TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
The first two books in Stephenie Meyer's teen vampire saga have been hugely popular among young people (as I write this, "New Moon" is number one on the NY Times Children's Chapter Books list, having spent a whopping 47 weeks on the chart). I recently read both books back-to-back, since I've heard so many teens speak so enthusiastically about these novels.
I can see why the books are so well liked, particularly among girls. Bella Swan, our main character, is portrayed as an ordinary, unspectacular girl — one who is actually quite clumsy and awkward — and yet the incredibly handsome, chiseled Edward Cullen falls in love with her. In the first novel, "Twilight," we learn that Edward is a vampire, albeit one who, with the rest of his family, hunts only animals for blood. Still, Edward's being a vampire makes his relationship with the mortal Bella difficult if not impossible. When a human-eating coven of vampires hits Bella's town of Forks, Washington, Bella unwittingly becomes the prey. There's much action and drama, an actual hunt, many declarations of love, and some nice family scenes between Bella and her sheriff dad, Charlie.
In the second book, "New Moon," Bella and Edward's relationship quickly falls apart, after Bella accidentally cuts herself at the Cullens' house and the family's worst vampire traits appear. Edward is absent for a large part of the story, which may be why I enjoyed it more than the first novel. I know, I know. But I often find the character of Edward Cullen to be a bit arrogant and self-righteous, as if he is always talking down to Bella. After Edward and the rest of the Cullens leave Forks, Bella enters a very long and very believable period of depression. Jacob Black, a Native American who is a minor character in the first novel, emerges to become Bella's best friend and savior. Again, expect plenty of action, chase scenes, travel, drama, romance, and more insight into the worlds of both vampires and werewolves.
These books are very good, well-written blends of action and romance. Although long, they are not difficult to read. I would recommend "Twilight" and "New Moon" for tween and teen girls, maybe in grades seven and up. There is no offensive language, sex, or drug scenes, although there is some violence. Regardless of how you feel about the vampire angle, I suspect most girls will get hooked solely by the star-crossed love of Bella and Edward.
Keep your eyes out for Stephenie Meyer's "Eclipse," which comes out on August 7th.
FROM KINNELON LIBRARY TEEN REVIEWERS – 2008:
I liked this book because it was really interesting. It caught my attention and I couldn't put it down.
It's amazing. This is the best book ever, and I can't wait for the last one!
It was a sequel to the first book, "Twilight." Although it was fictional, the events seemed real and so suspenseful that I kept wanting to read more. It left me hanging for the next book, "Eclipse." I can't wait!