Twilight is a series of four vampire-based fantasy/romance novels by the American author Stephenie Meyer. It follows the life of Isabella “Bella” Swan, a teenager who moves to Forks, Washington, and finds her life radically changed when she falls in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen.

The series is told primarily from Bella’s point of view, with the epilogue of Eclipse and a portion of Breaking Dawn being told from the viewpoint of character Jacob Black. Midnight Sun, if published, will be a retelling of the first book, Twilight, from Edward Cullen’s point of view.

The Twilight series is popular among young adults, having sold over 42 million copies worldwide with translations into 37 different languages around the globe. The four Twilight books were the biggest selling novels of 2008 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.


Main article: Twilight (novel)

Bella Swan moves from Phoenix, Arizona to live with her father in Forks, Washington to allow her mother to travel with her new husband, a minor league baseball player. After moving to Forks, Bella finds herself involuntarily drawn to a mysterious, handsome boy, Edward Cullen. She eventually learns that he is a member of a vampire family who drink animal blood rather than human. Edward and Bella fall in love, but James, a sadistic vampire from another coven, is drawn to drink Bella’s blood. Edward and the other Cullens defend Bella. She escapes to Phoenix, Arizona, where she is tricked into confronting James, who tries to kill her. She is seriously wounded, but Edward rescues her and they return to Forks.

New Moon…

Main article: New Moon (novel)

Edward and his family leave Forks because he believes he is endangering Bella’s life. Bella falls into a deep depression, until she develops a strong friendship with werewolf Jacob Black. Jacob and the other wolves in his tribe must protect her from Victoria, a vampire seeking to avenge her mate James’ death by killing Bella. A misunderstanding occurs, and Edward believes Bella is dead. Edward decides to commit suicide in Volterra, Italy, but he is stopped by Bella and Alice, Edward’s sister. They meet with the Volturi, a powerful coven of vampires, and are released on the condition that Bella be turned into a vampire in the near future. Bella and Edward are reunited, and the Cullens return to Forks.


Main article: Eclipse (novel)

The vampire Victoria (James’s mate from Twilight) has created an army of “newborn” vampires to battle the Cullen family and kill Bella. Meanwhile, Bella is forced to choose between her relationship with Edward and her friendship with Jacob. Edward’s vampire family and Jacob’s werewolf pack join forces to successfully destroy Victoria and her vampire army. In the end, Bella chooses Edward’s love over Jacob’s and agrees to marry him.

Breaking Dawn…

Main article: Breaking Dawn

Bella and Edward are married, but their honeymoon is cut short when Bella discovers she is pregnant. Her pregnancy progresses rapidly, severely weakening her. She nearly dies giving birth to her and Edward’s half-vampire-half-human daughter, Renesmee, but Edward injects Bella with his venom to save her life by turning her into a vampire. A vampire from another coven sees Renesmee and mistakes her for an “immortal child”, whose existence violates vampire law, and informs the Volturi. The Cullens gather vampire witnesses who can verify that Renesmee is not an immortal child. After an intense confrontation, the Cullens and their witnesses convince the Volturi that the child poses no danger to vampires or their secret, and they are left in peace.

Praise and cultural impact…

Upon Twilight‘s initial publication, the book generally received positive reviews, which acted a catalyst to spread its popularity. The Times praised the book for capturing “perfectly the teenage feeling of sexual tension and alienation”, while Larry Carroll for MTV Movies deemed Edward and Bella “an iconic love story for a whole generation”. hailed the book as “[d]eeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful”, while School Library Journal stated, “Realistic, subtle, succinct, and easy to follow, Twilight will have readers dying to sink their teeth into it”. Booklist said, “this dark romance is gripping”, and Norah Piehl of TeenReads wrote, “Twilight is a gripping blend of romance and horror”, The New York Times has described Twilight as a “literary phenomenon”.

Referring to the series’ enduring popularity and fandom, USA Today said, “Move over, Harry Potter”. In addition, Entertainment Weekly hailed Meyer as “the world’s most popular vampire novelist since Anne Rice”. Lev Grossman of Time wrote that the books have a “pillowy quality distinctly reminiscent of Internet fan fiction”, but still praised the series, comparing it to The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter:

People do not want to just read Meyer’s books; they want to climb inside them and live there…There’s no literary term for the quality Twilight and Harry Potter (and The Lord of the Rings) share, but you know it when you see it: their worlds have a freestanding internal integrity that makes you feel as if you should be able to buy real estate there.

Outlining the anticipated release of Breaking Dawn, The Sunday Times called Twilight, “no ordinary vampire series – it boils with desire that all goes painfully unconsummated – and Meyer turns out to be far from an ordinary author”. As well, US president Barack Obama told USA Today that he and his ten-year-old daughter, Malia, often bond over the Twilight books.

