivation, it reminded me of being in high school.
I could easily see how this could be considered to be encouraging celibacy for younger people, or at least, delivering a messgae to younger people that it is ok not to rush into sex. Bella and Edward can barely kiss each other and yet you see the sexual tension between them. I don't know if this is what Stephanie Meyer meant to be saying to her reading audience, but its certainly something that I got from it.
My only complaint was the writing style perhaps wasn't great. It was also very repititive. All Edward and Bella ever seem to talk about is the fact that he is a vampire and might possibly try to eat her one day. It would have been nice to see them talk about something else aswell. Having said that, a good friend of mine assures me that as the series progress the writing and the story improve.
This comes with the highest recommendation from me and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.