My first thought is - boy, thirteen year old girls are weird! And - there's no accounting for taste.
There has been much commentary lately about this whole series of books, most notably on cleolinda's blog, which saves me both from repeating all the riffs about how ... just ... bad they are, and also frees me from the need to read any more than the first book. I wouldn't have wanted to anyway, but now I have absolutely no desire to.
So I don't need to write about what a complete Mary Sue Bella Swan is, and how annoying Edward is, and how flat and unconvincing their relationship is, and how anti-feminist it all is and yadayada.
I found myself really annoyed by some quite howling errors, that either Meyer herself or her editor should have caught: first, Bella says that it takes an hour to fly from Seattle to Port Angeles. Um ... more like ten or fifteen minutes. You could almost _drive_ from Seattle to Port Angeles in an hour. One morning, Bella gets up to discover that there has been a heavy snowfall. She drives to school in her truck, surprised that she manages so well in the snow. When she gets out of the truck, she is surprised to find that her father has put chains on the truck - no wonder she drives so easily! Um ... chains make a lot of noise. Bella is a self-absorbed dope, but even she would probably notice the crunch and crash of them on her tires. Also, they make the feel of the vehicle very different. Doesn't it snow where the author lives?? Bella goes to the beach and sees a driftwood fire for the first time in her life (giving Meyer the chance to do some nice writerly description of the colours of the flame). Um ... didn't she more or less grow up here? Is it _likely_ that she would have spent her childhood and summer visits there and never before see a driftwood fire? Then, in the climactic escape from the stalker vampire, Alice apparently drives her from somewhere in the Pacific Northwest to Palm Springs overnight. Bella wakes up in Palm Springs with no recollection of how she got there (thus freeing Meyer from having to explain how she managed to compress maybe a 12 or 16 hour drive into - what - eight?)
All this, of course, is quite apart from the long, stultifying passages of banal conversation, the totally unconvincing "voice" of the narrator, the peculiar sense that Bella and Edward are valued and valuable simply because they are beautiful... (and you have no idea how annoying I find Bella's "cute" clumsiness).
It's sad. Of course, there have been wildly successful best sellers that were pieces of shit before - The Da Vinci Code anyone? And there really isn't any accounting for taste. But. Sigh. I wish they had been good. And there is so much that is good that doesn't get anywhere near the attention.