Criticism and controversy…

Despite Twilight‘s popularity, the books have received some criticism from Laura Miller of who noted that “the characters, such as they are, are stripped down to a minimum, lacking the texture and idiosyncrasies of actual people”, and said that “Twilight would be a lot more persuasive as an argument that an “amazing heart” counts for more than appearances if it didn’t harp so incessantly on Edward’s superficial splendors.” Miller also accused the series of alleged sexism for the portrayal of the its female characters, most notably Bella Swan’s obsessive behavior relating to Edward Cullen and the emphasis on his romantic hero status. Meyer has dismissed such criticisms, arguing both that the books center around Bella’s choice, which she perceives as the foundation of modern feminism, and that Bella’s damsel in distress persona is due only to her humanity.

In an interview with USA Weekend’s Brian Truitt, Stephen King stated, “the real difference [between Rowling and Meyer] is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer, and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

Twilight (2008 film)…

Seventeen-year-old Bella Swan moves to Forks, a small town on Washington state’s rugged coast, to live with her father, Charlie, after her mother remarries to a minor league baseball player. She is quickly befriended by many students at her new high school, but she is intrigued by the mysterious and aloof Cullen siblings. Bella sits next to Edward Cullen in biology class on her first day of school; he appears to be disgusted by her, much to Bella’s confusion. A few days later, Bella is nearly struck by a van in the school parking lot. Edward inexplicably moves from some feet away and stops the vehicle with his hand. He later refuses to explain this act to Bella and warns her against befriending him.

After much research, Bella eventually discovers that Edward is a vampire, though he only consumes animal blood. The pair fall in love and Edward introduces Bella to his vampire family, Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie. Soon after, three nomadic vampires—James, Victoria, and Laurent—arrive. James, a tracker vampire, is intrigued by Edward’s protectiveness over a human and wants to hunt Bella for sport. Edward and his family risk their lives to protect her, but James tracks Bella to Phoenix where she is hiding and lures her into a trap by claiming he is holding her mother hostage. James attacks Bella and bites her wrist, but Edward, along with the other Cullen family members, arrives before he can kill her. James is destroyed, and Edward sucks James’s venom from Bella’s wrist, preventing her from becoming a vampire. A severely injured Bella is taken to a hospital. Upon returning to Forks, Bella and Edward attend their school prom. While there, Bella expresses her desire to become a vampire, which Edward refuses. The film ends with Victoria secretly watching the pair dancing, plotting revenge for her lover James’ murder.


The Cullens and the Swans…

  • Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, a seventeen-year-old girl who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington from Phoenix, Arizona and falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen. Her life is put in danger after a sadistic vampire decides to hunt her.
  • Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, a 108-year-old vampire who was changed in 1918 and still appears to be seventeen. He is Bella’s love interest and has the ability to read minds, with the exception of Bella’s, along with superhuman speed and strength.
  • Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen, a compassionate 300-plus-year-old vampire who looks to be in his mid-20s. He serves as the town’s physician and is the father figure of the Cullen family.
  • Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen, Carlisle’s vampire wife and a mother figure to the Cullen family.
  • Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, a vampire who can see the future based on decisions that people make.
  • Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale, a member of the Cullen family who can manipulate emotions. He is the newest member of the Cullen family, and thus has the most difficulty maintaining their feeding only on animals rather than humans lifestyle.
  • Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale, a Cullen family member described as the most beautiful person in the world. She is incredibly hostile toward Bella throughout the entire film.
  • Kellan Lutz as Emmett Cullen, physically the strongest vampire of the family.
  • Billy Burke as Charlie Swan, Bella’s father and Forks’ Chief of Police.

Nomadic vampires…

  • Cam Gigandet as James, the leader of a group of nomadic vampires which intends to kill Bella. He is Victoria’s mate and a gifted tracker, due to his unparalleled senses.
  • Rachelle Lefèvre as Victoria, James’ mate who assists him in finding Bella.
  • Edi Gathegi as Laurent, the most civilized member of James’ coven.


  • Sarah Clarke as Renée Dwyer, Bella’s mother who lives in Arizona with her new husband, Phil.
  • Matt Bushell as Phil Dwyer, Bella’s stepfather who plays minor-league baseball in Florida.
  • Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, an old childhood friend of Bella and a member of the Quileute tribe.
  • Gil Birmingham as Billy Black, Jacob’s father and a friend of Charlie.
  • Solomon Trimble as Sam Uley, a member of the Quileute tribe.
  • Christian Serratos as Angela Weber, one of Bella’s new friends in Forks.
  • Michael Welch as Mike Newton, one of Bella’s new friends who vies for her attention.
  • Anna Kendrick as Jessica Stanley, Bella’s first friend in Forks.
  • Gregory Tyree Boyce as Tyler Crowley, another one of Bella’s classmates, also vying for Bella’s attention. (He nearly hits Bella with his van.)
  • Justin Chon as Eric Yorkie, another one of Bella’s classmates who vies for her attention.
  • Ned Bellamy as Waylon Forge, one of Charlie’s friends at the police station; this character is not featured in the novel.
  • José Zúñiga as Mr. Molina, Bella’s biology teacher at Forks High School; in the novel, this character’s name is Mr. Banner.
  • Stephenie Meyer makes a cameo appearance as a customer in the diner where Bella and her father frequently eat.

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