“Twilight” was published in 2005. Twelve years later, at 19 years old, I finally read it.
And I didn’t hate it.
Was it the best book I’ve ever read? Definitely not. Was it the worst book I’ve ever read? Definitely not.
For years, pop culture was dominated by “Twilight” merchandise. The Team Edward vs. Team Jacob debacle took over social media and the minds of teens everywhere. But I continued to disregard all of it, always thinking that I was better than reading four books about vampires and werewolves and love triangles.
But what did I know?
When I started reading the series, I thought that it was going to be a complete disaster, filled with crazy romantic endeavors and continuous fights for Bella’s love. I didn’t think that there was going to be character development, intricate storylines, and myths and lore specific to the series.
I was soon delighted to find out that it was actually quite entertaining. I was thoroughly entranced.
When I took on this project, I only intended on reading the first book, and before I knew it, I was halfway through a pot of coffee at 3 a.m. when I finished “Breaking Dawn.”
Before you get too deep, this is where I throw in the spoiler alert.
Stephenie Meyer, although not the strongest writer technically, does a wonderful job at creating likable characters with strong personalities. I found myself constantly fighting for Bella and Edward’s love, for Jacob’s happiness, and for the Cullens’ survival.
The novels are enticing, and watching Bella’s confidence and determination grow made me really happy and a little bit proud, as I got more attached to her character.
When Edward leaves Bella in “New Moon,” and she’s a complete wreck, her mindset soon begins to change. She realizes that she’s not necessarily dependent on a man (in this case, Edward) and that romance isn’t something that she needs to survive.
And although she ends up with him again, that brief time that she and Edward were apart made me respect her a lot more than I ever thought I would. She became reckless, she found new coping mechanisms, and started to make life work for her, if only for a little while.
When they got back together, Bella was stronger. She was less dependent on Edward himself and more dependent on the happiness that he brought her.
She started to stand up for herself. She fought to be changed into a vampire, and for her love, and for what she thought was right. She fought against everything that she did not support, and I couldn’t help but root for her, without fail.
Reading the story after the hype had already ended was a bit weird. I have yet to see the movies, but I have obviously seen images of the actors in the films. Every time I pictured the characters, they were in the form of the actors, which didn’t always line up with Meyer’s descriptions.
I also thought that it was going to be more of a love triangle than it was. All of the Team Edward and Team Jacob nonsense made me believe that the love triangle was going to dominate the series.
But it didn’t.
Bella was never truly with Jacob. There was a hot second, when Edward was gone, that she thought about it. And Jacob was madly in love with her (until she had a baby, but I’m not getting into that because it creeps me out), but he never actually had a chance.
Being so late to the party, I definitely think I enjoyed reading it a little less than I would have if I read these books when they were at their most popular.
Reading them in 2017, I kept thinking about comments and opinions that I had heard when everyone else was reading them. Before I opened up “Twilight,” I already knew that Jacob was a werewolf and Edward and Bella got married and had a kid.
If I had read them before the hype, or even during the hype, this all would have been new and exciting; I would have been thrilled and invigorated.
But there were obviously things that I didn’t know, which is what kept me going. Some of the small details that aren’t super crucial but still took me by surprise, for example, made the books much easier to read and much harder to put down.
And as I kept getting deeper and deeper into the saga, I kept regretting that I had missed the hype. Because now I’m the only one entranced in the story, and no one will talk to me about it. I’ve found that peoples’ thoughts and opinions have been buried beneath new, more exciting works of literature. It’s a bit lonely.
Although probably not an incredibly iconic work that will go down in history, “Twilight” is something that I truly believe is entirely worth reading.