I know, you're shrieking with disbelief...
The first hundred pages I felt like the author was still trying to figure out how to set the story up. The next couple of hundred pages were slightly better because it seemed Ms Meyer increasingly knew where she was going. The 'vampire falls in love with a human' aspect was a novel one. However, I did not like the intense sexual tension that kept up throughout the whole book. It just made me want to gag.
It wouldn't let up.
Bella's dialogue mainly consists of: "Edward is beautiful and perfect and gorgeous. What stupid thing can I do today to get myself nearly killed? Edward is beautiful and perfect and gorgeous. Edward is a vampire. His instinct is to rip me to shreds. But he's beautiful and perfect and gorgeous. I can't exist without him." On and on...
The speed with which Bella 'fell in love' was unnatural, or at the very least, inadvisable. Bella completely ignored her life (father, school, friends) in favour of worshipping the perfect Edward (who incidentally, only liked her smell). He became her life. What message does this send to the mainly teen female audience?
Although Edward was perfect, he did not have any real personality. Apart from listening to Claire de Lune, and lying in the sun, we don't even find out what Edward likes to do.
One of Edward's comments wins the 'Most Inane' award -"I may not be human but I'm still a man." Huh?
For me, the best part was when Bella was trying to save her life by running from a bad vampire dude. The bad dude cleverly tricks her and she is forced to deal with a dangerous situation by herself. The suspense builds up nicely around her as she plunges (yet again) into mortal danger. This was what rescued the book from a 2 out of 10. The last ten or so pages were actually not too bad.
But... I don't recommend this book.
If you like romance (sometimes I do) I recommend you read (or at least see the 1969 movie of) 'Romeo and Juliet' before you give this one your attention. Then there's 'Pride and Prejudice', not to mention 'Gone With The Wind'.
"Seek ye out of the best books" right?