I tried to read this book back when it first came out but couldn't get through it. In 2011, my best(?) friend convinced me to read the rest of it and let her know what I think. So I guess this is dedicated to her!
First, let me get this out of the way: I wasn't a fan of the story but I was even less a fan of the writing. Even if I had enjoyed the story, I wouldn't have been able to look past the way it was written. I felt like I was reading extremely bad fan fiction.
So, wow. Bella is super annoying. Honestly, how many times does need to tell us she hates rain? When there's a sunny day: oh gosh what is that blinding light? I'm so confused! Oh! It's the sun, I hardly recognized it because we've just had a week of rain! And why is she so upset that there are boys at her new school that have a crush on her? What teenage girl is like "OMG I can't believe boys like me, this is awful" unless she is a lesbian? Oh, and Edward, with his "Stay away from me, I'm dangerous. Never mind, let's be friends, but also stay away from me. I'm in love with you, GET AWAY!!!" crap is so obnoxious.
I am not the kind of person who needs every story to be totally believable, but I am really weirded out by 100+ year-old Edward's love for Bella. I know this happens in other YA vampire stories too, so it's not entirely Meyer's fault, but I think it's strange. I can understand vampires wanting to feed on young people because their blood is fresh or something, but why do they truly, madly, deeply fall in love with teenagers? And why do the teenagers love them back? It doesn't matter that you have a crush on a vampire that looks like a teenager if his mind is older than your grandparents. A regular old person falling in love with a teenager is creepy, why does this rule not apply to vampires as well? I'd never date an old vampire, and I'd feel like a total creeper if I was the vampire in that situation. Plus, teenagers are stupid. I know, because I was one. If I was hundreds of years old, finding someone my age would obviously be very difficult, but I'd at least look for someone who isn't an idiot. I mean, I probably wouldn't go for a wrinkly old lady, but I'd definitely want to be with someone who doesn't have to ask her parents every time she wants to leave the house. "Oh, sorry, old-as-shit vampire, I can't go out tonight, I'm grounded!"
Anyway, despite the age difference, Bella and Edward are obsessed with each other and it's awkward and too mushy. For reasons unknown (maybe short-term memory loss?) Bella is amazed by Edward was every time she sees him. She describes his absolute perfection way too many times. At some points, I felt like I was reading what can I can only describe as wholesome erotica. It's as if Meyer really wanted to make it dirty, but something was holding her back so she wrote about Edward's rock-solid abs instead of his giant penis.
I won't be reading the rest of the series, so let me guess the ending: Bella ends up a beautiful, sparkly vampire despite the fact that blood makes her faint and her special vampire power is extreme clumsiness. THE END.