And now that I've read the first chapter, I'm realizing it really all was just a bunch of hype. Welcome to Twilight Hatefest: A Chapter by Chapter Breakdown.
For this first chapter, I'm also including the Preface, simply because it's so short it doesn't deserve a posting all its own.
And since we're on the subject of prefaces - that is not a preface. It's actually a prologue. A preface would explain what the book is going to be about, or perhaps an introduction by a collaborating author. The preface found in Twilight is actually a lesson in all the poor grammar about to be seen by the reader as the book progresses.
A grand majority of the first chapter of the book is our heroine [Bella Swan] bemoaning the fact that she's moving to Forks. Because Washington is a horrible place, you know. I lived there for a few years, whereas the author [Stephenie Meyer] didn't bother to even visit until after she'd published the book. Even for a whiny wanna-be emo teen, Washington is not that horrible.
Even so, I could have let the constant complaints slide had we been given the reason for Bella's moving to Forks right up front. I'm sure it's a plot vehicle for later in the book, but at this point it's a poor one at that. An author can't expect their reader to feel empathy for a character unless there is reason to.
The other parts of the chapter include Bella being quite possibly the biggest klutz on the face of the known planet. There were at least four incidents within the first chapter alone where Bella fell, stumbled, tripped, or otherwise did something to indicate that she's a klutz. Let it be known now, my middle name is certainly not grace, but even I in my most awkward of teenage years did not trip nearly as much as Bella does in one day.
And then, of course, we're introduced to the object of many women's fantasies - even adult, happily married women. Edward Cullen. There were plenty of other people who actually wanted to talk to Bella on her first day of school. But who are we drawn to? The one who leaned away from us during Biology. The one who spent almost one hundred per cent of the wordage he's allotted in the first chapter glaring at Bella.
Because men who glare at us and try to stay as far away from us as possible are huge turn ons.
Also, as a bit of a jab at Meyer's technique, I would love to know who her editor is and draft a letter to that person. Because apparently, they were paid to do absolutely nothing. The sentence structure is such that there were multiple times I had to reread the sentence to be sure I was getting the proper meaning, which is not good. If I'm rereading a sentence or a portion of the book, I prefer it to be because I enjoyed a particular scene or turn of phrase.
For example, in one sentence, Bella dropped her eyes. Really? She dropped her eyes? That seems like a medical problem requiring immediate attention. Of course, we're supposed to smile, nod, and go along with it because it's that author's particular style. However, if that were caught by even a half decent copy editor, she would have dropped her gaze to the table, which would have made more sense.
This is not looking promising.