I just finished reading Twilight for my MomsLikeMe book club. It's the first book in Stephanie Meyer's series about devastatingly beautiful vampire Edward and his human love interest, Bella. This book is basically a Gothic romance, written for teenage girls. That said, however, I do think it is a well-written example of the romance genre.
Our story is told from Bella's perspective, and she is a fully-drawn character. Bella moves to Forks, Oregon, from sunny Phoenix to live with her father. On her first day at school, she notices the gorgeous Edward, a pale-skinned student who turns out to be her lab partner. Over the next few days, she keeps "noticing" him, and Edward notices her, too. Pretty soon, Edward is saving Bella's life, and Bella is falling hopelessly in love in the way only a 17-year-old girl can.
I thought the novel was good enough. Many of the lines were trite and over-the-top, but that's to be expected from a romance. If anything bothered me, it was Meyer's penchant for hyperbole. Everything was extreme. Edward is too gorgeous, too appealing, too "perfect" (a descriptor, and one that I don't like, that Meyer uses often). No wonder Catherine Hardwicke (director of the film adaptation, coming out this week) had such a hard time casting the role of Edward. It's like looking for a Cleopatra or Helen of Troy. And if such physical perfection DOES exist, you better hope like hell that this guy can a.) speak English and b.) ACT.
I thought Twilight (and probably the rest of the novels in the series, too) would have made for a great beach read. I probably won't pick up the next book in the series until I'm lying in the sand, in search of some easy, undemanding entertainment.