Twilight is the first book in the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

I mentioned it briefly in my previous post.

It is a hugely successful, young adult (YA) teen fiction novel, which has reached global audiences, in large part because of the popularity of the series of films based on the books.

It is written from the point of view of 17 year old Isabella Swann, a young woman who goes to live with her father when her mother remarries.  Bella has never fitted in at school, and her discomfort in her new school is intensified by the agitation with which she is met by her distinctly odd classmate, Edward Cullen.

Bella finds herself strangely drawn to Edward, and he to her.  Their romance does not run smoothly, in large part because of the fact that Edward is a teenage vampire, living with a family of other vampires in the woods outside of town.  The rest is down to the usual problems of teenagers falling in love with each other, which can be messy even if you’re not about to drink your girlfriend’s blood.

The book is suitable for readers aged about 13 and up.  If you are interested in it for a younger child you will need to be confident in their ability to read the book both technically and emotionally, and you will also have to be comfortable with them being exposed to episodes of violence.

There is no explicit sexual content in the book. The most that Bella and Edward do is kiss in the novel, but they talk about the possibility of going further, and their relationship is described in highly charged, erotic tones which make it almost impossible to avoid the subject either in the book, or as something which whoever is reading it may want to discuss with an adult because they are curious, or be reluctant to discuss it with an adult for very similar reasons. The constant sexual tension between Edward and Bella is palpable.

As such, if you as an educator/parent/teacher do not want to expose your child/ren to this kind of material you need to think hard about how appropriate this book is, and how you will handle it if your child does bring it home, or wants to read it.

The book does have episodes in it, particularly towards the end, which may appeal to boys, but it is, for the large part a tale of doomed romantic love told from the point of view of a teenage girl, and is unlikely to be popular with a male audience for those reasons. It will however, be hugely popular with teenage girls, and even young women who love romantic fiction.