I don't read vampire books, as a rule. I'm not usually one who likes being terrified (just ask Hubby... I don't do scary movies!). So, I tend to shy away from the whole vampire-monster-horror genre. Still when this book started popping up with positive reviews all over the blogs I usually read (like here, here and here) and when Inkling gave me a huge push, I put in on hold at the library. (It took me a while to get around to it, because I was several people down the list and because of the three copies the library has, only one is in circulation right now.)
So, what did I think?
First, this book obsessed me. I tend to lose myself in books, but for the most part I can put them down, walk away and look forward to coming back while I go on with my every day life. Exceptions occur, of course. But I couldn't stop thinking about this one. I was drawn into it, and fascinated and haunted by it. But why? The writing is middling, more pulp fiction than really good fiction. The story borders on the harlequin; it's first love, forbidden love, obsessive love. Yet it struck a chord in me (and probably most readers). I have a first love, forbidden love, obsessive love in my past. I was 17 once. Granted, it wasn't with a vampire, but still.
And that's where I think Stephenie Meyer was brilliant. Why not take the whole vampire lore, turn it on its head, and make them sympathetic? Why not make a stubborn girl, human girl, willing to sacrifice herself for the vampire, the monster? That's where the fascination of this book truly lies.
As an aside, I'm using the book for this "Read outside the Box" challenge they've got going on at the library. The question I have is: Does this fall under romance or horror?