Here is the first book in the Twilight Series. Stephanie Meyer is the year 2008 equivalent of Judy Blume of the 1980s. Meyer is writing the young adult series about first loves, vampires and innocence.
Twilight is the first book that introduces the characters-- and there are a lot of characters. The main characters, Bella and Edward share a deep love, a sweet love, an innocent love. Quite honestly, it is refreshing. It is sweet.
The catch-- Edward is a vampire. But not a villian, not a creepy evil character, but rather a multi-layered sensitive male vampire caught in a 17 year old body. Because he is so "rare" in both the vampire world for his ability to read minds and the human world for being so sensitive and kind, he is an unusual character.
My daughter (15 year old who adores these books) introduced me to this series. And while I have to say, the heroine, Bella a 15 year old human, is like-able and actually "the girl next door", she is also a fabricated 15 year old. By that, I mean that even though she lives with her father, the author writes her character as if she is the authority of the house, the rock, the provider. Clearly, the author is writing to her intended audience of teenagers or "young adult". That being said, the book is good.
It is a good read, an easy read and a romantic love story. Yes, the reader has to suspend belief, but less for the belief of vampires and their very original storyline, but more for the idea that 15 year olds are completely independent, smarter than all the adults around them and more put together. I do object to the portrayal of Bella as responsible one parenting both her mother (flightly) and her father (the town police chief). While teenagers might relate to the feelings of isolation and self importance that Bella experiences, it is disappointing from a parent's standpoint to see a teenage girl having to abandon her family to experience love. Bella is neither abused or neglected in the novel and yet, her parents do not make her important in their lives.
But, despite this aspect, the love story written for Edward and Bella is a beautiful one. The author takes themes from Romeo and Juliet and creates a very believable, emotional love story.