Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer - review

‘With thrills and adrenaline, they have a sense of adventure that allows readers to immerse themselves in a new world’

The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer is, although lacking in complex scientific comments or an underlying message about the state of society, one of the best books that young adults should read. This is because it introduces real-life issues in a safe way, most of which will probably affect young readers at some point in their lives. It also has a happy ending, something that I personally love, and I feel should be promoted more as an achievable and realistic possibility. In addition, it involves drama, action and mystery, which are essential in creating an engaging and interesting read that will be picked up again and again. Finally, it promotes reading with a heroine who mentions her love of many stories such as Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice.

Although I greatly appreciate the wonder and enjoyment of the more nitty-gritty, hard core, heavy reads, I believe that we shouldn’t knock the undeniable pleasure one can experience when reading an action-packed and exciting read (albeit of little educational or symbolic value). Twilight features tense near-death experiences for our heroine Bella who almost drowns, gets broken and killed by a blood-thirsty vampire, faces the Volturi – a coven of centuries old vampires responsible for overseeing the wellbeing of all vampires - and battles through prom with a broken leg and an immortal date. These give the saga a quality essential in a good book: they are nigh on impossible to put down. With thrills and adrenaline, they have a sense of adventure that allows readers to immerse themselves in a new world. This can help to distract from many stressful or upsetting situations, making the Twilight saga necessary to gliding gracefully through life’s ups and downs.

Twilight cover
Photograph: PR

In fact, in this way it has multiple uses as it tackles, in a subtle and memorable way, many issues in life, with the reader shadowing Bella as she stumbles and negotiates her way through everything, from exams to pregnancy. Whilst I am not suggesting that we all should get married at eighteen and have children, this presents issues without being obvious about it, allowing younger readers to subconsciously form opinions, a useful skill, and to learn what not to do, such as have unprotected intercourse or go for a walk by yourself in a city at night time. This brings young people a modern view of the world and an understanding of what life may entail.

My favourite aspect of the book is its ending. Personally, as an eleven year old reading the book for the first time, I couldn’t imagine a better ending. Whilst being conscious of spoiling it I will not go into detail, but I loved that there were no loose ends left untied, no outcome, however small, that was less than happy and no looming threats to darken the joy. There are too few books nowadays that one can say that about and in my opinion it is undervalued as a feature: it teaches that by aspiring and persevering you can achieve whatever you want to. This builds positive attitudes and hopeful minds. There is nothing more satisfying than committing a week in your life to ride a rollercoaster of tears, laughs, victories and despair only to have it rewarded with an all-questions-answered, no-holds-barred, jump-for-joy happy ending.

Finally, the book promotes reading with a protagonist who is fairly cool, popular and has a boyfriend, yet chooses to read in her free time. Bella regularly cites Wuthering Heights as her favourite book, and there are additional references to Shakespeare throughout the saga. As reading develops vocal skills, increases happiness, decreases stress and helps school work, I will advocate anything that advertises reading as positive.

So for a book series that involves both romance and action, life lessons and thrills and has something to look forward to, that will keep you reading ravenously until you reach the end, choose The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer.

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